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Should I charge family and friends?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My Aunt and a few close friends commissioned me to do a few cakes for them. Should I charge them? If I do charge them, do I just charge them for cost. As a former auto mechanic, it was always a rule to never charge for labor. Should I do the same? They offered to pay but since I'm new at the craft, I am semi-uncomfortable about it. I guess I feel guilty about taking money from people close to me. icon_redface.gif Any opinions would be great! icon_biggrin.gif Thanks!

Joe
post #2 of 17
Yes charge them ... its up to you if you just want to charge them cost for now but you need to charge from the start... What I do is I have a cost sheet that I fill out ie price matrix and on there I do my cost I do 2.0% and 2.5% totals of cost and that is one for family and then the other is for others...

But take it from me if you dont start charging family from the start you will never get them to pay... learned the hard way...

Tell family that until you feel your at a better level your just going to charge them cost this way when your at a point your able to charge them more...
Victoria Cargill - Ladycake
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Victoria Cargill - Ladycake
Ladycake@pacbell.net
www.Ladycakes.com

"I'd Like To Help You Out -------- Which Way Did You Come In???"
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post #3 of 17
Hey again Joe~

When I first started taking orders I made a deal with family & friends. Here was the deal...
I would make the first cake they wanted FREE then if they thought I was good enough to make their cakes for them then they would pay a fee. I wouldn't charge them as much as I normally charge. This offer is only good to family & close friends. So far it has been a good deal to make! I have cake orders all the time from family. I think by making a deal with them they felt like they would have to pay someone else so they might as well pay me... someone they know & someone who does great cakes & knows what they want!! You might try that~ If their first order is a wedding cake... I don't do that! I tell them how much I would normally charge & then I get them to pay for all the ingredients. That's all. So far it works~

You can't start doing favors for people because you would never make any money. Family & friends know that this is going to be a business for you so they will understand~
Good Luck~
"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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post #4 of 17
I would charge them, for the most part. for me if it was for my borthers or parents and I was at the even I would not charge. But if i was making it for them for another reason I would at least charge the cost of materials. I do have one close friend who orders cakes and stuff for gifts for co workers. I give her a special price that is between her and me. Then if anyone orders on thier own it is regular pricing.
Becky D
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Becky D
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post #5 of 17
I definitely agree that you need to charge for your work, whether you discount for friends and family, or whatever plan you decide on, but it has been my experience that people just don't value things they get for nothing! Plus, from the other side, if you don't charge for your time and effort as well as ingredients, this will get to be a very expensive hobby. Janice
post #6 of 17
that is so true veejaytx. my daug and me were talking about this subject of perceived value one day, she said if she saw 3 candy bars for a dollar and the same one for say .79, she would buy the one for .79, so i asked her why so she sd the 3 for $1 are stale. I thought that was kind of funny. I give my family the "family discount" of $5 off. ingredients are expensive and i do what ever they want, sometimes. my worst family member is a cousin that always orders and 8'' cake and wants an encyclopedia (wordy) written on it. Family is funny, but do charge something.
"If you are influenced by the opinion of others, you will have no desire of your own."
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"If you are influenced by the opinion of others, you will have no desire of your own."
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post #7 of 17
I don't charge immediate family but I would at least charge cost for all others!! My close friends usually pay me more than I ask!!! I always try to give a discount and they end up leaving a tip.....sweet friends!!!1
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Praise be to God!
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post #8 of 17
charge, charge, charge,
i let my friends know that i am an amature and that they were getting really good prices...they also understood that when i get better, my prices would be going up....that way i was able to get the practice that i needed and money to pay for my ingrediants, so it was a win/win situation. now i feel like i am better and will charge a little more....and when i am great i will charge accordanly.
i agree, if you do to many free things for freinds and family they kinda think you want to make them things for free all the time....forever!
good luck!
melody
post #9 of 17
I definitely don't charge mine or my dh's parents. icon_smile.gif
Our brothers, sisters, their spouses and children get their birthday cakes for free. icon_smile.gif
Anything else, I do discounted, as long as it's for them. icon_cool.gif
And I stress that because when people find that out, they try to get my family members to order from me for them. icon_eek.gif

I haven't had to do a wedding cake for immediate family yet, but I'd probably just charge them the cost for that.

Good luck, because I know very well how family can get offended if you charge them. But if they're really your family, they will understand you're trying to run a business and they will support you. thumbs_up.gif
post #10 of 17
Well I guess the popular vote is to charge..... I too would have a problem charging family and friends, heck I have a problem charging people I dont know... I cant help you much...but I like the idea of what TC does and also giving a discount to close family.... my aunt did a few for me for free so I guess thats where it comes from.... that and that I see too many mistakes in my cakes, and I know if it looked bad I wouldnt purchase it for the full price if I were the customer.
post #11 of 17
my vote is to charge somthing I had a sister that say hey bake me a cake I know you need the pratice and not relizing it I was baking her one to two cakes a week plus she would come by to get all my course cakes too thats not the ckes I had to bake for my mom that thought I was doing more for my sister then her so instead of charging them money I started giving all my cake eating family members shopping listnot long my sister started paying me somthing for her cakes she still buys 40% of my butter too!
Wanna be blessed? Then be a blessing!
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Wanna be blessed? Then be a blessing!
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post #12 of 17
I'm with the majority here as well....you need to charge them, at least for the supplies.....otherwise, they will begin to expect that you will always do this for them. My mom and sister totally support me in my new baking business and I charge them just for the supplies but they always pay me what I charge everyone else....they are so sweet....my three oldest children on the other hand ( they are out on their own) want me to bake for them anytime they are going to a party or if they are helping with a baby shower, etc........guess they are realizing how good they had it at home! icon_lol.gif My youngest son gladly pays me, he says no one can bake like I can!! Of course I just charge him for the supplies and I have told the other two that as well but they think I should just do it for free.....I think my oldest daughter is coming around though, she called and ordered a cake for a baby shower and quickly added, I'll pay for it! icon_biggrin.gif
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Live, Laugh, Love!
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post #13 of 17
I charge them--but I always give a "family" discount. Basically I charge ingriendients plus $5. Now that being said--I usually end up getting tips.

I will tell you one thing about NOT charging. I have made my nieces' bday cakes as a gift to them since they have been born. I OFFER to do this and love to do it. I have never charged for these.

NOW, however, my sil wants me to make a full sheet cake (yep--a huge one!) for her hubby's 40th bday. She expects me to do it and NOT charge her because I have always made their daughters' cakes for free. The thing it--there is SO much more time and money going into a cake that is so much bigger.

I have until the end of June to figure out how to handle this. I am still going to definately give her the "family" discount--but need to be very upfront about her having to pay for the ingredients and it sucks. But--on the other hand--there are going to be lik a hundred people there and it would be great advertisement--see my dilema?

Anyway--start out charging and keep on charging and you won't have this issue to deal with!

Lisa
post #14 of 17
There is a BIG difference between giving a cake as a gift and baking a cake for free; there is also a big difference between a regular birthday cake and a full sheet cake! Wish there was an easy way to point that out to the nervy ones who expect so much for nothing. Good luck with this one!
post #15 of 17
If it is a gathering I am attending I do it free it is my contribution. but when they want for other things I charge as usual While I charge the same price they get a MUCH better cake than they pay for and they know it.

I have done wedding cake for close family members at no charge but usually after they ask me I say it is my wedding gift to you

I also find if you do not charge they quit calling because they do not want to impose. my SIL never calls and buys nasty grocery store cakes unless I call and offer to bring one I should have charged from the beginning
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