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How do you charge for detail and difficulty of cake?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
I understand how to come up with prices based on your materials and such but I just got a man interested in a coach purse that is very detailed. I have googled other sites to see what other people charge to get an idea but still am a little confused.

I guess I'm curious, when looking at an idea, do you just pick a price that suits you or do you have any sort of scale for just the detail and difficulty of a cake?
post #2 of 55
I have a pricing grid/matrix - I have 4 levels: Basic, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3. 3 icing choices: Buttercream/Poured fondant/Rolled fondant. And finally amount of servings: up to 100, 101-150, 151-200, Over 200.

The most expensive per slice cake is a Level 3 cake with rolled fondant and serves under 100 - $12 per slice.
The least expensive per slice cake is a Basic cake with buttercream and serves over 200 - $2 per slice

My definitions of levels:
Basic - BC: Top border, bottom border, party confetti/small floral spray/fleur de lis and/or a message written on top
Poured Fondant: Ganache over BC with bottom border and a few BC accents or premade gumpaste accents
Rolled Fondant: RF over BC with bottom border and a few premade gumpaste accents or a BC cake with a few Fondant accents
Level 1 - BC: any basic side piping (swags, swiss dots, corelli lace, sotas); PF: Fresh fruit garnish, any of the BC elements that make it a Level 1. RF: a few (no more than 3) handmade gumpaste flowers or a basic fondant swag.

Level 2 - BC: slightly more intricate piping or architecture, PF: same, RF: same and more gumpaste flowers or more intricate gumpaste work

Level 3 - BC: includes Lambeth method, string work, and all topsy turvey designs and 3d carved cakes, PF: same, RF: same

You will have to decide for yourself what constitutes the level breaks for your designs. I do give those who have bigger cakes a bit of a price break due to the volume, plus I rent a comm kitchen so the larger the cake the better value I get for my rental rate than if I have a smaller cake. I pay a flat daily fee of $100 and I get the kitchen for 24 hours, so a smaller cake will cost me more to produce than a larger cake. I pass the savings on to my customers.

This way you aren't starting with a base per slice rate then adding on embellishment charges which will arrive at the same per slice rate anyway, but to the customer, it looks like they are being nickled & dimed with each additional charge. If you quote them the per slice rate for their design choice and serving amount off the bat they think they are getting a deal. When you put that low ball per serving rate in their head it is hard for them to go beyond that. It is all about perspective.

If you like I can PM you my grid, but you will have to decide what works for you price wise for your area. You may be in a very high dollar area or just the opposite.
post #3 of 55
I would love a copy of your price grid. You could send a pm or my email is dlm315@hotmail.com thanks!
post #4 of 55
Can you also make that price grid available to me at sxr10220@yahoo.com? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
post #5 of 55
This question seems to be so "tabu" on this site, it's the only thing that I don't like about it..lol I too have this same question. I know how to come up with a basic price but how much do people charge when using fondant, or purse cakes, shoe box cakes etc. I would just like a ball park. I live in Maryland, DC, Virginia area. I've done searches on these cakes but have only been able to find sites & prices in NYC and they charge around $200 to $300 for a purse cake. However, NYC is a bit more expensive than most places.
post #6 of 55
I charge gumpaste, 50/50 and fondant by the ounce. I charge $2.00 an oz. when I color it and $1.75 if using same color as cake. Other than that, my cake prices are just like cakesdivine. It all matters to you since you do it as a hobby to help people or a job that pays the bills. Hope this helps.
post #7 of 55
I would like to seed the grid too please! Can you PM me or email mree48@hotmail.com? Thanks in advance. icon_smile.gif
post #8 of 55
Yes, I would like the grid as well.. msjckson@aim.com
post #9 of 55
Cakesdevine--may I see your grid as well? my email address is tootsweet1@comcast.net or pm me. I've read many of your posts and you are so helpful. I'd just like to see how you structure the decorations. I struggle with pricing out things when people ask me for something off the cuff. Then I end up under-cutting myself--and I hate that! At least if I see how others are coming up with the levels, I can set my price and work from there. I'm much better when I have it written down. Even though nobody else sees it but me, I stick to it much better! Thank you so much!
post #10 of 55
sorry cakesdivine..could you PM me or email me as well? platked@msn.com..thanks!! icon_biggrin.gif
post #11 of 55
I've been trying to come up with a similar pricing structure but have never been able to figure out how to put it in a grid for easy reference.

If you could email or pm me as well it would be greatly appreciated. icon_biggrin.gif

candiesconfections@shaw.ca
post #12 of 55
cakesdivine you are so kind to share this information with us please e-mail me as well oksav67@yahoo.com
really appreciate !
post #13 of 55
Cakesdivine, thank you for your time to explain. Like everyone else, I would appreciate your cake matrix. Please email: corriebeverly@yahoo.com
post #14 of 55
cakesdivine could you email me your spreadsheet as well katevongsana@yahoo.com. Thank you very much.
post #15 of 55
Please email me your grid fezza73@hotmail.com. I am in the UK and having the same prob, as I am just starting out! thank you so much icon_biggrin.gif
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