I'm new to baking and decorating as a business but I've been doing it for a few years for friends and family. I had my first order picked up today that was not for a friend or family member. The mom and I spent several days going over designs and prices. She settled on a 3 layer 8" round vanilla cake and 12 pineapple cupcakes to which she would add a topper for the cake and picks to the cupcakes. Agreed upon price was $60. On pickup this morning she and her mother were both happy with the cake and cupcakes and the customer had agreed to send me a picture once she set them up with the picks and toppers for the cake and that I would use the pic for advertisement (credited her for her toppers and picks). She sent me a picture, told me she loved them. About two hours later a mutual friend that I had sent a picture of the completed cake to sends me a new picture the mom posted to facebook and the cake is barely recognizable. She added things around the sides that covered up most of the icing design and a ton of different toppers that she hadn't sent me. It was beautiful, she handmade most of these things and it looked great. But who's cake did this become? I would never ever take credit for her decorations and I would hope she wouldn't take credit for my cake. I know she didn't have me do all of those things because she was trying to cut costs, she was very candid as we selected designs that were within her budget so I understand. But I feel like the cake became no man's land and neither of us are going to get the credit we should, especially considering advertisement is purely visual.
Pictures are "as ordered and delivered", the "decorated" pic she sent me, and the "redecorated" version. Thoughts?
I'd feel ok about this. I'd find it funny, to be honest.
People ALWAYS say it is not about price, but it is B S. I literally made this account to talk about my customers who say they want everything under the sun, then they get a price quote, and they say it's too expensive. I just had a woman who wanted a two tier fondant cake, 4 fondant hand made animal toppers, 12 custom fondant topped cupcakes and decorated sugar cookies. When I quoted $700+, she cut the cupcakes, cookies and most of the decorations on the cake. What a waste of time talking back and forth. And if she went ANYWHERE else, they would not entertain that much yapping and also they'd probably twice the price. It's very frustrating.
First, you are charging too little. The 8" alone should be $60. The cupcakes would be $3 a piece from me. But, that depends on your area. Check out local shops and, while undercutting them, stay close enough you are their equal. Don't be the cheap cake lady. I was down that path and I put a stop once the resentment started creeping in.
And if she wanted to decorate it her own way, what can you do? People buying baked goods and passing them off as their own has been around forever. If it does bother you, ask the friend who posted what the hostess said about who made it. Someone always asks.
As a side note, I doubt she made those decorations. It looks all Etsy and Amazon toppers. It's all DIY parties now that is just buying stuff from different places and throwing it all together.
It' looks great, be proud, and use the photo for your marketing. Up your prices too!
it's done all the time -- no biggie -- you made a cute cake and she decked it out -- in the meantime she got her creative juices flowing and made a show stopper for her kid -- what could be wrong with that --
although i would not display that in my portfolio decorated
but maybe as a new-ish decorator i might feel a bit the way you do -- but you're at the crossroads learning sometimes it's about money and not always about feelings -- when dealing with the general public -- so you gotta decide if you can wear both hats -- best to you
Once she paid for the cake, she could do what she wanted with it.
I wouldn't give it a second thought. The way I look at it, my role is to create a delicious product to the best of my ability to whatever specifications that the customer has. Once I do that and they are happy, my part is done. What they do with it after they've paid for it is totally up to them. If I use a pic for advertising, I make sure it's a pic of what I did and not the customer's altered product, but once it's picked up and paid for, it's out of my hands...and out of mind. :)
Oh yes, when I say use the pic, I mean the undecorated or minimally decorated one, if you find out the supplier of them, (or give credit to mom), you can tag them. That never hurts.
I wouldn't be mad at hee for adding things to it, but imo, she knew exactly what she was going to do when she ordered the cake. It is not any different from peoole ordering a plain cake from the grocery store or brick bakery and decorating it themselves. I would be mad about charging $60.00 for an 8" cake and a dozen cupcakes. Pineapple cupcakes would have been $3.50/dzn because of the added fruit. I would use the photo with the black background, since that IS the cake you provided, and if you can't find the maker of the topper, you could say topper provided by client. At the end of the day, you provided a cake and cupcakes as you were paid to do. Everything is a learning experience.
Sorry for the typos. I keep getting a virus pop up in the middle of typing.
ypierce, do you mean $3.50 each for the cupcakes?
Oh geeze. Yes lol it won't let me go back and edit. I'm a space cadet today.
no worries -- i spend as much time fixing typos before i hit "post" as i do typing it in the first place -- ha!
I should clarify, I'm not mad, it made me question if she wasn't happy with what she ordered but she did let me know she loved the cake and was very happy with it. The extra decor just made me go
So irritating, my post got cut off.
I'm definitely not mad, it just threw me for a second and made me feel like maybe she had done it because she didn't like what she had ordered but I think you are all right that she planned it that way and it's fine. Going to put my feelings away now lol.
As far as pricing I am in a very rural area and the local cupcake shop only charges $1.49-$1.79 for their cupcakes and $35 for an 8" round buttercream cake. Their cupcakes just a bit smaller than mine (mine are standard size) but not much so I felt like I was over charging at $25/dozen. So far I have costed out my ingredients on spreadsheets and then doubled my cost and rounded up, then tacked on a bit extra for anything more complicated like fondant. I'm doing a 6" smash cake and 24 cupcakes today for $60 also but that is for a friend and would normally have charged more like $75. I definitely don't want to be the cheap cake lady either I just feel like my market is really cheap considering the 'expensive' bakery in town is barely charging more than Walmart.
And I really appt all the feedback and am going to really take a hard look at my pricing before I quote another order!
Is there something that you offer that the brick and mortar bakery doesn't? There's a bakery down the street that charges $1.75 for cupcakes, $15 for a 6" cake, and 75¢ for butter cream decorates cookies. I do custom cupcake toppers, handmade flowers, etc, so I can charge more, and those things are reflected in my price.
Your cake was super cute!
Thank you for all the kind comments on my cake!
I like to think I offer something the bakery doesn't considering mine are completely custom and taste (imho) better. But I am very new to putting myself out there so I guess it's time to take my feelings out of it and do what I do!
Nice looking cake. I think for sure you can use the first and second photo (without her decorations) for advertisements etc. The third photo (with her decorations) you will need to agree with her to be able to use it. Usually people don't mind, but I would still give credit to her for some of the decorations. A joint piece of work. It may actually work out in your favor, since using her name as well will act as a sort of recommendation for your work to her friends/family.