What do you do for cake tastings? do you charge them, then if they book with you take that off the cake price? or charge them for it and if they book with you great (nothing taken off end price)?
I don't know about specific businesses, but when I got married, we had a cake tasting and we weren't charged for it. I don't think I would have went with that baker if she tried to charge us money before we even decided on using her for the wedding cake but that's my opinion as a consumer more than a baker.
This has been discussed many, many times before. I hope you will do a search for those threads as there are many different way to conduct this business.
I myself didn't charge. Others do, but then if they book the cake with you it is deducted from the price of the cake. This is a good way to do it I think. The fee is minimal - usually around $25 or $50.
As ^ said, this is one of those topics that doesn't have a definitive answer.
I live in Charleston, SC. I can't think of a single baker (including the BIG names) that charge for consultations. It just isn't done in this area. However, there are some parts o the state where consultations are $20-50. The fee is put toward the cost if the cake. I do not charge for the initial consultation. I do charge for additional sample cakes.
My suggestion is to check the norm for your area as well as decide what you feel is best.
I don't charge for tastings but a couple of people around here have started to. I won't do it, I do think that it dissuades people. I do all of my tastings back to back on the same day, though, so I only have to bake samples once, and that way if I have a no-show it isn't a big deal.