How To Argue With A Customer? Asap Please

Business By Kitagrl Updated 4 May 2009 , 5:14pm by erinalicia

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Kitagrl Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:11pm
post #1 of 31

Okay I have a prospective customer...wanting a 3D dress cake, small, for the top of a cake stand. (Long story, tight budget but willing to pay my minimum for the small cake)

She sent me a couple pictures of the baby dresses she liked. The one we both preferred best was a light sage green dress with a little bow on the front and some poofy white tulle as a liner in the skirt. It has a sage curly pattern on the dress as well.

However....she insists the photo shows a light brown liner UNDER the white tulle liner. I stared and stared at the photo and its a white tulle liner with shadowing from the photography. Having brown underneath would not even make sense as there is no brown pattern anywhere else on the dress. We've gone back and forth I contradict her again or just do what she wants, even though IMO the brown would look out of place? (brown is one of the colors of the party though). I think if she wants brown under the dress we should make the bow brown, too, but if she thinks the brown is already in the photo and the bow is green, well that's the way she wants it.

Do I just shut up and say "Okay as you wish" or try to convince her what the photo is really showing? She said she printed it out and the picture shows brown (well yeah the ink doesn't show up transparent very well.)

Grrr. Thanks in advance, I need to write her back soon. I'll attach the photo. Looking at it again, I can possibly see where there are two liners (I had thought the bottom sage color was the back of the dress but I guess its a ribbon along the lining) but I can NOT see any brown...even if I could, I do not think I could make it show up in a cake....????

30 replies
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rvercher23 Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:16pm
post #2 of 31

If I had a customer that adament about the brown, give it to her. But also let her know that you are doing it against your better judgement and if she is not happy with the results, its not your fault(You know, in a professional way!!!LOL) Cant wait to see the final result!!! I always tell my brides if I think something is not goint to look right, most of the time, they trust my judgement.

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costumeczar Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:20pm
post #3 of 31

I think it is two linings, or a fabric that has some kind of a darker reverse side. I'd just do what she wants, it's so totally not worth it to get stressed out. Nothing says that you have to do anything exactly like a picture, it's perfectly fine to change things. If she thinks it's brown and wants brown, give it to her, no big deal. Don't lose sleep over it!!

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sweetideas Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:22pm
post #4 of 31

I agree with you, it's a white liner. Can you comprimise by doing it more ivory to satisfy the customer?

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Kitagrl Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:24pm
post #5 of 31

I was just thinking, I may even have to use real tulle for the first lining if she even wants to see the second one. I guess if I put brown fondant on the cake underneath, you'll barely even be able to see it through the tulle anyway....ya think?

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rkljazz Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:24pm
post #6 of 31

Yeah, I think you're just going to have to do it the way she wants it to keep the customer-baker relationship happy. Even if you don't like it, she probably will. If not then you can say 'I told you so..." sweetly icon_smile.gif

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Alicia0620 Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:25pm
post #7 of 31

What a goofball lol.. I think it's white too! Oh well.. What's the old saying? The customer is always right? Well, when they're helping bring home the bacon so to speak, then I'd say give her what she wants even though I think ivory would look better. But who are we right? We're just the cake decorators lol..

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Kitagrl Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:26pm
post #8 of 31

Just read her email again and she thinks the brown liner has the green trim.

Brown liner or not, its definitely the white tulle that has the green trim! If there is any brown at ALL it would be the satin one inside the tulle....don't you guys think?????

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Kitagrl Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:27pm
post #9 of 31

If you look at the dress in the bottom right quadrant, it is quite clear that it is green sage layer is white tulle with sage green border...and under that is some sort of opaque white satin or something. The rest is a shadow.


I think a brown liner with a green border is gonna look pretty bad. thumbsdown.gif

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springlakecake Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:34pm
post #10 of 31

Not to stir the pot any more....but I think there is only one liner and it is perhaps the green color too. I don't think there is any brown in it.

I would just tell her what you think would look best, but it is her cake. It's nice when customers just give you the artistic freedom to do what you think best, but if they are adament, I would just go with it. I would say "I really think this would look best because (xxx) but I am prepared to make it like you indicate."

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Caralinc Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:36pm
post #11 of 31

Very pretty dress. It looks like champain color / satin white - but being against the green gives it a darker color. I agree with a previous poster and provide your professional opinion and say that you will do the brown color; however, that you suggest ... way white... pearl.... and cannot make any promises that the brown will come out the way she may envision???

Good luck!

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alvarezmom Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:44pm
post #12 of 31

That is the shadow of the dress. If you have tried to tell her this and she still wants the brown then just give it to her. At least you have tried. maybe you could see if you could add the brown bow?

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all4cake Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:48pm
post #13 of 31

It's a beautiful dress!

To me, it looks like 3 layers.... dress, layer of tulle, and a satin-type slip with brown ribbon around bottom of it(which would make sense if it were a toddler protect their delicate skin from the scratchy tulle without the fuss of putting a slip on them as well...JMO) or even the most inner layer being a matching green ribbon edged shear know, the kind that extends below the dress to act both as a slip and an accent area...Not being able to see the back, maybe there's brown satin covered buttons

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playingwithsugar Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:51pm
post #14 of 31

I used to work in a factory, and one of my duties (I worked on the tables, not on the machines) was setting up samples for our clients. The brown that your customer sees is a shadow.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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all4cake Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:52pm
post #15 of 31

oof...I can see where it could be a shadow now....(kind of like those images you gotta stare at...look away...then look back at it for it to appear)

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AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:55pm
post #16 of 31

what a pretty dress! i can see the "brown" part i think it looks really nice, complements the green. or it might just be my laptop monitor.

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melhoneybee Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:55pm
post #17 of 31

I think perhaps it is just a shadow. Regardless though, the customer should have it however he/she wants it. They could give you the same picture and tell you they want it baby poop brown with a neon orange lining with Lime Green Tulle and that is how you should do it. They are the customer, and they are paying to have the cake how they want it.

That being said, there are definitely situations (we all know it) where it really seems the customer has NO idea how awful/ugly it will turn out. WE are the cake decorators for a reason, we can visualize these things, but often times, our customers cannot, so we must coach them. Once you have done that though, and the customer still wants to go with what they have in mind, then I think you should stick with that and not try to persuade them again a second time. JMO.

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all4cake Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:56pm
post #18 of 31

I FOUND IT! An image for your argument!!!!

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AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:59pm
post #19 of 31

all4cake how did you do that??? that's awesome!

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all4cake Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 6:02pm
post #20 of 31

LOL...I hunted toddler dresses...and though, it isn't the same dress(note the sleeve width on each....), it looks close enough to argue with, eh?

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marisanovy Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 6:15pm
post #21 of 31

What I saw is that the first pic is a photoshop pic, and the "brown" that the client see is actually some sort of background that you can see through the tule, but not around the dress. That's it!!

And as anyone can see in the pic that all4cake showed there's NO brown at all. LOL

People can be stumborn... icon_smile.gif

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patticakesnc Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 6:17pm
post #22 of 31

I didn't read all replies so if I am repeating...sorry.

But the dress does have 3 layers.
Lt green liner.

I have marked them on the pic and re attached. The brown she is seeing is whatever back ground they used to photgraph the dress prior to photoshopping the background to white. You will definitly have a liner on a dress. But it won't be as long as the tulle when it hangs farther than the dress ( you don't want to see the liner).

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crazycaker Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 6:43pm
post #23 of 31

Here's the photo of the dress with a description from the shop:

It mentions the liner and petticoat, and that it's polyester. Some satin polyesters have a dull sheen on the inside, which may make it photograph brown in tone.

As for your dilemma -- you could perhaps make a small brown accent bow, and when you deliver the cake, offer to swap it out for the green one if she likes it better? (Yes, more work for you, I suppose!)

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indydebi Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 7:14pm
post #24 of 31

It looks brown to me! icon_eek.gif

And whether it is or isn't is really immaterial. It's what the client wants. Brown and green are a popular color combination, so it's not going to look stupid. If you go to the galleries and search with "brown green", you'll come up with 311 cakes made with a brown and green color scheme.

I dont' see what the big deal is. Make the lady the cake SHE wants.

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costumeczar Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 12:22am
post #25 of 31
Originally Posted by indydebi

And whether it is or isn't is really immaterial. It's what the client wants.

I dont' see what the big deal is. Make the lady the cake SHE wants.

Yes...Like I said, it isn't worth any stress on your part. Just do it the way that she wants it, because she's the one signing the check!

This isn't a situation that would warrant telling her that it won't look good, it's not that bad a combination of colors. If it was neon pink with blue polka dots that might be a different situation icon_wink.gif

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mrsunknown Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 12:36am
post #26 of 31

imo, if she requests brown, she gets brown, if you have let her know your own opinion and she still wants brown, give her what she want after all the cake is for her not you. icon_wink.gif

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Evoir Posted 4 May 2009 , 7:28am
post #27 of 31

Its not brown icon_smile.gif

The photography has caused a darker 'brown' shadow through the tulle. The picture you posted is the dress 'cut out' from its background, hence the tulle looks darker.

Not that it matters now, but just wanted to say its only the way the phot was taken, then edited onto a white background icon_smile.gif

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MLopardi Posted 4 May 2009 , 8:02am
post #28 of 31

I would definitely add the light brown.

The point isn't what the original color of the dress in the photo is. It's what the customer is wanting. I agree that there is probably not any brown on the dress in the photo, but like someone mentioned earlier, if you look at it long enough you can see how someone might see light brown underneath.

IMHO: If the customer sees light brown and likes it, I say make her happy. I bet it will be very cute!

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Momkiksbutt Posted 4 May 2009 , 8:34am
post #29 of 31

As a person who sews, and a mom with girls...this dress has no brown whatsoever...the "brown" everyone thinks they are seeing is a shadow. You can really tell from the larger picture that someone posted on the second page of this thread. And keep in mind this is for a toddler....brown and green may be a good combination for a suit and tie, or even an adult womens outfit, but certainly not for a toddler. And definately not for this cute little dress. It would ruin it.

IF it were my customer, I'd show her the larger picture of the dress and let her know as the decorator that this dress would look much better the way it is.

Now if it were pink and brown, that would be a different story...and cute too!

You have to use your decorators intuition as well as use what the customer thinks they want. After all, it is your reputation on the line.

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FromScratch Posted 4 May 2009 , 12:15pm
post #30 of 31

I agree... it's a shadow. It happens to stand out because the photo is edited and the dress was selected in photoshop and placed onto a white background.

BUT... if she is adamant about the brown... give it to her. Make it a light brown because dark brown would stand out like a sore thumb, but just give her the brown lining if that's what she wants.

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