How Much Deposit Is Too Much?

Business By xoxoemilyrae Updated 11 Aug 2011 , 6:15pm by Totally-Frosted

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xoxoemilyrae Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 3:40pm
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I've decided to venture into the land of wedding cakes. I made my cousin's cake a couple of months ago, and since then my DB (Dear Boyfriend? lol) and the rest of my family have been begging me to start offering them.

My question is, how much should I charge as a "non-refundable" deposit. Previously, I charged 50% for my birthday cakes, etc. if the total was over $50, and the deposit is always applied towards the final price. Is 50% too much? Or should I just ask for a flat $200 or something?


11 replies
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jason_kraft Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 4:10pm
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I don't think 50% is too much, we ask for 50% when the order is placed and the remaining 50% two weeks before the event.

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CupcakeQT82 Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 7:53pm
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I am just getting started as well, and currently I am doing $40 non-refundable deposit. It'si kind of got to be that way around here as I do it out of my home and I doubt people would be able to pay that much up front or would want to. I figure $40 is enough to make them think twice before asking me to do their cake, KWIM?

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kearniesue Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 8:14pm
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My deposit and payments are the same as Jason's. I don't think that's too much to ask. You're setting aside that time for that particular cake and will likely turn away other orders. This is a CYA to make sure you don't lose that income. I don't think it's unreasonable. If you only ask for $50 or something like that and they back out, then you could potentially be out hundreds..


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QTCakes1 Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 8:21pm
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50% no less. Just like someone said, what if they back out. You lost a potential fully paid order by holding that date for them. And of course, non-refundable!

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LaBellaTorta Posted 10 Aug 2011 , 8:31pm
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I do 30% on signing of contract, 30% 60 days prior to the event and the remainder 30 days before the event (if the event is less than 30-60 days from signing of contract, the deposit is 60% with the remainder due 30 days prior). That gives plenty of time for funds to clear and ensures I am not out of pocket for items ordered in advance.

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michalmari Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 4:55am
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I am venturing out into the wedding cake arena and have my first consultation with a bride this Friday. This information is wonderful as I was wondering what to ask for as a deposit. I think 50% makes sense, up front and I like the idea of getting the remaining 50% 2 weeks before the event that way you don't have to worry about payment on the day of delivery since the bride and groom have other things on thier minds.

My question to everyone is this, what do you do if the bride or groom does not like the cake once they see it. Assuming they have fully paid for it, do you give them any kind of refund and if so, how much is feasible. I mean, I don't have a problem refunding the labor portion of the cake - IF I HAVE TO - so that my company name does not get bashed around. I want to have a company with integrity, but I also don't want a bride and groom to say they didn't like the cake (even though they really did) just to get some money back since we all know how expensive weddings are... Should I even tell a bride and groom that I will refund money if they are not satisfied with the cake or does that open up a whole new can of spoiled cake? Thanks for the input!

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kearniesue Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 11:47am
post #8 of 12

Ohh, no way, don't mention that. THAT would open up the door for customers to complain.

I haven't had any issues like that yet(thank God!), but I'd say you deal with it on a case by case basis, depending on the circumstances. You'd have to decide what is appropriate at the time.

Good luck,


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indydebi Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 2:17pm
post #9 of 12

I charged 50% non-refundable deposit on caterings and that often was on $3000-$6000 invoices.

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tiptop57 Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 2:51pm
post #10 of 12

I am also a non-refundable 50% on total.

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jany1 Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 3:19pm
post #11 of 12

I was going to post a similar question Thank you for the info this would help me too!

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Totally-Frosted Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 6:15pm
post #12 of 12

I have a 50% non-refundable deposit and the remainder is due 2 weeks before the event date. No balance paid.... no cake, period.

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