How To Determine Price For Sculpted Cakes?

Decorating By jessieb578 Updated 28 Oct 2007 , 4:31pm by Danielle111

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jessieb578 Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 7:12pm
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I need to do a John Deere tractor for 20-30 people and I'm unsure of how exactly to build this and be sure I will have enough cake and beyond that how to price it!

I was planning on using 2 stacked 9x13 for the body and then a loaf pan for the top part of the tractor. I usually charge $35 for a 9x13 cake, would I double that and then charge for the loaf pan, etc.? I'd be up towards $80 for a small tractor!! I'm really not too sure that price will fly around here. I live in a town where $1.50 per piece is pretty much standard for buttercream, just to give you an idea.

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pechee Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 1:53am
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If I am not to late, a double stacked 9x13 sounds big for just 20-30 people. is there a way to cut one 9x13 in half to make the bottom half of the tractor? Then use just half of the cake from the loaf pan? I think you could get away with 35-40 dollars that way, But yes if you make a big tractor, you should get paid for a big tractor! Dont under sell yourself. Cant wait to see it!

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mamacc Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 12:51pm
post #3 of 9

I agree....don't undersell yourself! Sculpted cakes take a LONG time to make. Keep track of how many hours it takes you so you can get an idea of how much you are making per hour. I usually start my pricing at $100 for sculpted cakes.


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SweetResults Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 1:21pm
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I just charged $150 for 2 8"x3" rounds stacked with a RK skeleton grabbing the cake, this was for 30 people.

Don't undersell!! EVENTUALLY they will pay it! Or if you have to suck them in, give them an invoice for the real total with a one-time discount of some kind. That way they won't want to go back to a "regular" cake, but know what it will cost the next time and you have a cool pic for your portfolio.

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Denae Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 1:39pm
post #5 of 9

some people don't understand the time and energy that goes into making a cake. def don't undersell yourself. i don't know how to post one of my pics. but if you look into my pics, i made a john deere tractor about 2 weeks ago. it's not the greatest. it was a half sheet cake, split long ways down the middle and i worked it from there. i charged them $65, should have been more, but it was for my sister in law.

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Danielle111 Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 2:14pm
post #6 of 9

I charge $4 per serving for carved cakes in order to cover my time. (I also live in an area where $4/serving carved is standard, though). Maybe you can do some sleuthing and find out what the standard rate is for carved cakes in your area? I'll bet it's about $2.75 or more! icon_smile.gif
Also, pechee I believe is right - 2 9x13s + is definitely too much for 20-30 people, so maybe you can just carve the one 9x13? That would save you a lot of time and expense, and they wouldn't be getting too much for their money!

Good luck!

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step0nmi Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 2:42pm
post #7 of 9

I know this pricing may sound kinda lame but, I start out charging$50 for a carved cake. Then I find out the cost of my supplies and times that by 3. That is just the way I do it! Carved cakes are hard to do.

If you don't mind me saying....that sounds like a lot of extra cake for only 25-30 people. Is there a way you can scale this down??

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indydebi Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 3:42pm
post #8 of 9

They are not paying for "the cake" ..... they are paying for the time and talent it takes to create a special designed cake that they want.

When they buy a house..... they are not paying for the sticks and nails. They are paying for the engineering experitise and the time/labor it takes to turn "sticks and nails" into a home that won't fall down around their heads.

You can buy an end table at Walmart. Or you can buy a custom made, hand-sanded, hand finished/painted end table made by a woodcraftsman / artisan.

Which one do YOU think you'll pay more for?

So $1.50 is the standard for BC. You're not selling BC here. You're selling a carved cake.

That's like saying "$15,000 is the standard for a Saturn." THat's fine if you're buying Saturn, but dont' expect to pay that for a Cadillac.

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Danielle111 Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 4:31pm
post #9 of 9

Indydebi is right (as always!) - I recently had a situation where a customer wanted me to do an elaborate replica of a castle in Spain, along with a reflection pool, actually showing the reflection of the building. I gave her my price, and when I got her response, I felt sooo horrible! She didn't want to pay that much for a cake, and didn't understand why I would charge so much. Indydebi put it better than I ever could. It's a custom, hand-crafted piece of artwork, and don't you dare feel bad about charging what you feel is right! icon_smile.gif

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