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Anyone getting more "entitled" clients lately? - Page 8

post #106 of 124
why didn't you just tell her it was too short of notice for you to pull it off? You can always tell them the price you think is fair and they can always say no. I prefer to do cakes for "customers" rather than friends because I just don't care if customers say no to the price. With friends I always end up giving a big discout and often feel a bit resentful..but that is MY fault for having trouble naming my price. I can't be angry with them when that is the price I quoted. Many times though the cakes I do as gifts or big discounts end up providing me with some good fortune or joy (NOT ALWAYS) but many times. It sounds like your friend provided you with a much needed service in the past with childcare. Since she insisted on not being paid, perhaps a good way to handle it is to give her a gift certificate for a certain amount of cake services. Then she'd know how much "free" cake you intend to give her.
post #107 of 124
Actually, when I was doing this, she knew how much my cakes cost up front and how much of a discount she was getting from me. I have learned from that experienced. It is way easy to tell many no. It takes experiences to learn that if you can give some people a discount here or there since they may be the one that comes to expect it every time. Now, they it's easy to think they won't be getting a cake from you this time.
post #108 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

Where we got attitude was from the Moms who wanted $300 1st birthday cakes for their little angels for $50. Maybe it's my perverse attitude, but I really loved telling these people no. It's probably the first time they ever heard it.



You said it, sister! These are the worst I've encountered.
post #109 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by polarbear49

I was ready to hang up my oven mitts! I know most of you charge for your cakes (very smart!) but I think the ones who do it for free for friends and family take a lot of abuse. I have probably made 50 wedding cakes in my lifetime - all for free. I am very clear up front that I have an album of all the cakes I've made and would be happy for them to choose a cake from this book. If they want a specific cake, I won't be offended if they find a professional and pay to have "the cake of their dreams". I just lost a friend of 15 years because her daughter wanted me to make a cake from a picture. She didn't want fondant but wanted butter cream frosting that "looked like fondant". The minute her daughter started rolling her eyes at me, all the joy went out of making this cake. I tried telling her I couldn't make the cake and her response was, "It's several months until the wedding. You've got a long time to practice." (That comment infuriated my husband.) So I wrote them a very nice e-mail explaining that I couldn't make her cake and because I wanted her to love her wedding cake, she would need to hire a professional to make it. Her Mom responded that I was a "black cloud" over her daughter's wedding and she didn't want anything more to do with me. While I'm sorry for the loss of a friendship, I'm wondering how much of a friend she really was.



Polarbear, your experience reminds me of something that happened to me shortly after I went into cake decorating. Shortly after I went into business, a man from our small group bible study called and asked how much Id charge to make a cake for his wifes birthday party. He wanted a cake that would serve at least fifty people, and he wanted it covered in tiny royal icing violets. I told him Id do it for my cost, which was around $50 dollars, and he literally stammered, thatsthats too much! Another friend ended up baking a sheet cake, iced and left in the pan, for the party. Six months later, the wife called and asked how much I would charge to bake a cake for her husbands birthday, which happened to fall the night of our bible study. She told me exactly what she wanted, complete with my cream cheese icing, signature ganache, and strawberries. I quoted her a just-above-cost price, because, again, I wanted to be nice to her. She stammered and said, I could get a cake at the grocery store for that! I said, Then you should. I dont make grocery store cakes, and I wont try to compete with their prices. Later, my home group leader told me that the offended woman told her shed expected me to do it for free.
post #110 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by problemcat

Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

Where we got attitude was from the Moms who wanted $300 1st birthday cakes for their little angels for $50. Maybe it's my perverse attitude, but I really loved telling these people no. It's probably the first time they ever heard it.



You said it, sister! These are the worst I've encountered.

I've frequently shared that it was not unusual for me to spend 2 hours with a mom over a $60-$70 birthday cake but I could book an order for wedding cake AND catering with a bride in about an hour. Annoying!!
post #111 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by problemcat

Later, my home group leader told me that the offended woman told her shed expected me to do it for free.



This is just baffling to me. I would never assume that anyone was doing anything for free, especially if I was the one to call THEM and ask about it!
post #112 of 124
I have noticed that when friends and coworkers ask, "how much for a cake?" They really mean, "can you make me a free cake." It's really annoying.
post #113 of 124
@Problemcat... I have had similar experiences as you and I feel for you!! And, I'm probably not going to make any friends with this remark, but (and please read carefully) in my own experience, the ones that seem to take the most advantage are the ones we call "brother or sister in Christ". And, to me that is just a shame. And again, that is from my own experiences.

It was the same way growing up with a father that was a mechanic that specializes in exotic cars. I can't tell you how often people from church would call my dad "in need" of having their Mercedes /Porsche fixed. And, meanwhile, my stepmother would drive us around in a less than perfectly running car because he didnt have anymore time to work on her Chevy. What made it really bad, though, was not the fact that they asked to have things done, but that they would bring a part over and ask that he "just install it"? And, the majority of the time that "installation" took my dad an entire weekend and the people would NOT offer to PAY!! And, because my dad was a "good Christian" he wouldn't ask to be paid for his time...which, at a repair shop would have cost them several THOUSAND dollars in many cases. And, yes, family would ask for things to be done also. But there wasn't that shame when he said no to one of them like when he did to someone in the church and, unfortunately I've had similar experiences. I have been talked about behind my back and DOGGED OUT for not doing things for free. Unfortunately, I am sad to say, it is that type of behavior that has made me walk away from a church or two....
post #114 of 124
Thank you for your response, i will never let this happen again. Friend or not business is business. I live in a very small town and I am learning a lot the hard way. I will take your advice, thanks for the blog link, great info.
post #115 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxicakes

@Problemcat... I have had similar experiences as you and I feel for you!! And, I'm probably not going to make any friends with this remark, but (and please read carefully) in my own experience, the ones that seem to take the most advantage are the ones we call "brother or sister in Christ". And, to me that is just a shame. And again, that is from my own experiences.

It was the same way growing up with a father that was a mechanic that specializes in exotic cars. I can't tell you how often people from church would call my dad "in need" of having their Mercedes /Porsche fixed. And, meanwhile, my stepmother would drive us around in a less than perfectly running car because he didnt have anymore time to work on her Chevy. What made it really bad, though, was not the fact that they asked to have things done, but that they would bring a part over and ask that he "just install it"? And, the majority of the time that "installation" took my dad an entire weekend and the people would NOT offer to PAY!! And, because my dad was a "good Christian" he wouldn't ask to be paid for his time...which, at a repair shop would have cost them several THOUSAND dollars in many cases. And, yes, family would ask for things to be done also. But there wasn't that shame when he said no to one of them like when he did to someone in the church and, unfortunately I've had similar experiences. I have been talked about behind my back and DOGGED OUT for not doing things for free. Unfortunately, I am sad to say, it is that type of behavior that has made me walk away from a church or two....



wow, our dads sound like the same person. my dad was a general mechanic (he had his own shop, it was his lively-hood not a hobby) so everyone from our church would go to him for any car problem and expect it to be free- and being the amazing Christian man he was, my dad would charge very little if nothing at all. my dad never had a lot, but he took pride in helping other people. on many occasions he would buy an old run down car, fix it up, and have it ready in case someone in need came by. he would literally give the cars away, or set-up a payment plan which was usually no more than $100/month (ask me how many people made more than one or two payments...) my mom, an educated woman, would argue with my dad's method of running business but he would always say he was doing the Lord's work. even though the people of our church upset my mom and i on many occasions by 'using' my dad, i must say his funeral taught me a lesson. when my dad passed away from cancer last july at the age of 53, our auditorium sized church (500+ seats) was full to standing room only. seeing how his kind and giving heart touched so many people's lives touched mine in such a special way i can't even put it into words.

i'm not too sure how this ties into cakes, i was merely recounting my experience as related to the pp. i guess sometimes even if it is a loss to us, we should consider the other person's situation. then again, i guess a car is a need and a cake is a want, and i'm sure any of ya'll would be willing to give a cake away to someone who deserved it rather than someone who expected it. hmmmmmm i feel like i just rambled for awhile, sorry icon_redface.gif
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an architect makes a building look pretty, an architectural engineer makes sure the pretty building works

look for my billowing tutorial on my website: thejoyofcake.shutterfly.com
Reply
post #116 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by cake_architect

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxicakes

@Problemcat... I have had similar experiences as you and I feel for you!! And, I'm probably not going to make any friends with this remark, but (and please read carefully) in my own experience, the ones that seem to take the most advantage are the ones we call "brother or sister in Christ". And, to me that is just a shame. And again, that is from my own experiences.

It was the same way growing up with a father that was a mechanic that specializes in exotic cars. I can't tell you how often people from church would call my dad "in need" of having their Mercedes /Porsche fixed. And, meanwhile, my stepmother would drive us around in a less than perfectly running car because he didnt have anymore time to work on her Chevy. What made it really bad, though, was not the fact that they asked to have things done, but that they would bring a part over and ask that he "just install it"? And, the majority of the time that "installation" took my dad an entire weekend and the people would NOT offer to PAY!! And, because my dad was a "good Christian" he wouldn't ask to be paid for his time...which, at a repair shop would have cost them several THOUSAND dollars in many cases. And, yes, family would ask for things to be done also. But there wasn't that shame when he said no to one of them like when he did to someone in the church and, unfortunately I've had similar experiences. I have been talked about behind my back and DOGGED OUT for not doing things for free. Unfortunately, I am sad to say, it is that type of behavior that has made me walk away from a church or two....



wow, our dads sound like the same person. my dad was a general mechanic (he had his own shop, it was his lively-hood not a hobby) so everyone from our church would go to him for any car problem and expect it to be free- and being the amazing Christian man he was, my dad would charge very little if nothing at all. my dad never had a lot, but he took pride in helping other people. on many occasions he would buy an old run down car, fix it up, and have it ready in case someone in need came by. he would literally give the cars away, or set-up a payment plan which was usually no more than $100/month (ask me how many people made more than one or two payments...) my mom, an educated woman, would argue with my dad's method of running business but he would always say he was doing the Lord's work. even though the people of our church upset my mom and i on many occasions by 'using' my dad, i must say his funeral taught me a lesson. when my dad passed away from cancer last july at the age of 53, our auditorium sized church (500+ seats) was full to standing room only. seeing how his kind and giving heart touched so many people's lives touched mine in such a special way i can't even put it into words.

i'm not too sure how this ties into cakes, i was merely recounting my experience as related to the pp. i guess sometimes even if it is a loss to us, we should consider the other person's situation. then again, i guess a car is a need and a cake is a want, and i'm sure any of ya'll would be willing to give a cake away to someone who deserved it rather than someone who expected it. hmmmmmm i feel like i just rambled for awhile, sorry icon_redface.gif



I understand where youre coming from. One of my husbands closest friends is a carpenter, and you know how the housing industry has suffered. Thankfully, rather than taking advantage, most (not all, sadly) of the folks we hang out with from church actually do their best to give him work and insist on being charged adequately. He came over and helped my husband stone our fireplace, hang sheetrock, etc. My husband told him repeatedly to let him know what we owe him, but he declined. We finally asked around and found out a fair price for what hes done and then forced money on him a couple of times, because we knew he needed it.

Oh, and for the record, my dad is also a mechanic! icon_biggrin.gif
post #117 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by problemcat

Later, my home group leader told me that the offended woman told her shed expected me to do it for free.



This is just baffling to me. I would never assume that anyone was doing anything for free, especially if I was the one to call THEM and ask about it!



Actually, my home group leader said that to her. She outright said, "you asked her how much she would charge, and she told you. If you wanted a free cake, you should have said as much." She also (not so gently) reminded her that my husband and I are parents of two young children and that I homeschool and don't have time or money to give away cakes for free. (I love my homegroup leader. She's an amazing woman.)

Last year, a friend of mine who is a stunningly-talented professional photographer told me that she finally came to the point where she had to promise herself shed never again give her talent away for free, because so many people were taking advantage of her kindness. I took that to heart.

Then, last fall, another friend of mine (my most faithful customer, actually) sat me down and told me that I had to start being fair to myself in my prices. He has a business of his own and has experienced much of this himself (especially from friends and family). He gave me the whole Walmart-made-in-China versus custom-design-quality speech. In fact, the last few times Ive made cakes for him, hes eyed me when I give him my price and said, are you sure?

Ive come to the point where, with some friends (and I use that term loosely), I can say with an enthusiastic smile, Feel free! when they threaten to go to Walmart or the local grocery store for their cakes. My perspective has shifted somewhat, and Im beginning to realize that Im not missing an opportunity with these people. Rather, Im escaping a situation where someone wants to take advantage of me.

I do still underestimate the value of my cakes, though. Im currently reading the cc thread about pricing cakes, where other cake artists are posting links to their cake pictures and telling what they charged. That is SUPER helpful. Ive learned a great deal.

I still have a LOT to learn.
post #118 of 124
I just decorate cakes for fun, but I have a story to tell about an entitled customer. My husband is an electrician and only does work on the side as a second job. He went over to a lady's house, fixed what she wanted and told her we would bill her (he had done work for her before) I sent the bill and when she paid - it was $50 less because she didn't feel he had spent enough time to justify the bill?!?!?! AND she had the nerve to call again needing an electrician. We put the word out really quick as to what she had done and she had to pay top dollar for the next electrician. None of the independents would darken her door. Some people have all the nerve.
post #119 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by mskavon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purtygirl

I work in a grocery store where people bring in pictures of these elaborate fondant covered cakes (we don't do fondant!) and literally say they want a "" cake, but they're paying with FOOD STAMPS!!!! I'm willing to bet that the doesn't accept food stamps!!! And they will spend up to $300 on a cake!! I'VE SEEN IT FIRST HAND!! AND they are the WORST COMPLAINERS! Always yelling, "I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS CAKE!!" No you didn't!! I DID!!! Hard-working tax payers did!! I can't even get financial aid!!



i didn't want to open up this can of worms, but i'm glad that someone did. I lose out on some business because i work from my home and don't have the means, etc. to accept food stamps. People will bo to the grocery store to buy a wedding cake because they can use food stamps. smh



YES!! They can buy pre-made deli sandwiches and cakes from the bakery! $300 wedding cakes!! I see it every day and it enrages me!
post #120 of 124
Two sisters started corresponding with me back in December for a party this month. 2 cakes each serving 40 people. Both covered in fondant, one is a 2 tiered cake. They sent me pics of cakes they liked and I quoted them the price. They texted me about 3 weeks ago and all the details are still the same. The tiered cake has a ceramic topper of Betty Boop and I TOLD them they would need to find the topper themselves. Now I'm getting texts asking how much for 30 people on the tiered cake and I just got a phn call telling me they found someone who can MAKE a betty boop topper out of fondant for $30 (just the topper) so can I lower my price? I told her no, that the price I quoted her never included me making the topper, remember? Then she asked if I could MAKE the topper. NO. Now I don't even want to make her cakes. She also said she wanted it to be "perfect" and she wants her mom to "cry" when she sees it! Tomorrow she's going to call me to change the colors on the cake. Now I want to cry!
HELP! Should I just tell her I don't feel comfortable making her cakes? I'm charging her $225 for TWO cakes...TOTAL! This was the price I quoted her back in DECEMBER! If she it was too much she had PLENTY of time to find someone else. Instead she is changing things and trying to negotiate. And the party is April 16th!
What should I do???!!!
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