Pre Priced Cake?

Decorating By LaurynBrook Updated 7 May 2008 , 9:25am by indydebi

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LaurynBrook Posted 6 May 2008 , 4:58pm
post #1 of 20

A friend of mine asked me to do her wedding cake in Dec because the lady that was going to do it has fallen ill and won't be able to do it. I gladly accepted the offer because this will give me good experience and a good opportunity for networking. She wants the following cake in 3 tiers covered with fondant and it needs to feed 150 guests. It's a fairly simple enough cake. Nothing ornate. I was planning on charging 3.00 per serving and I asked her what her budget was. She emailed me and told me

"the last person who was going to do that cake made an estimate of like: $367.50 Which I really don't know what the "REAL" price was going to be anyway. So figure something up for us, cause honestly we really don't know what's good or what's bad for a cake price."

Well that is about 2.45 per serving and I feel bad because she was told that but if I stick to my price the cake will be around $450 which is nearly $100 more. She also wants me to do the grooms cake which is going to be cupcakes with guitar picks in them I was going to do $.50 per cupcake. Which is roughly another $75 dollars.
I priced the local bakeries around here and said that I wanted this specific cake and the prices started around $675 (which was 4.50 per slice) and one woman said she would charge $700 if the flowers where fresh or $1200 if they where made out of fondant. I think $450 is fair. Should I do the cake for around $400 since that's what she was priced then still do the cupcakes for $75 or should I do $450 for the cake and cupcakes? I'm new at this and I'm not good at pricing things. Sorry this is so long, I just wanted to make sure everyone had the facts. Have a wonderful day everyone!

19 replies
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lovetofrost Posted 6 May 2008 , 5:05pm
post #2 of 20

I would stick with your pricing for each and then give maybe a 10-15% discount for doing the wedding cake and grooms cake. hope this helps. and good luck.

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saj_stuff Posted 6 May 2008 , 5:06pm
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WOW....that is a lot of work for $3.00 per serving....and someone quoted her less! I would stick to my guns about my pricing. Fondant (if purchased and you want it to taste good) can be expensive...and ingredients are skyrocketing. It's out of control! Who knows what prices will be like in December, so definitely don't skimp on your price quote and stick to your guns! ESPECIALLY since you know local bakeries are way more expensive. You can easily charge what YOU think it is worth..and still be less than she would REALISTICALLY spend through another bakery....saving her money still. Just my two cents....good luck! Beautiful cake too. Would be a nice photo to have in your portfolio I'm sure...but make it worth your while! thumbs_up.gif

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saj_stuff Posted 6 May 2008 , 5:09pm
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oh...forgot to mention...those cupcake quotes are REALLY cheap! I doubt you'd even pay for materials at only 50 cents per cupcake. I'm not sure what to tell you as far a definite pricing...but 50 cents I think is just too cheap! Again JMO!

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CakeDiva73 Posted 6 May 2008 , 5:10pm
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I would stick to you price...perhaps you can do the cake and Grooms cake for an even $500. Advise your friend that you checked around and you are charging much, much less then the other bakeries. Also, you can tell her that you understand if it won't work out - no hard feelings.

You cannot lower your price because the other baker said they would do it for cheaper. For all you know, they changed their mind and bowed out because she realized she had way no means trying to trash talk the other baker, especially if she is ill. I am just throwing it out there. Good Luck to you - nice cake, btw.

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 6 May 2008 , 5:19pm
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Well, my fondant wedding cakes start at $5 per serving, and as there isn't a huge amount of detail on that cake, that's probably what I would charge, so the cake alone would cost $750 from me. The cupcakes (and don't kid yourself that 150 cupcakes isn't a lot of work!!!), would be another $375. Grand total - $1125!!!! At the end of the day, you are providing 300 servings of cake - so if you even if you charge her the $475 top price you are talking about, that is only $1.58 per serving - a ridiculously low price however you look at it. I wouldn't even consider doing that amount of work for that price - no way! But that's me. I don't know what your lowest price per serving is, but it shouldn't be any less than $2 per serving for custom cake work, no matter how experienced you are - so you shouldn't be charging any less than $600 IMHO.

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CarolAnn Posted 6 May 2008 , 5:27pm
post #7 of 20

I'd have to say stick to your own pricing. Just because she had engaged another baker before, who now cannot do the job, you aren't obligated to do your work for what they'd have paid her. Wow, that one bakery quoted a $500 difference for those few little flowers? Oh man!! There aren't that many flowers on the whole cake, and they don't look like anything too complicated to me. Okay, on to say you need to get something for the cupcakes. 50 cents a piece is NOTHING dear. You may as well not even charge for them. Don't cut your throat here. I'd say raise that by at least $1.

You have to be careful when dealing with friends and family. and that's all I'll say here about that.

It's a beautiful cake!!

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LaurynBrook Posted 6 May 2008 , 5:33pm
post #8 of 20

"you are providing 300 servings of cake - so if you even if you charge her the $475 top price you are talking about, that is only $1.58 per serving - a ridiculously low price however you look at it."

Wow, I had never added it up that way. That is super low. I don't think she'll go anywhere else. I haven't told her the price yet, because I don't want to end up undercharging myself and then having to stick with it since I had already said it.

I would normally charge $3.50 per serving for fondant because of the rising price of ingredients. I just thought $3.00 because ... well honestly I don't know. I guess I'm just nervous and second guessing my quality of work.

What about $1.00 per cupcake? When I called around about those one woman said 1 each, one said 1.50 (the $1200 lady) and one said 6.00 per dozen. She could always find someone else to do the cupcakes. That wouldn't hurt my feelings any. Those seem like they are going to be a headache.

Also, do you normally have as many serving for a grooms cake as for the bride's cake? Will I need to do 150 or is that too many?

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LaurynBrook Posted 6 May 2008 , 5:49pm
post #9 of 20

I called as a bride and explained the cake to her and she said it would be that much. I told her the flowers were small and simple and she snapped at me and told me I didn't know what I was talking about and any flowers took days beyond days to prepare. She was so rude on the phone. I was shocked. I didn't know that people could speak to people that way and still get orders. I know when my fiance' and I finally start our wedding planning if any of the vendors get that attitude with me I will go Bridezilla on everyone one of them. There is no reason for that.

So should I charge 1.00 per cupcake or 1.50?

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 6 May 2008 , 6:07pm
post #10 of 20

Lauryn - OMG! I can't believe the other decorator spoke like that to you!!!!

I still think if you charge $3.50 per serving for the wedding cake ($525) and $1.50 each for the cupcakes (especially if you are going to have to buy the picks to put in them!!!) - totalling $750, she is still getting a great deal for that amount of work!

As for servings - I would go with a 75%ish rule and allow enough cake for 120 in the wedding cake, and MAYBE the same again in the cupcakes, but only if they are being served at different points in the proceedings - as delicious as I'm sure your cake is, I'm not sure I'd want 2 pieces at once, but I might if it were a few hours later icon_smile.gif! They may have invited 150 people, but as Indydebi says, people are never as popular as they like to think lol!

So, I would go back to the bride and discuss a cake for 120 servings for the wedding cake ($420) and 120 cupcakes for the Groom's cake ($180), unless they are to be served at the same time, in which case I think 70-80 cupcakes will be more than enough.

See what she says, they may never have thought that they won't need cake for everyone they've invited! If they do, well you have the (very fair) figures to quote them. Good luck!

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LaurynBrook Posted 6 May 2008 , 8:54pm
post #11 of 20

I can't believe she did either. I was shocked. I go over and beyond for my brides and I would never speak to anyone that might order from me like that. I think I will stick to at least $3.50 per serving and $1.50 for cupcakes. I might direct her to the lady that does the cupcakes 6.00 for 12. She can my supplies in bulk whereas I cannot. It'll save me time and it'll save the bride money, I just don't know if it's a wise idea to direct her to another bakery for those. That bakery doesn't do fondant work so I don't have to worry about her choosing them for the cake.

You guys have been so amazing! Thanks so very much. I hope all this turns out well.

Btw, how do you guys bake for tastings? I've requested that she bring no more than 3 other people to the tasting with her. I figure I can bake a 4 layer (torted so just 2 cakes) 8in square cake and cut it into 4ths for 3 different cakes. What do you guys do with the extra cake/batter. How can you make a profit, or at least not lose money in a tasting?

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 6 May 2008 , 9:14pm
post #12 of 20

I personally charge for tastings ($30), and then credit that money towards the price of the wedding cake if they choose me (so in effect, my clients get free tastings and I'm not out of pocket for those who choose to go elsewhere). I only do tastings for the couple and I make cupcakes in up to 3 flavours, plus fillings and icings that they want to try. I do plain cupcakes (2 of each flavour - I do a 1/4 of a recipe, so I bake 4-6 in total of each flavour and my kids get the rest!), and have the icings & fillings separate so they can cut up the cupcakes and mix and match. The last tasting I did, they loved this method and ended up choosing strawberry cake with whipped dark chocolate ganache filling for one tier and chocolate fudge cake with whipped white chocolate ganache filling for the other tier, both with a layer of Italian Meringue Buttercream under fondant. I didn't have to bake the cakes especially though, as they chose flavours I was already making that weekend for other orders, so it worked out great for me lol!

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jennifer7777 Posted 6 May 2008 , 9:21pm
post #13 of 20

Hope this all works out for you.

BTW...just doing the math...50 cents per cupcake=$6.00/dozen, which was going to be your original price. If you do decide to go with cupcakes, stick with $1.50, but no less than $1.00 if you go lower.

Good luck!

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mayamia Posted 6 May 2008 , 9:56pm
post #14 of 20

you really need to stick to your prices, tell her that you don't understand how the other lady was going to do her cake so inexpensive, I normally do alot of cupcakes for events and do not charge less than 2.00 per cupcake, also you might want to let her know about the ingredients you use how many hours you put into it and so on, that is normally how I sell my cuppies, and at the end they feel like they got an awesome deal for such quality of ingredients, hope this helps

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FromScratch Posted 6 May 2008 , 10:29pm
post #15 of 20

Think of it like this.. one cupcake is equal to a wedding sized serving of cake. I charge no different for a cupcake as I do for a serving of cake.. and with the custom addition of a guitar pic (I am assuming you will be making them from fondant??) no way would I lower my prices. Cupcakes are a lot of work and hard to transport.

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LaurynBrook Posted 6 May 2008 , 10:31pm
post #16 of 20

She is actually ordering custom picks online and I'm just putting them on the cupcakes.

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FromScratch Posted 7 May 2008 , 12:38am
post #17 of 20

I would still charge the same as a serving of cake then with no extra charge for the picks.

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indydebi Posted 7 May 2008 , 2:07am
post #18 of 20

I disagree with your pricing and you've rec'd good advice on it so far.

I just wanted to suggest that you give her your price AND the phone number to the place that quoted $1200!! icon_biggrin.gif

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LaurynBrook Posted 7 May 2008 , 4:59am
post #19 of 20

what part of the pricing do you disagree with? Do you think I should be charging more?
I was shocked at that price. Unless her flowers are made of gold I wouldn't pay an extra 500 for 10 tiny flowers. Although according to her I don't know what I'm talking about (little does she know)

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indydebi Posted 7 May 2008 , 9:25am
post #20 of 20

the part where you're giving 300 servings for $475.

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