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A discouraged Baker

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hello All!

I am new to here, and I hate that my first post has got to be one of sadness, but I really just need some opinions. I have been selling my cakes now for 2 years and I have a decent sized customer basis, but I want to be able to expand to a somewhat larger one. The problem is that I always get a ton of people interested in placing an order and then a lot of them immediately back away as soon as I mention price icon_sad.gif

I have done a lot of research in my area and what I want to charge is super competitive compared to all the bakeries in my general vicinity. What am I doing wrong? Because I am a smaller business do people expect me to charge less?
post #2 of 28
Perhaps ask budget first and then suit the cakes to match the budget?

If you ask them what cake they want, and they say they want XYZ, and you give them a large price for the cake they want (note: the right price for the cake they want), they'll back away.

BUT

If you ask them their budget and they say $50 then you offer them the best cake they can get for that price. They should be more likely to accept icon_smile.gif
A down-to-earth South African who has a growing interest in fondant cakes...I've been bitten by the cake bug!
Reply
A down-to-earth South African who has a growing interest in fondant cakes...I've been bitten by the cake bug!
Reply
post #3 of 28
Because this industry notoriously hides the prices, worse than any other industry, you will get inquiries from people who have no idea what the prices are, even a ballpark. So it may be that all bakers are out of their budget.

Tails has excellent advice in the post above that could save you from extra work.

I have all pricing on my site, but I still get inquiries about things not on the menu. After awhile, you should be able to tell if a client is ok with your initial price. If they are phone or email inquiries, just give them the price and move on after you give the perks of booking with you. On big orders, they will always shop, so if your prices and skills are in line with market pricing, you need to look closer at your website, your initial information to the client, and any other first impression.

Hope this helps. Give us more specifics and maybe we can help further.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks to both of you! That is a good idea to ask about their budget first before going onto an actual estimate quote! For all the time I have been doing this, I've always asked people specifically what they were wanting and then gave them a quote.

So now my question is, if they start out by specifically stating what they want and I know that the pricing is going to be expensive, should I avoid telling them how much a cake like that would cost before getting a ballpark of their budget? And, when a customer has an unrealistic expectation as to how much a cake should cost, what is the best way of trying to talk them down into a cake that'll more suit their budget without potentially scaring them off?

I have to admit I'm a little bit of an amateur when it comes to this area of my business. For the past 2 years, I have catered to customers who have already heard of me via word of mouth from other customers I made cakes for already. So, they already have an idea of how I price before even speaking with me. However, a lot of these people I'm trying to communicate with now have absolutely no idea how pricing works outside of Safeway or Costco
post #5 of 28
The thing is that a lot of people want a custom designed cake like on Cake Boss or Ace of Cakes, on a Walmart budget. Like the saying goes, champagne taste on a beer budget. You can't lower your standards or prices for them. Once they call around and see that every other place charges those prices too, they'll come to realize that they have to pay out or settle for the Walmart cake.

On a side note, I really wish they would put prices of cakes on those shows. I went onto Charm City Cakes website one time and a small 8" cake designed by one of they're cake decorators (not custom, ready made) is $200 and a custom order cake begins at $1000!! People not in the cake business don't realize this. :/
Dina
Miami, FL

www.dinab.com
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Dina
Miami, FL

www.dinab.com
Reply
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinascakes

The thing is that a lot of people want a custom designed cake like on or Ace of Cakes, on a Walmart budget. Like the saying goes, champagne taste on a beer budget. You can't lower your standards or prices for them. Once they call around and see that every other place charges those prices too, they'll come to realize that they have to pay out or settle for the Walmart cake.

On a side note, I really wish they would put prices of cakes on those shows. I went onto Charm City Cakes website one time and a small 8" cake designed by one of they're cake decorators (not custom, ready made) is $200 and a custom order cake begins at $1000!! People not in the cake business don't realize this. :/



Do you suppose it would do any good to start a letter-writing campaign?
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgifford

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinascakes

The thing is that a lot of people want a custom designed cake like on or Ace of Cakes, on a Walmart budget. Like the saying goes, champagne taste on a beer budget. You can't lower your standards or prices for them. Once they call around and see that every other place charges those prices too, they'll come to realize that they have to pay out or settle for the Walmart cake.

On a side note, I really wish they would put prices of cakes on those shows. I went onto Charm City Cakes website one time and a small 8" cake designed by one of they're cake decorators (not custom, ready made) is $200 and a custom order cake begins at $1000!! People not in the cake business don't realize this. :/



Do you suppose it would do any good to start a letter-writing campaign?



The smallest cake from Charm City is now $250. I actually tell people that. Hey You want an 8 inch round that starts at XYZ.... Did you know Charm City charges $250 for this size with pre picked designs?! Then they think they are getting a deal. As long as you slide it into the conversation. They never know you are doing it to benefit yourself
post #8 of 28
My brother recently called CakeBoss & was told that the starting price was $1,000 for a simple design! He also said they were quite rude on the phone and did not seem interested in his business at all so he went elsewhere!
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mplaidgirl2

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgifford

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinascakes

The thing is that a lot of people want a custom designed cake like on or Ace of Cakes, on a Walmart budget. Like the saying goes, champagne taste on a beer budget. You can't lower your standards or prices for them. Once they call around and see that every other place charges those prices too, they'll come to realize that they have to pay out or settle for the Walmart cake.

On a side note, I really wish they would put prices of cakes on those shows. I went onto Charm City Cakes website one time and a small 8" cake designed by one of they're cake decorators (not custom, ready made) is $200 and a custom order cake begins at $1000!! People not in the cake business don't realize this. :/



Do you suppose it would do any good to start a letter-writing campaign?



The smallest cake from Charm City is now $250. I actually tell people that. Hey You want an 8 inch round that starts at XYZ.... Did you know Charm City charges $250 for this size with pre picked designs?! Then they think they are getting a deal. As long as you slide it into the conversation. They never know you are doing it to benefit yourself



Just peeked at their site... that $250 cake is a "cake for two"! It's a 4" or 6" round. So even better for your clients icon_smile.gif
post #10 of 28
Lol - I think I'll make a dummy 6" and put a sign on it - - "This would cost you $250 from Duff". What do you think - - would it do me any good?
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgifford

Lol - I think I'll make a dummy 6" and put a sign on it - - "This would cost you $250 from Duff". What do you think - - would it do me any good?



OMG I literally laughed out loud at that. It's a good idea!
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgifford

Lol - I think I'll make a dummy 6" and put a sign on it - - "This would cost you $250 from Duff". What do you think - - would it do me any good?



Okay, is there a "genius idea" award we can give you? This is brilliant!
post #13 of 28
icon_redface.gif Thank you, thank you. My job here is done.
post #14 of 28
It's really 8 inches, 3 layers...might have to get a bigger dummy.

FROM HIS SITE:
Do they really only feed two?

No. Every Cake for Two is an 8-inch round cake with 3 layers of cake inside. They actually feed about 15. But "Cakes for Fifteen" didn't have as nice a ring to it.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

It's really 8 inches, 3 layers...might have to get a bigger dummy.

FROM HIS SITE:
Do they really only feed two?

No. Every Cake for Two is an 8-inch round cake with 3 layers of cake inside. They actually feed about 15. But "Cakes for Fifteen" didn't have as nice a ring to it.



That's still a ridiculous amount for an 8". I'm making an 8" next week for a co-worker. I can just imagine her face if I told her the price was $250. icon_eek.gif
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