Thumbtack And Crazy Pricing

Business By mkcherry Updated 1 Dec 2017 , 4:14am by mkcherry

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mkcherry Posted 12 Aug 2017 , 4:52pm
post #1 of 12

I've booked 20 or so jobs on thumbtack in the last few months but lately I haven't been getting as many jobs (five star reviews, stellar pictures). I'm starting to view the insights and I'm getting out bid by riddiculously low prices ($400 for 5 tier 150+ serving wedding cakes with delivery or 150 cupcakes + 6" cutting cake for $150 which I just can't do) 

i live in a fairly affluent San Diego area and have no idea how businsss can make any money with their prices set so low.  Just wondering if this is a thumbtack issue with bargain basement prices or in general prices for cakes are in free fall or maybe my prices are too high to begin with? 

11 replies
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SandraSmiley Posted 12 Aug 2017 , 11:55pm
post #2 of 12

I am not familiar with Thumbtack and live just about as far away from affluent San Diego as you can get and still be in the same country, but those prices are ridiculous, even in rural Middle Tennessee!

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youngj Posted 15 Aug 2017 , 11:10pm
post #3 of 12

If you don't mind me asking what is your price per person on wedding cakes? Sheet cakes and cupcakes?

I have ran into similar things, but talking to people and they don't go with me because of my price. So I started asking myself if my prices were to high? But again I don't know how people can go so low and making money.

I live in the Kansas city, Mo area btw.

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SandraSmiley Posted 15 Aug 2017 , 11:36pm
post #4 of 12

@youngj ‍, I think that happens to everyone everywhere.  Seems to me it just takes a while to build a good customer base, one who is willing to pay for what they want.  I am a hobby baker, so if someone orders a cake from me, I quote them a price - between $3.00 and $5.00 per serving, depending upon design - and it doesn't matter to me one way or another if they go with the offer.  That is the beauty of doing cakes as a hobby and not a living.  If the customer pays my price, I give them the very best cake I possibly can (and usually a lot more than they ordered) and make a decent profit, if they decline, no hard feelings on my part.  I've never sold cupcakes or a sheet cake in my life.  Perhaps you can check the bakeries in your area to see if your prices are compatible.

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youngj Posted 15 Aug 2017 , 11:43pm
post #5 of 12

@SandraSmiley ‍ I checked the are and its anywhere from $2.00 to $4.50 per cupcake, per serving. I had one lady tell me "uhh I can go to Sams club and they will do it for .25cents a cupcake!" I let that one get to me for about 20 min and vented to my sister! but for the most part if they don't like my price then I try not to let it get to me. 

Sheet cakes.... don't get me started. Some people think those things need to be $20, again thanks to local grocery stores.

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mkcherry Posted 15 Aug 2017 , 11:59pm
post #6 of 12

Thumbtack And Crazy PricingThumbtack And Crazy PricingThumbtack And Crazy PricingThumbtack And Crazy PricingThumbtack And Crazy PricingThumbtack And Crazy PricingThumbtack And Crazy PricingThumbtack And Crazy Pricing




I start at $3.50 for simple wedding cakes. I freeze my cakes bedore hand and frost them frozen with an adjustable cake leveler so from naked to finished tier in 15 min max, if it took longer (and it used to) I'd charge more. 

I charge florist rates for floral arrangements + $15 per decorated tier 

0.59 / mi + $14/hr for delivery (average wedding delivery is like $45 - $60) 

Here's some examples of "basic" cakes


$365.00 (with delivery) beach wedding cake. 100 servings.



$400 flower arrangement wedding cake 

$110 ombré rose grad 1/2 sheet cake 



$15/ dzn cupcakes. My cupcakes are comparatively cheap compared with gourmet bakery cupcakes in San Diego. But I hate cupcakes and I require 24 minimum and that makes them worthwhile. I charge more for Heavily decorated wedding cupcakes 


$26 floral cupcakes (these are expensive IMO but still sell well) 


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mkcherry Posted 16 Aug 2017 , 12:17am
post #7 of 12

Thumbtack And Crazy Pricing


^ beach cake didn't load 


boys birthday cake 4.00 / serving, fondant was about 260 I believe 

The gold and floral cakes shown were vegan and $4.50 a serving  


don't think my prices are too outside the realm of normal but I get outbid frequently. Wonder if it's a quality issue or if my ingredients are overpriced because i know I couldn't profit at $1 / cupcake or 2.00 / serving cakes 



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mkcherry Posted 16 Aug 2017 , 12:17am
post #8 of 12

Thumbtack And Crazy Pricing


^ beach cake didn't load 


boys birthday cake 4.00 / serving, fondant was about 260 I believe 

The gold and floral cakes shown were vegan and $4.50 a serving  


don't think my prices are too outside the realm of normal but I get outbid frequently. Wonder if it's a quality issue or if my ingredients are overpriced because i know I couldn't profit at $1 / cupcake or 2.00 / serving cakes 



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mkcherry Posted 16 Aug 2017 , 12:27am
post #9 of 12

Thumbtack And Crazy PricingBeach cake photo



 floral wedding cake above was $345 (including stand rental and flowers) 


boys cake above $4 / serving for the basic fondant work came out to about $260 I believe 

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mkcherry Posted 16 Aug 2017 , 12:28am
post #10 of 12

Thumbtack And Crazy PricingBeach cake photo missing 


$400 cake photo won't load. 


I charged $4 / serving for that boy birthday cake 


$4.5-5.50 a serving for the gold and pink cake but it was vegan and those ingredients cost more 


i guess I'm not "cheap" but I think my prices are fair. Wonder what the quality of work / profit margin is for the bakers outbidding me by $100+ dollars for tiered cake. 

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youngj Posted 16 Aug 2017 , 12:35am
post #11 of 12

Nice work, on the MOM cupcakes.. do you like using those russian tips? I played with it a little on 1 mother's day cupcake order I did but it was tricky for me. I haven't played with that tip sense.


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mkcherry Posted 1 Dec 2017 , 4:14am
post #12 of 12

That MOM cupcake was my first time ever touching a Russian pipping tip and it kind of makes me cringe to look at now lol . You can see some flaws in the gaps and my control of the tip in how short some of the flowers are. I didnt particularly enjoy it that time but there was no way in heck I was going to hand pipe hundreds of buttercream flowers so I made due. I think the problem is that I used Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I think American buttercream taste awful, so that was all I had on hand.


 If youre going to go the IMBC or SMBC route and use Russian pipping tips use the coldest buttercream that will still go through the piping tips, rest the bag on an chilled ice block between cupcakes or colors too. Ive found taking a large piece of saran wrap, spreading it with one color of buttercream and then putting a line of a second color down the middle then rolling it up and dropping it in a pastry bag helps with the two tone effect that makes them look realistic. Im not good with pipping at all, no drapes, hand pipped flowers or any of that stuff for me so if I can make these look nice its a testament to the great tips and ease of use, not skill! I would def. say try it again. I always buy the super large tips by the way, they are harder to mess up and less likely to result in squishy flowers. 

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