Customers Who Try And Barter

Business By smab109 Updated 11 May 2008 , 3:35am by indydebi

smab109 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
smab109 Posted 9 May 2008 , 5:01pm
post #1 of 17

Who do you deal with them politely?
I recently gave samples and a price quote to my SIL's school. They wanted cookies to send home with kids after Prom.

She just emailed me, the Prom is next Friday, wanting to know if I would do 60 cookies for $.75 a piece. (originally quoted at $1.25 a piece)

I responded with " I can't lower the price any more, I am sorry. What I quoted them was already a discount." Which I did because I knew they were on a tight budget and because of my relation with her.

So she writes back asking if I would do 50 cookies for $50. Again I responded with "I am sorry Kellie, I cant go as low as $1 per cookie for those." They are a multi step cookie, and each individually bagged.

I feel bad for saying no, and at the same time am angry at her for asking me to lower my prices when I gave them a specific quote! My BF also pointed out, if I back down now, they will most likely excpect it every time.

How do you deal with bartering customers? Family or not?

16 replies
Marzbar71 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Marzbar71 Posted 9 May 2008 , 5:33pm
post #2 of 17

I think you are handling it fine. Stick to you price.

You said these are a multi-step cookie. Is there another easier design you could switch to to bring the price down any?

For instance say, "the only way I can bring my price down to 1.00 a cookie is to simplify the design to a plain star with frosting."

If you're unable to change the design, stick to you price!

costumeczar Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
costumeczar Posted 9 May 2008 , 5:45pm
post #3 of 17

You handled it well, just stick to your guns. People will ask because they've been told that "the worst they can say is no." That's fine, but when you said no the first time she shouldn't really have asked again. If she tries it again you could tell her that you'd be glad to do the work for $50 if she goes out and buys the supplies, then give her a detailed shopping list!

GeminiRJ Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
GeminiRJ Posted 9 May 2008 , 5:50pm
post #4 of 17

You politely tell her (again) that you can't lower your price. I doubt if you went to any retail store and asked repeatedly to be sold a specific item for less than it is marked that they would say yes. She's hoping you'll cave and is out nothing by asking. All you can do is be nice and polite as you continue to say no.

Auryn Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Auryn Posted 10 May 2008 , 12:57am
post #5 of 17

stick to your guns
and don't let them walk all over you.
I had a guy try to play this game with me on the phone the other day
offered to pay me $7000 less than the original price I quoted him (a boat not cake)
he is now paying $5,000 more than the original quote from al lthe extras hes added to the original price i gave him

stick to your prices

michellesArt Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
michellesArt Posted 10 May 2008 , 1:13am
post #6 of 17

i understand that they are on a budget but you've already given them a discount and if you go lower you might as well do them for free. costs of ingredients alone are increasing and your time is certainly not free-is the dj or the photographer going to work for less than they quoted? no and neither should you. i'm getting a little tired of people expecting quality work for mass-produced prices!!

apetricek Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
apetricek Posted 10 May 2008 , 1:23am
post #7 of 17

I have had this situation a few times with cakes, I had a lady want an elaborate cake never asked a price, and then when I quoted her a price she tried to bargain with me. I felt like telling her hey I am not ebay! Basically I told her it is what it is....I posted this and many CCers agreed with me. I recently just had a similar school situation. My daugher will be graduating from 8th grade and they are having a party for them. When they sent home info about it I emailed the lady and told her of my cakes, and candy and that I would be glad to do something at a discounted rate for them, and would even donate a cake (possibly). Well I get an email the other day and they now wanted me to make the favors for the kids to take home. I gave her a list of candy items that I would do for $1.00 a piece which is way cheap, and I really wouldn't be making any money on it...I got a return email from her stating oh no we can't pay you we thought you would donate all of them....all 300 are you kidding me?????? The best part is that she expected me to donate them, and make them all in 3 days yeah right!!! Well you know what I told her I am sure, even though I hate not helping out my daughter's school. I am afraid that they will expect this from me, or I will get a reputation that I am the freebie queen! So after all of this drama I agree with the others....stick to your guns, don't lower your price, you are in this to make money! Tell them it is what it is, and take it or leave it. I usually politely tell people when they think that I am too expensive...well maybe in the future I can make something for you, and thank you anyway for your business! Good luck, and think of it this way they couldn't find anyone else I am sure to make cookies at that cheap price!

JanH Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
JanH Posted 10 May 2008 , 1:36am
post #8 of 17

You quoted a discounted price, and they still came back....and still came back... to ask for even more off. icon_eek.gif

IMHO, they crossed the line from appreciating your initial discount to "expecting something for nothing" greedy. icon_mad.gif

Since they weren't grateful for the bargain you were originally offering... I'd be booked if they called back. icon_twisted.gif

(Let them buy Pillsbury slice and bake cookies to decorate & wrap.) tapedshut.gif

michellesArt Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
michellesArt Posted 10 May 2008 , 1:53am
post #9 of 17

ilmao!! pillsbury ha!!

KeltoKel Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
KeltoKel Posted 10 May 2008 , 1:54am
post #10 of 17

Geesh, with the price of flour and other things going up, my prices are only going up! I would tell them what kind of cookie you can give them for the price they want - a simple cookie without a decoration, maybe? But with the price of gas rising, everything else is rising - and we are ALL paying for it.

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I each bought a slice of pizza with a soda for $6.00. This past week, it had risen to $8.00. Even pizza places have to raise their prices.

Kaiah723 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Kaiah723 Posted 10 May 2008 , 1:56am
post #11 of 17
Originally Posted by apetricek

I have had this situation a few times with cakes, I had a lady want an elaborate cake never asked a price, and then when I quoted her a price she tried to bargain with me. I felt like telling her hey I am not ebay!

HAHA! I thought this was hilarious! Just thought I'd share!

mkolmar Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
mkolmar Posted 10 May 2008 , 1:57am
post #12 of 17

When I went to prom we didn't get cookie favors to bring home. How nice of them to do this, while trying to rip you off in the process. I understand schools are on a tight budget but YIKES, they've got some nerve asking 2x more for a discount (after you already gave them one). Glad you stuck to your guns.

vickster Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
vickster Posted 10 May 2008 , 1:57am
post #13 of 17

I don't go down on quoted price. However, I always try to offer an alternative. I find this is particularly appropriate with orders for group functions when they're serving a large crowd. For example, normally I charge $40 for my 12x16 sheet cake, which serves 32. But sometimes a church or something will want to serve 300 folks. What I will do is 8 sheet cakes, but put them together as two layers of four sheet cakes. I will offer the cakes on the bottom layer for $20 each because they won't be decorated, just baked. I'll just slap a layer of frosting in between. I still make the money I feel I need to make on the decorated cake, plus a little profit off the plain cakes on the bottom. These cakes aren't huge money makers, but they have been good to bring other business in for me. The strategy I use when it is a personal cake, such as a wedding cake, is I offer to do "back up" sheet cakes. The tradition here is that any church member is automatically invited to the wedding, so brides are nervous about their cake being big enough. Adding tiers to a wedding cake really runs up the price of the cake, but I appreciate the bride's situation of not having any real clue how many will show up. I don't want to get a reputation of being cheap, but at the same time, I'm in a working class, blue collar, you know Hillary Clinton voter, community. If I don't try to work with people on their budgets, I won't be able to stay in business.

CelebrationCakery Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
CelebrationCakery Posted 10 May 2008 , 2:20am
post #14 of 17

Maybe the student officers for the class would be willing to bake the cookies and then you could decorate them. I always remember trying to do things so that the class members would be involved, most of them just look forward to what the week will bring and be proud of themselves for what they have done. Of course you need them in time to get done what you need to do...

SweetConfectionsChef Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
SweetConfectionsChef Posted 10 May 2008 , 11:04am
post #15 of 17

People seriously have a lot of nerve! When I first opened my shop I had an "aquaintance" call and want to order a cake for her dd birthday...she wanted something for $20. When I told her I don't have a cake that costs $20 she was shocked! "Well Walmart sells them..." I cut her off and I said "then you should prolly go to Walmart, this isn't a Walmart cake". I don't budge on my prices for ANYONE, if they don't want to pay it they can go somewhere else! I don't like paying $3.72 a gallon for gasoline but I hardly think any oil company is going to barter with me! tapedshut.gif

smab109 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
smab109 Posted 10 May 2008 , 5:36pm
post #16 of 17

Thanks for all the input... I am glad I didnt budge. Havent heard back from her after I sent the last email.

I am getting better at this (putting my foot down), lol. I just told a customer I dont do sheet cakes after she asked for one and she didnt even blink an eye! Just asked what else I would recommend and then placed the order, yeha!

indydebi Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
indydebi Posted 11 May 2008 , 3:35am
post #17 of 17

She's not bartering ("I'll trade you one of my custom made quilts for some custom made cookies"), she's just flat out trying to get a cheaper price.

Good for you for sticking to price. I had a lady from a networking group I belong to who needed a cake to serve 50 but she only had about $50 in her budget. I told her, "Then I think you really need to contact Sam's or Walmart if that's all your budget can do." She was very apologetic "....but that's all I can spend". I told her I understand budgets and I'm sure she could get a nice $50 cake at Sam's. icon_rolleyes.gif God bless her that she didn't try to talk me down ... she respected my price "it what it is" and she recognized that her budget just couldnt' cover my pricing.

Quote by @%username% on %date%