Your Friends. Do You Charge Them?

Decorating By CAKEahuna Updated 12 Jan 2010 , 5:07pm by AverageMom

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CAKEahuna Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 10:37pm
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Do you charge your close friends for their cakes?

27 replies
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marzipandoll Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 10:47pm
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After a while they grow on you, I am serious. If I am invited to a party and decide to bring a cake, that's cool. If one of them orders something for a specific celebration I do charge, but I do go easy on them.

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MrsNancyB1 Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 10:49pm
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It depends on HOW close friends we are, and whether I offered the cake or the friend asked for the cake.

If I offer, then I don't charge.
If a friend asks, then I charge BUT if it's a truly dear friend of mine then I won't charge. I only have a few very close and dear friends, the rest I would charge.

ETA: I know the friends that I don't charge enough, that I know they will not take advantage of me and have me make a cake for each and every occassion they have.

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jammjenks Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 10:51pm
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DH or my parents = free (they always give me $$ though)

One of DH or my siblings = 15% discount

anybody else = no discount

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janeoxo Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 10:52pm
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Pretty much what others have said, if I just chose to bring or make a cake for someone then there is no charge. If they ask for it then yes I charge and depending on how close a friend depends on how much I charge. I never charge less than what it costs if I do charge and it would always cover the cost of everything plus a bit extra but not a huge profit.

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cricket0616 Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 10:52pm
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Be careful with the friend thing. I made cakes for friends as their present, but the cakes kept getting bigger. They will start requesting what they would like. The last one I did for free cost $150 to make and 10 hours of my time. It can get out of hand. Not to point fingers at them, but they have no clue of the cost nor the time. Most people thing $1.50 for a box of cake mix and a couple of bucks for the icing.

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dsilvest Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 10:56pm
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My wedding cakes usually become the gift for the bride and groom of very close friends and relatives. I would be invited to the wedding anyway.

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vickymacd Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 11:02pm
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I don't do this for a business, I just do a cake or two when I want to.
So when someone asks me to make a cake for them, I sweat and stress.
Then if I do agree to do a cake, it's either free (if it was MY idea to do it) or I fumble and don't know what to charge. Then they give me money and it's never enough for what I put into it and then I get mad.

So, I give all of you credit who are the professionals when dealing with family and friends. My parents don't live close to me, but anything for them would always be free.

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Ruth0209 Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 11:08pm
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I have the very best friends ever! I have never had any one of them assume or suggest that I give them a cake for free or for a discount. I have given lots of people free cakes when I offered, but that's always on my terms.

My friends know that this is my business and that I don't have the money to give away a bunch of free cakes. They've all be terrific in supporting me in that.

I make free birthday cakes for my kids, DH, brother, sister-in-law, and mom if they want them, but honestly, we eat enough cake around here that they often want something else and I'm never offended by that!

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FromScratch Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 11:10pm
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I'm similar to the others...

immediate family = free
close fiends = for cost (unless I offer then free)
everyone else pays

Sometimes I will discount a little for people I really like or who have done me favors... like my neighbor whom I love. Her DH plows our driveway in the winter and I make her cakes for free once in a while. She doesn't like to ask anymore because I won't let her pay me. Silly woman. icon_lol.gif

Just be careful with your discounts or you'll have the "oh I know you through so-and-so... can you do a cake for me on the cheap?"... ummmm... no? icon_wink.gif

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TexasSugar Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 11:11pm
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If I offer to do the cake it is free, if you ask me, you pay for it. Simple as that.

Since I only do cakes for friends and family I don't really do a discount for anyone. Now I will always do my nephew's cakes for free, as well as my best friend's kids. And I do my best friend, brothers/SILs and parents birthday cakes for free. It is when they start branching out for different occasion cakes that comes to play. I'm not going to make someone a free cake for an event I am not attending just cause they are my friend and I do cakes.

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aundrea Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 11:28pm
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i do my cakes for free or as the gift. i cant tell you how many parties ive been invited too now- since i started doing cakes!! ugh!
as much as i enjoy making the cakes-i do feel taken advantage of because i cant charge for my cakes.
when the ingredients cost more than what i usually do (example: organic or vegan) then i give my friend/family a list of what i need and have them go get it. there is no way i can afford to make those kind of cakes.
and you should here them b*tch when they see how much just the ingredients costs!
i tell them- this isnt even materials!! and my time.
some of them can understand why cakes are so expensive. others still cant! they still think of it as sugar, flour eggs. whats the big deal?
so my advice to you- is just to be careful. it gets very easy to be taken advantage of.

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SpringFlour Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 11:29pm
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I have the very best friends ever! I have never had any one of them assume or suggest that I give them a cake for free or for a discount. I have given lots of people free cakes when I offered, but that's always on my terms.


If I offer to do the cake it is free, if you ask me, you pay for it. Simple as that.

What they said. ^^^ (Oh, and I don't offer all that often!)

I also only bake for family and friends, so everything would be discounted! thumbsdown.gif I bake free cakes for my immediate family (although I'm thinking I could send my 7 year old an invoice), and my parents. Everyone else pays what I demand. Hee hee. icon_lol.gif

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indydebi Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 11:54pm
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Originally Posted by QueenMommy

Do you charge your close friends for their cakes?


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greengyrl26 Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 12:08am
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if it's my gift to them, then it's free. If they ask for it, they pay for it....though I will give a discount to close friends & family.

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LaBellaFlor Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 12:16am
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Free is for my kids, DH, BF, MIL, FIL, BIL, SIL, Grandparents. Depending on the relative, they might get a discount. But extended relatives, friends of relatives and friends of friends, NO!

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KitchenKat Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 12:31am
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If i offer, it's free.

If they ask then they pay for costs. Most of my friends are great and insist on paying full price. Instead of giving them dollar amounts, I ask them to just pick an item from my wish list. Non cake related stuff like a book (novel). Or they trade services/goods, e.g. my crafty friends will give me a
beaded purse. My favorite trade is with a friend who works with Levi's jeans. New jeans 5 times a year from her 5 orders!

I don't live near family but I would give free if I offered, at cost or discounted if they ask.

Friend of a friend? Sorry, you're paying full price honey. (I can sell from home without a license.)

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Deb_ Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 12:36am
post #18 of 28

No I don't offer discounts or freebies to friends.

Before I sold cakes all of them got plenty of freebies and I made it clear to them that once I became a legitimate business I wouldn't be able to give freebies any longer.

Quite a few of our friends are business owners and I don't expect discounts or free services from them.

Most of them are also my clients at my salon and they all pay full price there too. We all respect each others business and it makes it a lot easier that way.

My immediate family (brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews) get free wedding cakes and I usually bring the cake if there's a family party at one of their charge.

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Kitagrl Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 12:44am
post #19 of 28

I give free cakes if I volunteer on my own... my husband is the pastor of a small church and while I don't announce it, I do give half off to the members if they happen to order a cake, just to avoid the possible scandal of someone being upset that the "preachers wife wants $300 for a CAKE" thing.

I don't have really any family locally though so my donations are really not too much....and anyway I can use the write-offs!

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Texas_Rose Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 12:58am
post #20 of 28

I can't sell cakes legally where I live, but my friends and relatives keep asking for cakes. I let them pay for the supplies. Usually the supplies will include something that I will get more use out of later on (for example, a large bottle of Creme Bouquet or Americolor). I do give free birthday cakes to my parents, sisters, BIL, but if my sisters want a cake for their friends, they or their friends have to pay for the ingredients. I just can't afford to give away that many groceries.

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CakeMommyTX Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 1:01am
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I don't have any friends so it's not really a prob for me.
My sis and mom pay for ingrediants unless the cake is my gift.
Everyone else pays full price.

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karukaru Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 1:31am
post #22 of 28

I do charge but I have a lot of trouble doing it. I don't know why but I feel embarrassed to charge friends (especially because I just started decorating cakes and I am not a professional).
I have sold only 3 things:
1. Decorated cookies and I gave a discount as long as she told people that i charged her full price (because it was the first time that I was doing them and they weren't perfect, although my friend thought they were perfect)
2) the second one that I have done is a decorated tinkerbell cake. It was expensive to make and I didn't want to charge my friend so I gave it to her as a birthday gift for her daughter (Her daughter got to keep the tinkerbell doll and my friend gave me a Michaels gift certificate as a thank you)
3) the last cake I made was a birthday cake for 36 people and it cost about $90. When i told my friend that the price was $90 she insisted that I should give her full price. I charged her $130 (again i feel bad charging friends) and she still thought it was not enough and she gave me a check for $180.

I have to stop feeling bad charging friends because i wont make any money that way. The last cake i did was a lot of work so after that i swore to myself that I was going to start charging full price unless I volunteered the cake. I am making another cake in 2 weeks but technically its not for free since my friend does eyebrows (threading and waxing) so she is doing my eyebrows for free in exchange for cakes.
I don't have a cake business but i need to open one. I started decorating for fun and posted the pictures on facebook and all of a sudden people started asking me to make cakes for them

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indydebi Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 2:46am
post #23 of 28

For those who feel bad charging family and friends, do any of you know a family member or a friend who owns a business? Do they give you their product free or at a discount?

My insurance agent has been a personal family friend for 2 generations and I pay the same premium as anyone else.

My cousin owns 3 car dealerships and I have to haggle on price with him just like any other car buying customer. (He sure doesn't give me a car for free!)

My 20-year friend has worked in hotels for a number of years, but when I checked into one of her hotels, I paid the same rate as my traveling buddies.

If anyone knows someone who owns a gas station or a grocery store, do they give you gas and groceries for free or at cost?

I don't think any less of them for how they run their business. It's business.

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karukaru Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 5:15am
post #24 of 28

You are right Indydeby. You are right!

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emrldsky Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 1:47pm
post #25 of 28

If the cake is FOR immediate family (i.e., they're not ordering to take a cake for someone else's shower/birthday/event) it's free. If it IS for them to take, 50% discount (immediate family only).

My main baking is free, though, because for my nieces and nephews, I will make their birthday cakes for free, and that's their gift (I put some cash in their card, though). They can have any theme they want. icon_smile.gif I also do cakes for my coworker's birthdays (there's only 7 of us and at least two prefer pie over cake).

I have some family (my in-laws mostly) who slip money into my purse or something to pay for cakes I make for them. I'm working on coming up with a plan for my father in law's birthday cake, and my mother in law is coming up with a plan to try and pay me. *sigh*

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FromScratch Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 3:11pm
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Yes.. I must clarify that immediate family = free means birthday cakes for family events... not just any old cake. Birthday parties around here are just a few people gathering for cake and ice cream and hugs... nothing fancy. I brought a cake to my grandfather's 80th b-day and my father paid me for it... eventhough I said no. And I can count on one hand the friends I would give a cake at cost to. The thing is... that none of them would ask me to do it and they always try to give more than I ask for. THOSE people deserve the price break... not the ones who come crawling up from nowhere asking for a free cake.

My husband's aunt insisted on paying full price for the cupcake tower I made for her friend's retirement. If I didn't charge her as such she was going to get it from someone else... and my pricing is clearly listed on my site so she knew exactly what it should be.

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jodibug0975 Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 3:57pm
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I made two cakes that I made for coworkers for cost of ingredients. After spending hours on them I realized that I really do not want to do this. Since I cannot legally charge for my time, I choose not to make cakes for friends at their request.

Now I make and give away plenty of cakes.... but only what I want, when I want. My design choices.

I just don't have time to give away six hours or more for an "order" that I can't be paid for.

When I have a cake "order", it is no fun.... it is work. When I make cakes, it is for fun... and that means I get to make all the choices.

So no, I don't charge, but I don't take orders either. If you get a cake from me it will be a gift and a surprise. You never know what you will get until I knock on your door with it.

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AverageMom Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 5:07pm
post #28 of 28

It totally depends for me. So far, no one has tried to take advantage. My godson's first birthday is this month...his mother asked me to make a cake, and offered to pay, but there is NO WAY I'll take her money! I've been waiting all year to make his cake! My best friend's birthday is this week, and I asked her if I could make her a cake. Clearly, no charge there. But for anything else, I haven't offered a discount, and they haven't asked.

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