How Do I Tactfully Tell Someone

Decorating By ljhow623 Updated 18 Apr 2008 , 3:51pm by ccr03

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ljhow623 Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 12:58pm
post #1 of 15

that the price is not what they think it is?

I had someone inquire on a wedding cake. I told her my prices start at $2.00 a serving. Then she was asking about putting butterflies, fondant on the cake as well as delivery, if that would be an extra charge or not. I simply told her it would all be included in the final price of the cake.

The cake she wants is 10â, 8â and 6â square with butterflies, flowers and ribbon. The cake would be for 100 servings. The butterflies would be made out of rice paper and the flowers would be chocolate clay.

I have heard from other people that I am going to make her cake but she hasnât actually asked me as yet. However I want to be prepared to give her a firm price and an explanation as to why my price is not just $2.00 a serving. If I use figured the price correctly (using the home and hobby matrix on this site, thank you!) the cake itself would cost $167.00, the decorations and labor would be another $250.00, which would bring the total to $417.00. Am I way out of line here with the pricing?

How do you explain the cost so that they understand that is not $2.00 per serving for what ever you want.

14 replies
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lovetofrost Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:06pm
post #2 of 15

The way you said you answered the question is a little confusing to me. I would definitely be up front and honest with this lady when she calls you to let you know you're her choice. I think she would appreciate knowing the bottom line price,or very close to it. HTH.

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indydebi Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:07pm
post #3 of 15

Well, the phrasing of "it will be included in the final price" can be misleading, especially to a cake civilian. When she asked "will there be an extra charge for that?", it would have been easy to just say, "Yes. Yes there will."

I would send her an email with an estimated quote. "I was working on your cake and since I promised you information on a final price that included the little extras your wanted (i.e. butterflies, etc), I thought I'd send this to you for your planning purposes. Please note this is an estimate only and is subject to the final design."

This subtley points out the extras ARE extra and puts a number in front of her.

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VannaD Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:08pm
post #4 of 15

when i look at the websites of peopl who do cake they usually have it stated something like this.. cake starts at 2.00 a serving
Fondant starts at ________ a serving
Delivery is ______ per tier plus _____ per mile.
Something like that, you just state each price and what they're for then you add them all up.. GOod Luck, I hope this helps

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FromScratch Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:09pm
post #5 of 15

It's simple. You tell her your price.. and don't apologize for it. Tell her a basic buttercream iced cake with very minimal decoration starts at $2.00 per serving. When you add fondant it goes up $1/serving. When you add chocolate clay flowers and rice paper butterflies it goes up another $0.50/serving and delivery costs $XX. Maybe send her a quote for the cake outlining the actual costs involved. You shouldn't feel bad for charging what your cake is worth. icon_smile.gif

Edited to add that yes.. your answer to her question was rather vague. It would have been better to say yes there is an extra charge for those things and I will sit down and get a quote together for you. When you tell someone that something is included in the final cake cost.. they are going to interpret that as there is no extra charge.

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smbegg Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:10pm
post #6 of 15

I would just apologize for any confusion, but say that your base price is $2.00 a serving and that any fondant or extra work add on to the price.
If she doesn't like it, she can go somewhere else.

I would never include delivery in a $2.00 a serving price. Just learn from this mistake and have a better break down before you quote a price. I have a base price, then I go up from there. Even if it means not being able to quote immediatly. It is better than low balling it and then having to go back and fix it.


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mom42ws Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:13pm
post #7 of 15

yes, don't feel bad for charging what it's worth but next time i would be more up front and clear about extra charges.

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beccakelly Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:15pm
post #8 of 15

i agree that answering that way was confusing and she probably misunderstood you. you could have said "there is an extra charge for those, we can meet to discuss everything in detail and I can give you a final price then".

how many flowers and butterflies does she want? more than doubling your base per serving price seems a bit extreme unless she wanted to cover the whole thing in them.

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springlakecake Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:18pm
post #9 of 15

I think you got some good advice on how to quote her a price. I guess I dont know what types of ingredients you would be using, but it seems to me that you could make it for less than 167 ingredient cost.

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cakedout Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:18pm
post #10 of 15

Well I hope that you said YES, it will be extra and it will all be included in the final price! Sometimes if you do not spell things out for a client, they tend to assume things or only hear what they want to hear.

Your price of $4.00 + per serving is definitely not overpriced for a fondant cake. Write up a quote for her...tell her that your cake base price is $2.00 per serving, then the added cost and labor of the fondant, butterflies, ribbon and delivery bring the total cost of the cake up to $417.00, or $4.17 per serving. Be firm and matter-of-fact. Make no apologies.

Tell her thank you for her interest in having you do her wedding cake and that if she decides to book the cake with you, that you will need a deposit of ------- by such and such a date. Give her no more than 2 weeks! That gives her the option to back out if the cost is out of her budget.

I know it can be a tough situation...good luck.

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FromScratch Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:22pm
post #11 of 15

Well it's not doubling her base price.. her base price is for BC.. this cake will be covered with fondant so that adds to it right off the bat.

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beccakelly Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:24pm
post #12 of 15

oh, i missed the fondant part. i thought it was just flowers and butterflies.

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TheButterWench Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 5:26pm
post #13 of 15

I would never break down a price to a customer per ingredient.

They will (most of them) start to knit pick.

Well can you get cheaper eggs? or if you use this or that. lol

NEVER give someone an "off the bat, ball park figure" they hold you to it with their selective hearing.

Always get their contact info and tell them, "let me crunch some numbers for you and I'll get back to you with the best price possible".

And leave it at that.

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FromScratch Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 5:52pm
post #14 of 15

So true.. I would never tell a customer how muchit cost me to make their cake. When I quote.. they get their per serving price either $4/BC or $5/fondant and their extras if they have them and delivery. I abide by the KISS philosophy.. (Keep It Simple Stupid). The less detail you give the easier it is for people to understand.

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ccr03 Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 3:51pm
post #15 of 15

You've got some good advice, but can I offer one more bit?

In the future, if you quote your BC base price and then they change to fondant, immediately inform them of the fondant base price. A simple "My fondant prices are a bit higher. The fondant base price is $3.00." This will help aleviate any confusion down the road.

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