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How much do people think a cake costs to make??? - Page 25  

post #361 of 412

Hi I' am just starting out from home and I have these worries myself. Here in the UK we have an app called 'Cost a Cake ' its about £4 & I wonder if that's the same as your 'Cakeboss' app. I did ask another business owner about pricing and she said only start off for a limited time at low price telling everyone your prices will rise after the first few orders.

post #362 of 412

Thank you all so much for the great advice and for the welcome. I will definitely apply it! It helps to see that what I'm thinking is validated and not me just being too sensitive. I do want to make it a real business, and I want my business to work. Additionally, I don't mind sharing things here on Cake Central because I know we all have very similar interests and I believe the dialog will help us all. :-) 

post #363 of 412

This is a problem I have had and still have with a couple of my family members, I did some cakes for free as "gifts" for weddings, birthday's etc., but now it seems like there is something every month going on where someone needs a cake.  I started asking them to pay for the ingredients but some are hesitant and when it is time I usually insist we go shopping for the ingredients together, they are shocked to find out the cost involved in ingredients, supplies and added decorative items.  I am doing one more for just ingredient cost and then shutting off the one's who continually ask and expect me to do it for cheap or free.  It is one thing to offer, but to have people expect it all the time is ridiculous, and it does take the fun out of doing cakes.  I also find that no one wants to pay what the cakes are worth.  I just did a fondant Winnie the pooh shower cake, 12 x 12, fondant pooh, bumble bees, pooh pot, ribbon and bow, I charged $75.00, the customer agreed hesitantly.  It took me probably 15 to 20 hours, so I really didn't make that much, people just don't understand how time consuming custom cakes are.

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post #364 of 412
I have had my boyfriend's family stop ordering from me because I kept charging more for each cake. The thing is, his sisters kept ordering bigger & bigger cakes, and when their parents (who were paying, because God forbid these girls pay a dime for anything, ever) saw the price, they had a fit. The girls didn't tell them that they were ordering huge cakes.
Then, one sister asked about cake pops (I'm a member of the no-cake-pops-club), and I quoted her a pretty fair sum. She didn't like that price, so asked for a super tiny cake just for her daughter, she'd make cupcakes for everyone else. Again, I quoted her a fair price (large family discount included), and she didn't want to pay. She was used to the prices I had been giving them before I started really needing the money. I evened explained that, to make this a viable business, I needed to charge appropriately for my work. She was all about it, totally agreeing with me... Until I actually charged her more than a few bucks.
So a friend made her a tiny cake, out of cheap ingredients, and looked like crap. But she got it for free, so I guess she was happy. And so was I, because I didn't have to slave away for pennies or someone who doesn't appreciate the work & effort.
post #365 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTerry View Post
 

This is a problem I have had and still have with a couple of my family members, I did some cakes for free as "gifts" for weddings, birthday's etc., but now it seems like there is something every month going on where someone needs a cake.  I started asking them to pay for the ingredients but some are hesitant and when it is time I usually insist we go shopping for the ingredients together, they are shocked to find out the cost involved in ingredients, supplies and added decorative items.  I am doing one more for just ingredient cost and then shutting off the one's who continually ask and expect me to do it for cheap or free.  It is one thing to offer, but to have people expect it all the time is ridiculous, and it does take the fun out of doing cakes.  I also find that no one wants to pay what the cakes are worth.  I just did a fondant Winnie the pooh shower cake, 12 x 12, fondant pooh, bumble bees, pooh pot, ribbon and bow, I charged $75.00, the customer agreed hesitantly.  It took me probably 15 to 20 hours, so I really didn't make that much, people just don't understand how time consuming custom cakes are.


People don't understand because not enough bakers "teach" them. When anyone  sells a 15-20 hour cake for $75.00  they are teaching customers that cake is cheap. If everyone charged what they were worth, the word would spread that custom cakes are luxury items. Right now, the word out on the street about cake pricing is "don't buy it from one of those crazy price gougers, keep trying and you can find someone to do it for cheap".

post #366 of 412

I agree with you, that isn't enough for a 15 to 20 hour cake, but unfortunately where I live, you won't get more than that for a 12 x 12" cake. 

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post #367 of 412
How do you know? Have you truly researched it or are you going by your personal experience? I don't mean that to sound mean or like some kind of challeng... I ask because ive seen posts by people who say the same thing and then have it turn out they serve the same area as I serve. And I rarely sell a cake for less than about $7-8 per serving.
post #368 of 412

I am new to cake decorating and to Cake Central. I am considering baking cakes as a side business. The Lego cake in the picture took me over 9 hours to complete. It is not as smooth as I would normally have it but I really underestimated how long this cake would take to make. I worked on it one night and I was up until 2 am. I also underestimated how much to charge. This cake is a 9 inch white almond sour cream, butter cream frosted and fondant covered, molded Lego blocks and other details as well. The lady I made it for paid $45 dollars, and purchased her own Lego cement mixer as well as the toys for the topper. I made everything else. First question: What would a cake like this really cost if I had charged correctly? Second question: do you think I am have enough talent to start a small side business and charge the prices you are all talking about?

post #369 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbunn170 View Post
 

I am new to cake decorating and to Cake Central. I am considering baking cakes as a side business. The Lego cake in the picture took me over 9 hours to complete. It is not as smooth as I would normally have it but I really underestimated how long this cake would take to make. I worked on it one night and I was up until 2 am. I also underestimated how much to charge. This cake is a 9 inch white almond sour cream, butter cream frosted and fondant covered, molded Lego blocks and other details as well. The lady I made it for paid $45 dollars, and purchased her own Lego cement mixer as well as the toys for the topper. I made everything else. First question: What would a cake like this really cost if I had charged correctly? Second question: do you think I am have enough talent to start a small side business and charge the prices you are all talking about?

Well, if it took you 9 hours to make, and you charge $10 an hour for labor (Not sure if that's what you need to charge for labor, just an example) that's $90. That's just labor. Then you would need to figure out your materials cost, overhead and profit and add those numbers to the $90 for labor. We've done those lego cakes. They're a pain in the butt. 

 

As far as ability, it looks like you definitely have the basic skills down! It's hard to say for sure without seeing a few different examples of your work, but this one is well done. It just depends on how well you are able to execute smooth buttercream, fondant, clean lines and decorating, etc. 

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
post #370 of 412

That's 9 hours that includes shopping time, time spent talking to the customer, running her card (or however you do payment), taking the photos, cleaning up and packing it up to go? And I've probably left something out...

 

I would quote that out at $300 and then offer other options to let them know just what else they could get for that price.  Some cake designs just aren't very practical for what you get.  Because when you think of the alternative designs you could make for that amount, most people would choose the showier cake.

post #371 of 412

I don't think you are being mean, but yes I have researched my area and what is driving the low prices around here are the people who are selling their cakes cheap. And that is cheaper than my pricing.   I honestly have calculated my costs and time and can not afford to do cakes for what they are charging.  I live in Southwest Iowa in a rural community, most people are charging $2.00 per person (or cake slice), some other's figure their price by doubling their ingredients.  I have had so many people who don't even want to pay that for a cake, and of course I don't end up making cakes for them.

This is an example, last night I received a phone call from someone asking me to make a simple birthday cake for next weekend.  Although, that is a little short notice I thought I could fit it in, so I proceeded to ask what size, kind etc., once she started talking she was adding more detail, fondant decorations etc.  She wanted a square cake, again it ending up being my 12 x 12 which is enough to feed 30 to 40 guests.  And you should know, this is my future in law, my son is marrying her daughter, so it is a sticky situation.  She told me she didn't want anything extravagant, and she wanted to keep the cost down.  I told her my normal charge for the 12 x 12 cake with buttercream and fondant, $75.00, the phone line went quiet, and then she gasped and said wow!!!, that is a lot!  So she said what if we scratch the fondant and just go with a white buttercream with piping and a simple Happy Birthday.  So, being that she is my future daughter-in-laws mother I told her I could do it for $40 to $50 depending on which cake recipe she wanted to go with.  That was merely doubling my ingredients.  She thought that was still a lot of money, so I suggested (nicely) that she may want to get a cake from Wal Mart or Hy-Vee, she said "yuck!"  I was kind of at a loss for words, lol!  But, I ended up just suggesting that maybe she would be better off making a cake herself, trying to be ever so polite.  She finally agreed after saying she didn't want to offend me and saying that she does have a buttercream recipe! 

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post #372 of 412

LTerry - I live in the other corner of the state (southeast Iowa) and I agree that we do live in regions where there are more poor/lower middle class customers.  But, you shouldn't be making fondant cakes for those customers!  If they want the world, they have to pay for it!  You should figure out the quickest styles to make out of buttercream for your clients, and price them so you still make a decent hourly wage and profit, and you were right to suggest Walmart if they can't afford your cake.

 

Fancy cake isn't one of the rights the founding fathers promised our citizens - it is a luxury item, and should be priced as such.

 

Liz

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

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post #373 of 412
If you have a Wal-Mart budget you need to buy your cake at Wal-Mart.

People are not entitled to get these custom cakes for a bargain price. If there are no customers in your area for a cake made at minimum wage (and really, who thinks they should only get minimum wage for the kind of skill that goes into these cakes), then custom cake is not the business for you.

Wal-Mart should not be your competition, and neither are the bakers who will pay people to take their cakes. Wal-Mart doesn't even make a profit on their cakes and they are made with cheap junk in factories.
elsewhere.
elsewhere.
post #374 of 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle View Post

If you have a Wal-Mart budget you need to buy your cake at Wal-Mart.

People are not entitled to get these custom cakes for a bargain price. If there are no customers in your area for a cake made at minimum wage (and really, who thinks they should only get minimum wage for the kind of skill that goes into these cakes), then custom cake is not the business for you.

Wal-Mart should not be your competition, and neither are the bakers who will pay people to take their cakes. Wal-Mart doesn't even make a profit on their cakes and they are made with cheap junk in factories.


Conversely, we tend to get customers who can well afford a custom cake but they don't want to pay for it.  We get phone calls and inquiries all the time at work about it.  The other day I turned down a woman who wanted a 3D Barbie cake because, as I said to her, no supermarket in the area makes those kind of cakes because it's too labor intensive, but I'm pretty sure [name of nearest retail bakery] or [next closest retail bakery] makes them.  She gave me such an incredulous look I almost laughed out loud.

post #375 of 412
I guess 'afford' and 'want to spend' kind of fall into the same category in this instance. I used to live in a very wealthy area but every party would have a Costco cake, even the ones where the kids lived in mansions. They got that money somehow right!
elsewhere.
elsewhere.
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