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Another priceing question

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi All,
As many of us "newbie" decorators are getting the word out that we make cakes, we all want to know what the heck to charge. I've got the pricing matrix but it just seems sooooo high to me when I tally up what I should charge. I realize custom made cakes should cost more with all the time, effort and design we put into them but my gosh. I can't even afford to buy my own cake if I charged what it was really probably worth. Anyone else feel this way?

Do any of you just kind of eyeball your cake or have an idea on what to charge without going by actual costs to make it?

For instance, I made a flip flop cake ( in my profile) and someone is inquiring how much I'd charge to make it for her. It's a 9x13 cake cut to shape the flip flops so a lot of the extra cut off pieces aren't even used. It's a single layer, white cake, no extra filling and can feed 10-15 people depending how big the slices are cut. What would you charge? I'm guessing $30 but that seems like so much to me.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
KimAZ
I competed on Ultimate Cake Off- Monster Jam!
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I competed on Ultimate Cake Off- Monster Jam!
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post #2 of 12
i charge $15.00 for a 1/4 sheet cake $30 for a 1/2 sheet $45 for 3/4 sheet and 60 for full sheet but that may be low for some of you. i read on this site that someone said that you should never charge under $15 per box of cake and that where i get my figures from and i am happy with those prices for now. let us know what you decide.
melody
post #3 of 12
When I started doing cakes I checked to see what the local grocery charged. If someone calls me I tell them right up front that my cakes are more expensive than the local grocery. I put a lot of time and effort into each cake I make and they will be please with the results. I tell them all of my cakes start $1.75 per serving, which includes basic cake, buttercream and simple decorations. Anything else such as filling, chocolate accents, fondant etc, are additional costs. You will be suprised as to how much people are willing to pay. I don't want to lose customers, but I also don't want word to get around that I do cakes for cheap prices. I think it wouldn't be worth my time. Or very profitable for me.
post #4 of 12
Hey KimAZ,

Don't forget that your cakes are homemade. Don't sell yourself short. I think $25 or $30 is fair for the flip flop cake. I charge $22 for a 1/4 of a sheet cake. I go up $10 for the next size & so forth. For wedding cakes I charge between $1.25 - $1.75 a slice. For specialty cakes I charge more. Why not call the local bakeries & ask them their prices & go from there. That's what a lot of people on CC have done.

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 #5 of 12
Hi Kim...charge what you're comfortable with and what makes it worth it for you. Specialty bakery cakes in my area start at $100 for a 3D cake. When I told a lady a certain 3D cake she wanted me to make would cost $80, her eyes got really wide--LOL! I didn't even crack a smile although I wanted to. There are going to be people who are happy with Walmart taste and Walmart prices. Those are not your customers and you shouldn't even try to appeal to them with lower prices. Your customers want fresh, delicious, unique, artistic and they should be prepared to pay for that.
Birthdays are just nature's way of telling us to eat more cake.
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Birthdays are just nature's way of telling us to eat more cake.
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post #6 of 12
My point exactly lisa. thumbs_up.gif
post #7 of 12
Kim i would be happy to go over pricing with you if you are interested in what I am doing. I called around to bakeries when I started too. I did start at the lowest price I was quoted. Everyone is right though, it really depends on who your target client is.

I acutally told my husband this weekend after my deliveries that I can't afford the cakes i make..LOL But you know I don't know if I would buy them or not. i do cakes so my view is changed from that. I do know that I buy a lot of other things for biurthday parties that are kinda pricey. I don't know but there are a lot of people that can afford it. You will have to do what you are comfortable with, making yourself some money of course, and then see how you feel in 6 months to a year.. You thoughts on what clients you want and how much you want to be doing will change over time too. It just takes a while to get into. I have been doing this almost 3 years now and I have gone up several times.. at least once a year. So your not stuck at what you start at either.. it will evolve. icon_smile.gif Good luck!
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimAZ

Hi All,
For instance, I made a flip flop cake ( in my profile) and someone is inquiring how much I'd charge to make it for her. It's a 9x13 cake cut to shape the flip flops so a lot of the extra cut off pieces aren't even used. It's a single layer, white cake, no extra filling and can feed 10-15 people depending how big the slices are cut. What would you charge? I'm guessing $30 but that seems like so much to me.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
KimAZ



Hmmm looks like a lot of work to me and 30 sounds fine.
post #9 of 12
I think $30 sounds reasonable. I would probably charge about $35 or so. Remember, you are not just frosting a sheet cake. You are cutting it out and making it into something. That takes work. And I have learned that people will pay for quality.
post #10 of 12
I have not been doing them long so i charge $20 for a flat cake and $30 for a 3d but after the dos we are having in october, i will know how to do more so i may charge more.
Carla-wife to Anthony, Mother to Tony and Sera, Servant to God

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Carla-wife to Anthony, Mother to Tony and Sera, Servant to God

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post #11 of 12
The pricing topic is a hard one, because from what I've read on this forum and others, it really depends almost exclusively on location.

I made a 9x12 football cake (you can see it in my photos) that I charged $45 for. The same cake made by a bakery in NYC would charge about $115 (I checked). Now, even $45 might seem like a lot to many people, and the $115 might seem ridiculously expensive, but your price has to be what your customers are willing to pay and what you are willing to accept.

You have to:

Invest in standard supplies (bowls, mixers, pans, etc.)
Take the time to acquire these skills and constantly perfect them
Shop for the supplies (sometimes at more than one store)
Mix, bake, cool, fill, crumb coat, ice and decorate the cake
Deliver the cake (sometimes)
Clean up the mess afterwards

I did the math once and figured that there were a lot of cakes that I was making less than $6 an hour for. That's minimum wage in New York! That's the point where I said, "NO MORE" and I now charge $2 per person and have a $50 minimum for ANY cake, even if it's only for 15 people. As far as I'm concerned, it's not worth my time to even turn on my oven for any less.

For me, this works because I have a full-time job that supports my family. The cake decorating is part-time and pays for my vacations mostly. Others might have to be more accomodating on their prices if they're running a full-time cake business, but I refuse to be paid only minimum wage for something that is SO MUCH WORK.

My "take-it-or-leave-it" attitude has only cost me one job: A woman wanted a fancy wedding cake for 150 people for around $200 and there was NO WAY that I was going to do that.

So, so, so many people tell me how happy they are with my cakes and how much time and talent and skill they know it takes. I have a lot of repeat customers, too. It's nice to be appreciated and that's enough for me.
post #12 of 12
i charge $25.00 for a 1/4 sheet, $35.00 for a 1/2 sheet and $90.00 for a full sheet. i add $5.00 more for an edible image and $8.00-$10.00 more for fondant or gumpaste. since my only competition is the base commissary and maybe a few others who may do cakes here, i try to stay around what the commissary charges and maybe a bit more. i guess it all depends on where you live.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
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Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
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