Really Bothered By This...bakery Offering Cheap Cake?

Decorating By JCE62108 Updated 14 Apr 2010 , 8:14pm by JCE62108

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JCE62108 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:13am
post #1 of 22

I've got a pit in my stomach. I dont know why this bothers me so much. I guess maybe because every now and then I question my own pricing...but then again I've done my research. So I should be confident.

I had a customer call me at 10:30pm....yes PM...just about 30 minutes ago. My cell is my business phone as well. I was up anyways so I answered. Probably shouldn't have. Oh well.

Anyway, he told me that he found a bakery that would do a fondant covered, two tier Hello Kitty cake for $3.00/serving. I was like, are you SURE that was a bakery and not someone doing it out of their home? Are they professional? Did you see their portfolio? He said they were ok but for the extra savings it was worth it, and he wanted to call to tell me he was going to place the order with them instead. Plus they were going to give him a free 1st birthday cake. I told him I could offer the free cake. I usually do anyways. Then he was like, "oooohhh you didnt tell me that before. Ill talk with my wife and see what she wants to do." Oh, seriously? If this other lady is gonna do it for $70 cheaper with a free cake, why are you all of a sudden considering me again?

I dont know. Im finding this hard to believe that a professional is offering to do this cake for $3.00 a serving. I mean, $120 for this cake? If they buy their fondant and dont make it (which I assume most bakeries probably buy theirs due to time constraints) then that is at least $20-30 in fondant right there. Plus ingrediants, boards, plates, supports, baking time, gumpaste work, etc. Not to mention from baking to finishing about 6 hours labor, at least....... Whatever. They wont make a dime.

Am I way out of bounds here? Are there any professional decorators here, that work in a bakery who would charge $3.00/serving for a fondant cake like this?

My bottom line for fondant cakes is $4.50/serving. Ive checked around and my competition starts at about $5-$6/serving for fondant.

I shouldnt be so upset about this but for some reason I am. I have a feeling that this is some unexperienced home baker. I cant imagine someone who knows what they are doing would charge this. Their cake is gonna look like crap. icon_mad.gif

OH OH and not to mention that I did the research for him, found him a nice cake on the internet that he absolutly loved...and now he's gonna take that somewhere else. Wonderful.

I'm sorry. It's rare that I get this upset but honestly I dont know why, but it's just eating me.

Please tell me if I'm being stupid. I probably am. That's ok. Let me have it.

21 replies
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heavenlys Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:29am
post #2 of 22

I am thinking a "bakery" wouldn't do that cake at all because it breaks copyright laws. At least mine wouldn't. We are just a small bakery bit we have had people check into what we offer and make.

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JCE62108 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:33am
post #3 of 22

LOL I think all the bakeries in my area do cakes like this. How many sesame street, dora, finding nemo, cars, tinkerbell and other types of cakes are on here? Many of them professionals. When I worked at a grocery store bakery I couldnt do stuff like that, but I think most small bakeries would probably do it. icon_smile.gif

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qubanqtee Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:35am
post #4 of 22

I believe that if this "bakery" would like to do the cake for $3 per serving, then let them....and your work is great

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JaimeAnn Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:42am
post #5 of 22
Originally Posted by heavenlys

I am thinking a "bakery" wouldn't do that cake at all because it breaks copyright laws. At least mine wouldn't. We are just a small bakery bit we have had people check into what we offer and make.

Very True!

But on the cost vs quality concept I do not believe a "Bakery" would do this cake for $3.00 / serving.

There is no way they could offer this quality of a cake for that cheap. because 1- they wouldn't make any money, it would cost that much just in supplies and utilities. 2- any Baker that Knows what they are getting into by making that cake knows what it would take in time and skill and would charge more for thier time.

People always want cheap cake till they pick it up and see it then taste it. Remember the old saying... " you get what you pay for" I have a feeling that the customer is going to be very dissapointed if they go with the other baker.

Don't stress about it this other baker will either burn themself out if they can make a quality cake by charging such low prices OR people who order thier cheap cake will not be return customers if it is a crappy cake .

Just for kicks and comparision, If that cake is a 8" and 6" that would be 36 servings by my chart and would be a LV2 by my pricing and would cost $216 I would also include a free smash cake for 1st birthdays but they would be paying $6.00 / serving for the main cake

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cakemom42 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:44am
post #6 of 22

You are most certainly not!!
I so understand this... I charge $4.50 for specialty cakes & $6 for weddings.
While I make my prices a cover all, meaning it's their choice buttercream or fondant (it takes just as much work for one as it does for the other & I never really get the .50 to $1 difference anyway but oh well another topic another day.)
I worked in high end professional kitchen (pastry dept) & their prices were way over what we charge, their offices are closed at 5pm, & my executive chef would of been all over it if they wanted him to copy someone else's work....

I wouldn't take this order for several reasons:
- time of night of call, tells a lot about the person.
- the copyright thing... not worth the hassel.
- the double checking with wife , he's playing you.
- no matter what kind of deal you offer him he, or wife, won't be satisfied.
Go with your gut, it's the best guide :0)

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JCE62108 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:48am
post #7 of 22

Ok, fine. But am I out of bounds here? Is $3/serving a normal price for fondant cakes? Are there people out there who do that? If so how in the world do you make a profit? I mean, you either must have crazy volume, cheap rent, and find some miraculous way to cut costs on supplies and payroll.

I know if I did that cake it would cost me about $40-$50.00 in supplies. So Id have to do that cake in 5 hours to get $12.00/hour. That's not even considering the cost to run a bakery.

If there are those of you who can pull this off, awesome.

Ok the more I think about this the grouchier I get. I think I'm gonna go to bed and talk to you guys when I'm in a better mood tomorrow. Maybe I'm just tired. aaahhh.

Goodnight. icon_smile.gif

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JCE62108 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:52am
post #8 of 22

OH OH! You guys just made me feel so much better. I didnt see that before I posted last. lol. Now I feel better. Honestly. Thanks for the reassurance. Oh that grumpy mood is melting away.....that's why I love you guys. icon_smile.gif

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CelebrationsbyLori Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:57am
post #9 of 22

I'm a very small storefront bakery and I wouldn't dream of doing that Hello Kitty part of this design. This is one of those slippery slope kind of orders, but just because everyone else is willing to break those laws, doesn't make it any less against the law. Totally just my opinion! -Lori

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myslady Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 4:02am
post #10 of 22

Depending on where you live, that could be a normal price.

It probably bothers you because you put in time to find your potential customer what they needed and they are taking your work to someone else. (basically you did all the prep work, and the other bakery will get all the credit.)

I seen websites in my area that have great looking cakes that they did and prices are not very high. I don't care because I know my vision for my business and they have theirs.

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LKing12 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 4:12am
post #11 of 22

Could be that he told you this to see if you would back off on your price. I do not do research for clients. If they have an idea or a picture-that is great. But, I am not doing the leg work for them to go to someone else.
I have learned to say. That's a good price, but I know my work and what I have to have. And then don't look back. Really, what would a free 6" cake make to the total cost difference?

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luvscakes Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 4:29am
post #12 of 22

I wouldn't let this bother you! It's so frustrating to me too when I have to plan a design before I give a price quote- which takes a lot of time. 3 out of 5 people who inquire about my cakes come back with some response about my prices too high (I only charge $3.50/serving but add on for decorating time) But--- I know that people who want cheaper pricing will get something cheaper, and these are not people I want as my customers either.
Chin up! Don't worry about it, and keep making fabulous cakes for people who appreciate and love your work!

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JaimeAnn Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 8:25pm
post #13 of 22

The problem is that most people that are looking to buy a fabulous birthday or wedding cake have never purchased a Custom cake before . They have probably bought grocery store cakes or Chain store bakery cakes and that is what they are willing to pay.

Now with all of the Cake shows, Ace of Cakes , Cake Challenge, etc.... they are seeing a level of cakes they have never seen before . Problem is these shows Do not show that these cakes are usually a minimum of $1000 and most of the cakes they see are more like $3000 to $5000 and up.

So they are seeing, "oh look anybody can make these awesome cakes" but still have in thier minds what they have paid for cake before and the two do not coincide.

They all want $500 cake for $50 because they do not know that cake costs anything more than grocery store price.

I think all of these shows should have to show what each cake costs, If not their personal bakery cost at least a fair market cost, such as this cake would be $1000-$2000 , (like on antiques roadshow hahaha). So that people would understand these cakes are not cheap! Untill that happens people are still going to balk at the price of custom cakes.

I have had numerous brides come to me with pictures from these shows , saying " I want a cake like this" Then when I tell them how much ( and my price is WAY below Duff's) They freak out.

So I send them to Duffs website and they get a real eye opener on pricing!

We will never acomplish anything in our craft by lowering our prices all these people are doing by that is diminishing the art of it. There is no way they will ever be able to stay in business at those low prices ( the math just doesnt add up) but in the process they are making people think that NORMAL pricing is too high and hurting the whole community of custom cake makers.

Like Indy says, if you go out for a nice dessert you expect to pay $5.00 per serving or more, but times that by 100 servings and people are like WHOA! They do not realize they are buying a fancy dessert for 100 people.

Ok i will step off my soap box now... But in the words of Peter Griffin "You know what really Grinds my Gears?"

CAKE MUGGLES!!!!!!!!!!!

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JCE62108 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 9:24pm
post #14 of 22

Thank you! Couldn't have been said better!

You know the other day I was looking up my own bakery, just to see how I would appear on the internet (lol, researching myself), and I happen to see another custom bakery had a review by their name....and it didnt look good. So I clicked on it. icon_twisted.gif

The lady was complained because she was quoted $100 for a spongebob cake and was TYPING IN ALL CAPS TO SHOW HOW TICKED SHE WAS. Saying that price was outrageous and who in their right mind would pay $100 for CAKE. I thinking, lady, I just sold a spongebob cake for $350.00 a few weeks ago. Give me a break. icon_razz.gif

Thanks for all the support guys. You're right. People just dont realize how much this stuff costs...not to mention what it actually costs US to make it. My mom and I were talking about that today. She said before I started doing this, she had no idea cakes like this even existed. She is absolutly blown away by the things we can do with CAKE. It really is amazing, when you think about what we do. icon_biggrin.gif

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weirkd Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 10:00pm
post #15 of 22

I remember end of last year I had a bride come to me wanting me to do a wedding cake for $300 for about 100 people. I told her I could do a dummy cake and a sheet cake for her but probably would be closer to $500 for both. So they came back and told me that they found someone to do the cake for $300, all real. I said "Ok thanks, Good luck with your wedding!". And left it at that. No more than three months later they came back to me because her sister was getting married. SHe said that the cake they got was horrible. It tasted horrible and it didnt even look like what they wanted.
I did her wedding about three weeks ago. I got an email from her mom saying how she loved the cake, had to touch the flowers because she thought they were real and not sugar and actually had seconds even though she is not a cake person!! So it just goes to show you. Yah, Im sure someone will do it for that price. Will it be the same quality? I doubt it. But if it is, then so be it! Why bother with getting yourself upset over something like that? Dont! As others have said, your work is fantastic and people WILL pay you what your worth. If not, then let them go to Sams Club and buy an ordinary cake! No skin off your nose!! icon_smile.gif

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Chef_Stef Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 1:47am
post #16 of 22

silly me. And I turn down cakes like this all the time, because they are COPYRIGHT designs.

I charge $4.50 for fondant, to START. Extra for bows, figures, etc. It's what I need to charge to be profitable. Maybe there's someone else who can do it for $3, but that's not my problem.

Don't let something like that get to you. Plus, you can sleep easy knowing the Hello Kitty Police will be ALL OVER them. lol

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Rachie204 Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 2:01am
post #17 of 22

in my are there are bakeries that would do a cake similar to this for $3.00 per serving

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TandTHarrell Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 2:05am
post #18 of 22

go with you gut

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MJoycake Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 2:41am
post #19 of 22

Seems fishy...I'd bet there is no "other" baker and the potential client is just trying to get you to lower your price.

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SpudCake Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 2:54am
post #20 of 22

I think it depends on your area, what your customer base is willing to pay. Personally, I wouldn't do this design because of copyright. Not sure how much over $3 a serving I could get. I would price the fondant at $3 per serving but add on for all the little extras.

Joanne usaribbon.gif

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Linda5606 Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 3:21am
post #21 of 22

in my area 3.00 a serving is considered very high and that's what i charge for fondant covered cake. i wouldn't do that cake because of copyright. i have a licensed kitchen in my home. (i had to add a second kitchen, get rezoned etc. i just quoted a price of 2.85 a serving for buttercream yesterday for 150. the total was 427.50 and the client said "FOR A CAKE?" she knew my cake and went ahead and booked but she was shocked and she's had my cake before (just at other events). if i were to charge more i'd do even less cakes.
however, i am raising my rates in january and that's how it's going to be.

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JCE62108 Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 8:14pm
post #22 of 22

I understand being all bothered that I agreed to do this cake because of copyright and whatnot, but I'm not trying to be rude, but I wasnt asking for opinions on that and feel like Im being attacked a bit for this. I know its not right. Neither is baking out of your home for profit (in states where it's illegal) and not paying taxes. Tax fraud? I think that's a little more serious that hello kitty fraud. But I guarantee you at least half of the people on this site do it now or have at some point. There are so many photos uploaded of coach bags, character cakes, and all sorts of copyright infringement on this site. What if Cake Central got in trouble for displaying this stuff. Honestly I dont think anyone really cares. If you were mass producing Hello Kitty cakes I can see it being an issue. You make one and I doubt the hello kitty police will be after you. Besides if it were really that huge of an issue, other bakeries wouldnt do cakes like this. Ive called all my competition and asked for cakes like this to see if they would do it. They all do. 5 local bakeries besides myself. Doesnt make it right, but oh well.

Anyways, I appreciate everyone's opinion, not trying to be mean at all, but I got a lot of comments on something I wasnt even asking about.

Well I appreciate everyone's kind and encouraging comments. I'm over it. I feel much better I have confidance in my abilities as a decorator, I know the pricing for my area, and I'm almost busier than I can handle. He is just one less I have to worry about now. icon_smile.gif Besides, I just got back from my beach vacation so I feel WONDERFUL!!! icon_biggrin.gif

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