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Customer is making me worry a little!!! (vent)

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
So my husband has been taking cupcakes to work and one of his co workers has asked to order cupcakes for a party. Well my husband told her she needs to call me and place the order. It took her two weeks to call me. When she finally calls she tells me she wants 50 cupcakes 1/2 red velvet 1/2 plain? I'm like what is plain? Do you mean vanilla, yellow, or white? She is likle the plain ones! I'm like ok well I will make them yellow what kind of frosting would you like. She is like I want the frosting white bc the colors are white and silver and gold. I'm like ok got it. She then says she wants the letter p on 1/2 and the number 50 on the other half. She says that is for her mom who has passed and would have been 50 this year. I thought that was sweet. She says that she wants them to be flat on the cupcake. I told her that I could make them out of fondant and she says she wants them silver and gold and shiny. But she wants the icing flat and the numbers letters on them flat. But then says she wants cream cheese frosting on the red velvet!!! ok maybe I'm slow but WHAT??? So I'm like ok well I can use fondant for the letters. and place it on top of the cupcake but I would swirl the icing on. She's like no I want it flat but I want buttercream. I don't know what she is talking about really I don't. She asked me how she is going to get the cupcakes and I told her my husband would bring them to work. She then asked can she get a picture of the cupcakes bc she wants to see how they are going to look. She is now getting on my last nerve!!! But I say no problem I can send it by text the week of the party so you can see one. Now I'm annoyed bc does she expect me to make her cupcakes early just so I can ice one so she can see it. I'm sure they will be dry and hard by saturday.

My husband goes to work and he sees her and she informs him that she has off on saturday so how is she going to get her cupcakes. He tells her well call my wife and discuss it with her but I know that she asked me to bring them to you. He told her that if she didn't call he would call her the next day. He calls her and she doesn't answer. So he sees her again two days later and he wants to give her the quote but she disappers. I told my hubby she probably doesn't want the order. I usually bake on Thursday's and Friday's and this last week I was going to bake a few extra cupcakes to take a picture to show her but since we didn't hear from her I didn't. She calls me today like "oh I'm so sorry I was sleep when you called". I say ok well I have your quote and it's going to be $168 for 50 cupcakes with fondant letters and numbers on top. She's like wait I thought the letter was going to be flat on the cupcake. I'm like that can happen but it's still fondant. She's like no I want the icing. So I'm guess she wants me to pipe the letters and numbers on but how does she want them to be silver, gold and shiny? So I say don't worry I have it under control. I asked her if she could meet my husband on the train or in front of the job. She says that she lives kind of far from the job and she has running around to do that day. I told her that she has three options "Meet my husband at the job before he starts work or during one of his breaks, meet him at the train station, pay a delivery fee for me to take 3 hours out of my schedule to bring them to her house." She is so distraught about all of this. I tell her you know what don't worry I will ask my husband to leave early and bring them to your house. she is super grateful. So I asked how is she going to pay bc she hasn't put down anything yet. She she said she would come to the job and give him money ( I had just told her that he is off for the entire week)and give him the rest when he brings the cupcakes. Usually I would say no but since he works with her I said ok. What should I do if I don't see a customer before their order to have them pay? I then made the hugest mistake and asked if she wanted any filling in her yellow cupcakes. She was so lost!!! I explained what filling was and had to tell her like a Hostos cupcake has the white cream I have the cream or fruit. She then decides on pineapple but she was so lost. I'm so worried about this order and still don't have an idea of what she wants!!! Did I make a mistake taking this order? How do I make this icing flat with a shiny letter? Help!!! I'm sure glad I charged her what I did bc it's a PITA fee added on. Am I wrong for being a little annoyed?
post #2 of 34
Maybe you could ask her if she can find a picture on the internet of the type of cupcake that she wants, even just a similar one, just so you can have an idea of what she means? Then ask her to email it to you. Or you could do vice versa, you could maybe email her a picture of a cupcake in the style that you think she wants. HTH

Goodluck with the order icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 34
Run Forrest Run. She either won't pick them up, won't pay for them or if she does she pick them up and pay for them she won't like them. Or she will cancel them the day before or the morning of.
If you can't find time it do it right..how will you find time to do it over?
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If you can't find time it do it right..how will you find time to do it over?
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post #4 of 34
I agree with the PP. This woman sounds like a flake and it sounds like a fiasco waiting to happen. People wouldn't try to pull this kind of stunt with a "real bakery", but because you are a private baker she probably thinks you should be all grateful just to get an order! Sheeesh!
post #5 of 34
be ready for her to say "I don't have the money, can I give it to your husband at work?" and then have him chase her all over work for that money. If he does deliver make sure that he gets the money first and then give the cupcakes or work out something for him to say if she doesn't have the money
post #6 of 34
Oh my....this reminds me of a book that was popular in the late 90's called The Gift of Fear. The book was originally designed to help people avoid trauma and violence by learning to identify the warning flags. One of the most interesting premises is that we each need to trust our instincts. I've found this advice to be just as true in assessing minor problems as well as major ones. If your instinct is the run from this lady, then RUN.
I like to sell my products as much as the next baker...it makes me feel validated but it's not worth dealing with someone who gives off vibes that mean trouble. Sometimes you just have to set limits on these people. Money when they pick up the cupcakes, respect for your time, design and product.
I appreciate the delicate situation that this is your husband's co-worker but if you put on your best "southern" smile, start the conversation with "why bless your heart" then tell her what you will and will not do, you'll be surprised how easy it is to take control and protect yourself and your sanity. Good luck...just remember there are hundreds of thousands of bakers on CC who have your back!
No license or insurance. Put lead wires in cakes, never wash hands, cake boards are used cardboard. No contracts cause I can't read or write. No lawyer cause I'm judgment proof. I bake with old mix boxes found behind Walmart. Now about my question
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No license or insurance. Put lead wires in cakes, never wash hands, cake boards are used cardboard. No contracts cause I can't read or write. No lawyer cause I'm judgment proof. I bake with old mix boxes found behind Walmart. Now about my question
Reply
post #7 of 34
Oh and to help you set your limits and save your sanity I have 2 words of advice. (1) Deposit (2) Contracts. I have a simple contract but it states, 3 week before event everything has to be finalized and any and all changes after that time will subject to additional charges AND the balance has to be paid 2 weeks prior to event, unpaid balance equals no merchandise, no exceptions.

This contract deals mainly with brides but I have used it for new customers that I got a bad vibe from. If they are just jerking my chain they get lost quick when they find out they have to pay a deposit.

Don't be a softy.
If you can't find time it do it right..how will you find time to do it over?
Reply
If you can't find time it do it right..how will you find time to do it over?
Reply
post #8 of 34
I really was wondering if she meant she wants them iced smooth and flat, and then the fondant letters were on that. I would just ice and then use a paper towel and smooth just like with a cake, so its perfectly smooth and flat. I might not be understanding, but don't see why fondant numbers wouldn't be o.k., she could just remove them if she didn't like fondant.
I'm dealing with this also, people that like to micro-manage every thing. I was planning a wedding cake with my neice as a wedding gift. She was driving me crazy with every detail, even wanted me to make a sample tier with the design to see if she would like it. In contrast to my other niece, that has never had much and is just so happy that someone is doing something so nice for her. She is so grateful and thankful, such a sweetheart, its people like her, that makes doing what I do worth it.
post #9 of 34
Karema, don't let this woman "play" you. You dictate the terms of the transaction. You send her a sketch/photo to finalize design. If she insists on your baking a sample for her, charge her for it. You've spent far to much time over thinking this. Email her your design plan, delivery details, cost, etc. If she OKs it (not verbally but via email so you have a record) then you should get a deposit. If, at this point, it's too close to the event, insist on full payment at delivery (no "check is in the mail" stuff). No payment, no cupcakes.

It's your business! She can dictate the design but you dictate the the price and the terms.

Hope this works out well for you.
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 #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Well she is saying that she doesn't know what fondant is so she doesn't necessarily want fondant letters. She just wants the letters and numbers on the cake. If she does not want fondant I don't know how to do it that would look classy. I would never just pipe it on. I think I may cancel and tell her to go elsewhere we will see. She is not saying that she wants a sample she just wants a picture of how it would look. I don't know what to think anymore lol I will just see what happens when it gets closer. I'm not going to start the fondant until thursday to give her a chance to back out. I feel like I should tell her to bring the deposit to me but it's just so far away. She is about 1-2 hours away by train...sigh
post #11 of 34
When I need a flat top with buttercream on a cupcake, I spread buttercream evenly on a sheet pan lined with wax paper. Then I freeze it fairly firm but not frozen solid, I take a cookie cutter the size I need for the cupcake and make buttercream icing discs. I lift each icing disc on to the cupcake, 95% of the disc come out perfectly. You do have to work quickly, especially in the Summer. With this method you can lay numbers and letters on individually or on a fondant disc. HTH
In pursuit of excellence
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In pursuit of excellence
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post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for all the advice. I will try to make the disc and see how they come out. Now I have to go buy a cirlce cookie cutter that will fit on top of the cupcake...
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karema

Thank you so much for all the advice. I will try to make the disc and see how they come out. Now I have to go buy a cirlce cookie cutter that will fit on top of the cupcake...



A biscuit cutter or empty soup/vegetable can makes a nice circle cutter.
HOW TO:
Make tip #127D (giant rose tip) Ruffle cake,
Write with icing,
Make buttercream roses on a stick:
http://s984.photobucket.com/albums/ae322/Unlimited1cakes/
Reply
HOW TO:
Make tip #127D (giant rose tip) Ruffle cake,
Write with icing,
Make buttercream roses on a stick:
http://s984.photobucket.com/albums/ae322/Unlimited1cakes/
Reply
post #14 of 34
Or the mouth of a glass or jar. My grandma use to cut biscuits with the mouth of a jelly glass. LOL!
In pursuit of excellence
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In pursuit of excellence
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post #15 of 34
Karema... a trick I learned for piping in a mixture of colours is to make 2 batches of icing in the colours I require, then fill the icing in very small amounts into 2 piping bags with a small hole in. place the piping bags on their sides and flatted a bit. The hole should be far smaller than the hole required for a nozzle. Then take a third bag and this one will have the nozzle in the shape you want to pipe out the numbers.

Place the 2 piping bags with the icing into the third piping bag. What you want to achieve is that when you squeeze the third piping bag with the other 2 in it, the icing comes out in 2 colours yet makes the pattern of the nozzle. This sounds hectic but really easy once you do it the first time and play around. This can be used to get multiple colour swirls .

Then for the silver portion, once the buttercream is crusted, you can use silver luster dust mixed with a tiny bit if vodka and paint it onto the numbers you have piped or just sprinkle the luster dust.

Another option for the flat icing would be use a glaze icing over the normal buttercream icing. Glaze icing is made from confectioners sugar (icing sugar) & hot water. It forms a runny icing but dries nicely. I like the other idea of the buttercream icing disks. That sounds like it would work as well.

Sorry about your woes. We all have difficult customers. Just hang in there. This too shall pass and you will breathe a sigh of relief once its over.
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