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Home Bakers: Going in together to buy in bulk. Feasible?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Has this been done here before? Did it work? I know some cake clubs go in together to buy things like cake boards in bulk. I like the bulk prices but I don't need 1000 6 inch round boards icon_lol.gif
post #2 of 12
I hear ya! i was thinking the same thing.

Also, my wholesaler needs a minimum order of $125.00 to even order something, I placed a good size order the other day, and of course I forgot to order a few things. Now I need to wait a till I have enough to order to get those items, oh well, live and learn i guess...
Johnica
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Johnica
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah, a similar thing happened to me last week. Some of the items I ordered were out of stock and should be in stock next week but now I have to find $125 worth of stuff to buy.
post #4 of 12
Oh you guys are funny! I try SO hard when I'm shopping for cake ANYTHING to stay in the general neighbourhood of $125! Seriously, I have a very stern talk with myself, and then start removing things from my cart until the price hovers around $125....if I'm lucky.
post #5 of 12
arlenej - when I ordered the other day, I went to check out and my total was close to $400, i almost passed out, so I went and took some stuff out, still was over $200 and of course the stuff I took out were some of the items I am now regretting I didn't get! SMH!
Johnica
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Johnica
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post #6 of 12
Personally, I would rather pay more than have to deal with organising orders, collecting money and distributing orders. I don't know how much you'd be saving, but I wonder if you looked at the savings in terms of time you'd be using, if it would still be a good deal.

Especially because people are awful, as a general rule, and you know you'd be chasing people who hadn't paid, possibly absorbing that cost yourself if they never paid. You'd be making lots of phone calls or emails, finding out if Mary Sue wanted 25 or 27 boards this month, and then there would always be leftovers out of the 1000 boards that you'd have to pay for and store yourself. How would you distribute all the stuff? If you drove around to people's houses, petrol prices would pretty quickly eat any savings. Ditto if you mailed them.

Sounds like way too much effort to me. But I am ridiculously lazy, so maybe it could work for you. icon_wink.gif
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input. mcaulir your post sheds some light on why this may not work and I appreciate the points that you've brought up. This thread is to find out if it would work and your scenario is one that we would have to be careful to avoid falling into.

I for one am not good at baby sitting adults, and if I got together with other BUSINESS owners to do this (one reason why I posted in the business section rather than decorating), I would expect the utmost professionalism, and for each person to be fully responsible for the conditions laid out.

The only reason I would drive around delivering cake materials like UPS is if I'd completely lost my mind icon_lol.gif
post #8 of 12
I for one think it was more of a post to see what people would feel about doing something like that, and I think it would work for people that were close to each other. For those further away from the person ordering, It would defeat the purpose of ordering wholesale to get the discount, and then having to add more packaging and UPS charges onto the cost of the products. Paypal would solve the problem of collecting money icon_smile.gif
Johnica
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Johnica
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Johnica10 you hit the nail right on the head. I believe keeping it local would be better as each individual can drive up to the designated pick-up point and get their materials. All materials will be bought after payment has been made so that cuts out the possibility of one person left hanging with the extras-- or the need to get Mary Lou to pay up.

I didn't know paypal could be used as a collection point. How does that work? Do we create 'something' to be paid for and those interested just enter their payment info as if they are 'buying' an item?
post #10 of 12
PayPal invoices can be created for anything. You just enter the amount and the email of the person you want to send it to. The detail can be as vague or thorough as you would like it to be. Personally, I would itemize everything they ordered and add back in a handling fee (to cover the PayPal service charge).

Depending on the vendor, you may not be able to get an exact shipping cost until it is actually shipped. For example, I just ordered from CK and my shipping estimate was $81, but the actual shipping was $128, which I wasn't informed of until after they shipped - this was also with 10 lbs of fondant and 48oz. of vanilla missing from what I ordered. This may make it difficult to be paid in full ahead of time.

You would also want to decide if you are just splitting shipping evenly according to % of cost of each person's order, or if you can somehow break it out by weight and oversized fees (i.e. cake boxes, shortening, etc. have a much higher shipping charge).

Let us know how it all works out. I've thought of trying this in the past, but the logistics just seemed to be too difficult. I really hope you can make it work (and share details).
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

Thanks for all the input. mcaulir your post sheds some light on why this may not work and I appreciate the points that you've brought up. This thread is to find out if it would work and your scenario is one that we would have to be careful to avoid falling into.

I for one am not good at baby sitting adults, and if I got together with other BUSINESS owners to do this (one reason why I posted in the business section rather than decorating), I would expect the utmost professionalism, and for each person to be fully responsible for the conditions laid out.
The only reason I would drive around delivering cake materials like UPS is if I'd completely lost my mind icon_lol.gif



You have such faith in humanity! icon_biggrin.gif

Seriously, though, i'd be interested to see how much you saved, compared with how much time it took you to
-send emails/make phone calls to everyone to let them know about the order
-receive emails/phone calls confirming
-place the order
-receive and divide up the order
-be available for everyone to show up for their part
-organise and check money.

If it took, say, an hour, cumulatively, to do all that, you would really need to be saving more than the hourly rate you pay yourself to make it worthwhile. Or would you charge the others more, because you would be doing all the extra work and saving them all the money?

Plus, I think there would always be cases where people are unavoidably late to pick up their order, or forget to pay promptly, no matter how professional everyone is. Or the time you set for everyone to pick up their order wouldn't suit everyone, or one person wouldn't want 8inch boards this time.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaulir



You have such faith in humanity! icon_biggrin.gif




LOL. You're right.
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