Lost Cake Order

Decorating By ntertayneme Updated 22 Aug 2005 , 10:17pm by nanni

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ntertayneme Posted 21 Aug 2005 , 10:18pm
post #1 of 36

I just had a telephone call and I'm telling myself over and over that I did the right thing ... this lady calls and asked me if she could order a cake for next Saturday.. I told her yes, no problem .. she asked me what sizes I could make and I told her .. well she wanted to order the 12 x 18" cake that I make .. she asked me the price, I told her $45 ... then she asked me "well how much does WalMart charge for a cake that size?" .. I told her I had no idea ... then I was asked what flavors of cake I made, so we discussed that .. then she tells me that she needs to call the person's mother to ask what flavor she wanted the cake to be .. well I knew as soon as she hung up w/me that she's off to WalMart to get her cake ...

I try not to get disappointed when I lose cake orders, but neither will I "give" people a cake ... I charge what I feel is a fair price for my cakes .. I feel people get their money's worth out of them .. and nothing against WalMart's cakes, but they do not take time to decorate cakes like we do .. they're in it for the money and the quicker and faster they can get a cake out, the better .. there is no thought in the design whatsoever ...

anyway, I'm very disappointed, but my DH said, you do not give your cakes to people and do not feel guilty for charging the prices you do .. you put too much time into your cakes and if they don't want to pay your price, let them get it from WalMart or somewhere else ..

35 replies
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becca0926 Posted 21 Aug 2005 , 10:23pm
post #2 of 36

She may get it cheaper but she won't get the quality.She's the one missing out.and so will her guest.

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ntertayneme Posted 21 Aug 2005 , 10:27pm
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That's what I told my DH .. my cakes are always so moist and taste wonderful.. some cakes I've tasted from these "get the cake out quick" bakeries just taste like a piece of cardboard .. I guess to some people, it doesn't matter .. as long as they get it cheap, they'll buy it .. but I just can't compromise with my prices .. I feel they're worth the cost and yes, it may cost a bit more, but the taste and the decoration for out weighs the small difference in cost .. I guess some people just don't think that way icon_sad.gif

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itsacake Posted 21 Aug 2005 , 10:40pm
post #4 of 36

Three cheers for you! You did exactly the right thing. If we want people to value what we do, WE have to value what we do too! I don't know how quickly you can do a 12 x 18, but baking, making icing, and decorating take time--not to mention the ingredients. I'll bet whatever this woman does, she wants to be paid for her time.

By the way, I love your screen name (which I did figure out when I frist saw it) and I always really like reading your posts!

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nanni Posted 21 Aug 2005 , 10:43pm
post #5 of 36

I can understand about shopping around-we all do it when we are looking for things-but some things are just plain rediculous to compare prices. I had a lady call last week, wanted a 3 tiered wedding cake and a small grooms cake (wedding cake to feed 50 with them keeping the top)-I told her I could do it for $130 for everything-that is pretty cheap but they really didn't want much on it-no frills or lacy look etc. But wanted plum roses and icing would be ivory-she said she would tell her friend and call me the next day---I know about the 'FRIEND" bit. Needless to say she hasn't called-but I figure it's not her business that is keeping me busy and I refuse to go any lower. I hate to lose an order too but at that rate-something better will come along. After she eats that storebought cake she will wish she had yours I am sure!!!

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Daniela Posted 21 Aug 2005 , 10:57pm
post #6 of 36

Don't feel so bad!!! You did the right thing by not lowering your price for fear of losing a customer. I truly believe that we put everything into our cakes and cookies and we shouldn't feel bad for charging a bit more for it!!

Last night I made my first attempt at sugar cookies with a decorative glaze on top. It was only a trial and it took me about three hours to perfect. (And to top it all off the decorating was very plain) The point is that I put a lot into those cookies and I wouldn't just give them away.
You did the right thing!!!! In my book quality is everything!!


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cybourg Posted 21 Aug 2005 , 10:59pm
post #7 of 36

Unfortunately, I have not gotten far enough to lose or get orders for cakes. But I have to say, I have eaten cakes, at other peoples parties, that were from Walmart or Sam's and they are just horrible. When it comes to things like this, people either want quality or quantity. Personally, I would rather try to make my own cake than go to Walmart.

You did the right thing. This will free you up for the next, bigger order. icon_smile.gif

P.S. I knew your name about the second time I read it. And I also love to read your posts.

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ntertayneme Posted 21 Aug 2005 , 11:21pm
post #8 of 36

Thanks everyone icon_smile.gif You always feel bad when you lose an order, but we just can't compromise sometimes .. I can't go any cheaper than the amount I gave her on that cake .. I just wouldn't make any money at all if I did .. the chain stores can buy in huge quantity and of course can charge less.. however, because of the quantity and the demand, their quality suffers .. I refuse to get to that point .. even if my business grew, I'd never let it get to the point that I'd lose the quality of cake .. nor would I rush a cake out and demand my employees to not personalize it like I feel all cakes should be done ..

thanks to all of you for your input .. I feel a better now ... I had even thought of dropping the cost of the cake to $40 but I hesitated and I'm glad that I did ... I don't feel she'd of ordered with me anyway because of the "WalMart" remark she made icon_smile.gif

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ashianadotkom Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 12:29am
post #9 of 36

Cheryl don't you feel good not dropping your price for her
I know it hurts when you lose a cake order but you know you did the right thing
Some of these people don't know the difference between walmart cakes and our good tasting cakes
Even if they taste ours they don't wanna spend the money
They grew up on these type of cakes
When you think about why would someone eat a cake that taste like cr.... knowing this has the same amount of sugar and fat as the ones that taste good
I rather savor something that is the best tasting that i can find


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ntertayneme Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 12:32am
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thanks ashianadotkom .. at first I was so disappointed at losing the order.. but I sure feel better about it now icon_smile.gif

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Kos Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 12:41am
post #11 of 36

Maybe you should just keep repeating becca0926's tagline..."Good cakes aren't cheap, Cheap cakes aren't good". (the second post on this topic) That's a great one.

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twindees Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 1:01am
post #12 of 36

Some of these costumers get me so sick. They want everything for FREE. Meanwhile you are slaving in the kitchen trying your best to make the cake a success.

You just have to stick to your guns.

Personally I felt $45 was to cheep for a 12X18 cake.

When one door close another one close.

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becca0926 Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 1:05am
post #13 of 36
Originally Posted by Kos

Maybe you should just keep repeating becca0926's tagline..."Good cakes aren't cheap, Cheap cakes aren't good". (the second post on this topic) That's a great one.

Thanks kos.I'm a firm believer YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!

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antonia74 Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 1:09am
post #14 of 36

Some customers are "kind" enough to let us know that we wouldn't have wanted their business anyway. You lost the order, but you kept your dignity.

Don't lower your prices to help clients like her. You'll never win. You might have gotten the order, but she would have picked at something else after she received the cake, which would have made it even worse for you! thumbsdown.gif

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Daniela Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 1:12am
post #15 of 36

I agree with Antonia. She probably wanted a $300 cake for $45.


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jumbosgirl Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 1:35am
post #16 of 36

Hi Cheryl
You absolutley should not lower your price. Your work is GREAT, I think $45.00 is more than fair. I charge no less than $65.00 for 12x18 cakes.

Don't let this person get you down your work is too good for her!!

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traci Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 1:36am
post #17 of 36

Hi Cheryl! Don't feel bad...it happens to all of us! I had a lady that saw a Thomas the Train cake on my website. She asked me how much I charged...and I said $50.00(character pan on top of sheet cake). Anyway, she told me she would call me back. She called me later on and said she found a cheaper cake at Sam's. I asked her if she was going to get the character pan...and she said no. I told her that I deal in "specialty" cakes...and that is why I charge the way I do. I told her to keep my number if she ever wanted to order a "specialty" cake! Also...I charge $50.00 for a 12x18 sheet. I prefer not to just give my cakes away with all the time I spend making them fresh. Your cakes are gorgeous...and I know you will have plenty of orders to come! thumbs_up.gif

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edcjenv Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 1:50am
post #18 of 36

Cheryl ---- You do such a phenomenal job $45 was probably too low --- I'm so glad you didn't lower your standards for her!

You didn't lose that cake order---- you were blessed not to have to deal with it!

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nanni Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 2:12am
post #19 of 36

One thing we can always do is lower our prices which I am sure we all do on a "special basis"=church, etc. HOWEVER=that said-we should never lower our standards and our dignity-you stick to your guns-like it was said before-if you lowered it to give her what she wanted-chances are she would have been unjustly critical of it anyway-sometimes losing a cake is gaining a favor-maybe then they will appreciate what you COULD and WOULD have given them-more bang for their buck!

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mamafrogcakes Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 2:31am
post #20 of 36

Good for you! I've struggled with this before too but in my opinion, I would not be happy with the Walmart way. I don't think anyone on this board puts anything less than 110% into their cakes and I just couldn't do that for $15.00. I would start hating to do it! All the time and effort you put into something matters. I did a large grooms type cake for a friends reception and I charged her $50 b/c I was just getting started. I STILL kick myself in the behind for not charging her more b/c I put SO much time into this.
We all love decorating cakes and while money isn't all it's about, it's the point.
Good for you for sticking to your guns...let her have her cheap Walmart cake, there will be others who won't do it!

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stephanie214 Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 2:46am
post #21 of 36

Hi Cheryl,

I think that you did the right thing thumbs_up.gif . When I tell clients how much my cakes are, I hear the same thing about Walmart and Food Lion prices...their taste leaves alot to be desired.

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 2:50am
post #22 of 36

You know, I have come to the conclusion that for some folks, a cake is a cake. Doesn't matter if it tastes like a plain rice cake or styrofoam or sawdust or damp squishy I don't know what, all they see is a cake. So for those folks, they go by cost and any cake will do. YOU, however, deserve a better class of clientelle and you really don't need this type of customer.
Gosh $45 for a 12x18 is a steal, I charge $50 for an 11x15. So you really haven't lost a customer, you just aren't going to be wasting your time for someone who really doesn't know the difference or care.
You did the right thing, kiddo! You deserve better!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

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ntertayneme Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 2:51am
post #23 of 36

Thanks so much everyone .. sorry for taking awhile to get back to your comments.. I was without electricity here for almost an hour .. the joys of rural co-op's icon_biggrin.gif Well, I'm feeling better about it now .. and you are all right.. a person shouldn't lower their prices to try and get a sell ... the last cake I sold also was a 12 x 18" covered with fondant and I charged her $65 for that one .. I spent 4 hours decorating it ... that doesn't include the baking time and applying 2 layers of buttercream on it .. so speciality cakes, you're right traci.. I think everyone on here does those .. because we put our heart and souls into these cakes .. that's what makes them so special ... and you cannot find those at a places like Sam's and WalMart

which reminds me, my sister got asked to do a wedding cake .. she's decided she won't do anymore of them because she carpal tunnel in her hands really bad ... anyway, she gave them my telephone number .. this girl almost needs a wheel barrow to care the ring she wears around .. it's huge!!! but she's like the lady that called me this evening .. CHEAP!! lol .. she ordered her cake from Albertson's; a chain grocery store ... she paid $200 for it .. now they do not deliver and this is a 3 tiered cake on pillars .. I was told they give you the pillars and the cakes on plates and you have to assemble it ... I would have charged her about $300 for the cake, delivered it and set it up .. but some people just feel cheaper is better ...

again, thanks to all of you for your support .. I do feel better now about all of this .. and you're right, we don't need to lower our prices or our dignity to get a cake sell .. we work too hard to do that icon_biggrin.gif

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ivanabacowboy Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 2:58am
post #24 of 36

Some things in this world you get what you pay for. I personally do not like grocery store cakes. They are blech. And to be quite honest, I have never ever ever seen one that looks half as good as what some of you guys here can make. Sorry you lost the order tho.

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dodibug Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 3:29am
post #25 of 36

Hang tough C-girl! I'm not sure why grocery stores think your wedding day is a good day to become a do-it-yourselfer icon_lol.gif or why a bride thinks that's a good idea. My sister's SIL bought her cake from a grocery store because they were on a really tight budget (when I knew just enough to be dangerous but not enough to offer to do the cake for her.now I would have done it for cost) and I offered to set it up and serve it. They didn't tell them how to cut it and by the time my sis got it to the reception part of the drapes had shaken off because they didn't tell my sis how to be careful during transport!! Amazing! And people still go and order everyday!!

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ntertayneme Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 3:34am
post #26 of 36

thanks ivanabacowboy.. cute nick too btw lol .. and thanks dodibug .. I just can't believe anyone would sell a wedding cake to someone and expect them to set it up themselves .. that just doesn't seem right at all .. but that's how they do them .. to me, that's a perfect example why they need to order their cakes from bakers like us icon_smile.gif

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debsuewoo Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 5:06am
post #27 of 36

You know, I manage an apartment building and I find that cake decorating is like renting apartments. You really want to do that cake, but you want to make sure that you are doing it for the right price. I can rent an apartment to anyone who applies, but I have to ask myself if I actually want to live with the person who is wanting to rent from me, you know?
I would much rather lose an order than sell myself short at any cost.


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MariaLovesCakes Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 1:56pm
post #28 of 36
Originally Posted by ntertayneme

Iwell she wanted to order the 12 x 18" cake that I make .. she asked me the price, I told her $45 ... then she asked me "well how much does WalMart charge for a cake that size?" ...

Isnt' that just typical?

I don't "give" cakes either. I have a friend that told me that a friend of hers wanted a cake done for a baby shower. I quoted her for a price on what she wanted and then she passed it on to ther friend.

To make a long story short, the friend of my friend thought the price was too high so she went to someone else that made it cheaper.

My friend told me that the cake was a BIG dissapointed. So-so decortated, bad tasting and dry.

Sometimes you have to pay more to get something different and better...

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cakegal Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 4:09pm
post #29 of 36

I think you did the right thing too.... what you should do is when you quote a price to someone.....raise it higher by $20+ dollars...then say...well I could do it for you for...and then quote your asking price......lol.. Don't these people know the cost of things out there... not to mention the price of gas to bake your cakes.....Geeeeez....People!!!!!!

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meme Posted 22 Aug 2005 , 4:51pm
post #30 of 36

When she asked walmarts price I would just have to tell her that my cakes are of a better quality like naming well- known bakers not fast food cakes! LOL

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