Feeling Taken Advantage Of!

Decorating By meme Updated 22 Jul 2005 , 7:37pm by SweetCreations

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meme Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 7:34pm
post #1 of 23

Okay I don't mean to unload on you all but am I the only one being taken advantage of by family? I took the Wilton class exactly one year ago granit I enjoy making the cakes for my family and husbands family I am starting to feel taken advantage of! Nobody offers a cent? I took this class as a way to make extra money for me and my husband. It is starting to seem like I took it so everyone gets a free cake. They would not go to the store and expect one for free. I am not looking into making a big profit off of family but the cost of the cake and maybe $5.00 for the time would be nice. Not only free they ask for sculpted. How do I end this without causing a family feud. I already have a pissed off mother in law because I wasn't feeling good when she asked for one and she took it as I just did not want to do it! If I know it was going to be like this I may have reconcidered the class. No problems with the friends just family! icon_sad.gif

22 replies
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meme Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 7:36pm
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forgot to mention the first thing my sis- in law said after I took the class was she wanted me to teach her I guess she figured It was okay that i invested my time and money and thought it should be a 2 for 1 deal I don't think so!

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susanmm23 Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 7:46pm
post #3 of 23

wow sorry to hear this. maybe you can explain to them money is tight and you need to be reimbursed (sp) add afew extra bucks for you in the total that way you can ,ake a little.

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ntertayneme Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 7:52pm
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I have the same problem with my family at times too ... so now, I tell them when they call and want a cake, I ask, what size, what do you want on it, what colors, what do you want it to say.. here comes the good part "and how much do you want to spend?" ... ususally it's dead silence.. so I, of course, break the silence and say, I have $15, $30, $45 cakes and on up.. now what price range do you want to keep it in? it tends to stop the freebie stuff... if they ask you "I have to pay?" or "I have to pay you to do this?" I tell them, "yes, if you went to WalMart or another bakery, would they give you a cake for free?" ... if they get mad and hang up, well, where's the loss? they didn't want to pay you for it anyway, did they? if they order a cake from you and you get paid, then you've gotten the message across to them that it's not a "free" service that you're providing...

now I will say, for my immediate family, mother, father, brothers, sisters, I will do cakes for THEM for free... for "them", I mean for their birthdays... when it gets to the extended part, they pay .. I have too many neices and nephews, cousins to do them for free... and like you said, this was for extra money or to at least be compensated for your cost and a small "thank you" of $5 is not too much to ask..

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alracntna Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 7:59pm
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Some times we fall in love with people and then we meet their family and we wonder if they were switched at birth, and the same goes for us. the only way, i have learned, to stop the disrespect, because that is what it is, is to put your foot down and just say i took the class so that i could help my husband with the bills, i don't mind making cakes for every occasion but if you ask me to make one it will cost the same for you as it does for someone not in the family. if you want to take a different approach you could tell your side of the family "can you believe my dh's family wants me to make cakes all the time for them and not even offer me $5?" then turn around and tell the hubby's family the same about yours. if they don't take a hint then you will have to put your foot down.

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meme Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 7:59pm
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I totatally do not expect any thing for immediate family that is normally done as a gift! It is the extended neices and nephews I am having the problem with Let me clarrify my mother in law called me for my sis in law to do a cake for nephews (3) and neice not for her There mother didn't even bother to call me just expected it!

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mvigil Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 8:00pm
post #7 of 23

Hi Meme,
Be very proud of your self for learning somthing new .
This is somthing your family dosent have and are probly jelous of your sucess,But dont let them take advantage of your great talent!! They need to at the very least buy for supplies. I am going thru the same thing and is hard to say no or ask for payment but from what I have read on other Forums if you let it happen once they will keep on knocking .
And they all say dont sell your self short.

I could tell this to somone else but still need to hear it for myself.

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bonnscakesAZ Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 8:02pm
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I had heard so many stories when I first got into this that I didn't start the free thing. I don't have the time or money to give cakes away all the time. Now if I offer to do it then that is one thing. I do my nieces (2) cakes for them each year on their birthdays and I usually get to do some fun stuff but other than that I offer a discount. I price the cake like I normally would and take 20% off for family. If they think it is too much then they can go to walmart like everyone else. icon_smile.gif

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sweeterbug1977 Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 8:14pm
post #9 of 23

I had that problem with my inlaws. They were always wanting me to make a cake for them....for free. I did not mind making the birthday cakes...that would be my present to the birthday boy/girl, but it was when they started wanting me to make cakes for their friends for free when I had to just say no. I am not going to take the time and money to make a cake for someone that I don't even know..for free. Now, if they ask me to make a cake for their friends or coworkers, they ask me how much it is going to cost. I have recently done the same thing with hubby's job. They were always wanting me to make cupcakes or a cake...to feed anywhere from 50-200 people..for free. Now, they know that unless I volunteer the cake or cupcakes, it is going to cost them.

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thecakemaker Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 8:24pm
post #10 of 23

I started charging family with the first "can you make me a birthday cake for...." I got a couple funny looks when I gave them a price but they got the message. They know they get more from me than they would from a store or bakery for the money. I donate cakes when I feel like it. When I made my neices last b-day cake my sil handed me a check for $30. I wasn't going to charge her that much but hey! Sometimes I just ask for the cost of the edible image when they say "how much" ~ but ~ that's up to me. They expect to have to pay!


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Sugar Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 8:35pm
post #11 of 23

What an awkward situation. I mean, at least they could do was offer money for the supplies.

I think I'd either flat out tell them that you'll be needing money for the supplies and that you just can not keep giving free cakes away because it's too expensive.

Or you could go "pro" design a website (with prices listed). Make the grand announcement to the family that "you're loving cake decorating so much that you've declared yourself a professional! But not to worry, family members will get a wonderful discount. " And that type of thing

Only immediate family should get free cakes.

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MariaLovesCakes Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 8:45pm
post #12 of 23
Originally Posted by meme

I totatally do not expect any thing for immediate family that is normally done as a gift! It is the extended neices and nephews I am having the problem with Let me clarrify my mother in law called me for my sis in law to do a cake for nephews (3) and neice not for her There mother didn't even bother to call me just expected it!

Isn't it just annoying???!!!! icon_cool.gif

I don't have much family here, so I can't say I share your sentiments. But I do have a friend that has shared with me this same problem. We both took Wilton courses and do nice cakes, and I told her that she is being taken advantage of...

Her immediate family is fine, just like mine. I do cakes for them in a heartbeat... But the others like you said, nieces, nephews, etc... Come on, if they want character cakes, 3-d type cakes, and stuff, It can get expensive. My goodness, at least cover for the materials.

They have even asked my friends for wedding cakes and they "tell" her what they want but don't offer to pay jack.... Shoot, that sure is a pain and very unconsiderate!!!

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GinaJuarez Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 8:58pm
post #13 of 23
Originally Posted by Sugar

Only immediate family should get free cakes.

Kinda yes, kinda no. My sister is having me bake a cake for a work function. Being that she approached me and its not a birthday present for her, I charged her $20, which is still the "sisterly-hookup" because the cake she wants I would normally charge $30-35.

I agree with sugar that the best way may just be to tell them straight out that it is getting rather expensive to do them for free. I may even go as far as to break down the cost of supplies for the hard-headed ones. Let them know (if this is the case) that on occasion, you will still make cake and give them away, but it will be at your discretion.

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ihavasweet2th Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 9:00pm
post #14 of 23

Wow I've never had tha problem!! I have been decorating cakes for 18 1/2 years and that has never been a problem for me. I have always worried about what to charge friends! Anyway, my sister and I usually barter!! She is a cosmetologist so I do a cake for her she cuts my hair! Maybe you could work something out like that with family members. Say you can do the cake if they could do ....... for you. I feel for you meme, I think that would be an awful position to be in but they should be ashamed of themselves for taking advantage of you like that!! You better get it under control before they expect you to do a "free" wedding cake for a niece or nephew!! Even then, when I have done a wedding cake as a gift for a family member they bought the particular stand they wanted and let me keep it and they bought the supplies for the cake. I did all the baking and decorating as a gift. Which I think is a pretty nice gift and I think all of you fellow cake decorators would agree!!

Good luck!!

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Sugar Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 9:01pm
post #15 of 23

I agree with you Gina, your sister should get a good deal. Now your aunts third cousin from Tulsa, probably not. icon_razz.gif

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stephanie214 Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 9:24pm
post #16 of 23

Hi meme,

I feel your pain...I went through the same thing with family and friends. I would come home and complain.

One day I was really mad about something when my sister asked me to make a cake for her for someone else. I just went off, can't remember everthing I said but from that day on everyone pays me thumbs_up.gif .

Just stand your ground and tell them no more freebies unless you want to give it free and don't budge.

Your cakes are beautiful and you deserve to be paid.

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melissablack Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 10:01pm
post #17 of 23

At least feel flattered that your in-laws like your cakes, unlike mine, lol. I have the opposite problem.

Seriously though, if it were me, I would tell them that I couldn't afford to make it for free, that the cost of ingredients was X$ and if they didn't mind buying the ingredients, then you could make it for them. That is, IF you don't mind making it for cost.

If you want to make a few bucks, just quote them a higher price than the actual cost of the ingredients. I know personally, I am one to avoid confrontations, but lately I have had to stand up for myself, and although people may get miffed, they get over it, and I feel much better!

Melissa icon_smile.gif

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cakegal Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 10:54pm
post #18 of 23

What you could do is charge them (the immediate family that is) what they would pay at WalMart or a bakery.... that way they have a choice where to get their cakes.... You shouldn't have to do it for nothing..
I do hair, and I have a sister who always expected me to do her hair for nothing...cutting was one thing but hair color and highlites is totally another.... I know she wouldn't do it for nothing if the table was turned around...
When I did my daughters cake for her wedding last yr. I think everyone thought they would get me to do wedding cakes for freebies... I think NOT!!!! I told then right out... if I was making a cake like I did for my daughter I'd have to ask $400 at the least.... it just depended what they wanted on it , etc....they just looked at me like...holy cow...that's alot of money for a cake... Well, they can go elsewhere and get their cakes... I don't have to do it for nothing..
If I offer or do a reduced price for someone...that's my choice... not theirs..
I hope you get it sorted out..

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littlebubbieschocolates Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 11:04pm
post #19 of 23

i used to do free cakes all the time. ive stopped doing it.. it costs to much and i want to make money not lose it. im glad that my hubs family isnt around so i dont have that problem. its my hubs work that is..

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SweetCreations Posted 22 Jul 2005 , 2:33am
post #20 of 23

Hey Meme, icon_biggrin.gif
I am so sorry to hear your going through all of this with your family.
I just dont think I would have the nerve to ask or expect someone to do free cakes.

I would wait until Most or all of the Family was around for a gathering or what ever. Make sure you have a cake there and say....
I have an announcement "I hope you all enjoy My Last Cake" I just can't afford to do them anymore. Unless its a Paid Order.
I think that would get teh message across to everyone there and TRUST ME,,,,hahahaha. That will spread through the whole family QUICK.
Good Luck and Keep your Chin up. icon_twisted.gif
I know this can be so discouraging. but dont let it make you give up something you Really love just dont do FREE. I give Moms/Dads cakes as birthday presents. but that is My choice. & only if I feel like it.. icon_wink.gif
keep us Posted on this..
~Sweet~ icon_rolleyes.gif

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thecakemaker Posted 22 Jul 2005 , 12:27pm
post #21 of 23

How about just telling them that you took the classes to make a little extra money not to lose money on donated cakes and explain that you would be happy to make the cake however they will have to at least cover expenses or they will have to go to the market for their cake.


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meme Posted 22 Jul 2005 , 12:27pm
post #22 of 23

Thank you all for your input. I feel better now that I got that off my chest it was nice to get advise from people who knows what goes into making these cakes! Aug . will be exactly one year that the whole freebie thing started well that neice's birthday is rolling around again and things are going to change icon_wink.gif I can already hear the silence on the line! I am going to be polite and let them all know I just can't do it anymore for free I like the family discount idea! I have a total of 15 nieces and nephews between the two families fortunatally I have not done cakes for all of them! I am saving the freebies for Holiday occasions, and immediate family for now on unless I decide otherwise icon_biggrin.gif Thanks again for all the advise!

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SweetCreations Posted 22 Jul 2005 , 7:37pm
post #23 of 23



& Silence can be a real good thing..hahahaha..
Good Luck!
~Sweet~ =0)

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