Should I Do This?

Business By xoxoemilyrae Updated 12 Aug 2011 , 10:57pm by howsweet

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xoxoemilyrae Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 5:18pm
post #1 of 22

Ok, so I got an email about a Charity Car Show that an organization is doing in a town right next to me. Its a long running car show so they are going to turn it into sort of a "street fair," family-function type thing.

The woman in charge wants me to set up a 'tent' and sell cupcakes. She recommends at least 1000 CUPCAKES! For one day! But, she also wants HALF of my earnings for the day for the charity. Now, I have no problem donating a portion of my earnings for the day to the charity, but 50%? That's pretty much equivilant to 500 free cupcakes! And truthfully, how many people are going to walk by my stand, see that it's over $1 for one cupcake and walk away.

I don't know what to do! HELP!

21 replies
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louanne Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 5:27pm
post #2 of 22

50% sounds high to me, we participate in many charity events in our area selling cupcakes, usually 200-500 is plenty, depending on actual turnout of the year before. Here we pay like a $50-100 table fee and then 10-15% of our earnings ( AFTER Taxes are held out) go to the charity. Again this is what is standard in our area and we participate in 3-4 different ones each year, but they are all charities close to our hearts.

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audrey0522 Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 5:38pm
post #3 of 22

Does she want 1/2 of your gross or 1/2 of your profit after all your expenses and labor costs are taken out? If you don't sell all the cupcakes that will also eat into your profits and what you owe her.

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MamaD77 Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 6:15pm
post #4 of 22

If it were me in that position, I'd tell her I was already committed elsewhere that day, any excuse you like, and offer to make a small donation of cupcakes, or as i would prefer as my time is really valuable to me, a small cash donation.
Or just nothing at all, entirely up to you!
Again, if it were me, I'd just say, thanks for the offer, but I have other commitments that day, all the best etc

Mama D thumbs_up.gif

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Cakeuhlicious Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 6:15pm
post #5 of 22

50% of your profit seems too high to me as well. I manage the donations to shows, festivals, etc and we don't usually donate over $500 worth of product/funds when asked to participate in an event. In most cases that kind of donation will easily get you a sponsorhsip credit for your business, which it doesn't seem like she is offering. I would say 20-25% is more than enough, or perhaps 50% if she is talking profits after expenses only and you're feeling generous. If it isn't a cause you're particularly passionate about, donate what is comfortable to you. And consider that the exposure will be good for your business, and that will have its benefits for you too.

I would ask for a firm number of turn out from last years event and maybe talk to a vendor that attended last year and see how many units they moved before deciding on your number of products to bring. You're the vendor, you should bring as much product as you think you will move, not what someone who doesn't know your business suggests.

It's a street fair, people will pay $8 for a hot dog...I dont think you'd have any problem selling cupcakes. You could offer them at your normal price and then give slight discounts for orders of 2 or more.

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xoxoemilyrae Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 10:45pm
post #6 of 22

Well she said they either wanted $400 for a tent rental, but I have my own tent already so she said then they asked for "half of your sales that day." Which sounds like she wants money without taking out the cost of supplies.

I don't know what to do. I really want the exposure since I'm so new. I've only done 1 order in 4 months.

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Lcubed82 Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 11:00pm
post #7 of 22

It sounds like they want 400 dollars. Either "tent rental" or donation. If you want to do it, and think you can clear it, offer them 400 dollars. If you make more, and want to offer more after, then good for you!

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fondantgrl Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 11:30pm
post #8 of 22

don't feel guilty saying no to this.. just because it is charity, does not mean that you are obligated. She might try and give you a "guilt trip", but don't fall for that crap. This is business for you too. As long as you did not sign a contract, why do it if you are not comfortable or agreeable to this plan or more or less this an "order". A thousand cupcakes is a LOT, work wise and cost. I bet you if not all of it will sell, they expect you to give it to them for free to enjoy. Free loaders

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jason_kraft Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 11:36pm
post #9 of 22

You should look at what other exposure that $400 can get you, I'm not sure there is a lot of overlap between the demographics of the average person at a street fair and someone who orders premium custom cakes.

Although your prices are so low you seem to be aiming for the low end of the market, so the street fair might work for you. How much of a profit are you making selling cupcakes for $12/dozen?

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cakesbycathy Posted 6 Aug 2011 , 2:15am
post #10 of 22

Along the lines of what Jason is saying...I would look at how you can use $400 towards other options for advertising.

Something about the whole thing just doesn't feel right to me. Regardless if it's for charity (is this a cause you would even donate to otherwise?), the way the coordinator is going about it just gives me a funny feeling.

Not to mention what a TON of work it is to produce, store, transport, set-up, etc., etc. that many cupcakes. And trust me, there is no guarantee it will bring you the kind of business you are hoping for.

And what happens if you don't sell the cupcakes and you don't make enough profit to make this woman happy? Is she going to demand more? And I'm sure she's expecting half of what you make at the fair. Not half of what your total profit is after expenses.

IMO I would pass.

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xoxoemilyrae Posted 6 Aug 2011 , 2:56am
post #11 of 22
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Although your prices are so low you seem to be aiming for the low end of the market, so the street fair might work for you. How much of a profit are you making selling cupcakes for $12/dozen?

I sell cupcakes $15/dozen for BASIC cupcakes. Normal flavor w/ Buttercream frosting only. For "specialty" cupcakes, more complicated recipe, for more. Plus I add on for fillings or fondant, etc.

Again, I'm new so my prices are still "adjusting."

But, anyways. To answer another question, no this is not a charity I would normally donate to.

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QTCakes1 Posted 6 Aug 2011 , 7:43pm
post #12 of 22

Then why donate now. It sounds like her job is to raise money period. Not so much find vendors for this fair. I woud not do it.

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laceycake Posted 6 Aug 2011 , 8:19pm
post #13 of 22

It really does not sound worth it. The people who are telling you there are other ways to spend $400 are right. I don't know the population where you live but perhaps a business card size ad with a picture in the local community newspaper would be a lot cheaper and reach a lot more people.

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mombabytiger Posted 6 Aug 2011 , 10:35pm
post #14 of 22

Is it legal to set up a tent and sell food? Remember all those kids who got busted for lemonade stands?

Also - there's no possible way I would make 1000 cupcakes and give half the money away. You're just going to end up resentful.

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emccle Posted 6 Aug 2011 , 11:19pm
post #15 of 22

Think about the logistics of making 1000 cupcakes. It sounds like you are home-based. I can make 24 cupcakes at a time in my home oven. To make 1000 cupcakes, you would have to do that 42 times!!!! How many batches of buttercream would you have to make? What about the time to mix the batters, clean the tins, clean the bowls over and over again? Where would you store 1000 cupcakes? How can you stack them up? Imagine 84 cupcake tins, that's how much room it would take. How would you transport them? Where would you store them at the fair?

I'm not trying to be negative, it's very flattering to be asked to make 1000 cupcakes, but it's an enormous amount of time to put in, especially when you are being asked to donate 50% of your profit. Good luck with your decision.

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JoanieB Posted 7 Aug 2011 , 2:11pm
post #16 of 22

I agree that if you have $400 to blow you can do that on a great ad or website and people that actually want your type of services will find you. This all minus the crazy amount of time required to prep, bake, clean etc.

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costumeczar Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 11:34am
post #17 of 22


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lutie Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 12:21pm
post #18 of 22

This woman spends wayyyyyy too much time watching "Cupcake Wars" (or whatever they call it)... that is why so many people think that cupcakes are so easy because, "HEY! they do it in an hour show on television!"

"Start your engine and drive away quickly from this woman with the stripped transmission!!!!* I am not mechanically literate, BTW icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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Jenniferkay Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 12:31pm
post #19 of 22

I've done 1000 cupcakes in my oven...with that much buttercream....not fun. Will NEVER do it again, EVER!

If this is not a charity you would donate to, then no. $400 for tent rental or whatever she wants to call it seems excessive to me.

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Kiddiekakes Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 1:28pm
post #20 of 22

I would also say no...$400.00 is alot of money for a table at a fair style function.When we rent tables for the Christmas craft sales they are only about $25.00-$100.00 depending on how big the sale is...And 50% of your profit....NOT LIKELY!!!...Tell her to bake 1000 cupcakes and ice them and clean up she wouldn't do it for free...or 50% ....This is what really annoys me about some charities...They want so much free stuff and donations it is almost like they are trying to rip you off in a way....and they always think you are desperate for the exposure or money...

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xoxoemilyrae Posted 8 Aug 2011 , 8:09pm
post #21 of 22

Thanks everyone! I'm not going to do it.

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howsweet Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 10:57pm
post #22 of 22

Sounds like the best decision. Another idea is to figure out what it would be worth to you to do it and counter with that.

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