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How much should I be charging?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am only 7 months into my cake adventure and am constantly being told I am charging way to little for my cakes. How much would you charge for the cake below? I am only charging between $35 and $40 for a cake this size. Granted this one had a lot of little time consuming decorations but I tend to not really add that to the price. I am still trying to "get my name out" so I have kept my prices fairly low.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/majesticcupcakes/6468018987/in/photostream
post #2 of 17
You need to change the privacy settings on your photo, it is currently set to private so no one else can see it.

Does GA have a cottage food law? If not, you shouldn't be charging anything for your cakes and should not be advertising your business until you can get a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen.
post #3 of 17
The link you have on your post doesn't show pictures, it brings me to a place I need to sign up for, and I'm not doing that.

I also tried your www link at bottom of post and it tells me the page is not found.

So I can't see the cake in question.

Quinte West, Ontario, Canada   www.TeriLovesCake.ca   Strictly Wheat & Gluten-Free         

 

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Quinte West, Ontario, Canada   www.TeriLovesCake.ca   Strictly Wheat & Gluten-Free         

 

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post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
If you click on the photos button on my post, you can see it there too.

I do know the laws in GA regarding home bakers and I currently rent kitchen space from a friend who is also a restaurant owner.
post #5 of 17
There are 3 photos in you profile, still not sure which we are talking about. But buy the looks of the cakes you are undercharging a lot. And unfortunately when you start low people get upset when you raise prices. You should be charging fairly right from the start. Try pricing x amount per serving for BC and x amount per serving for fondant covered and x amount for fondant/gumpaste modeling. Plus supplies, cake boards, dowels etc...

That 2 Tier monkey cake is worth at least $150 for time, work & supplies and I think that is generous.

Quinte West, Ontario, Canada   www.TeriLovesCake.ca   Strictly Wheat & Gluten-Free         

 

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Quinte West, Ontario, Canada   www.TeriLovesCake.ca   Strictly Wheat & Gluten-Free         

 

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post #6 of 17
That cake is worth way more then $40. You probably spent about that to make it! I seriously recommend getting the cakeboss software- it tells you exactly how much you spend on making a cake - a lot of initial data entry (ingredient prices, recipes) but once it is all done, you will see how much everything costs, down to the teaspoon of baking powder!

I am still working out my pricing too, but I've decided that I will never take under $75 for a cake again- unless it's for a very special friend. The time and effort put into it isn't worth making no money. For a cake like this (which is very cute by the way) I would charge about $80 - I'm not sure what flavor it is or ingredients used, but I can tell you spent a lot of time on it.

Don't get your name out- as the 'great cakes for really cheap lady'

Price your cakes according to what they should be worth, that way there is no confusion when you quote higher prices next time and they say, but that last cake was only $40!!!
I've learned so much from my mistakes..... I'm thinking of making a few more!
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I've learned so much from my mistakes..... I'm thinking of making a few more!
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you!!!! I was asking about the Curious George cake! A lot of my pricing issues stem from the fact that I live in a very small, tightknit town that I am not from.......everyone has a grandma or aunt that bakes! I'm getting there but it is taking some time!
post #8 of 17
I totally agree with Debbye27. I also use the CakeBoss Software. I LOVE it. I would also recommend it. But if you don't wish to spend the cash right now, price per serving. Your time, effort and talent is worth much more and people need to understand that.

Quinte West, Ontario, Canada   www.TeriLovesCake.ca   Strictly Wheat & Gluten-Free         

 

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Quinte West, Ontario, Canada   www.TeriLovesCake.ca   Strictly Wheat & Gluten-Free         

 

Reply
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you ladies! I will definitely look into the software! I appreciate all the advice I can get!
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MajesticCupcakes

everyone has a grandma or aunt that bakes! I'm getting there but it is taking some time!



You're doing more then just baking icon_smile.gif You are decorating and creating masterpieces....remember that! Can their grandmother make that cake?

I felt the same way until last month when I spent 3 long days (and one overnight) on a cake and only made $40 profit.......sore arms and wrists....very messy kitchen.....was so tired....(not worth the $40 - even though I had fun making it.....)

Just something to keep in mind..... icon_smile.gif People will pay for gorgeous cakes....don't let them get away with $40.... show some pics and be confident in your quotes -if they say no....let their aunt bake a cake that is no comparrison to yours...they'll be back next time!
I've learned so much from my mistakes..... I'm thinking of making a few more!
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I've learned so much from my mistakes..... I'm thinking of making a few more!
Reply
post #11 of 17
How long did that cake take you to make, how much were ingredients, and what is your hourly rent?

It's a great looking cake, we would probably have charged at least $150-200.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbye27

Quote:
Originally Posted by MajesticCupcakes

everyone has a grandma or aunt that bakes! I'm getting there but it is taking some time!



You're doing more then just baking icon_smile.gif You are decorating and creating masterpieces....remember that! Can their grandmother make that cake?

I felt the same way until last month when I spent 3 long days (and one overnight) on a cake and only made $40 profit.......sore arms and wrists....very messy kitchen.....was so tired....(not worth the $40 - even though I had fun making it.....)

Just something to keep in mind..... icon_smile.gif People will pay for gorgeous cakes....don't let them get away with $40.... show some pics and be confident in your quotes -if they say no....let their aunt bake a cake that is no comparrison to yours...they'll be back next time!



Very true and I have thought about my time even more since my husband pointed out between the gas back and forth to the restaurant, the cake boxes and boards ( I buy high quality boards and boxes), all the little extras I add, and the time I put into a cake, I don't even come close to making a profit. It was a real eyeopener when he told me based on the last cake I did, I basically made $2.37 per hr. It takes me between 10 and 15 to complete a cake like the Curious George. That includes my driving time. Cakes don't cover my rent yet but like I said, I am getting a really good deal there so I am not sweating it ..... yet.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
BTW, the curious george cake was a chocolate/vanilla marble with vanilla buttercream and all mmf and gumpaste decorations.
post #14 of 17
The problem with charging so little is you will become the "cheap cake lady" and when you raise your prices to what they should be you will lose the customer base you have been working on growing. Now, you will build a new customer base, one that values your time and skill and pays what you should be getting, but you will be starting all over again trying to find new customers. So do yourself a favor and raise your prices now.

I understand that there is someone in every family that "makes cakes" but you are not making a cake to stick in the corner of the room to be served for dessert. You are making the center piece of the party that people will look at and comment about. That is not what Miss Susie's grandma does. You are not competing against these people because you are offering a totally different product.

I promise you that by charging only $40 for the monkey cake you lost money. Quite a bit of money. You are not just trying to cover the cost of each cake (ingredients, boards, boxes, fondant) but also:
electricity (which can't really be estimated per cake)
water (which can't really be estimated per cake)
papertowels
soap
disposable bowls, plates, cups, decorating bags...
license
insurance
gas (delivery and going to store to purchase ingredients)
TIME (your time is worth a specific $$ amount, not just how much $$ is left over after the above has been taken out of what you charged)
"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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post #15 of 17
Hi,
I live in a very small town in Alaska and I to had issues with pricing. My personal opinion on cost for that cake would be $85-100. Most bakers will sell a cake to you by the slice. If you can figure out a good price to charge by the slice then you just need to figure out how much extra to charge for decor. I was finding myself quickly getting frustrated when the clients want more and more from me and I wasn't getting paid enough to barely break even. That's when most will realize this isn't for them or they realize it is time for a change. That's when my prices changed. Hope this is helpful
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