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Please Help, pricing?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Could somebody please help me figure out how much I should charge for a custom B-day cake. I am now starting to make cakes for customers who are not related to me and I don't know what to charge. My husband feels as though I work to long and to hard just to under price the cake. Well, this customer wanted a B-day cake for her daughter and her Thialand xchange student who are turning 17. She asked for a full sheet cake with the american and thialand flags, horses for her daughter and a heart with the name of a singer in a popular korean pop boy band (Xiah) for the Thia xchange student. Oh, and I'm suppose to and flowers. It is half chocolate and half vanilla covered in butter cream with fondant accents. I will attach a photo of the cake and if anybody has any suggetions on what I should charge PLEASE let me know. I no longer want to under price my cakes!!!! Sorry everyone I am unable to attach the picture so I'll just uplaod it to the site if you'd like to view it. Thanks, JoJocakes
post #2 of 11
a full sheet cake, meaning 18"x24"? I don't really sell cake, just cookies. But, I do remember a thread a while back where people were quoting $1.50-$2.00 a serving for sheet cakes. Also, I believe that price is for buttercream only, fondant would be extra. According to the Wilton cutting chart, the 18"x24" ( layer with a filling) would serve well over 100 people. Again, I'm not sure on the price per serving, it's just what I remember reading before. Hope this helps.
post #3 of 11
From reading all these posts, I seem to be one of the few who charge by the cake, not the serving cause obviously cakes can take different times to decorate depending on the complexity. I charge $75 for a plain buttercream frosted full sheet cake with a simple message on it. Your cake goes well beyond that. Not knowing exactly all the decoration she wants, it is hard to say but hope this is a good starting point for you and hope it helps. Good luck
post #4 of 11
I don't make sheet cakes..... but my minimum is $125. It is too much work to pull everything out for less than that..

I would suggest 1.5-2 like Sarah. For a single layer sheet cake.

What and how were you undercharging before? How did you decide before what to charge, and how did you decide this wasn't enough?

The best advice I can give is don't "give" away your cake, because as your skills improve, people will think they can get a cake for nothing. I just started charging and while I know my customers would pay 2x at a real shop, I am learning. Basically my cakes start at $3 a serving. I think this is fair for me. It covers cost of ingredients. If I break it down what I get per hour...it is nothing. But the fact I get to make a cake and get new tools is worth it. One day I will get an order for a cake that I don't have to buy any new colors, or tools and I will make a nice profit. Until then I am happy learning icon_smile.gif

Also, I would give a price before you do the cake! If i was a customer and expected to pay $50 and you smacked me with a $200 bill... I wouldn't be happy.

Also, you need to know your market, what your clients will and won't pay. And don't lower your price take an order. You also need to know what your ingredients cost (tons of forums about this) if you use Sweetex v Crisco you can charge more, because your ingredients are a better quality.

I my goal is for a cake to leave my hands with me thinking... "I would pay $150 for this cake," It is one of the reasons I don't do sheet cakes.

Good luck and let us know what you ended up charging her.
post #5 of 11
I remember several years ago much discussion about pricing, and the rule of thumb was to add up the cost of all the ingredients, including boards, trip to the store to b uy the stuff, etc. and multiply that by three to come up with the price. I've been doing that lately and I find that way I'm not undercharging. The price usually comes out being $2-$3 per serving. And if I have to buy a special pan, tool, candy mold or stencil, that gets added into the ingredient cost.
post #6 of 11
I live in RI and I think your area makes a difference in pricing. I try to do simple sheetcakes with prices that are not as cheap as a grocery store cake but close so people who can't afford an elaborate cake can still get a yummy and pretty one. For weddings, showers etc, I charge $2.75 per slice, but I keep a general sheet cake price and add on depending on what the client wants added to the sheet cake (models, toys, jewelry etc) I start at $55 for a plain buttercream frosted cake with writing and add on from there.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Everyone! I now have more of an idea of how to price my cakes. As for the questions from Rocketgirl899, I did'nt really know how to price so I would just added about $20-$40 on to my materials bill. I'm still kinda new to this so I felt kinda guilty charging more. But the more cakes I do the better I get and I feel now I'm starting to produce really nice cakes (stuff you can't get from a local grocery store or even some bakery's) and everyone seems to be amazed at what I can do for being self taught. It was just alot of work and time put into the cakes just to be recieving what only worked out to be about 4 to 5 dollars an hour.

When my customer asked me for the Full sheet cake with her custom design she immediatly asked me for a price. And so just going off of that I didn't really take into consideration exactly how I was going to do the design yet or what materials I was going to use and I quoted her $75. When I was done with the cake I realized I had undercharged her and at that point I could'nt change the price. icon_sad.gif Jojocakes
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattycakesncookies

From reading all these posts, I seem to be one of the few who charge by the cake, not the serving cause obviously cakes can take different times to decorate depending on the complexity. I charge $75 for a plain buttercream frosted full sheet cake with a simple message on it. Your cake goes well beyond that. Not knowing exactly all the decoration she wants, it is hard to say but hope this is a good starting point for you and hope it helps. Good luck



You are not alone! icon_smile.gif I also charge by the cake (for non-tiered). Extra details, decorations cost more, etc....
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
CakeDiva73--Thats where I made the mistake "In the details and decorations". For the $75 dollars I quoted her I should of just done all the details in buttercream.
post #10 of 11
jojocakes, I have learned when customers describe what they want and then ask for a price, I tell them I will get back to them with the price. This gives me time to figure out a fair price. In the beginning I was doing what you do, quoting a price on the spot, which always ended up being too low. Now I take my time figuring the price out. I have learned the hard way.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattycakesncookies

jojocakes, I have learned when customers describe what they want and then ask for a price, I tell them I will get back to them with the price. This gives me time to figure out a fair price. In the beginning I was doing what you do, quoting a price on the spot, which always ended up being too low. Now I take my time figuring the price out. I have learned the hard way.



Well...I definitly learned my lesson, and from now on I will do as you said and get back to them with a fair price. Great advice...Thank you!!!
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