Clients And Their Pricing Expectations

Business By Tempi Updated 30 Oct 2018 , 11:50pm by SandraSmiley

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Tempi Posted 30 Oct 2018 , 12:50pm
post #1 of 5

I'm sure this is a common thing but I have to say it out loud ....  why do clients want to pay $30 for 6 or more hours of work?  People will spend $40-60 at a restaurant for 2 people but some act as if you are crazy to quote that for a cake that serves 5 times that many with much more time involved in preparation.  I gave multiple quotes for cake/cupcake combos for a 60 person shower - prices ranging from $130 to $180 - and she said she didn't want to spend that much.  She was nice about it - just said no.  And I get that quite a bit.  And I'll often charge less than what I feel I should be just because I want the opportunity to do their cake for the joy of it.  This wasn't just a simple cake with buttercream - she wanted all sorts of flowers and multiple colors.  Frankly, I feel I should have quoted more.  Unfortunately I've found the area I'm in has a pricing ceiling.   I love to bake and do it as a hobby and for  a little extra spending money - but gosh I have to draw the line.  I'm actually doing ok with on average of 1-2 cake orders a week.  I work another full time job so doing more than that would probably be too much.  I guess I'm trying to figure out how to make them see the value in their request to purchase and overcome this pricing barrier.

4 replies
cakefan92 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
cakefan92 Posted 30 Oct 2018 , 4:05pm
post #2 of 5

You can talk until you're blue in the face and it won't change their minds - - at least not the majority of them.  I used to tell prospective customers that I couldn't work for $2 an hour which is basically what I would be making if I took their order for what they wanted to pay, never mind the cost of the ingredients.

It sounds like you need to decide if you're doing this as a hobby or if you want to have a business.  If it's a hobby, the price shouldn't be the main consideration.  Do it because you want the experience or the fun of baking. If that's the case, you only need to offset the cost of your ingredients and other expenses.  Your time should not be an issue because it's something you're doing because you enjoy it.

If you want to have a business, then you're going to have to toughen up and give them the price and that's it.  No negotiating or haggling.  Restaurants don't barter with customers - you pay the prices they put on the menu without arguing or you go somewhere else.

One of the first questions you need to ask is what kind of budget they've allowed for the cake.  Then you can give them some options within their budget. The sad thing is, most people seem to think they can get a 3-tier over-the-top cake for $50. I quoted $1270 for a cake once and they thought I had lost my mind. I'm sorry - - 15 TIERS with zebra stripes and airbrushed neon colors isn't going to be cheap. I wished them well with their event and moved on.

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Gingerlocks Posted 30 Oct 2018 , 4:18pm
post #3 of 5

Well because other people are charging basically nothing so they expect you to as well. I get it; it's a really common problem. The only thing I can suggest is not giving in to that pressure just because you love cake decorating. Charge what your worth; it's not your full time job so charge what is fair and if they don't want to pay that, then let them get it somewhere cheaper. Under charging is one of the fastest ways to kill your love of doing cakes; you'll start to resent doing them really quick. 

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Tempi Posted 30 Oct 2018 , 4:21pm
post #4 of 5

Well it's sort of a hobby gone business.  I have had as many quotes decline as I have had say yes - so not sure what that ratio tells me.  I know that if I got every order I bid, I would never have time for anything - and never make any money either!  I would love to parlay this venture (adventure) into something a little more lucrative where I could seriously consider taking my full time job to part - time.  But I don't think that is gong to happen any time soon.  Meanwhile I will keep providing quotes and enjoying the jobs I get and try to figure out how to raise the bar in my area on cakes :) 

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SandraSmiley Posted 30 Oct 2018 , 11:50pm
post #5 of 5

I am a hobby baker and it is a good thing she didn't ask me to quote her a price!  For what you are describing, my price would have been closer to $400 and she could take it or leave it, makes no difference to me.  Rather than compromise your pricing in order to have the opportunity to create, why not bake whatever flavors you fancy and decorate your cake or cupcakes with the techniques you've been wanting to try, then donate them to your local Fire Department, EMT's, Police Department, Senior Citizens, etc.  Most people are tickled to death to receive cake!

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