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Was this cookie pricing out of line? - Page 3

post #31 of 47
I have been doing this for 20 years and there are times that I get tired of it, but I just take a couple of days off and do nothing but work on my scrapbooking projects, then I am ready to get back in the saddle.

I am sure that I am way too low on my wedding cakes too...I charge $1.25 a serving. The cake that I have in my photos labeled Wedding Cake, on the last row...I got $187 for it. Is that too cheap too? The bride's mother's jaw dropped on the floor when I told her that...And I had to dig for change from $190, she didn't even let me have the $3 as a tip!! icon_eek.gif
Dear Lord, If you can't make me skinny, please make all my friends fat. Amen
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Dear Lord, If you can't make me skinny, please make all my friends fat. Amen
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post #32 of 47
candy
First off that cake is absolute top drawer and bride's mother wouldn't let you keep $3 bucks icon_surprised.gif. If I had done that cake it would have been $240 ($2.50 pp) before delivery/set-up and without flowers.

How big is your town? What is the market like? What do others charge around you? When was the last time you raised your prices? (I paid that price for a similar cake 15 years ago when I got married.) Might be time for a raise. icon_wink.gif If you don't raise your prices you may as well round off your numbers then you won't get upset if you have to make change. thumbs_up.gif
Award winning cake designer and fine art sculptor.

"An artist discovers his genius the day he dares not to please." ~Andre Malraux
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Award winning cake designer and fine art sculptor.

"An artist discovers his genius the day he dares not to please." ~Andre Malraux
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post #33 of 47
Antonia, the cookie maven of CC suggested to charge 1.00 an inch per decorated cookie and that seemed a good way to price those designer cookies.

That's what I've been asking and that makes it worth my while to make cookies!
post #34 of 47
icon_surprised.gif It's getting really hard for me to read all these posts on such high prices for cookies. It is all about where you live. Sure, if I lived in a Kansas City or another big city, I could charge $1 per inch. But, I live in a town of 400 people and work in a town of 45,000 or so. People will not pay that much for a cookie. I've checked two area bakeries who do cookies and one is priced at $7 a dozen for simply decorated sugar cookies. The other has mini's for $4.25, medium for $5 and large for $7 a dozen. I don't think theirs are even decorated, just frosted. There has to be a market for that type of thing. A beautiful decorated sugar cookie of any size is not going to have many buyers here as far as I can tell. I'm hoping to open a bakery someday and I intend on selling decorated sugar cookies (along with many other things), but they will be very simple (unless I find someone with lots of $ for a special order). I only see very few people having the money to pay for extravagant decorated cookies and also feeling that they are worth 2, 3 or 4 dollars a piece. I never want to sell my self short, but if you were to ask the average person in my area how much they would pay for a cookie, they would say maybe 50 cents. Ok, that's my thoughts and I feel better now! icon_smile.gif
post #35 of 47
lol, SweetieD..I didn't mean to offend you...just passing along the advice that I got.

if and when you open, you can give people a choice.

you can have your simple cookies for the budget minded..but you can have a few cookie masterpieces for those that want one.

I know that when my daughter was a baby I was very financially challenged and I wouldn't buy a dozen cookies at top of the line prices..

but for a special occasion, I would break out that wallet and make the effort.

Not telling you to carry things that you can't sell in your area...but you have to give people a choice also.

in my shop..yes my prices are outrageous..( and not near the prices that other cake decorators in my area charge) but I do offer a line of cakes that are modestly price, just not as elaborately decorated and no fondant.

hth
post #36 of 47
RisqueBusiness - I was just typing up a similar response. There are different markets (budgets like you said) for different types of cookies. I would never buy a grocery store cookie for a special event, but I would buy one and eat it on my way out to the car!!

SweetieD - you never know what your market will bear until you try. There are definitely people everywhere willing to pay good money for a unique product of high quality. The important thing is that you follow your passion - produce the product that gives you the greatest satisfaction. People will catch on - and set your prices right (high enough) from the get go.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetieD

icon_surprised.gif It's getting really hard for me to read all these posts on such high prices for cookies. It is all about where you live. Sure, if I lived in a Kansas City or another big city, I could charge $1 per inch. But, I live in a town of 400 people and work in a town of 45,000 or so. People will not pay that much for a cookie. .... There has to be a market for that type of thing. .... I only see very few people having the money to pay for extravagant decorated cookies and also feeling that they are worth 2, 3 or 4 dollars a piece. I never want to sell my self short, but if you were to ask the average person in my area how much they would pay for a cookie, they would say maybe 50 cents. Ok, that's my thoughts and I feel better now! icon_smile.gif



I am in agreement with this line of thought. Here in mid-Michigan, we are experiencing a serious recession, yet the national news is fairly glowing about how the President says we're in GREAT financial shape as a nation! icon_surprised.gifExcuse me? icon_eek.gifClearly he can't mean US??! icon_confused.gif I have had to not exactly drop my prices for baked goods, but I have found that I simply cannot increase them any more right now because my Clients just don't have the extra $$ to spend. I make my things to be affordable for the person who wants them, but I still make some money. If I am able to cover my costs, make a little to increase my bottom line, and my customers are happy, they will remember this when times are better, and they will come back to me again and again. And they will pay what I ask with a happy heart. Loyalty happens when you show kindness to others, I firmy believe that.

For instance, our local schools (who were operating with a HUGE surplus in recent years despite all the economic forecasts) have had to make many serious cuts and now are cutting again mid-year because they need to balance their books. We now have activity fees for participation in nearly every event/club/activity/sport that is not already a class (like Marching Band), and still we are moving into the red. These fees have increased by 50% this year (from $50/activity last year to $75/activity this year). My family didn't get a raise ... in fact, we made $9,000 LESS in '06 than in '05! But I still have to pay the increase if my child wants to participate in an activity! Is this fair? No, but I understand it. So, we cut back. Our last child in high school cannot do everything she wants because our family can't afford it. Same with my baked goods. I have noticed several very good Clients who call me and ask a price first, then tell me that they can't afford it. For a good Client, I ask what they CAN afford and we work together to try to tailor something that will suit both their needs and mine. I know they will come back when times are better for them and they won't complain if the price is higher later. It's sad, but it is what it is. icon_sad.gif

So, please, people, don't complain because someone cannot charge what you are getting for your baked goods in your area. I still maintain that if the Client is happy with the price and you are happy with what you got, then the price is fair. If you question whether or not you COULD HAVE charged more, there's one way to find out: just charge more next time. But if the hand you are trying to feed bites you, then you know you've made a mistake.

Please note: this is just my opinion. Don't send me hate mail and nasty-grams for speaking it. I merely offer it up to try to clarify what some are finding difficult to believe.

Odessa icon_smile.gif
The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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post #38 of 47
Thread Starter 
Odessa, you are right...............the government thinks everything is fine and dandy, but no politician lives in the real world as far as I am concerned.

I had made myself a little price list (mostly so I charge everyone the same) for my baked goods. I only do this for friends and co-workers (can't do home based baking in NJ) and wanted to be fair to everyone. I have decorated cookie pricing on my little list, but am thinking of having a page with tracings of some cookie cutters, so folks realize the size of a 2", 3", 4", ect... cookie that they will be paying for. Sound like a good idea?

deb

PS: still amazed how much emotion this post has caused - great to hear all the different views! thumbs_up.gif
mom to Christine, John, Michele, Joseph & Peter......grandma to Zachary and Colette
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mom to Christine, John, Michele, Joseph & Peter......grandma to Zachary and Colette
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post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MomLittr

Odessa, you are right...............the government thinks everything is fine and dandy, but no politician lives in the real world as far as I am concerned.

I had made myself a little price list (mostly so I charge everyone the same) for my baked goods. I only do this for friends and co-workers (can't do home based baking in NJ) and wanted to be fair to everyone. I have decorated cookie pricing on my little list, but am thinking of having a page with tracings of some cookie cutters, so folks realize the size of a 2", 3", 4", ect... cookie that they will be paying for. Sound like a good idea?

deb

PS: still amazed how much emotion this post has caused - great to hear all the different views! thumbs_up.gif



Deb, I think this is a GREAT idea. People have no concept of size (after all, the male mind can understand that 1" on a map = 250 miles!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Odessa
The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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post #40 of 47
NO ONE has the right to send ANYONE hate mail for expressing his or her opinion.

especially as respectfuly as you have done here!

The recession has hit EVERYONE and even though we sell a "food" item..it's still a "luxury item".

We feel it the most I think, of all the food services...people will ALWAY eat ..but not always purchase cake or cookies.

no one is telling anyone to trow the financially strapped clients under the bus, but what we are saying and I can't stress this enough is to VALUE your work and worth.

Yes....have your items modestly priced for your area or for what your area may be able to bear...

( after all when I lived in a small Pennsylvania town I charged 1.25 for my wedding cakes and that was high for the area...people were used to paying about.70 cents!...and..eventually I did have enough business to manage...3 weddings a weekend!)

but...also..offer the more artistically challenging items..even if those are donated. Why not? You are an artist..and artistic expression is like air to some of us.


Make those really pretty cakes and cookies for your portfolios..you dont' have to make a sample cake to feed 100..you can make a beauty of a 6" cake to take to a function or event...why not?

that's how you get your name out there and you get your artistic muscles stronger.

Does it mean that EVERY cake has to have 20 pounds of fondant accent and pulled sugar balls or whatever..noooooooooo lol

Sometimes..keeping something simple is harder to achieve.

on that note..hehehe!

Good luck to everyone! I do wish I had a magic wand that I could wave and immediately everyone would be getting their worth! but...alas...not a fairy...even though I can be witchy at times...lol
post #41 of 47
my 2 cents...

I fully agree with everyone here. I am only adding my imput since this has hit verrrrrry close to home and within days. It's making me stuborn, angry,very sad and ill.

I've always been afraid of pricing. It makes me nervous to quote a price to anyone. I worry that I am too cheap or too high. Generally I am very happy just to get cost of supplies. I love doing what I am doing and just chalk it off to another one.

We don't have a bakery anywhere close to us. So I don't compare or compete.

I am "word of mouth" cookie maker. I began my doodling with cookies when my son was in basketball. I made the basketball and baseball teams personal cookies. I draw up the mascot image or I draw cartoon characters representing the sport. This is from player, coach, camera crew, water boy/girl. They are personalized and ethenically correct. It takes days to come up with the images and it's mindfully exhausting sometimes for that many images. Needless to say the cookies are now my signature cookies. (regretfully I don't have photos of the cookies. If I do they have children in the picture holding them up (won't post those)

When someone asks for the cookies I am looking at 2 weeks to draw up images. I can get by with a week but I give the Mom/grandma/aunt the chance to get me the details I need in names, ect. Sometimes that detail comes in to me at the last minute. I never complained since I knew what it was like to chase kids in sports and I never charge for the ink, paper and design.

Since it's a school function I will not charge for my labor. It's ALL for them. I tell the parent that I only ask for the cost of supplies. That is from stick to ribbon and the little details such as basketballs, stars, numbers, and tags with special saying on them that I add on the outside. I look at it as if the parent actually made the cookie only with an extra hand. (does that make since?)

While I would love to donate everything for the kids, I can't. I would be dead broke with happy parents that found a fool. This is where the $'s and people begging you to give your stuff away for free irritiates me.

The amount of cookies I do is on average of 16 to 18 kids, depending on the year. Well this year I had a mom call me and ask if I could make some for her. I told her I would love to. She said she wanted at least 24 cookies or more. She quoted everyone from the players to the refs and the score board keepers in who she wanted a cookie for. (This was Wednesday) She said she needed them on Friday. I wanted to fal out of my chair. She knew from last year that was not going to happen that quick. (she was friend to the lady I made for last year) She asked how much it would cost I said on average $3.50 a cookie. ($84.00 ) She freaked out. She said there was NO WAY she could do that, it was too much. Well if she would have paid attention last year she would have known what her friend payed for her before she even asked. I always, always, keep the receipts and attach them to the order so the parent knows I am not cheating them.

This is where I get upset. I really try not to get miffed about the cost but...things happen. First off What did she not understand. COST OF SUPPLIES. While I love giving things to the kid I will not give cookies to every sport every year for nothing. Especially since SHE wanted it for HER child's team. I really feel bad for her but I AM not giving anything away for free other then my time. It a small town deep pocket syndrome. Everyone has an excuse for being cheap. I can't help but feel that if you create something unique that no other baker around you can do don't sale yourself short. You must be in demand or people wouldn't even call.

Yes the economy stinks, every thing goes up but a paycheck. My paycheck didn't get any higher either. Sad thing is the woman who asked has a paycheck 2 times bigger then mine.

Sorry.......moving on.

This is what makes it hurt. It's the kids. I am now feeling ill because the kids really seamed to like cookies and I am too stubborn to let go of my money. If I cut anything more I would be in trouble with my family. They too would be hungry. I am toooo stubborn to call the lady back and dicker on the price. I can't budge any more. Besides I donated a bigger amount then the discount the parent was getting.

Sorry about the ranting. I respect all your opinions and I know how you feel. This wasn't directed at anyone. I feel too many people try to get something for nothing and they see you coming.


best wishes to you all

Shyla
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with out the loss of enthusiasm.
Sir Winston Churchill
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Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with out the loss of enthusiasm.
Sir Winston Churchill
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post #42 of 47
As much as the kids may have been looking forward to your cookies, I know that when I was in sports in High School or Middle School and if I had found out that a present I got at the end of my season cost someone a lot of money and pain who didn't even HAVE anyone on the team and did it out of guilt, I'd not enjoy the cookie at all.

Frankly, I don't understand why the mother who wanted them made for the whole team couldn't ask each parent to pitch in the money for their child. Maybe all together it's expensive but individually, not so much. And I think if they're in High School and the kids really want them they could scrape up the couple dollars for one cookie.

If your cookies are a priority to this mother or to this team, they will make it a priority. If they're not, you're not disappointing anyone. It's not like they're 100 dollars a cookie, it's only a FEW dollars per cookie.

Anyway, I'm sorry it has you so upset but I think you're doing the right thing. Hang in there, hon.
post #43 of 47
I had a lady call me and order a cake for a benefit auction for the wrestling club...I asked her how big she wanted it and she said, "The biggest one that will fit in your oven". I told her how much it was and she said, "this is for the WRESTLERS, I can't believe you are going to charge me for this!!" I told her that I don't have a child in school, let alone in wrestling. and I wasn't getting anything from this, she was...needless to say she cancelled her order.

I feel bad when ladies from a church call and order cookies for a bake sale, and I charge them for it...what else can I do...I would be like everyone else and be the fool that people call to get stuff from to SELL...Not me!!

The only people in town that I don't charge is my best friend and her family. Everyone else pays!! I would have a lot more friends if I didn't charge for their family's cakes and cookies, don't you think??
Dear Lord, If you can't make me skinny, please make all my friends fat. Amen
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Dear Lord, If you can't make me skinny, please make all my friends fat. Amen
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post #44 of 47
Thread Starter 
I am sorry, but folks who call from school related activities should NOT expect freebies, especially if you have no children in school. Now if they were soliciting for donations (which you might be albe to use as a tax write-off) then maybe it would be considered. But to call, ask for the biggest cake, and them expect it for free............I don't know where people get the nerve! icon_surprised.gif

deb
mom to Christine, John, Michele, Joseph & Peter......grandma to Zachary and Colette
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mom to Christine, John, Michele, Joseph & Peter......grandma to Zachary and Colette
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post #45 of 47
Candy I am like you but when I get the call for bake sales I quote the same "for the cost of supplies". They have my time and a profit. Suprisingly they call back.

The wrestling mom that asked for the large cake should have been embarassed and probably wasn't since "huge profit" was in her head. The option should have been left up to you and her comment was uncalled for.

Our small community is proud of their little craft fairs that is held all thru the year for the little crafty ladies that make quilts, crochet, baked things, ect. There are a lot of items that I think are outlandish in price but if I want it bad enough I will buy it, if I know I can recreate it myself I go home and make it. If not, I am going to pay the asking price to get it, especially if it unique.

As I was telling Risque the other day. It's kind of hard to have a bleeding heart for a self proclaimed money deprived community when more then most are driving a better car then I am. Several have a 2007 Chevy 300.

If they ARE economically deprived then why are they asking for the best in the first place when they should be making simple cookies themselves.

I've been a sucker for a sad face before but now I want to say "please wipe off the high dollard make up before you approach me". It's doesn't work anymore.


Sorry for sounding bitter. It's not directed on anyone here.

Best wishes
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with out the loss of enthusiasm.
Sir Winston Churchill
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Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with out the loss of enthusiasm.
Sir Winston Churchill
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