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post #16 of 34
I also ask for their budget first. Once someone comes to me for a cake, that is the first thing that comes out of my mouth. People think that because I don't have a "bakery," then I can't charge the prices I do. I am based at home, but I do use a commercial kitchen and people don't realize that you have to PAY for it! icon_confused.gif I always get comments like: "I might as well go to a real bakery" or "You would get so much more business if you charged less." *sigh* such is life

You should definitely check out the big box stores and making your own fondant like the others suggested. I only use commercial fondant when I need dark colors. Even if you do it out of your home, you still have to pay for electric, gas, paper towels, etc. but most people don't think about those things! It is hard at times, but if you don't compensate yourself what your time is worth, then you'll soon hate what you once loved!!! icon_wink.gif
post #17 of 34
Things are worth what you can get people to pay for them. This company:

http://sugarbloomcupcakes.blogspot.com/

charges A$170 for the 6 inch cake at the top of their cupcake towers.

That's obviously not going to happen in all locations. You need a large enough population of people who are willing to pay such prices. If you can get people to pay $60 for a 6inch cake, then that's what it's worth. If you can't, then it doesn't matter how much you paid for ingredients.

People often advise others here to ask about budget first. However, I wouldn't assume that someone who has a small 'budget' won't spend more if you show them what's available.

Before I started caking, I had absolutely no idea what a custom cake would cost. Why would I? I'd never bought one. I would have grossly underestimated how much a cake would be. That doesn't mean I wouldn't have been willing to spend more, just that I didn't know what a reasonable price for cake would be.

If someone had asked me what my budget was as the first question, I would have given a ridiculously small figure, I'm sure. If you only worked within that amount, you would have lost a larger order.
post #18 of 34
The best advise that has worked for me is to set a minimum price. It does matter where we live and what others are charging for a similar cake. I do not take many cake orders (work full time) so I make nothing smaller that an 8" double layer buttercream frosting and filling, basic decorations (add costs from there depending on design) at $50.00. Telling someone a minimum up front lets them decide if you are in there budget they decide right then and there and no time is wasted on either part. I do not go smaller on my cakes because I do not want to waste material and I notice most people are really happier at the end with a slightly larger cake. Good luck,,, if you don't make some kind of profit at some point in time this will not be enjoyable and once customers get used to your prices it will be very hard to increase them later. icon_smile.gif
post #19 of 34
A minimum price and size of order. The smallest stand alone cake I offer is an 8" cake. One recipe makes an 8" cake and that is my minimum. Sure I could scale it down, but honestly... turning on my oven for an order that is less than $100 is not worth my time so I don't. If someone truly only wanted a 6" cake they would still have to pay $100.00.

The OP said that one recipe makes more than a 6" cake so that is why it takes all the butter she stated, but she would be out the ingredients no matter what so she should be compensated. If you aren't at a point where are making multiple orders in a week, that extra batter won't get used. It costs me $1.10+ per serving to make a cake... this includes fondant, the thick base board and all internal supports. All baking from scratch using real vanilla beans and high quality chocolate... all butter never shortening... meringue buttercream... real fruit... the whole 9 yards and then some. It's expensive to bake like this and even more so since I am small scale and don't have a wholesale account. There are people who will pay for the quality... you just have to find them and market yourself to them. It is all part of my marketing plan... you have to make it work for you. I could easily cut costs, but then I would be compromising on my baking integrity and I just can't/won't do it.
post #20 of 34
Well said lilmissbakesalot! You have to set limits, order minimums, etc. And if your ingredients are expensive you need to let customers know that you bake from scratch using the finest ingredients available.
Often times people think that home bakers can do it cheaper, but you need to let them know that it's custom work, small batch baking and it is not Walmart assembly line. Not everyone can or will pay for custom. But if you market yourself properly and set yourself apart, you will develop a client base. Don't sell yourself short.
Life is unpredictable so let's eat dessert first!
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Life is unpredictable so let's eat dessert first!
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post #21 of 34
Well said lilmissbakesalot! You have to set limits, order minimums, etc. And if your ingredients are expensive you need to let customers know that you bake from scratch using the finest ingredients available.
Often times people think that home bakers can do it cheaper, but you need to let them know that it's custom work, small batch baking and it is not Walmart assembly line. Not everyone can or will pay for custom. But if you market yourself properly and set yourself apart, you will develop a client base. Don't sell yourself short.
Life is unpredictable so let's eat dessert first!
Reply
Life is unpredictable so let's eat dessert first!
Reply
post #22 of 34
Pleaswe correct me if I'm wrong, but if the OP is using a recipe that takes 2 cups of butter to make a 6 inch cake it might be time for her to cut that recipe in half. I don't know of a recipe that calls for more than 1 cup of butter to make two eight inch layers.

deborahanne

http://grandmasugarskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://fromlinetocolor.blogspot.ca/

Life begins at 325° F, and, yes, that IS powdered sugar in my hair.

Baby Shower
(6 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(6 photos)
Christmas
(6 photos)
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deborahanne

http://grandmasugarskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://fromlinetocolor.blogspot.ca/

Life begins at 325° F, and, yes, that IS powdered sugar in my hair.

Baby Shower
(6 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(6 photos)
Christmas
(6 photos)
Reply
post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
Ok So with regards to the 2 blocks (not cups) of butter. I use 3/4 cup in the batter and 1/2 cup in the icing. Sometimes I need to use a double batch of icing so I use more. I may not use the entire 2 blocks of butter but I still need to purchase them. I do have a base price of $50 for all cakes. and usually will ad $10 for fondant accents. The lady that wanted this cake was aware of my base price and the extra for fondant. I was just baffled by the fact that someone else could charge $28. I am not used to being paid an hourly wage of $2.00/hr or even less that's why I'm trying not to sell myself short. I was actually speaking with a "friend" about it last night and she simply said, "well if I can get it at the supermarket for cheaper then thats what I would do, cake is just cake, right." So this is the mentality of many people I am realizing. I wanted to hang up on her!
Gracie Cakes and Cupcakes
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Gracie Cakes and Cupcakes
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post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 
Ok So with regards to the 2 blocks (not cups) of butter. I use 3/4 cup in the batter and 1/2 cup in the icing. Sometimes I need to use a double batch of icing so I use more. I may not use the entire 2 blocks of butter but I still need to purchase them. I do have a base price of $50 for all cakes. and usually will ad $10 for fondant accents. The lady that wanted this cake was aware of my base price and the extra for fondant. I was just baffled by the fact that someone else could charge $28. I am not used to being paid an hourly wage of $2.00/hr or even less that's why I'm trying not to sell myself short. I was actually speaking with a "friend" about it last night and she simply said, "well if I can get it at the supermarket for cheaper then thats what I would do, cake is just cake, right." So this is the mentality of many people I am realizing. I wanted to hang up on her!
Gracie Cakes and Cupcakes
Reply
Gracie Cakes and Cupcakes
Reply
post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
Ok So with regards to the 2 blocks (not cups) of butter. I use 3/4 cup in the batter and 1/2 cup in the icing. Sometimes I need to use a double batch of icing so I use more. I may not use the entire 2 blocks of butter but I still need to purchase them. I do have a base price of $50 for all cakes. and usually will ad $10 for fondant accents. The lady that wanted this cake was aware of my base price and the extra for fondant. I was just baffled by the fact that someone else could charge $28. I am not used to being paid an hourly wage of $2.00/hr or even less that's why I'm trying not to sell myself short. I was actually speaking with a "friend" about it last night and she simply said, "well if I can get it at the supermarket for cheaper then thats what I would do, cake is just cake, right." So this is the mentality of many people I am realizing. I wanted to hang up on her!
Gracie Cakes and Cupcakes
Reply
Gracie Cakes and Cupcakes
Reply
post #26 of 34
Thread Starter 
Ok So with regards to the 2 blocks (not cups) of butter. I use 3/4 cup in the batter and 1/2 cup in the icing. Sometimes I need to use a double batch of icing so I use more. I may not use the entire 2 blocks of butter but I still need to purchase them. I do have a base price of $50 for all cakes. and usually will ad $10 for fondant accents. The lady that wanted this cake was aware of my base price and the extra for fondant. I was just baffled by the fact that someone else could charge $28. I am not used to being paid an hourly wage of $2.00/hr or even less that's why I'm trying not to sell myself short. I was actually speaking with a "friend" about it last night and she simply said, "well if I can get it at the supermarket for cheaper then thats what I would do, cake is just cake, right." So this is the mentality of many people I am realizing. I wanted to hang up on her!
Gracie Cakes and Cupcakes
Reply
Gracie Cakes and Cupcakes
Reply
post #27 of 34
Where are you buying butter at $6.00 for a half pound block and what brand is it?

deborahanne

http://grandmasugarskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://fromlinetocolor.blogspot.ca/

Life begins at 325° F, and, yes, that IS powdered sugar in my hair.

Baby Shower
(6 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(6 photos)
Christmas
(6 photos)
Reply

deborahanne

http://grandmasugarskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://fromlinetocolor.blogspot.ca/

Life begins at 325° F, and, yes, that IS powdered sugar in my hair.

Baby Shower
(6 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(6 photos)
Christmas
(6 photos)
Reply
post #28 of 34
Where are you buying butter at $6.00 for a half pound block and what brand is it?

deborahanne

http://grandmasugarskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://fromlinetocolor.blogspot.ca/

Life begins at 325° F, and, yes, that IS powdered sugar in my hair.

Baby Shower
(6 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(6 photos)
Christmas
(6 photos)
Reply

deborahanne

http://grandmasugarskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://fromlinetocolor.blogspot.ca/

Life begins at 325° F, and, yes, that IS powdered sugar in my hair.

Baby Shower
(6 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(6 photos)
Christmas
(6 photos)
Reply
post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 
I shop at Sobeys which is walking distance from my house and they sell Dairyland butter for $5.99. I could get it for $4 at Costco but its a 20 min drive so am I really saving money. I have checked all the local supermarkets and the price ranges from $4-$6 here. And thats even for the no name brands at superstore. Perhaps $60 was a little much to charge for that cake but I don't see how anyone could make money charging much less than that.
Gracie Cakes and Cupcakes
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Gracie Cakes and Cupcakes
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post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by GracieCakesandCupcakes

I was actually speaking with a "friend" about it last night and she simply said, "well if I can get it at the supermarket for cheaper then thats what I would do, cake is just cake, right." So this is the mentality of many people I am realizing. I wanted to hang up on her!


There's nothing inherently wrong with that mentality, and many people do feel that way, so you shouldn't take it personally. It's your job to recognize those people and steer your marketing away from them.
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