Non-Refundable Deposit?

Decorating By j_arney Updated 16 Jan 2010 , 12:03am by FromScratch

j_arney Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
j_arney Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 6:47pm
post #1 of 11

I was just talking to a friend of mine who is getting married in NY in May. When she realized I decorate cakes she thought she'd ask me a few questions about her baker. It sounds like she's getting a great price, so that's good. However, she was at first told that there was a $50 non-refundable deposit. She thought that it was in case she cancelled, but if she didn't it woud go toward the price of the cake. So she emailed the baker to verify.

She came back and said something like, "well, I made a mistake. It's not a deposit, it's a fee for me to hold that day for you. And it does not go toward the price of the cake. It's basically an extra charge."

Does that make sense? What is the $50 for? Is that standard? My other concern is that this woman told her that she could only have 2 flavors, regardless of the number of tiers. She is a home-baker, so I understand that she has some restrictions. But why so limiting? Should I suggest that she meet with a few other bakers before finalizing?

10 replies
cakesdivine Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
cakesdivine Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 7:13pm
post #2 of 11

I've never heard of a booking fee that didn't go towards the entire order price. That is odd. I'd shop around a bit more If I were she. $50 is a very small amount to loose at this stage, that is if she has already booked with that lady.

cakesbycathy Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
cakesbycathy Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 7:28pm
post #3 of 11

I would suggest your friend shop around a little bit more.

q2wheels Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
q2wheels Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 7:33pm
post #4 of 11
Originally Posted by j_arney

I was just talking to a friend of mine who is getting married in NY in May.

As far as I know, NY does not license home bakers, so, I would have your friend check that aspect o ut as well. The venue may not allow a non licensed baker to bring the cake in.

KHalstead Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
KHalstead Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 7:33pm
post #5 of 11

Maybe the home-baker adds this fee because she refuses any other cake orders? That could be, to kinda give her a little extra money on top of the cost of the cake for the fact that she's going to focus on ONLY this cake for the whole weekend?

Seems odd though, if the baker just said it's only to "hold the date"...but I would assume that "holding the date" means she's not accepting other orders on that date.

BlakesCakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
BlakesCakes Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 10:56pm
post #6 of 11

I would NEVER give someone money to "hold" a date if that money was not going to go toward the cost of the cake. icon_cool.gif

Sounds to me like this woman is making it up as she goes along--not a good sign at all. I'd look elsewhere.

This reminds me of all of the silliness with "baggage fees" on the legacy airlines. I want to know the total price from the get go so that I can compare apples to apples when I shop.

The issue of licensing is a reasonable point here, too. In states that require licensing, many venues will not allow cakes from unlicensed vendors. The bride needs to check this out before the big day.

I'm a home baker and for the sake of not wasting ingredients, I try to make sure that the flavors work out to meet the number of servings as closely as possible. A simple rule of thumb that works for me is that 40 servings = 1 flavor. I have some leftovers, but not a ton--I just make a few cupcakes and give them to family or friends.


pattycakesnj Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
pattycakesnj Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 11:20pm
post #7 of 11

Blakescakes, love the idea of 1 flavor for 40 servings. I will have to remember that

sweet12 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
sweet12 Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 11:22pm
post #8 of 11

I dont think for me i would pay someone to 'hold' a date if the holding fee didnt apply towards the amount of the cake. That seems kind of wrong to me. I can see needing a fee to hold the date and making it non-refundable if the bride/individual decided to back out the last minute, but as for not applying it towards the total price of the cake i would not agree to. And she is a home baker as well--not that that is a prob bc i know a lot of ppl who do bake and hold their businesses from home, but she is not even prob a licensed baker to perform such services in her home in the first place. If i were your friend, i would definately rethink who i have make the cake. For a wedding pricing is expensive to begin with let alone 'adding' on to it, unless your friend feels this baker is worth paying more to.

Jenn2179 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Jenn2179 Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 11:41pm
post #9 of 11

My hold the date fee is non-refundable but it does go toward the price of the cake. Also I let them pick 2 flavors and if they want more I charge an extra fee.

costumeczar Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
costumeczar Posted 15 Jan 2010 , 11:48pm
post #10 of 11

There's a person in my area who presents herself as a high-end baker but who really has no clue (I've seen her cakes). She charges for EVERYTHING, and does have a fee to hold the date that doesn't go toward the cake. She's the only person I've ever seen who does this, so it strikes me as a little odd, just like everything else on her website.

FromScratch Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
FromScratch Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 12:03am
post #11 of 11

I find that ludicrous too... I charge a $200 non-refundable retainer to book, but it all goes towards the cake. I'd tell your friend to keep looking if she hasn't already paid her and definitely check into her venue's policy for cakes from home kitchens, especially in a state that doesn't allow them. I know in NY it varies from county to county whether or not home kitchen are legal, but if the venue is in an area that doesn't allow them then that could be a big problem for your friend.

Quote by @%username% on %date%