Charging For Sketches?

Business By dguerrant Updated 19 Sep 2010 , 4:18pm by dguerrant

dguerrant Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
dguerrant Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 1:32am
post #1 of 4

I have a couple getting married in 6 weeks and we are still trying to nail down a design. A month ago, they were looking for a simpe sleek design. Did a sketch, came back with a different idea all together. This time they wanted a luggage type cake similar to a "Pink Cake Box" cake, however they wanted their specific luggage and in different configurations. I sketched 3 different colored sketches (about an hour each). Now, they want something less masculine. They are wanting another 3 sketches incorporating a vintage type map with simple stacked cakes on top, different shapes, combinations, etc....

I'm tired of sketching, I want to tell them to come back when they have their ideas in line, but this is a $1500-$2000 cake and I feel like I have too, but I have spent numerous hours sketching and on the phone, as well as many more doing new sketches.

What woud you do? How would you handle this? I am a full-time teacher and grad-student, mom of three, dyslexic therapist, band-mom, etc.. my time is valuable and VERY LIMITED. I just want to tell them TRUST ME but not sure.

3 replies
jason_kraft Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jason_kraft Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 2:07am
post #2 of 4

Tell them that you are holding their wedding date for now, but unless they confirm their order with a specific design by a certain date (hopefully within a few days) you cannot guarantee that the date will be available.

Once they have confirmed the design, the change fee you should have in your contract will easily cover your time if they change their mind again.

BlakesCakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
BlakesCakes Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 3:34am
post #3 of 4

It sounds like they have the date and # of servings down. That's enough to tell them that they'll need to make a non-refundable deposit in order to hold the date.

The deposit should be enough to compensate you for all of the time that you've put in so far, as well as any more time you think you'll put in on finalizing a design, should they eventually walk away.

If they won't commit by making a deposit at this point, you're probably better off not having them as clients. They're currently using your precious time for free, and if you're giving them the sketches, they may even be shopping them around for other pricing.

Perhaps if they make the deposit, they'll get serious about commiting to a design because it will feel real now that $ is involved. Right now, they're having too much fun at your expense.............


dguerrant Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
dguerrant Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 4:18pm
post #4 of 4

Thanks so much for your inpu/help. I so far have not demanded a deposit, due to the fact that I have done cakes for their family for years. I typically ask for 25% of the cake, but unti they pick what they want, I haven't icon_rolleyes.gif . I'll just have to ask for some kind of deposit. icon_lol.gif I have done the brother's and sister's wedding cakes and have had no problem, but it just seems as though they can't make up their mind and are taking what little time i do have extra doing more sketches.

I have never had a bride and groom to be so 'wishy washy'. it sure makes it hard icon_wink.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%