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I'm never selling a cake again! (long rant alert!)

post #1 of 148
Thread Starter 
I really have to rant for a minute.... I usually don't sell cakes. After seeing a bunch of my cakes, a lady that I don't know asked me to sell her a cake for her special needs daughter's birthday. I agreed, and after discussing some ideas, I sent her a picture of several cakes, and said that I could do something SIMILAR to one of them. She picked a pink star shaped cake with black scrolls on it.
It was done with the Wilton star shaped pan. I didn't have that pan (and I don't really like how fat the star is anyway) so I used an 8 " square cake and carved out triangles and added them back to make the points. Here is the template I used:
http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=663133

She said it needed to feed 20 people. A 2-layer 8" square serves 32 according to Wilton, so I figured I would have plenty despite the small peices that were discarded to form the star.

I delivered the cake last night, and the lady wasn't there. Her 16 year old daughter was there and said in these exact words "It's beautiful, Becca [her sister, the birthday girl] is going to love it! The husband took it into the kitchen and the daughter gave me $40 for it.

This morning I get this email:

Stacey,
I have never felt compelled to send such and email but here it goes, I am not happy with the cake that was left at my house. In fact, I am quite upset. Had I been at my home when you came buy, I would not have purchased this product. This cake is clearly NOT worth the $40.00 that you were paid. This cake did not look like the cake in the picture that you sent to my email address.

As I told you, the reason I wanted to purchase a professional cake was since it was a special birthday for my daughter. The cake that you did leave at my home is cracked, the writing is coming off, it is not the same shape as the email picture you sent forward and the board under the cake is bent. Since there was no cover provided, and it is in this shape, I am extremely worried about transporting it to the school. I don't think I could even put suran wrap on it without it doing further harm to it. Had I known was the product that you deliver, I would have ordered my daughter's cake from the grocer or ordered the cake through a grocer to get a better quality.

I relayed to you that this cake was the main feature for my daughter's birthday and would be shared with her special needs classmates. Most are able to see quite well, therefore, I am disappointed that I am not going to be able to serve the cake that was delivered. I purchased this cake based on the picture of cakes that you sent to my email prior to my order.

Additionally, your email stated that this cake would serve 20 but this cake will not. I am praying that I can stop by the store in the morning and pick up a cake and have her name written on it to bring buy here school.

Right now...all I can do is pray, both about this situation and for you.
Sincerely yours,
XXXXXXXXXX

I am so hurt and upset! Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture before I delivered it, but I know the cake was not cracked and the letters were not falling off, nor was the board bent! And I also know it should feed at least 25 (probably close to 30)!
post #2 of 148
You are not responsible for the cake after you deliver it. If it were THAT important to the mother, she should have been there to accept delivery. Any number of things could have happened after you dropped it off.
I will say that I DO have a hard time imagining a carved 8" CARVED cake serving 20 people. Actually, just to double check, I went and looked at the wilton party cake baking chart and it shows a 2 layer 8" square as serving 20- so you probably did short her on the cake.
post #3 of 148
Ohhhh..... how disappointing. I wish you had pics to show us. If she says the icing was cracked, one possible thing that happened could have been the base was not sturdy enough. If there is any play in the base, it will create tiny surface cracks.

Sometimes it can be hard to recreate from a picture. If I am doing that, I try very hard to be exact (to what they have seen). The shape may have been off since you didn't use the same pan. I'm so sorry this happened to you.... please don't let it discourage you from trying again.

32 is pushing it from an 8" in my opinion.... I know what Wilton says...but that is a wedding cake chart, which generally for party cakes, one cuts the pieces larger. I would say 15-20 out of an 8" but if you are cutting any away...you have to be very careful.

Again, I'm so sorry this happened...it really can take the wind out of one's sails.... Try again....don't let this one instance ruin your passion....

Jen icon_smile.gif
Jennifer Dontz - Traveling sugar art teacher
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Jennifer Dontz - Traveling sugar art teacher
Online store/gallery: www.sugardelites.com
NOW SHIPPING!!!! CYMBIDIUM ORCHID / IVY DVD!
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post #4 of 148
I would ask her to bring the cake back and apologize and return the $40.00 once the cake is returned!

I really hate that she keeps saying she's going to pray for you, while she's belittling you.

"Most are able to see quite well, therefore, I am disappointed that I am not going to be able to serve the cake that was delivered"

Like that's not a direct insult!!!! People who genuinely "pray" for other people do it from a good place in their heart wanting only good for the person being prayed for, this woman is obviously not doing that!
I would tell her that I'm sorry you were unhappy, explain to her that in order to charge her the "discounted" price of $40.00 you had to carve the shape yourself so that she wouldn't be charged the extra amount it would have cost you to purchase the specialty pan that would only be used ONCE. Also tell her to bring the cake back, that maybe you can fix it to her liking (if she says no, then just tell her to bring it back) and then offer the money back (only if she returns the whole cake), if she return NONE or some of the cake I would only offer a partial refund and MAYBE a coupon for a future order.
God's Word will either keep you from sin;
or sin will keep you from God's Word.
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God's Word will either keep you from sin;
or sin will keep you from God's Word.
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post #5 of 148
I'm soooo sorry to read your story. People really have no idea how much time and love is involved in our baking and decorating. I've only baked for friends and family and am now doing my first wedding and groom's cakes. I know the groom and his family but just met the bride when I allowed them to come to my home and taste some cakes. They were very complimentary but reading or your experience and others makes me think I'll sort of be glad when it's all behind me. I believe that we have to just always do our best and leave the results in the hands of the Lord. I know it hurts and we all hate to disappoint anyone. Just try to learn something, put it behind you and move on. I also would not offer a refund because it sounds like you did earn what you were paid.
post #6 of 148
I would call her and ask to see the cake so you can fix it- I would say that if she didn't contact you as soon as she got home, then she is looking for a free cake- I have had that happen, and they recanted after I told them that I was on my way to fix it, go figure. icon_rolleyes.gif I know how much it breaks down your self esteem though, but don't let it get you down! Good luck, I hope it works out! icon_wink.gif
post #7 of 148
I hope you did take few things to remember from this:

1. Take the photo

2. When selling cakes, be prepared for unpleasant people. Some have something like "lord/lady of the manor mentality" - they pay you and you are their servant or worse yet a their slave. These people will find fault in the best cake you or anybody else can make...

3. Write the name of this lady down and never ever make another cake for her. Let her go through the bakery. She will find faults there too...

I did quick count of the servings in the cake - there are approx. 27 servings left, sized 1" x 2". Lets call it 25 to be safe and she still got more cake then needed.

Did she mention that she will transport the cake to the school? I have no idea why it should be your concern, unless she asked to prepare the cake for the transport. If somebody asks me, I do it for them (I prepared cakes to be transported 100 miles away in summer). But the customer is still an adult and needs to take care for their part. In the before mentioned case I said to the lady she needs to run AC in her car - she had almost frozen, because she was too careful. But usually I prepare the cakes to be transported few blocks, not the super careful packing the long distances get.
post #8 of 148
Ask her to bring you the cake and return her money.
or
offer to fix it

I wonder how big the servings need to be for those children. A 2 layer that size should be enough.
Brenda
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Brenda
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post #9 of 148
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the support. It makes me feel a lot better!

I did ask her to send me a picture of the cake so that I could see the cracks, letters falling off, etc. She hasn't replied back yet.

I thought about using the party servings instead of the wedding servings, and using a 10 in square instead of 8 in, but I always use the wedding size for my own family and friend's parties and there always seems to be plenty. So I figured using the wedding size was fine.

Majka_ke - She mentioned it would be for the class, but I was (and still am) under the impression that the school is very local. I guess I could have packaged it different, but I did it the same way I normally do, and I usually drive cakes pretty far with no problems.

My husband says that there's no way I should give her a refund, and she hasn't specifically asked for one, but I do think she is implying that she wants one.
post #10 of 148
One more point - I did the count again - she can get 20 servings, sized just slightly below 2" x 1.5" - exactly it would be ca. 2" x 1.4".

I would forgot about it. Write her to bring the cake, give her the money back and wish her luck in the bakery.
post #11 of 148
Ah, the cheaper the cake, the bigger the gripers. Should be a good opportunity for you to start setting a minimum order. I wouldn't carving on anything for less than $100. In fact, I recently went to a minimum $100 for anything, period. It is just not worth it work that long for less than that. Really, does anybody really get any satisfaction out of two 20 dollar bills??

And tell her to pray for herself. People that truly pray for others don't feel compelled to shout it to the world that they are doing so. Ugh!
post #12 of 148
And, I really would have done that cake from a 10". Cake muggles have not a clue how to cut and serve. Without providing a proper cutting diagram, I (if I were a muggle) would have thought it was too small as well. icon_wink.gif
post #13 of 148
Thread Starter 
Jamie, you changed your name back icon_smile.gif What made you decide to do that?

I think you're right though, I shouldn't carve for that little, but since I don't normally sell at all, I didn't want to over do it. Lesson learned!
post #14 of 148
Oh I regained a bit of my anonymity back (removed my watermarked pics with biz name)....figured I could use my name again! Feels good! Yay!
post #15 of 148
chalkin one up to the psycho radar or something Jamie? Sounds almost as if you had a stalker after you!
God's Word will either keep you from sin;
or sin will keep you from God's Word.
Reply
God's Word will either keep you from sin;
or sin will keep you from God's Word.
Reply
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