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New here - I need some help with pricing, etcetcetc! - Page 2

post #16 of 31
That's really good advice. Thank you! I never thought that event planners would do something like that. Good idea to take a hold of the orders. The customers should come to you for the order and not go through her. Giving a finder's fee commission is the smart way to go too.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvMarie

I live in a somewhat depressed area so I know I'm not going to fetch a "city" price.


(big sigh!) What does "city price" mean?

Why do CC'ers think that if you live in "the big city" (she said in her best twangy voice) that you're automatically rich and are perfectly willing to pay any price for anything you buy?

Why do CC'ers think people who live in small towns are all poor and live in rusted out trailer parks?

Why do CC'ers think that a minimum wage job in "the big city" pays more than the minimum wage job in their town?

Why is it that CC'ers can't figure out that many bedroom communities (a.k.a small towns, rural communities, "boonies") are made up of a population that chooses not to live in "the big city" and live in their expensive house in the small town and commute to their job, but they made a great living and buy more than rice and beans?

And I haven't heard one governor or mayor get on national TV and proclaim, "Recession? Haven't seen it in OUR neck of the woods! We're all doin' dang good over HERE!" It's "depressed" everywhere .... you don't live on an isolated island.

If you have a part of town with new homes; if you have a Cadillac dealership in your area; if folks around you have the internet and buy designer purses and other items online; if they have horse farms, ATV, 4WD's, large riding lawnmowers (and I tried to buy one of those once ... can't afford it!) .... then they can afford $4 for a cookie.

I grew up in small towns and I live in the 14th largest city in the country. I'm here to tell you there is no difference!!! There are people working and there are people unemployed. There are people making it and poeple having it rough. There are people who have large weddings and people who get married in the back yard due to no money.

Everywhere. It's not isolated.

Sorry so long, but it's on my short list of pet peeves, when people assume I'm rich and can afford ANYTHING just because I live in "the big city". And I assure you that my sister, who lives in a one-stop-light town, is JUST as peeved when people assume she's a "poor-a$$ working slob" just because she lives in a small town. Guess what, gang, her income is TWICE what ours is, so you'd be better off trying to sell to HER than you would to ME.

My best advice is just because you don't personally know those people who are willing to pay a good price for something, doesn't mean they don't exist.
post #18 of 31
yessiree bob...you go Deb! I live in a small town and commute 1 hour and 10 minutes to the "big city" to work. It is still more cost effective for me to do this than work in my town or to move to the big city. I charge what I want to charge for my work and if people don't want to pay that price ...well then I don't do the cake just to do a cake.
I went to an ICES day of sharing this past Sunday. One woman during show and tell ( new products) showed that she did a cookie bouquet with 5 big cookies in a tin cup for fathers day. Her price was 10 bucks. Another one was a huge cookie..8 x8 with Dad in icing and boxed for 5.00. Now I don't know how she could have made ANY money on that because her time and ingredients would have eaten up any of the so called profit. She could have sold the tin for 20 and the dad cookie for 20 and made money. Me...I am not going to do it for free. I would rather not do it at all as to do it for free. When people can pay 5 or 6 bucks for cancer sticks or 20 bucks for booze and not think twice then if they want my products they pay what I charge...end of story.
post #19 of 31
yee gads...a multiple hiccup again!!!
post #20 of 31
double oops
post #21 of 31
oops
post #22 of 31
cakern, you go girl!!
I agree. While i have not sold cookies (only edible images cookies), i see how much work, time, and money goes into every cookie or bouquet i make for friends and family. I cannot imagine losing money over this just to charge a price that people would pay.
When i was selling photo cookies, there were complaints about my prices and i did not get many orders.
Other more established sites were charging at least double if not triple my charge and they were even charging a fee to crop and image the custome pictures, which i did not do. I didn't even have a large minimum that other businesses had. I sent customers to their sites to see what a steal they were getting ordering from me but i got all the requests to lower the prices (if i order over 50, can i get a discount? if i don't have a pic, just a message, can i get a discount? etc).
As many of you who have done edible images know, each one costs you money to make, not to mention all the sheets that get thrown away because the color was off or it didn't print exactly on the circles or shapes well, etc.

It's very frustrating to have to justify prices and you said it, cakeRN, if people are willing to pay so much for those things, then they can pay the prices for these special cookies.
post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the responses! So sorry I haven't been back sooner - we're in a bit of a tailspin schedulewise...

I'll definitely start on the conservative side with pricing since I'm still pretty new at it all. I had my first playtime with fondant - will post those photos shortly. I love it! I made the MMF but didn't have Crisco, so used butter...however, I think I messed up because over a stick of butter literally vanished into the batch. I live in central Texas and it's been VERY hot lately, so I don't know how much that would affect how the icing would be reacting? I let the cookies dry overnight but there was still a bit of lusterdust goo on the plastic baggies when I put them in, so I think the butter was preventing them from drying? At any rate, I'm definitely going to be experimenting more with that!

Wanted to say a quick word on the 10% "finder fee" thought...you may want to check around because it's something that's frowned upon in many areas. Industry standard in my area is for recommendations to be based on the coordinator knowing you're going to do a good job and not involve referral fees...like I said, things are done differently in different parts of the country but we have several strong professional organizations whose requirements are that commissions (or kick backs!) aren't allowed. There's a VERY upscale venue here and I was on their preferred vendor list for years. New management came along and started requiring 10% of the vendor's fee (they wanted it off my gross even though I pay other people out of it, so their fee was about half of my management take!). Even more, if a client booked a vendor outside of their list, they made the client pay them 15% of the vendor's fee. Horrible! Anyway, we made an arrangement that I would book directly with the client and didn't pay them the fee but eventually I requested that they take me off because everyone who knew about their business practices assumed I was part of it. So, they've ended up with a whole lot of inexperienced brand-new vendors on their "preferred vendor list". I've also come across places who will put you on their preferred vendor list if you pay them. UGH! I ended up putting an "ethics" tab on my website about it - that I never pay nor receive referral fees. I will often give a small discount to a client coming through a coordinator - it's a way the client can then justify hiring a coordinator. And a good coordinator makes my life - and that of the other vendors - a ton easier! Anyway, it's something I feel strongly about - I really want someone to refer me because they know I'm professional, do my job extremely well and am easy to work with - and it's nice to be able to reassure the clients about that too! Just something to consider from the other side!

Back to cookies now! icon_biggrin.gif
post #24 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the responses! So sorry I haven't been back sooner - we're in a bit of a tailspin schedulewise...

I'll definitely start on the conservative side with pricing since I'm still pretty new at it all. I had my first playtime with fondant - will post those photos shortly. I love it! I made the MMF but didn't have Crisco, so used butter...however, I think I messed up because over a stick of butter literally vanished into the batch. I live in central Texas and it's been VERY hot lately, so I don't know how much that would affect how the icing would be reacting? I let the cookies dry overnight but there was still a bit of lusterdust goo on the plastic baggies when I put them in, so I think the butter was preventing them from drying? At any rate, I'm definitely going to be experimenting more with that!

Wanted to say a quick word on the 10% "finder fee" thought...you may want to check around because it's something that's frowned upon in many areas. Industry standard in my area is for recommendations to be based on the coordinator knowing you're going to do a good job and not involve referral fees...like I said, things are done differently in different parts of the country but we have several strong professional organizations whose requirements are that commissions (or kick backs!) aren't allowed. There's a VERY upscale venue here and I was on their preferred vendor list for years. New management came along and started requiring 10% of the vendor's fee (they wanted it off my gross even though I pay other people out of it, so their fee was about half of my management take!). Even more, if a client booked a vendor outside of their list, they made the client pay them 15% of the vendor's fee. Horrible! Anyway, we made an arrangement that I would book directly with the client and didn't pay them the fee but eventually I requested that they take me off because everyone who knew about their business practices assumed I was part of it. So, they've ended up with a whole lot of inexperienced brand-new vendors on their "preferred vendor list". I've also come across places who will put you on their preferred vendor list if you pay them. UGH! I ended up putting an "ethics" tab on my website about it - that I never pay nor receive referral fees. I will often give a small discount to a client coming through a coordinator - it's a way the client can then justify hiring a coordinator. And a good coordinator makes my life - and that of the other vendors - a ton easier! Anyway, it's something I feel strongly about - I really want someone to refer me because they know I'm professional, do my job extremely well and am easy to work with - and it's nice to be able to reassure the clients about that too! Just something to consider from the other side!

Back to cookies now! icon_biggrin.gif
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magical_Isis

New management came along and started requiring 10% of the vendor's fee (they wanted it off my gross even though I pay other people out of it, so their fee was about half of my management take!). Even more, if a client booked a vendor outside of their list, they made the client pay them 15% of the vendor's fee. Horrible!


There's a fine line on this topic. Most venues that I work with have a Kitchen Use Fee or a Facility Access Fee. But good lord, I don't eat the fee! I put it on the client's invoice and label it "XYZ 10% Kitchen Access Fee".

One place has a flat $300 kitchen use fee (and there's no stove or oven, so we're not cooking there); another place charges 10% of the customer invoice (yes, the gross amount of the invoice).

Doesn't bother me .... I just tell the bride that the facility SHE has selected has these charges in place and I'll be adding them to the invoice. It's not ME who is charging this to her ... it's the facility. I've never had a problem with bride or venue on this issue.

If you're going to pick a reception site that charges these fees, then you're going to pay for it.

It's also in my contract that the client pays all fees charged by the facility.
post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magical_Isis

New management came along and started requiring 10% of the vendor's fee (they wanted it off my gross even though I pay other people out of it, so their fee was about half of my management take!). Even more, if a client booked a vendor outside of their list, they made the client pay them 15% of the vendor's fee. Horrible!


There's a fine line on this topic. Most venues that I work with have a Kitchen Use Fee or a Facility Access Fee. But good lord, I don't eat the fee! I put it on the client's invoice and label it "XYZ 10% Kitchen Access Fee".

One place has a flat $300 kitchen use fee (and there's no stove or oven, so we're not cooking there); another place charges 10% of the customer invoice (yes, the gross amount of the invoice).

Doesn't bother me .... I just tell the bride that the facility SHE has selected has these charges in place and I'll be adding them to the invoice. It's not ME who is charging this to her ... it's the facility. I've never had a problem with bride or venue on this issue.

If you're going to pick a reception site that charges these fees, then you're going to pay for it.

It's also in my contract that the client pays all fees charged by the facility.



Oh, I'm sorry - I should have clarified, this is in my wedding business which isn't catering related. I'd fully expect to have to include a kitchen or facility use fee (if I actually start doing cookies for real money!) but I've been providing live music for weddings for over 15 years, so this is just based on what I've come across doing that! Sorry for the confusion. icon_twisted.gif
post #27 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magical_Isis

New management came along and started requiring 10% of the vendor's fee (they wanted it off my gross even though I pay other people out of it, so their fee was about half of my management take!). Even more, if a client booked a vendor outside of their list, they made the client pay them 15% of the vendor's fee. Horrible!


There's a fine line on this topic. Most venues that I work with have a Kitchen Use Fee or a Facility Access Fee. But good lord, I don't eat the fee! I put it on the client's invoice and label it "XYZ 10% Kitchen Access Fee".

One place has a flat $300 kitchen use fee (and there's no stove or oven, so we're not cooking there); another place charges 10% of the customer invoice (yes, the gross amount of the invoice).

Doesn't bother me .... I just tell the bride that the facility SHE has selected has these charges in place and I'll be adding them to the invoice. It's not ME who is charging this to her ... it's the facility. I've never had a problem with bride or venue on this issue.

If you're going to pick a reception site that charges these fees, then you're going to pay for it.

It's also in my contract that the client pays all fees charged by the facility.



Oh, I'm sorry - I should have clarified, this is in my wedding business which isn't catering related. I'd fully expect to have to include a kitchen or facility use fee (if I actually start doing cookies for real money!) but I've been providing live music for weddings (not having to use a facility's equipment) for over 15 years, so this is just based on what I've come across doing that! Sorry for the confusion. icon_twisted.gif
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magical_Isis

....but I've been providing live music for weddings for over 15 years, so this is just based on what I've come across doing that! Sorry for the confusion. icon_twisted.gif



OHHHH!!!!!! In that case, I agree with you.

As I shared this topic with hubby, he said it would be great if we vendors could all band together and tell these facilities, "No, YOU will pay ME to come into your facility. Because without a health dept licensed food/cake provider, or a professional DJ, then all you have is a big empty warehouse room." icon_twisted.gif

Gosh, wouldn't that be awesome if we could pull that off! icon_biggrin.gif
post #29 of 31
OMG....Indydebi - - - that is NOT what I meant. No need to quote me and then unload....

I left a mid sized city to pursue an Accounting/Finance related opportunity out of state. It is a fact that the job market in my home town is very slim as compared to the bigger city I left home for. The major city I live 60 minutes out of has a poor job market as well. The city I left home for DOES in fact have many attractions...major league sports, several colleges, a lot of corporate headquarters relocating there, the music industry, great schools for your kids to grow up in, etc. So, that big city AND of course the suburbs and even trinkling into the backwoods country may be made up of people who have higher incomes and may be more free with the spending of their dollars.... And, vice versa. In an area...like my hometown, which I have since moved back to, people are more strict with their pocketbook. The area I am from once thrived on steel mills, lighting factories and the auto industry. All of which have declined big time. I used to work at a local credit union and have seen first hand the rise in bankruptcy on the financial statements. My father was president of his union for the steelworkers just recently and fought long and hard to retain the wages/benefits and JOBS.

I'm not stupid. I realize that people buy designer items and drive expensive vehicles even when their income may or may not be in line with the purchase. And that has nothing to do with if they live in a big city or in the country. I'm not pretending I can predict what people will spend and on what - it's none of my business. NOR AM I SAYING TO UNDER PRICE YOURSELF. I'm just saying...price is relative to location SOMEWHAT. I never suggested wacking your price in half just because you live in a smaller town.

It is true that when you look online for a vehicle value, they ask for zip code. WHY? Because the same car may be worth more in part of the country versus another. I'm saying that nobody can spell out a price for you. As a former BUSINESS MAJOR I'd like to think that it makes sense to say you need to consider all market factors as well as your hard work and other costs. I did also say that there were CC'ers who suggested upping the price to weed out the whiners - the ones who aren't willing to pay what you determine is fair. I believe I supported that thought but then went back to say....you know your business, work, and area best.

I don't have a booming business yet. I am smart enough to get there. I WILL get there. I came on cake central to learn what has always been with me....baking. Since I was 10 I helped my mom keep inventory and sell to her seasonal customers. I went to school for Accounting...worked as an Analyst for many years. But always woke up with flavor combinations and packaging ideas on my mind...not excel modeling. I came on cake central to be part of a community who appeared to support, constructively criticize, and expand my creative side that had been stifled by the stuffy corporate environment.

Imagine my surprise when I log on to see I've been "ripped on" for suggesting a basic idea in business. See if you catch me post another thing.................
post #30 of 31
EvMarie, please don't think that Indydebi was unloading on you. Indydebi is a very straightforward, tell it like it is, "Mom" of CC. This is one of those topics that comes up frequently on CC (along with pricing in general) and there is usually a bit of 'discussion'. While I have never had the privilege of being on the receiving end of Indydebi's advice, I assure you that she wasn't "ripping on" you, just giving her take on a hot topic. thumbs_up.gif

We are always glad to have new members give a fresh perspective on things! Welcome!
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