This I kinda long. I apologize in advance.
I'm very new to the business. And being home based, I haven't set standard rates yet. I know I'm really behind on that.
That said, I agreed to do a wedding cake for an old coworker/friend. She wants 85 cupcakes (nothing fancy) and a 6" gluten-free semi naked cake for her and her husband. It'll be my first GF attempt. It won't be too fancy either, but we haven't nailed down exact decorations yet.
i work full time (graveyard shift/weekends) and her wedding is about an hour away up a large mountain. I'll also be attending the wedding. I ended up having to take two days off of work (using 20 hours of paid vacation time) to do the cake and attend. We aren't super close, so if I weren't doing the cake I probably wouldn't have been invited, or wouldn't have attended if I had.i don't have a lot of vacation time.
Alllll that said, I don't know what to charge. She knows I'm new at this and don't know what to charge, so we are trying to come up with fair pricing. She came back with her first suggestion, which is $1 per cupcake, so $85 for that portion.
My first instinct is that it's kinda low even for a bro deal. I recently charged $2 a cupcake for a different job for an old friend from high school. I don't know what to say to it. Maybe I should take the $85 and charge a bit more for the 6" cake?
i just feel really lost. Amy suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
If your cupcakes are just going to be frosted with buttercream with no further decorations (I know every location is different, but this is what I would do), I would charge at least $2.00 per cupcake and $50.00 for the cake, simply decorated...at a minimum!
It sounds like the cupcakes - 85 of them - will be the most work. You could tell her that you normally charge $2 for those and if you feel the desire to give them a little bit of deal, perhaps let her know that you'll give her a small discount on the 6" cake? Or if you normally charge delivery or want to charge delivery, consider offering not to charge that since you are attending the wedding anyway. (I'm not saying you have to give her a deal or discount at all, just if you are trying to come to an agreement).
As for the gluten free cake, I've used Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour and have been really satisfied with the results. You use it - as the name implies - cup for cup as you would AP flour. I don't use it a ton (just for a few people I know that are gluten free) but when I've used it the cake has always performed well in the recipe I would normally use and what I would sample almost didn't taste GF either.
$1 per cupcake? Seems like she is taking you for a ride.
May I suggest that for the gluten free cake you use a cake mix and not try it from scratch. I have been trying out gluten free recipes as my Grandma had to stop eating gluten and they are a PITA - I bake everything from scratch, enjoy it and really don't like using a box mix but GF is honestly hard to get right, I think if the wind blows a different direction when they are growing the ingredients for the flour it will give you a different result so save yourself the hassle and expense and just go straight for a box mix.
Your first order of business should be getting your prices in order. Going over what is "fair" might not end up being fair to you, imo. I agree with going GF with a box mix. My mom and my aunt are both gluten free, one day a recipe works, and another on that same recipe doesn't. I definitely would charge at the minimum $2.00 per cupcake, even of they are simple, they are still work.
If I was attending, I would make that my gift to them. And stipulate that you'd love pictures for your portfolio too.
For a regular person, I would charge $45 for a simple style 6" and $3 a piece for the cupcakes. For a total of $300. Delivery, an hour away, would be $125. For a grand total of $425. If this sounds off for your area, recon other business and get price quotes from what you consider your competition.
What I do for gift orders now is make an entire invoice, and in the discount line make something cute, "Celebration of Tod and Mary Wedding Discount - 100% Balance: $0) To make it cute but so they also know the value of your work.
i would get my vacation time back pronto -- quote her a good price for the baked goods -- let her pick it up or she can have a friend pick it up or she can pay you handsomely for the delivery -- then you can stay for the wedding if you want to --
look -- i bought a s.l.i.c.e of chocolate layer cake, it was FOUR DOLLARS AND SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS FROM A DELI -- i had to go there to buy it and carried it out by myself --
please think about this -- i hope you make more but figure you make $10 an hour you are g.i.v.i.n.g her $200 for the pleasure of her low-balling you -- plus you're working on your vacation -- you're permanently in the hole on this -- in a whirlpool with all your time & money getting sucked out --
charge a lot -- "wakie wakie" like gordon ramsay says
This is a no win situation. Whatever you charge her will be too high in her book, and way too low in yours.
Bale out now and tell her you just cant get the time off from work.
Kory, one thing you'll learn is that when people want a cake, you are suddenly their very good friend. After you bake and deliver (all of this at a very cheap price, by the way) you are no longer best buds. Their friends will learn you are the cheapest cake lady around.
Thanks everyone for all of your input! I messaged her last night and laid it out. Basic buttercream cupcakes in this area run about $3.90 to $4 per cupcake. And a simple 6 inch gluten-free cake runs about $50. Altogether comes to around $400. So I explained to her that I just can't do a dollar per cupcake, But what I could do is a total of $200 and call it rest the gift. Then at least I making a little bit of money (not very much after gas and supplies and everything, but a little bit) and it still feels like I'm giving her a deal. She said she would talk to her fiancé but hasn't gotten back to me yet. If it's too much for them then I will just tell them that I totally understand if they want someone else to do it.
One good thing that has come out of this is that I really need to figure out my price point and make it clear upfront.
Thanks everyone for all of your input! I messaged her last night and laid it out. Basic buttercream cupcakes in this area run about $3.90 to $4 per cupcake. And a simple 6 inch gluten-free cake runs about $50. Altogether comes to around $400. So I explained to her that I just can't do a dollar per cupcake, But what I could do is a total of $200 and call it rest the gift. Then at least I'm making a little bit of money (not very much after gas and supplies and everything, but a little bit) and it still feels like I'm giving her a deal. She said she would talk to her fiancé but hasn't gotten back to me yet. If it's too much for them then I will just tell them that I totally understand if they want someone else to do it.
One good thing that has come out of this is that I now know that I really need to figure out my price point and make it clear upfront. So I'm definitely getting to work on that ASAP, because I really don't want this to happen again.
The two key points of this this thread:
Kory, one thing you'll learn is that when people want a cake, you are suddenly their very good friend.
Yup..... that is it exactly! Now I just need a "friend" as the Mercedes dealership and the prime steak house restaurant.
I now know that I really need to figure out my price point and make it clear upfront.