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Customers expecting Walmart prices

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
This is annoying me so badly, but I'm sure everyone has dealt with it. Customers wanting time consuming cakes and only want to pay Walmart prices. I had a friend of a friend approach me to make a cake and cupcakes for her daughers 1st birthday. She wanted a carved cake and 7 dozen cupcakes, each one topped with a fondant or gumpaste flower. I quoted her $50 for the cake because it was small and covered in buttercream, and $2/ea for the cupcakes. She was appalled. If she wanted cheap, she should have gone to a grocery store or Walmart. icon_sad.gif There's no way I can make scratch made cakes and handmade accents for those prices, nor would I want to!
post #2 of 73
Can you even order 7 dozen cupcakes from Wal-mart or do you have to choose from what they have??
I've had people call with crazy cake expectations then want it for around "$20-$30". I usually reply with "well, Walmart might be your only option, they have a book of cakes to choose from". The funny part is usually they end up coming back and paying for the cake or cutting it down a little for cost.
I like the term "you get what you pay for"! Wal-mart can be proof of that!!
post #3 of 73
I think we have all felt that. I had a friend just this week ask for a 3 tier topsy turvy cake for a party this saturday. I told her I could do it at cost, no charge for labor, which came to $60.00. She said that was too much and maybe they will make it themselves. I said ok, but what I was thinging was that I would like to see them try to make a 3 tier topsy turvy for less than that.
post #4 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by yodasmom

I think we have all felt that. I had a friend just this week ask for a 3 tier topsy turvy cake for a party this saturday. I told her I could do it at cost, no charge for labor, which came to $60.00. She said that was too much and maybe they will make it themselves. I said ok, but what I was thinging was that I would like to see them try to make a 3 tier topsy turvy for less than that.



Umm, what part of "at cost" does she not get?? That's what it costs you to buy the materials, that's what it would cost her too! People are so clueless. icon_confused.gif
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post #5 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMaster2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by yodasmom

I think we have all felt that. I had a friend just this week ask for a 3 tier topsy turvy cake for a party this saturday. I told her I could do it at cost, no charge for labor, which came to $60.00. She said that was too much and maybe they will make it themselves. I said ok, but what I was thinging was that I would like to see them try to make a 3 tier topsy turvy for less than that.



Umm, what part of "at cost" does she not get?? That's what it costs you to buy the materials, that's what it would cost her too! People are so clueless. icon_confused.gif



I know! I even used the Cake Boss program which splits the price down to the teaspoon. I think they just didn't understand that it's not just cake. Its support structure as well. I broke down the prices to the penny for them. I think what irked me the most was they only gave me 5 days, which when you have a day job means you have to start right away. I had already done the decorative things they wanted in gumpaste.
post #6 of 73
I decorated at Wal Mart for about 7 years. That is where I learned to do what I do. I think one thing that no one realizes is that everything is pre made. They buy their cakes in a box, their cupcakes 144 to a box, their icing by the 5 gallon pail. Its an assembly line. According to the wal mart program, a decorator should be able to decorate 4 half sheet cakes in an hour. Most wal mart's decorator pay is 15-20 an hour, so lets say 17.50 (thats a high estimate) So their labor cost is 17.50/4 4.38 per cake. I charge 10/hr for my time for my personal cakes. When I was at wal mart I was turning 6-10 flat iced and bordered cakes an hour.

Sell your quality and workmanship over anything. Tell them it doesn't come pre made from a factory, its fresh made, not pre-frozen. Ask them how many horror stories of mis-spelled names, botched cake designs, or any other cake disaster they have heard from the cheap cakes! They don't train their decorators, they hire tom dick and sally to decorate and hope for the best!
post #7 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by RussellsCakes

Ask them how many horror stories of mis-spelled names, botched cake designs, or any other cake disaster they have heard from the cheap cakes! They don't train their decorators, they hire tom dick and sally to decorate and hope for the best!




Then send them to CakeWrecks dot com for the proof!!
post #8 of 73
You'll always run into people who don't have a realistic idea about pricing. It's annoying but unavoidable. Just roll your eyes and walk away.
post #9 of 73
Thread Starter 
I guess the part I hate is how they insinuate that I'm trying to rip them off. icon_sad.gif
post #10 of 73
i had a couple of great moments this week when I 1) was told that they wouldn't be using me because they wanted something less expensive and 2) said no to a cupcake 'pull apart' cake.

no looking back or second guessing. I finally got that it's not worth my time to try to save each and every order. icon_biggrin.gif
post #11 of 73
This is why they need to put pricing on TV!!!! Everyone see the cakes on cake boss, fabulous cakes, ace of cakes ect and thinks...."I want that" BUT if they knew how much "THAT" cost, maybe they would have more realistic expectations!
post #12 of 73
I had a gal a couple of weeks ago that wanted an 8 in. round, double layer cake, with 2 dozen custom elmo and cookie monster cupcakes. I quoted her $40 for all of it, partially because she is a gal I went to high school with, and partially because I know they don't have a lot of money. Normally, I would have charged more. She said no, because that was "too much money for that". Psh!!! Ok.... CYA! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
post #13 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorieleann

said no to a cupcake 'pull apart' cake.



Glad we're not the only ones who don't do cupcake cakes...we don't get many requests for them, but when customers do ask for cupcake cakes they are shocked that we don't make them. They usually end up ordering a regular cake or a couple dozen cupcakes instead.
post #14 of 73
I don't think it's 100% fair to blame the customers. I know at least in my personal experience, it's been fairly recent that I've taken note of more designer cake stores and cakers. I'm mostly a hobbyist, and I can honestly say I have very little clue what's reasonable when friends/cowokers/friends of relatives ask how much to make them a cake. (I generally just ask for cost plus whatever tip they feel like since it's more of a hobby than a way of life for me)

I think Jo made a great point about pricing on TV. Designer cakes are thrown into the spotlight. But no one really knows how much those sorts of cakes cost. The ONLY thing a lot of people have experience with in regards to pricing is the Wal-mart and grocery store prices.

And I think part of it is just the nature of society. We live in a place right now where getting great deals and getting things as inexpensive as possible is ingrained in us. And where a lot of things are mass-produced. I don't think that's a completely bad thing (mass-production has brought about a LOT of good things), but I think it causes people to not know or not understand the value of things that are hand made.

Still, there's a difference between unaware/ignorant and obnoxious.
post #15 of 73
I recently had a request for a huge Appa (flying bison from The Last Airbender), with 7 characters out of gumpaste on the cake. She wanted it all in Dark Chocolate. When I gave her the price she said, "Oh, no, no!" I suggested maybe to scale down on characters and on the size of the cake and she said, "Oh, no I think my husband and I can make it!" I just told her that was great! We live in a small area, the nearest place to get a custom cake is 4 hours away, and the prices are WAY more than I charge. At first I was offended, I felt she thought I was overcharging her, but it's ok. I hope she and her husband do try to make it themselves. I always tell people if you just want a cake, then Wal Mart has that. If you want a WOW, then I can help!
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