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A favor came back to bite my A**!!! Calling all units here!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I received an email from a prospective client asking for a cake. He sent photos, and when I quoted him a price, he hit the roof. He said that is was way over budget, which I can understand.

THE PROBLEM lies in the fact that this person was referred by a former client (friend of theirs). I had made a cake for this friend and long story short, I went ABOVE AND BEYOND in making their cake. I wanted to try a new technique, they gave me creative freedom, I wanted a cool photo for my portfolio, and the got WAY more than their money's worth.

Now this new person is trying to haggle me into going lower, to which I say GOOD LUCK.

My first instinct would be to tell them "I understand the quote may be over your budget, but that is the base price for a cake to feed XXX amount of people. Furthermore, I understand that your friend paid XXX amount for their cake, but their order is irrelevant, and as much as I wish i could give you the same deal, I've got my bills to pay."

Personally, I could care less if I get the order or not. If he doesn't want to pay for my work, many others do. But my question is how can i make it politely clear that just because her friend got a heck of a deal doesn't mean he will.

How would you handle it?
Thanks! =)
A bad day in the kitchen is better than ANY good day at work!
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A bad day in the kitchen is better than ANY good day at work!
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post #2 of 22
Did this new client mention that his friend got a lower price? If so, you can just say the friend received a discount based on a promotion that is no longer being offered. If not, I wouldn't bring it up at all.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yes, he did. In fact he wouldn't shut up about it. Lol. He kept saying "I believe you quoted so-and-so this much, and I just want the same thing as so-and-so's cake". Then he actually threw in a "sorry, I don't mean to compare".
A bad day in the kitchen is better than ANY good day at work!
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A bad day in the kitchen is better than ANY good day at work!
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post #4 of 22
I say to the person directly, that this is the price. If they don't like it, I tell them that I can give them a list of other cake artists in the area that may be able to help them out. You are in charge and control of the conversation. After that, I ask them if need anything else, and I excuse myself to return to work.

I do not care if they get mad or not. I have plenty of other work that needs to be completed. I have found out that you can never please everyone, and there will always be someone that will complain about the price. I don't take the time to kiss up to anyone for them to give me their business. I have more than I need. I will lose only that one customer, but the other 40 or 50 that have paid me that week to create a piece of art for them, is waiting to be completed.

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Visit our Site:
www.AllOccasionCakesBakery.com
Or email us directly:
BeautifulCakes@AllOccasionCakesBakery.com

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post #5 of 22
I'm sure the former client told them what they paid and the new person thought that would be his price.

Your initial post said it all: " I went ABOVE AND BEYOND in making their cake. I wanted to try a new technique, they gave me creative freedom, I wanted a cool photo for my portfolio, and the got WAY more than their money's worth. "

There's a nice way to be honest, yet direct.

The price you are giving him is your price. The former client's cake was done below your costs because you had the time to explore a new technique, and it happened to fit into your schedule and theirs. It was priced below what would have been normally charged.

Of course, his shock is reasonable since he expected a price point in line with what his friend received. It's unfortunate but it does happen.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynne3

I'm sure the former client told them what they paid and the new person thought that would be his price.

Your initial post said it all: " I went ABOVE AND BEYOND in making their cake. I wanted to try a new technique, they gave me creative freedom, I wanted a cool photo for my portfolio, and the got WAY more than their money's worth. "

There's a nice way to be honest, yet direct.


You need to be very careful about phrasing here. Every customer should think you are going above and beyond to make an amazing cake for them, the implication with the above statement is that you won't do that for this new customer.

I would stick to an explanation focusing on the business end of the transaction as opposed to the creative end.
post #7 of 22
Dear so and so...

Thank you for your interest in my work. The quote I gave you of $XX is my current price for the cake you requested. The price which "so and so" received was due to a promotion which has now expired.

If you wish to proceed with your order at the current price of $XX a X% deposit is required by "X Date".

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind Regards,

SweetasLemmons

Just an idea of how you could word it....
post #8 of 22
All you have to ay is each and every cake is original and are priced completely different. End of discussion right there. You don't have to be nasty by any means just politely state your policy.
Mommy1st Cake Decorator 2nd.........
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Mommy1st Cake Decorator 2nd.........
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post #9 of 22
I've run into this previously in cases where I used a new technique and seriously underestimated the amount of time involved. It might have been helpful to tell the first client upon delivery "If I ever made a cake like this again, I would have to charge $xxx" so if they did discuss it among their friends they would be likely to mention the higher price. As posters above have mentioned, all you can do now is tell him the current price and let him take it or leave it. Previous discounts are no longer available.
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Chocolate is my drug of choice....
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post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashleyssweetdesigns

All you have to ay is each and every cake is original and are priced completely different. End of discussion right there. You don't have to be nasty by any means just politely state your policy.



This might not be a good idea. Granted, each cake is unique, but you don't want your customers (or the public) thinking that you arbitrarily pull an amount out of thin air for each one. I would simply tell him that you give a large discount when your customers allow you to try new techniques or designs on their orders. Since that is not the case with his order, a discount doesn't apply.
post #11 of 22
I didn't say it would be pulling it out of thin air. I have seen many successful businesses who don't give a price list or price per slice. not my policy but there is nothing wrong with it. If your going to tell a potential client that trying a new technique on a cake warrants a discount than be prepared to do so. That potential client could spread that word around and that could get pretty tricky. Sweetaslemmons you don't have to justify to anyone what your prices are or have been for other clients. If I were you in the future I wouldn't discuss other clients fees with another new client.
Mommy1st Cake Decorator 2nd.........
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Mommy1st Cake Decorator 2nd.........
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post #12 of 22
"while I can understand your surprise at the price difference, the client mentioned received a discount (or pricing adjustment) based on several circumstances between myself and the client. I am sorry for the misunderstanding, and completely understand if you would rather go in another direction."

Reads: it is none of your business why so-and-so got a deal and you didn't, and I am perfectly comfortable with you throwing a fit and going somewhere else.
Always acknowledge the issue, and that you understand where they are coming from. Then you can tell them the facts while still maintaining a professional, courteous distance.
life is short, get a cakesafe.
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life is short, get a cakesafe.
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post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
You guys are awesome!!!

So after enlightening this person, he finally settled on a price. Kicker is he asked if I would deliver it for free. Pfffttt....yeah right, because gas in CA is pennies right now and my delivery van runs on corn oil!
A bad day in the kitchen is better than ANY good day at work!
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A bad day in the kitchen is better than ANY good day at work!
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post #14 of 22
You might try this approach:

'Dear Mr. So and So,
Thank you for your interest, however my price cannot change. The cake you are referring to was a one-time-only price given to someone who is my friend and who allowed me to experiment with a new technique. If she ordered it today it would cost her what I would charge you for the same cake.

I would love the opportunity to create a special cake for your event, but if my price is beyond your budget I fully understand and would be happy to refer you some other bakers in the area. Or perhaps you'd let me create a different design that would work within your budget.

Let me know how you wish to proceed.

Again, thank you for your consideration. '

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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post #15 of 22
I just had to chime in... I was contacted by a bride to be and I gave her a quote based on a simple elegant cake for 150 people. I never heard back from her but she had contacted me on Facebook so I was "befriended"....anyway, the next day I noticed she posted a request asking if anyone knew of where she could get a cheap wedding cake....now....wait for it...... two days later she posted a picture of their new Ford Explorer! Just say'in....
Because cake is fun!
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Because cake is fun!
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