I Don't Want To Be Rude!!!!

Decorating By nefgaby Updated 13 Sep 2007 , 4:19pm by Katskakes

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nefgaby Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 3:15am
post #1 of 45

Hey friends!!!
Well, here is the deal... there is a girl that works for DH, she is a single Mom of 3, very VERY nice girl and she asked DH how much would I charge her for a cake that serves 30 AND 30 matching cupcakes as well... well, she wants all BC and an edible image on the cake, which would have to be a 12" round... anyway, even if I charged her $1 per serving (being 60 servings), I don't think she can afford $60 (did a mention she is a single mother of 3? which by the way doesn't receive any child support since the father lives in Jamaica... and she is very low rank in the military) Anyway, to add up, she wants my double chocolate cake (which has a higher cost than a regular vanilla/butter as you all know) So I don't want to be rude, I don't want to offend her!!! I would charge $2.00-$2.50 per serving to anybody else, but I just don't think I can't tell her that is is $120-$150, not even $60... icon_sad.gif
So I was thinking.... maybe we (DH and I) can tell her to buy the cake and cupcakes elsewhere (Walmart sells a 12" cake and 30 cupcakes for like $22) and that I would help her decorate everything (free of charge, just to buy the edible image), and also add the edible image to the cake, I would tell her to buy the cake and cupcakes with no decs, only white buttercream so I can start with a clean canvas... so again, do you think THIS IS RUDE???
I think she asked DH expecting me to give her a lower price than a local super store bakery icon_sad.gif but I just can't do it...
Please help me, how do we tell her? (I mean "we" as she did not call me, we've been doing all the talking through DH) I don't want to be rude and I don't want to offend her....
Thanks (sorry so long!) icon_cry.gif

44 replies
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kjgjam22 Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 3:47am
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i think you should give her the quote first...then if it is a problem suggest your walmart idea.. dont just assume that she cant pay...you dont know if someone is buying them for her or what the situation is..give her the quote and see what she says.

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JanetBme Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 3:48am
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her being a single mother of three has no bearing on the cake- give her your going rate and she can either take it or leave it.

she is ordering a cake for 30 people and 30 more cupcakes....

That's 60 people if she was that poor, then she'd be having a party for 5 people not for 60.

I have had a couple of people make sure they tell me that they are single parents- ect...trying to get me to lower my price- That has no bearing whatsoever for me- if they are that poor- then don't have a big party!

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cocorum21 Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 3:49am
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Don't assume that she can't pay for it. Even if she can't. If you have ever had someone try to tell you what you can/can't afford then you know what I'm talking about. I would say give her the price and tell her you would be willing to work somthing out to fit her needs.....helping her decorate store bought cupcakes.....but let her make her own decisions....

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nefgaby Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 4:04am
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Hi, thanks so much... I guess y'all are right, I should give her my price and wait for what she has to say... reason I was thinking she wanted me to make the cakes instead of buying them at a super center was because she told DH that she didn't have any $$ to do the party but wanted to "see" what she could do since since she had promised DD. And it is only 25 guests to my understanding, cupcakes are for DD to take to school on her birthday and cake is for the party with family and close friends. DH was very honest with me and told me that he thought she was trying to get something for really cheap. She was very honest wih DH about her financial situation.

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mommachris Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 6:07am
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tell her the real price and let her "see" it. icon_razz.gif

I'm with everyone else on this subject that her family situation has nothing to do with your business.

If you offer to help her out with a blessing of cake that is another story.


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CakeRN Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 6:33am
post #7 of 45

It would be rude to not tell her your normal price. She may have some help with the party from family members ( money). My thinking is she is trying to get something spectacular for practically no money. If she is that poor then 22 bucks for a cake and cupcakes would seem to be her best option. this might be a case where she thinks you ( a private baker from home) would be way cheaper than going to walmart. SO...tell her your real price ( without sugarcoating it ...no pun intended) and let her go from there but don't drop it just because she is a single mother with low finances. I mean really if she is that tight on money she can go out and get a couple boxes of cake mix and make her own cupcakes and birthday cake for her daughter.....right?...

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darby822 Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 7:19am
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As the daughter of a single mother and someone who has many military friends that range from E1 to Lt. Col, I tend to differ with some of the other opinions. My guess is it was not easy for her to be so honest with your husband about her situation. She is trying to do the best she can for her daughter with very limited resources. Because I am a softy it would make me want to help her out and it sounds like you want to as well.

Most people do not realize how much a beautiful double chocolate cake costs. They do not realize the cost of the ingredients, materials, electricity, etc. Also, because so many of you are such talented decorators and make it look so easy they do not realize the time and effort that go into making a 12" cake and 30 cupcakes. Someone who is just trying to make ends meet each month usually can not even fathom how much some of us are able to spend on luxuries such as a really fancy cake.

I would quote her your regular price for what she has asked for and then offer something you think might be more in her price range. You could offer to decorate the Wal Mart cake for her or if you are feeling generous you could make her a simple vanilla cake for the party within her budget and offer to do the cupcakes as a gift? It depends on your time and resources and how generous you can afford to be at this time.

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FrostinGal Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 7:31am
post #9 of 45

What you do for a living and how many children you have has no bearing on the cost of things. I've never been able to get discounted gas because we are a military family with three kids. icon_wink.gif
Give her your regular price, like any other client. She will only pay for what she can afford.
However, if you have decided to bless her/her daughter with cake, (I just love that phrase, BTW!,) be prepared ahead of time with the specific blessing with which you are willing to obligate yourself. The rest is up to her. And be prepared in case she expects two other "blessings," when her other children have birthdays.
Not to be rude or cold, but doing cakes for friends and family tends to give me more "friends" than I care for these days.

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titch Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 7:49am
post #10 of 45

I'm new to cake decorating and I've quickly come to realise that whilst I would love to bake and decorate a cake once week, just for fun, we just cant afford it, we too are a military family with two kids living off one wage.

I personally really feel that because we bake from our own homes that people tend to think that we are going to be cheaper, I've decided and spoken to dh about this one and I will at the very minimum charge for ingrediants and maybe add a little on top. But I've seen "friends" faces when I tell them I will charge $40 plus for a fondant cake.

I agree with everyone else give her your rates and she what she says, if she cant afford it then you can offer her some alternatives (even making cakes from the packet boxes). If she turns her nose up cause she is expecting some freebies then leave it, as just like someone else said you never know what she will expect when her other kids have their bdays aswell.

Hope it all works out
Rach icon_smile.gif

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LaSombra Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 9:41am
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I don't know how well you know her...but I wonder if she could make the cake at her house (buy ingredients and all) and then you could just help her out, lend her a pan or two, bring some tips, etc. You could have a good time showing her a thing or two in the kitchen. Then, you'd just be volunteering a bit of time and not donating a cake or selling it for cheap.

just a thought anyway...maybe it'd be too weird? Good luck!

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anneuk Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 10:13am
post #12 of 45

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, Personally I am always offended when people make a judgement about my financial status. I like others would tell her the real price BUT depending on how genuine you feel she is being, then I would help out by making the cakes

I am not up to a standard yet to sell my cakes, but must admit I was just in the supermarket looking at a 6" fondant covered cakewith 8 cupcakes, the cake was pink and had an edible image on it with some icing shells on it, the cupcakes were covered with pink icing...
The quality was really rubbish and surprised me, the price was £9.99 which is approx $20 ...

I would jsut like to comment on what others have said about the fact that she should not be having a big party if she can't afford it... I would just like to say that it is so hard not to give in to children, I believe strongly that children should be taught the value of money but I do also believe that children should be treated!!! Personally I have little money s I can't work due to ill health, but I save all year and have a savings fund put aside for birthdays and Christmas...

Maybe you could say to the lady, you could do her a cake for her daughters birthday, but wouldn't be able to make the cupcakes.... It does seem a bit daft if you have little money to treat everyone elses children at school!

Just my opinion!

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TexasSugar Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 1:14pm
post #13 of 45

Quote her your price or a price you are comfortable doing. And I'd quote seperate prices. It will be this much for the chocolate cake, and this much for the cupcakes, and you know I do my white (cheaper cake) at this much.

Then she can decide if she wants to pay it or not. She may decide that she wants to pay the price for the cake and not the cupcakes, or what not.

My opinion is that discounts are at my choosing for people I know are very appreciative of them, and those are not the people that feel the need to let me know that they don't want to pay alot of money.

I'm a poor girl myself. I don't have kids, but I don't make alot of money. I don't go to a resturant and tell them I can't afford their steak and expect to get it cheaper. If I want to order the steak I pay for it.

I also have a very close friend that is a single mother of 2, who also doesn't get any child support. She would never ask me to do a cake cheaper because she doesn't have alot of money. She would ask me to do something reasonable that she could afford to pay for.

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julzs71 Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 1:34pm
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nefgaby, My husband is in the military also. When I had my first child he was a E-4, senior airman, not a high paying rank. I made it just fine. We didn't go out buying 30-40 or 60 dollar cakes. We went to the commisary and got the super cheap cakes (wasn't a decorator at the time) or we made our own. You know why? That's what we could afford.
Don't get sucked in feeling sorry for someone. If your husband didn't work with her don't you think she would find some way to get a cake. Just because she found a Jamacian and had three kids with him and then ran off doesn't allow them to expect free cake.
If you are offering your talent why can't she make the cake and icing and then bring it to you.
Good Luck.

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adonisthegreek1 Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 1:41pm
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Quote her the actual price. If she can't afford that, then she will have to shop within her budget. When I had my first child, family pitched in and paid for all of my daughter's parties for years. They wanted to. Don't assume that this lady has no other resources. You never know.

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mbelgard Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 1:43pm
post #16 of 45

Don't get sucked into this trap, she has two other kids remember.
I was raised in the Army and my father was enlisted, there were seven of us, so we NEVER got store cakes. My mother made our cakes, she used the shaped pans and we always had something cool. I'm sure this mother could do the same thing, maybe offer to help her make the first one, since they take time but are fairly easy. Let her know about the Hobby Lobby and Michael's coupons to watch for and she can pick up the basics cheap (she wouldn't need much for those pans). It might be a wonderful gift you give her even if she never goes farther than using the shaped pans.

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Smckchat Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 1:58pm
post #17 of 45

I understand where you're coming from. I NEVER know how much to charge. My DH says I never charge enough. But I would take the advice from everyone here...quote her your normal price. If she thinks it's too much, offer to do a "simple" white cake or chocolate. Then go from there.


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CourtneysCustomCakes Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 2:00pm
post #18 of 45

I agree with mbelgard.. show her that it will be easier and cheaper for her to make the cake and/or cup cakes. If you have the time. Yes you won't be payed for it but you'll be helping some one do for herself, instead of trying to get something cheap that is not.

As they say Teach a man to fish....... In this case: Give a gal a cake, and she'll come back asking for more. Teach a gal to bake and she'll be set for a life time.


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Ladivacrj Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 2:03pm
post #19 of 45

As previously stated, I would give her the prices that you normally charge. Not as a package, but what you charge for your cakes an then what you charge for your cupcakes.

She may have help getting what she needs for this party and if she did not have the money then a smaller party would have been what she was giving.

I hate when people try to give you the sob story. She will buy what she can afford, or she will give you the line that is a classic "well I will just go to -so-in-so, and get a cake for $20"

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SMRturtle Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 2:14pm
post #20 of 45

Why don't you ask him to find out what her budget is for cake and cupcakes? Tell him how much the cake should be as well as how much the cupcakes should be so he knows in case she asks him. Once he hears her figure, then he could offer that suggestion to her as an alternative and see what she thinks. I wouldn't be offended- I would look at it as someone trying to help me stay within my budget and still have a beautiful looking cake/cupcakes for my childs party.

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tasha27 Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 2:17pm
post #21 of 45

I agree with most on here offer her your price and if that is not good for her then offer to help her. Being that I am a single mother in the military I know from personal experience what it is like to be low in the ranks and not be able to afford things for you child. I only have one but I had her before I joined so i had to learn to budget with about $800 every month when I first joined. There are soldiers in my unit that ask me to make them a cake and because I was in their shoes before I will give them a discounted rate for a birthday if I know they can't afford it. Everyone wants the best for their child and all she is doing is trying to see if she can get it. If you have the time help her out. To others it is not her fault that the sorry A$$ man left her and won't support his kids. As a mother you find a way.

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CarolAnn Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 2:22pm
post #22 of 45

When our kids were little we were farmers, so we didn't have much money either. So you know what we did?? We lived within our budget. I made all the cakes AND cupcakes. One of my kids favorite desserts to this day (and they're in their 30's) is cupcakes with powdered sugar for icing.

I'd quote this gal my regular price and one for a less expensive cake (white?) AND a separate price per cupcake. If she can swing it okay, if not well.....

It sounds to me like she's trying the sob story of the single mom who can't afford to give her child a decent b-day. She could probably do it herself if she just will. Maybe it won't be as fancy as having it done but the child probably won't care. And she could probably also get an edible image on the cake at WM. Not trying to rob you of some business but you shouldn't have to lose a bunch of $ either. Of course the market cake isn't going to look or taste as good as yours but that's not your problem. I'd hope she'd want to show her kids how self sufficient she can be, and baking the cakes with the kids would be a lot of fun. A family experience like we had.

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Ladivacrj Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 2:27pm
post #23 of 45

I forgot to add:

I would get your husband out of the middle of it, she is trying to play on him, and as we all know guys can be softies sometimes.

Get her number and call her directly, that way it will take the pressure off of him when she gets pissed with you.


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ljdaa Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 2:41pm
post #24 of 45

It's unfortunate that this seemed to have turned more into the financial status of military folks. I can tell you, I work in an organization where many, many people make over $100,000 and will still want a cake made and expect you to quote them a price dated from the 1930's. In the statement, she did not say she was not expecting to pay, it's just that she needs to know the actual cost. It is not a matter of financial status or workfield, it's a matter of what people are willing to pay for. I feel a little for this woman, because you have people passing judgement on a person who just asked a question. I am sure that if she knew you went behind her back and discussed her personal issues, you wouldn't have to worry about the cake, I can bet, she wouldn't want it even if was for free, I know I wouldn't. Sometimes it's not about interest, but the principle of the matter.

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jeking Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 2:55pm
post #25 of 45

I have a different opinion than most. My 20 year old daughter is in the Army, going to college fulltime and working parttime to be able to live on her own. I see the sacrifices that she is making as a college age kid to be able to serve her country and further her education at the same time. That being said, I have a profound admiration and respect for military personnel and I'm am so grateful for their willingness to serve us...the American people. I would do everything in my power to assist a single military mom to provide a nice birthday party for her child. I understand that if you live in a military community you can't do this for everyone or you would have no business. That would be a terrible dilemma for me! I'd probably go broke making cakes under cost for people! Ultimately, I think you have to go with what is in your heart...best of luck to you...I know it's not an easy decision.

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miss_sweetstory Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 3:02pm
post #26 of 45

I would give her the benefit of the doubt...she probably has no idea of the value of your work. Be honest with her as to the cost. As much as I would like to encourage you to bless her with a discount or some cake, I think you should consider that you could be putting yourself (and DH) into an awkward position by doing that. Others that work for your husband may hope for/expect the same treatment and if refused it could create some bad feelings. Give here the straight price and perhaps suggest some less expensive alternatives.

I really like your thoughts about helping her decorate something that she has bought. You would be gifting her with your time and doing a good turn. I too am a military wife and I know it's often a difficult balance.

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teamsterbabe Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 3:12pm
post #27 of 45

Hey Gaby!!

Quote her your regular price.
Please... let me tell you why. I don't do cakes for a living...I paint murals. I used to get the worst sob stories you have ever heard as to why they needed to NOT pay the regular price of $400 dollars a day.
(averages out like you guys price by the slice).
Their kids tuition was due. Car was crashed. Mother was hospitalized and they had to travel to (insert city here). Check from EX hasn't arrived yet.
No end to the bogusness!!!

Well, me being the doof I am, icon_redface.gif fell for every one of those UNTIL it dawned on me that it was affecting me (my health) and my family.
They are getting a work of art at MY expense literally, THAT they have no clue how to do and that on top of that THEY are TELLING OTHERS how to get the same thing from me!! icon_eek.gif

So one day I walked out on a job 1/2 done because they had some cockenbull sob story that they wouldn't have the money to pay me for months. I found out they went to Hawaii...ON VACATION!! icon_mad.gif
I had contracts, but I also assumed these cretains were friends because they knew my friends which is why I cut them slack and gave them time to pay.

So bottom line is this, Gaby, whether or not this Mom has the resources to pay full price for your Double Chocolate Cake and Cupcakes,
it will get around that you GAVE her a deal and everyone else will come to you expecting the same sort of deal. Not withstanding that the Mom has two other children that will need birthday cakes sometime in the future.
You can help her with her decorations if the Lord blesses you with the time to do that, it sounds like you have a huge, loving heart that cares for others, but don't be like me and get stompled because you've taken someone elses problems and made them your own.

I wish you luck Kiddo
Ronni icon_biggrin.gif

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DEBBIE157 Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 3:13pm
post #28 of 45

I was a single mom for many years. I NEVER expected a cheaper price because I was a single mom. I learned to live within my budget.

Yes we all want to give our kids the best, but they have to learn that life is sometimes hard.

I would quote her your regular price. Then advise her to 1) go to Walmart or 2) bake it herself.

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JillK Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 3:19pm
post #29 of 45

Maybe it's naive, but I'm betting she honest-to-God has no idea how much it costs and thinks she really is trying to live within her means by asking you -- thinking you'll be cheaper than Wal-Mart, of course.

People really do believe that because you're baking from home, you'll be able to give them a great deal. They truly don't realize the time and money that go into a cake. It's ignorance, but it's sometimes honest ignorance. (That said, there's nothing wrong with educating them, either.) icon_rolleyes.gif I made the decision not to try to do cakes for income because I got tired of seeing the blank look when I quoted what was a really good price, but double or triple what the person expected!

As far as why she doesn't do it herself ... maybe she just has no aptitude for baking. Sometimes we forget that, on here. There are so many talented people! icon_razz.gif

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Katskakes Posted 11 Sep 2007 , 3:21pm
post #30 of 45
Originally Posted by DEBBIE157

I was a single mom for many years. I NEVER expected a cheaper price because I was a single mom. I learned to live within my budget.

Yes we all want to give our kids the best, but they have to learn that life is sometimes hard.

I would quote her your regular price. Then advise her to 1) go to Walmart or 2) bake it herself.

same here!! i'm a single mom of three kids. And i would never expect to pay less. I would just buy it where i can afford it or make it myself.
If she is someone i know, i would offer to help her make her own. I think the kids would love the idea of mom making my cake and she can stay within budget.

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