More Bake Sale Questions

Decorating By SecretAgentCakeBaker Updated 18 Jun 2009 , 3:51am by nadine_n

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SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 2:56pm
post #1 of 15

I've been searching google and CakeCentral, but not able to really find much of what I am looking for. I'm helping with a bake sale in a few weeks and want it to be better than we usually do.

Here are my questions.

I'm looking for pictures of beautiful bake sale set-ups. We really need to grab people's attention and make them want to come over to the table. I am very visual, and not too creative on my own. I know that I need to add height and different levels, but I never get that right without seeing how someone else has done it. I have several metal tiered stands that I will bring.

Also, I need packaging ideas. I am tired of the same old "put 5 of item on a paper plate and wrap in plastic wrap". That's pretty much how all of the bake sales are at my church. It works ok, but it's not very visually pleasing, plus everything then has to stay flat.

The bake sale is going to be at church, in between the services. We have about 10 minutes each time for selling. People generallly don't stop on the way in, just going out. I went to one bake sale at a school once where they had all the cookies and such individually, but due to our limited time, I'm not sure that would work for us.

Thanks so much for your help!!

14 replies
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__Jamie__ Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 3:07pm
post #2 of 15

Wow...I hope you aren't spending a lot of money. I have yet to hear of a successful bake sale/church sale/flea market setup that has actually produced any profits. Really....I think people "expect" things to be on a paper plate and priced at 50 cents at those kind of events. If your experience is differnt, then good for you. You'd be the first one I've heard of.

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__Jamie__ Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 3:11pm
post #3 of 15

Really don't mean to be a negative nancy, but there are countless threads on here about how disappointing sales at events like that are. That just isn't a target market for serious sales. $3 for a cupcake?? What? A dollar (way too cheap already) for a COOKIE?!?!? Yeah.

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brincess_b Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 3:43pm
post #4 of 15

agree with jamie, fancy bake sales have limited success. i think they fall into the pile it high, sell it cheap category. people expect cheap products, its very difficult to charge a fair price - although if the church is in a welathy area, maybe youd do better?
nice pakaging, like celophane bags, boxes etc, cost money and are probably unlikely to make any difference to how much you sell. if you are happy to put in the extra money then fair enough.
it cant hurt to get presentation of regular packaging better - the stands sound good, and will prettify everything thats on them! you could stack shoe boxes, so you have table, 1 box, 2 box, covered with tablecloths, people will then see more without having to come over, so it might catch their eye.
bake sales usually are their own attraction, everyone loves goodies! just make sure its well avertised - posters on the door, poster in the toilets, a mention in the service...

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SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 3:56pm
post #5 of 15

We've been doing bake sales for years now and do ok. For the short amount of time that we sell (maybe 1 to 1.5 hours total), we usually make about $500-$1200. (There are 5 services and people stop at the bake sale table on their way out.)

I'm just, personally, really tired of the boring old paper plate flat tables. Also, there is a bake sale 2 weeks before ours (from another group), so I want it to look different, grab people's attention. What I have noticed is that as people are filing out, they may quickly glance over at the table and decide if they are going to stop. I'm really looking for ways to get the people to take notice and stop at the table. Our pricing structure seems to do well. No, we don't sell cupcakes for $3, but nobody ever donates that caliber of item. When I donate something I make sure to price out the ingredients and figure out my cost, then I double it to figure out the price to sell it for.

I'm really just trying to get ideas for the aesthetic element.

Thanks again!!

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__Jamie__ Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 4:05pm
post #6 of 15

Oh cool! Good for you guys, plus I guess it gets your name out there for private orders. Well, I am a huuuuuuge fan of scrapbook papers, you can make cuppy liners with that, and make stands out of cake drums with ribbon....lots of cool things. Go into a scrapbook paper store someday, and you'll get ideas instantly.

Flower arrangements are always nice...bright cheerful table coverings...I don't know what else.

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SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 6:48pm
post #7 of 15

Thanks! I didn't think of using scrapbook papers. I have an enormous supply of it. (I used to sell Stampin' Up!, plus I used to have a shopping-at-the-craft-store problem.)

No, no private orders for me. I don't sell my cakes & cookies. I just make them for family, and the occasional gift to a friend, or social events. Someone on Thursday tried to guilt me into making a cake for her, but I just kept saying no. I get stressed out enough just making for my family. I don't want to added stress of selling.

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__Jamie__ Posted 6 Jun 2009 , 7:04pm
post #8 of 15

Lol...I hear ya there! I just got back from scrapbook store a sheet of paper with a a laser cut french medallion, about 10" in diameter, that pops out...perfect to go under a cake plate or under the cake itself....really snazzy!

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SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 12:11am
post #9 of 15

That sounds pretty! I hope you can post some pics after you use it.

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aligotmatt Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 10:32pm
post #11 of 15

It would be nice if you had a cupcake tower or 2 to use. If you had one 5 tier one set up on one side of the table and use some bags or something like these with just a twist tie and tower up those goodies on one side. Maybe alternate brownies and cookies and cupcakes....

Then do the stuff stacked under the table cloth to raise other items. Don't be afraid to tilt a bit, so like angle up a shoe box, cover it with a cloth napkin and put a pie on it. Obviously higher in the back and progress to the flat table.

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SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:28pm
post #12 of 15

Yes, thank you all! These are the kind of ideas I am looking for.

7yyrt, the last link for the clear boxes is not working.

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matthewkyrankelly Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 5:46pm
post #14 of 15

The papers sound like a great idea.

What you are interested in is marketing. Pick a bright color scheme. Line every tray, stand and plate with the color in dots, solids and stripes. Remember to not only add height, but you might want to give the trays of cupcakes and cookies a little tilt by propping up the back. White kraft bags sealed with a simple color-themed sticker would be nice. Prepare a few cookie/treat trays ahead of time to sell at a premium - cellophane and ribbon - two or three would be attractive and might sell for more. Additionally, smaller attractive items could be sold in cello bags with a sticker.

A lot of color, a few things packaged very nicely on display, and neat simple packaging for all others - no fail.

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nadine_n Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 3:51am
post #15 of 15

I totally agree that presentation is key at bake sales. We run them at the school where I teach on a regular basis - for different clubs and activities. Prices are generally pretty standard - 50 cents for a cupcake or brownie, single cookies 25 or 50 cents, depending on size. One mother always puts two small choc. chip cookies in a little cellophane bag, adds a few M&M's and ties it with a nice ribbon and they sell for 50 cents. She sends the bags in a pretty wicker basket. They always sell out quickly (even though IMO they aren't very good cookies). It's all in the packaging!

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