Pricing For Decorating Only?

Business By Sumkat Updated 7 Oct 2008 , 6:35pm by Sumkat

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Sumkat Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 5:02pm
post #1 of 10

I have a baker who wants me to do her decorating only. She has two cakes for me this month. It's a perfect fit because I enjoy the decorating more than baking and she enjoys the baking more than decorating but I have never charged for just decorating, I have always done all the baking etc.
She is making the sheet cake and the buttercream. I will be frosting the cake, adding the borders, writing, and any other decore which will be fondant or royal icing most likely.
How should I charge for this? I don't know if I should just charge by hour, by item or what? Any suggestions or tips would be so appreciated!

9 replies
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sweetcravings Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 5:13pm
post #2 of 10

I'm certainly no expert..but i think if it were me i'd charge what you want to be paid hourly. So wether it's a very basic design or very elaborate your time is covered on either side.
Have you tasted this womans cakes? I'd make sure she is up to your quality since your name is on the cake too, so to speak.

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Sumkat Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 8:51pm
post #3 of 10

Yes, her cakes are amazing, she is a much better baker than I.
Hourly sounds right to me but I have to idea how to figure out what a resonable hourly rate is? Anyone have any idea, or do this too and have any suggestions for how to charge for decorating only and charging hourly?

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cakesbycathy Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 11:23pm
post #4 of 10

Honestly, even though her cakes may taste better, I would NEVER decorate a cake I didn't bake myself.

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CakeMakar Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 11:51pm
post #5 of 10

I think its a great idea. Especially for sheet cakes you could whip out fast. If you're sure of her quality, I don't see any reason not to have a business partner.
I would stick to hourly, so long as they are basic decorations. Be sure you're not doing sheetcake rose work, and then need to decorate using stringwork. The two are completely different skill levels and deserve to be paid so.

I think it depends on your area, and the quality of work being put out. Are you a specialty high-end bakery? What ingredients are being used? What does she charge for her cakes or what are you looking at getting together? Be sure to factor your travel, skill, equipment, etc into the cost, not just time.

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RobzC8kz Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 12:04am
post #6 of 10

I'd watch out for that. I had a lady who owned a bakery offer me the same deal and I turned her down.

She had seen my work at a party and asked my friend for my number. What she wanted was for me to decorate any special orders, like wedding cakes, 3D cakes, and other custom orders that came in to her store. She also wanted me to decorate her display case, pre-made cakes.

She offered me $15.00 an hour, part time.

I told her, I charge $30.00 an hour to my clients when they order those types of cakes from me. She countered by saying that I would get way more work from her then I would on my own, so her hourly wage would be more than I make!!

I told her she obviously didn't need my help then.

One thing I hate is when people try to maximize their profits by minimizing mine! Don't come to me and ask to lease my talents and then not only not pay me what I ask, but also insult me on top of it!

Last I heard she still isn't taking wedding orders, 3D orders or anything else because she can't find someone capable of doing that work for $15.00 an hour.

Just be careful about your arrangement. You want it to be fair to both of you. You don't want your talents to be taken advantage of just so that someone else can make money off you. Believe me, if that lady had only known how much money she was missing out on by not having a qualified wedding cake decorator, I'm sure she'd have given me my $30.00 an hour.

Especially when I charge upwards of $1000.00 per wedding cake!! She could've charged way more...and made more off the cake than I did decorating it!

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Deb_ Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 12:43am
post #7 of 10

Do you sell your cakes now? If so I would respectfully decline this woman's offer. I mean you'll essentially be creating competition for yourself. How is she going to be marketing the cakes that you decorate? Will she be selling them as her own creations? Frankly, the baking is the least stressful part of the whole equation.

If you do agree to this I would get everything written down and agreed upon upfront. Treat it like a mechanic does......if you go in for a new alternator they look at the book or computer and if it says it's a 3 hr job that's the amt they charge you for even if it only takes them 1/2 that time. So for ex. if it takes you 2 hrs to frost and decorate a sheet cake @ say $25 hr, than chg. her $50.....even if it takes you 1 1/2hrs., see what I mean? It needs to be worth your time and skill.

This is not the kind of thing I would just jump well do you know this woman? I think I would ask her to come up with a price first just to see if you're in the same ballpark. Than, if it's low you can adjust from there.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.

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Sumkat Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 2:54am
post #8 of 10

Thanks for all the input. It seems like most think it's not a good idea. I think every situation is different and in my case I think it will be a good relationship. It is a hobby for me right now and I have only charged for maybe 3 cakes total. I do know and trust this lady. For me, the baking is the most stressful part for so I would love to just concentrate on the decorating. My kids are too little right now to try and start a business up so it is a good thing. I just need to figure out how to price myself for just this piece. Seems like everyone agrees hourly is the best so that is what I will do. I just have to figure out what I am worth and how much will make it worth my time. icon_smile.gif

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Deb_ Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 12:21pm
post #9 of 10

Hi Summer,

I looked at your cakes and they are are definitely "worth" a lot, you have a LOT of talent, make sure you get compensated for it.

It sounds like this will be a good situation for you right now, especially with little ones at home. I wish you luck with your new venture icon_smile.gif


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Sumkat Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 6:35pm
post #10 of 10

Thanks Debbie that is really sweet. I haven't even put my most recent ones that I think are good out here yet so that is encourageing to hear!

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