How Much Would You Charge?

Decorating By ajjhmf Updated 18 May 2009 , 4:33pm by Creative_chika

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ajjhmf Posted 18 May 2009 , 12:29am
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I made this cake for my daughter's recital this weekend. My family loved and and my SIL asked when I would charge for something like that. I honestly have no idea. I'm really new at this, so I don't think I'm good enough to charge and everything takes me so long to do. I was thinking something in the $75 dollar range. Is that enough?

It sounds high for a party cake, but at the same time, I put a lot of work into it.

Oh, it's a scratch baked, 8 and 6 inches, butter cream covers with fondant accents.

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Rose_N_Crantz Posted 18 May 2009 , 2:43am
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I was thinking 75 might be on the low end. You should really take into account your area too. I know a lot of people on here will disagree, they'll say you should get paid what your worth, and I agree, but if the only cake places around your area are grocery stores, then you might have to start out on the low end just so you have a fighting chance. Then once you start building a client base and gain more experience, then you can start to raise your prices.

If it matters, I just made two 10" round cakes for a cousin's daughter's birthday. All buttercream decorations, I charged her $50.

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yamber82 Posted 18 May 2009 , 2:54am
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that is super cute! i have also been trying to figure out what to charge. the last one i did i charged 75 plus 5 more for delivery so 80 (the cake with the feathers on top. i felt bad asking that much, but after it was all said and done, i really didn't make much of a profit off of it at all. the cost ads up big time, plus i have to get a babysitter to do the cake etc. the small skull and crossbones pirate cake i charged 35, she gave me 40, but i really didn't make anything off that one either. it had pricy ingredients. anyway, i totally know what you are going through, i felt bad asking more than that since i am just a beginner and not a pro, but you can't put yourself out either. my husband gets mad at me for not charging way more, but i always feel bad, lol. just my personality i guess, haha. you should also take into account if they want the same cake that you know it will turn out since you already did it, you arn't experimenting with something new per say.

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TexasSugar Posted 18 May 2009 , 3:04am
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Okay $75 is about $2 a serving, which you get 36 servings (wedding size) from those cake sizes. That is a good starting point. Then I went and looked at the cake, and thought, umm nope, gotta add more for all those details. I always tend to forget that some decorations do add more time and expense to making the cake. I just did a cake for a friend that I did fondant skateboarders on. They took longer to make than some other decorations would have. Plus I had to buy the fondant to make them.

As far as the above posted said, I do agree that you have to consider your location. Me being in a smaller city in east Texas probably would get funny looks for charging what a high end baker in Dallas may charge, but you can not price yourself with grocery stores. They just do not have the expenses that we have. Alot of them get cakes shipped in frozen and icing in buckets and they have less than 30 mins to decorate and ice a cake.

We have a bigger expense when we bake and we spend a hell of alot more time in the kitchen baking, icing and decorating our cakes.

When my students ask me about prices cakes, the first thing I tell them is to figure out how much they spend on a cake. I don't care if you live in the smallest town in the USA, if you spend $30 making a cake and only charge someone $20 cause they can get a cheaper cake at Walmart, then you are only screwing yourself, and paying them $10 to bake their cake for them.

I don't know which is cheaper, scratch baking or out of a box, but you need to figure out how much it costs you. And you have to remember they will NOT be able to get that cake, baked fresh from scratch and with all that detail at Walmart or your local grocery store. It isn't a cookie cutter sheet cake.

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icer101 Posted 18 May 2009 , 3:07am
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i was told back when i started, 13 years ago... that.... if you charge for a cake.. then you are to consider yourself a professional.. i know , when i enter any cake show.. at the fair.. or elsewhere.. that is the rule.. so .. when i started charging.. i considered myself a professional.. and worked hard at being one. i just decorated a 6" and 8"" .. not under my photos yet.. i charged $125.00 ... she showed me a picture from another site... that is what they charged.. i knew i could do it with no problem.. told her same price. she ordered. and was very pleased.

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patticakesnc Posted 18 May 2009 , 3:19am
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I love your cake. $75 sounds very reasonable for my area. Not sure where you are, you may be able to get more.

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yamber82 Posted 18 May 2009 , 3:51am
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it's really hard to figure out how much it costs until you've made a few. i'm also having probs figuring out how many it will serve. that was really helpful whoever commented on how many servings that cake would be.

my husband and i were just discussing a cake i have for july. i have no clue what to charge. she want a batman lego cake so basically it's gonna have 3 seperated square cakes decorated with fondant and gumpaste as buildings with figurines and details. she said it needs to feed 60. after reading that last post, 60 seems like an aweful lot for a bday party. husband said 200 and i was totally floored. i dont' think i could bring myself to ask her for that much icon_sad.gif i'm always afriad they're gonna get offended that i asked too much or something, lol. so i was thinking maybe 125 plus delievery? i have to let her know pretty soon. what do you guys think? and how big should i make the cakes? this will actually be my first square cake, so far i have only been going by the round sizes. here's what i'm going for...

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patticakesnc Posted 18 May 2009 , 4:09am
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Oh $200 is reasonable. I saw the cake and immediately thought $300 myself. There is a LOT of work involved in this cake.

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yamber82 Posted 18 May 2009 , 1:24pm
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really?! even though i'm just starting out?

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 18 May 2009 , 1:34pm
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To the OP - I would charge $125.

For the lego cake - $250 easily!

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brannendeville Posted 18 May 2009 , 1:39pm
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Doesn't matter just starting out. You took your time and made it so it is worth it.

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ZAKIA6 Posted 18 May 2009 , 1:46pm
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minimum of $150 for the ladybug cake

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yamber82 Posted 18 May 2009 , 1:53pm
post #13 of 24

thanks for all you guys suggestions. my husbad also said no less than 200. he says i'm not allowed to be in charge of pricing, they have to consult him, lol. anyway, i am just afraid she's gonna get offended or something. i guess people spend way more on cakes than i thought they would.i personally wouldn't order a 200 dollar bday cake for a kid, but aparently other people do. actually the more i think about it, i would probably spend that much making my little man's cake icon_smile.gif (he hasn't had a bday yet )it just sounds like a lot.

as far as delivery, i'm kinda doing a delivery included thing right now since we are renovating and i don't want anybody to see my house right now til we're done so pick up is not an option. this particular person lives about an hour away though. speaking of delivery, i had a girl who lives 3 hours away want to order a cake and aparently she though i could mail it to her. lol!!! i could be wrong but i have never heard of anyone doing that. is that possible? i told her i would meet her halfway but i'm not driving 6 hours in one day to deliver a cake.

so back to pricing... sorry to get off topic. to the girl who startred this topic, let us know what you end up charging and how it goes. i think your cake looks absolutely adorable adn definately has lots of detail. think i am going to just take a deep breath and say 2oo and see what happens, hehe. i have technically only had 2 paying customers so far and didn't really make a profit off either, but i have quite a few bookings in the next 2-3 months. so im'm guessing i will have to get used to the idea of charging that much. to all youexperienced bakers, how much did yall charge on your first cakes? just curous

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michellesArt Posted 18 May 2009 , 1:53pm
post #14 of 24

holy cow!! that is so much work!! i understand that you think cuz you're just starting out but regardless there is so much prep involved with that cake-hours and days!! gumpaste buildings and figures have to dry before they can stand up, constructing and 3 cakes!! $200 could be a starting point and if she says no they will be another one and think of all the time and headaches you'll have saved yourself although it would be an interesting challenge just don't cheat yourself cuz your "new"

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PinkZiab Posted 18 May 2009 , 2:21pm
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For the ladybug cake I would probably charge in the ballpark of about $180, give or take.

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ajjhmf Posted 18 May 2009 , 2:36pm
post #16 of 24

I can't imagine charging over $100, but $180, really? WOW!

But I think you are right that I should start with what I want to make so I don't get taken or not make any money. It took a long time to bake and decorate that and ingredients aren't cheap either. It just seems like a lot to ask for a cake when I'm just starting. Heck, I haven't even finished my first Wilton course.

Thanks everyone for your insight and encouragement. icon_smile.gif

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PinkZiab Posted 18 May 2009 , 3:01pm
post #17 of 24
Originally Posted by ajjhmf

It took a long time to bake and decorate...

Time is money... you have to make sure you're compensated for all the hours you put in.

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djs328 Posted 18 May 2009 , 3:08pm
post #18 of 24

I am torn - sometimes we feel like when we are 'starting out' our work is not worth as much...but others (buyers?) don't necessarily see it that way...sometimes we forget other people have NO CLUE how to so this stuff, don't do this stuff, and have no desire to do it - so they are willing to pay way more than we would be willing to pay ourselves. That should never be price point...I personally think $75 is low, especially with all the little handmolded ladybugs (which are ADORABLE!!!) Don't make the mistake of underpricing yourself. You might kick yourself later!! Figure in the hours of work along with costs (materials, utilities, pans, etc.) How much an hour are YOU worth?? icon_smile.gif (Just some thoughts I've picked up here on CC!)

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Ruth0209 Posted 18 May 2009 , 3:26pm
post #19 of 24

You may just be starting out but I have to say, that cake is fantastic! You did a beautiful job. You do NOT need to charge less because you haven't been doing it long when you're this good. I see some pics where I think to myself, "That person has a ways to go before they should charge anything" because their work is not very neat yet, but that is definitely not the case here. Very nice work!

If anyone balks at a price, repeat to yourself and to them. "This is a custom made cake that takes fresh ingredients, creativity, and time. It's not your average grocery store cake."

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GL79 Posted 18 May 2009 , 3:27pm
post #20 of 24

I'm new to this too, and I wouldn't be able to price that cake $200 so I know how you feel. I know realize how much money and time is spent on making these cakes. But just because you are not a professional, your cake says otherwise. It looks professional to me. So you do deserve to get paid what it's worth.

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ajjhmf Posted 18 May 2009 , 4:03pm
post #21 of 24
Originally Posted by Ruth0209

"This is a custom made cake that takes fresh ingredients, creativity, and time. It's not your average grocery store cake."

I really like that and have to make sure I remember it!

Thanks again for everyone's encouragement. I think I just kept seeing all the flaws and look at the cakes on here that I can't compare too. It means a lot to me that so many people think the cake is that good. Thank you.

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jeking Posted 18 May 2009 , 4:08pm
post #22 of 24

We would charge about $150.00 for that cake.

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Relznik Posted 18 May 2009 , 4:20pm
post #23 of 24

Gorgeous cake! So sweet!!!

I'm in London, UK.

I'd charge £75 - £85 for that, i think. (edited to say I just checked and that's somewhere around $125)

I don't cover cakes with buttercream - I only use sugarpaste (fondant).


Suzanne x

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Creative_chika Posted 18 May 2009 , 4:33pm
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Just remember that if you charge to cheap, you will loose money. And also, people might just say "Order a cake from her there not expensive at all".

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