Cake Pricing For Friends....

Business By buzymom1975 Updated 14 Apr 2008 , 11:00pm by TexasSugar

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buzymom1975 Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 2:19am
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A very good friend of mine was looking at my cake pictures today and asked if I would make one for her DD's bday in 2 weeks. I told her yes and she said she would pay me for it. What do I charge? It will be a 9 inch single layer cake cut in half to make a butterfly. I am planning on using a white cake and butter cream icing. I will be using different candies to decorate, though not sure what kind yet. What do you all think? She said to let her know and she will pay whatever I quote her. I have never sold any of my cakes before, always gifted them to family. Help please.

22 replies
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FromScratch Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 2:41am
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If she's a really good friend.. I'd just do it gratis. Or if anything let her pay for the ingredients only. icon_smile.gif

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Carson Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 2:45am
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I agree with jkalman - but I always add "but feel free to find me some paid business"!! I get lots of referrals from friends!

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icer101 Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 2:48am
post #4 of 23

when i make a cake for a friend, i always charge a little less than for someone i don,t know. i let this friend know this , and that seems to make them happy, they pay, and then i get to make them another cake for another occasion.

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buzymom1975 Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 3:09am
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Thank you all. I told her I would make it for her DD and didn't want her to pay, but she insists. I will just tell her if she REALLY wants to pay, then she can just pay me for the ingredients.

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Carson Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 3:17am
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Most friends will insist on paying something - even if it isn't full price. You and your friend both did the right thing - what real friends would do!

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Erdica Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 2:04pm
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For friends that are extremely close (like family), I don't charge.

For friends that are friends, I charge them the normal price of anyone who walks into my store and asks for the same cake. Then I give them a discount of 10% off their total. I do this so that if someone at the party says "How much was that cake?" They can say "It was $xx.xx but she gave me a discount" So when they call me for the same cake, they know it's going to be the regular price. I hope that makes sense. I need more coffee.

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ReesesCupcakes Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 2:19pm
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I recently made a cake for my best friend's son's birthday. I told her it was my gift, and yet she insisted on paying me (or rather her mom insisted). They handed me $60 for the cake, which was very much appreciated, but not necessary. I graciously accepted it. icon_smile.gif

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ladyonzlake Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 2:27pm
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My approach is if I offer to make the cake then it's free but if I'm asked then I charge. I do offer a free flavor upgrade with their order. You could also give a percentage discount if you prefer.

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tonedna Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 2:43pm
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I only do it for free to my best friend..The other friends have to pay..Not as much as I usually would charge to a stranger but yes I do charge them. I use to design clothing and once I did something for one friend for free it snowballed. Everybody wanted something for free
You learn really fast that the time you spend making any cake is money no matter what!

Edna icon_biggrin.gif

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Laura102777 Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 2:45pm
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I will either make the cake for free as my gift (usually with family, but there are a couple of friends I'd do it for), or I throw in a smash cake for free. Smash cakes are most popular for first birthdays, but kids get a kick out of having their own individual cake even when they're older.

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buzymom1975 Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 4:55pm
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Thank you all for the advice. I recently started really getting serious about my cakes, and hope to eventually open my own business. This gives me a guideline as for prices when I finally take the

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pastrylady Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 1:59pm
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I only make free cakes for family. For friends I give them a nice 10-20 percent discount (depending on how close they are) and always give them an upgraded flavor and design. I also let them know it's discounted in case someone asks them how much the cake cost.

I find that if I give my friends free cakes they are embarrassed to ask me to make their next cake. If I charge them, they are free to order all their cakes from me without feeling like they are taking advantage of our friendship.

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foxymomma521 Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 2:06pm
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I make all of the cakes for my best friends kids. At first I didn't charge, but then we agreed that for ANY cake I make her, she buys me something for cakes. The last two times I got a new 11X15 and then a 12X18. That way I get practice, and she gets an *almost* free cake...

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CakeMommyTX Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 2:19pm
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For me it depends on the circumstances,
1. how close of a friend they are, making cakes is like having a pick up truck, all of a sudden you have tons of friends when theres a birthday party or someones moving!
2. what the cake is for, if it is for them or there family then I will do it for free, but say they are throwing someone else (that I have never met ) a baby shower or party I charge for ingrediants.
3. what kind of cake it is, I really can't afford to make a 5 tier wedding cake for free, but I can give a pretty good discount.
4. If I'm booked or not when they need their cake. I make cakes because I love too but I also make cakes as a form of income for my family, so I can't pass up a paying order for freebies that often.

Thats just me though.

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poshcakedesigns Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 2:23pm
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For real close friends that insist on paying I tell them to just pay for the ingredients. . Also for the friends that just pay me ingredients I tell them I want 'amost' free reign on the cake and design. That way I can try new things. Of course I get their party theme and colors and work from there with a little of their input.

Have found that my friends are my best form of advertising and it helps me to get practice I also tell them how much I would charge for the cake if anyone at the party ask how much it was.

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Laura102777 Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 2:25pm
post #17 of 23
Originally Posted by yourstrulytx

For me it depends on the circumstances,
3. what kind of cake it is, I really can't afford to make a 5 tier wedding cake for free, but I can give a pretty good discount.

I agree...only my sister gets a free wedding cake, and that's just because she rocks and she and her hubby-to-be are super-supportive of everything I do!

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smoore Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 2:55pm
post #18 of 23

I can't afford to do free cakes for family/friends. First, because our family is HUGE (and with everyone but me and my DH getting divorced and remarried, it's constantly getting bigger!). I also work full time and have kids of my own and the house/garden to take care of ... so my time is precious! For friends/family, I'll give them about a 25% discount off my regular price, but they know it, as I tell them how much it usually is and deduct the discount from there. It's funny .... friends will usually tip me so I get my regular price. Family doesn't tip. icon_wink.gif

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buzymom1975 Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 3:17pm
post #19 of 23

Thanks again for all the advice. I have decided I will tell her I only want the ingredient costs if she still insists on paying. I will take everything else into consideration when making other cakes for friends and family. I think after this one, I will only do free for my sister's kids. Thanks again for everything!!!!!!!!

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tonimarie Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 3:39pm
post #20 of 23

Hi. My experience is that if you "give" them a cake once, then they think that you are going to always do that. Of course that just may be my family/friends! If I offer, I do it for free, but I've had nieces and SIL's ask and then not even offer to pay me for ingredients icon_mad.gif I have found that in all, it's made me a little bitter, especially since I would like my business to get started! I love making cakes, but it's not a cheap hobby as you all well know.

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jessfmaldonado Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 3:48pm
post #21 of 23

ohhhh what a topic for me right now. I'm in a situtation right now with a friend I have known for about 12 years. She asked if I would do a cake for her daughter. I said yes. Well she picked out a three tiered cake, including gumpaste flowers and bows and wafer paper butterflies and choco-pan fondant. She wanted me to do it for 80.00. No way was I going to even cover the ingredients and the equipment for that. I told her I would do two tier cake without the choco-pan and with Satin Ice, for 70.00. I am still buying the wafer paper on my own. My DH is upset with me because he feels she is taking advantage of me. Well she said yes. ( I will not be getting paid for labor). Now she wants me to do these very time consuming cupcakes, very elaborate, for 50.00 dollars. I told her I couldnt do it for 50.00 , She got a little huffy puffy. I dont know what to do with her!!!!! This is such a sticky subject with friends, I really do not know how to handle this because, I feel bad for them, and then I feel taken advantage of. How do you handle friends and family like this??? (sorry so long)

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ziggytarheel Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 5:18pm
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Age can bring wisdom so I must be getting pretty wise these days!


I think this, like much of life, requires you develop a philosophy for this issue. Once you know what your principle is in this or any other matter in your life, your stress greatly diminishes, because there are so many less things to agonize over. You know what your answer is, you know why you have your answer, and you can feel good about it.

So I think this is a great opportunity to figure out what you CAN do and what you WANT to do. Does everyone pay full price? Do certain "degrees" of relatives get a certain discount? Does every niece or nephew get ONE free wedding cake? Or an ingredients only cost for one wedding cake? Do you do free cakes only when they are your gift?

Figure out what makes sense and what pleases you. If I were in a situation where I was trying to get a business off the ground, I would probably need the income from my friends and family. So, in that case, I would probably do regular family birthday cakes for free (close family). Gift cakes for some major occasions, and give a discount to my closest friends and to my church (if I couldn't afford to give it away).

I've found this idea of developing my philosophy so important. Whether it be in all aspects of parenting or what I volunteer to do, or whatever. When you have a principle, then you can develop all the "precepts" that fit with it.

Does that make any sense?

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TexasSugar Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 11:00pm
post #23 of 23

My general rule I have is if you ask me to make a cake, you pay for it (with a few exceptions). If I offer, then it is free.

I will always do my nephew's cake for free. I currently only have one, so that makes it easy for me, but when my other brother gets around to having kids I'll do the same for his. I also do this for my best friend's two kids.

But after the 'theme' I decide on the cake. Sometimes they get to have input on the flavors, but not always. I decide how big the cake will be, and how much time I am going to spend making it.

If they ever get to be very specific on what they want or want some huge ordeal then I would probably charge for it. Along with the cake I usually end up giving a gift as well, so it isn't a cheaper option for me. It is more about me giving them a custom made cake special for them.

I know my family and friend make more money at their jobs than I do, so if they are asking me to make a cake for another event or something like that then they do have to pay for it. I can't afford to make a cake for everyone and their momma for free. I do make free cakes for my brother's, parent's and friend's birthday, but if it is something for someone else, and I am asked to do it, they pay.

I do think it is up to you on who you discount and who you don't. Who you give free cakes to and who you don't. It does depend on how big your family is, and how big your group of friends are. I only have two brothers, so it is easier for me to do free cakes for them. I do not do free cakes for uncles, aunts, or cousins, I just can't afford that. And I only have one really close friend that I do for free for. I don't want people around me that call themselves my friends if they are only looking for free cakes.

I have heard of people that will do a free cake if they are invited to the event, but then you will also here people say they are only invited so they bring free cake. And those are often the very detailed I want big and bold cake with a expensive cake recipe.

I do want to add though, if you are thinking about this as a future business keep in mind that you charge now, such as alot of free cakes or cake just for the cost of ingredients, could come back to haunt you. It is hard for people to go from free cakes to I'm charging $3 a serving cakes. It is hard for you to make that leap, explain why you are, and have people that will understand and not go, but you made so and so a cake for free.

Also, take some time to sit down and price how much it costs you to make a cake. You want to include your cake and icing ingredients as well as the little things like cake boards, boxes, decorating bags, toothpicks and all that other stuff you use on the cakes you make. It is very important to know how much it costs you so you can make sure you are being fair to youself. And don't forget cakes take time, that is time away from your life and your family, and you need to factor that in to what you are doing.

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