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Last minute cake request.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I decorate cakes as a hobby, and today my brother in law called me and said someone he knows is in a bind for a cake for this weekend. He gave her my number and she called me and gave me her long story about how her friend was supposed to make her son's christening cake for THIS SUNDAY, and now they're not friends anymore and the friend won't do it, so she needs a cake. She told me that her friend was going to make her a sculpted cake, made to look like a Bible, something "much better than some supermarket sheet cake." Oh, and this cake is supposed to serve 30+ people.
Now, like I said, I decorate as a hobby. I don't keep boxes and cake boards around the house. So, I told her my lowest price, for a simple sheet cake is $40. I'm going to have to buy all of the ingredients, the board, the box, everything. It'll probably run me about $20-25 just for materials. She sounded shocked and told me that she didn't want just a sheet cake, she wanted something special, and her friend was only going to charge her $25. I was kind of shocked too, and couldn't stop myself before I said to her, "Well, I'm not your friend."
With the time it will take me to bake and decorate this cake, I'll probably get paid somewhere between $3-5 an hour after I pay for everything.
Now I'm waiting to hear from her if she even wants the cake or not. I almost want to just say no, because it's very last minute, and I go to school, work, and have three kids.
People never cease to amaze me when they undervalue our time that it takes to make something beautiful (well, at least very pretty) for them.
I can produce milk... what's your superpower?
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I can produce milk... what's your superpower?
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post #2 of 18
As a stay at home mom, home baker, homeschool teacher for a 2nd grader and a 2 year old, I do not under any circumstances accept orders less than 2 weeks in advance. With you, we are talking a few days. It's more trouble than its worth. I wouldnt do it. Although my husband has said i should charge a "short notice" fee to make it worth my time. LOL
post #3 of 18
Well, what she WANTS and what she is going to GET are two different stories......Her "friend" was probably only charging what the ingredients were going to cost her, and she was donating the rest....... I think when you quoted her the price for a sheet cake, and she said she didn't WANT that, you can pretty much write her off......... she won't be calling back...... Let it go....... she is asking to much of you........
post #4 of 18
A big NO to this lady...she wants way too much and doesn't want to pay. I would be too busy if she calls back!
post #5 of 18
I so understnad what you are going thruicon_smile.gif It happens, similar - to everyone.
*Their* emergency does NOT make *your* emergency.
Don't worry if you never hear from her again.
BTW: what to someone like you is 'very last minute' would not be for me icon_smile.gif but......granted I don't go to school nor have a family to care for.
post #6 of 18
If she calls you back tell her you realized you can't do it. No need to give a reason. She wants a special cake to feed over 30+ people for $25, which is less than $1 a slice. Tell her to bake her own Pillsbury cakes. Three 8 inch two layer cakes with frosting and eggs and oil will run her under $25 and will feed her crew. It's not worth your trouble even as a favor and even if she pays what you want, she will still find a reason to complain. If it was so important to her she would not have ruined her friendship with the lady that was going to make it for her, To make matters worse she probably doesn't care if it puts a strain between you and your brother in law.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by valora387

She sounded shocked and told me that she didn't want just a sheet cake, she wanted something special, and her friend was only going to charge her $25. I was kind of shocked too, and couldn't stop myself before I said to her, "Well, I'm not your friend."



OMGosh! I LOVE that you said this to her! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
post #8 of 18
The hostess is probably fishing until she finds a free cake. Or until the day of the party arrives and she discovers that there will be no guests...
post #9 of 18
NOW you know why the "friend" said no and isn't this blood-suckers friend any more and if you're wise you'll make sure she isn't your friend either .............in the future.
post #10 of 18
This cake fed 50. With baking, freezing, cutting boards, tinting fondant, making filling, leveling, stacking, settling, carving, decorating, and DOING THE DISHES, it took no less than 8 hrs. to get together.

Image

The recipient understood that it was worth 10 times what she would have paid for a similar serving number grocery store cake.

It's up to you how you allocate your time and resources, but in no way should you cheat yourself. If you want to do it, tell her what it will take to get it done. If she doesn't like it, she can go elsewhere.

Explain nicely to your BIL that what she expected for $25 was RIDICULOUS and that you're not in the business of rewarding unrealistic expectations.

Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
Reply
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

This cake fed 50.

Image




That's a beautiful cake, Jesus would have fed a couple of hundred people with it. icon_biggrin.gif
post #12 of 18
I would make her a cake for $25.00, but then again, it would only be a $25.00 cake!

Why don't you show her what you can do for $25.00, and for $125.00 and let her make the choice?

If she doesn't call you back, go enjoy some found time with your family.

No worries, Be Happy!
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by valora387

I decorate cakes as a hobby, and today my brother in law called me and said someone he knows is in a bind for a cake for this weekend. He gave her my number.............
People never cease to amaze me when they undervalue our time that it takes to make something beautiful (well, at least very pretty) for them.



I am also a hobby baker. Your BIL was probably acting in good faith and may even have been somewhat excited to give you a possible "cake order referral". The person referred probably had no idea what custom cakes cost or the time involved in making custom cakes. If the original baker quoted a price of $25 (with no explanation of how much it would cost and how long it would take), then that is probably what she expected to hear from a second baker. She could quite easily have had no intentions of undervaluing your time and ingredients and supplies.
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p.s. Just because someone calls doesn't mean you have to do a cake.
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One of the constants on all cake forums is that "cake muggles" (non-cake people), have ZERO clue of the time and money it takes to make a custom cake. Two years ago when I walked into my first Wilton class, I had no idea!

Another constant on the forums is that family and friends of cake hobbyists rave about the cakes and say, "You should SELL these!!!! You could make a LOT of money!". They mean well, but the reality of profitable custom cake sales involves far more than nice cakes.

I would suggest that you thank for BIL for the referral, but the person had "unrealistic expectations" (Rae's quote) and you are unable to fulfill any cake orders at the last moment. Then I'd begin the process of educating my family and friends about your "hobby".

Tell them how long it takes and how much it costs. If you actually DO want referrals, tell them your lowest price is probably $$ for a 1/4 sheet cake, $$$ for a two-tier fondant round cake, etc. (You will obviously need to work out your own pricing structure.) If you do NOT want referrals, tell them you only do custom cakes as a hobby for friends and relatives. (Then make sure they know the VALUE of the "gift" when you do provide a custom cake!)
post #14 of 18
I know exactly what you mean about last minute orders and people expecting a cake for almost nothing...I had no idea how much time is involved in doing cakes until I started over a year ago...I totally agree with those saying to NOT do it if she calls back...been there and done that! I have a problem also with people wanting a quote then totally changing the design afterwards and still expecting the price to stay the same....
post #15 of 18
I can see why her "friend" said no. If her friend won't deal with her, that is a great indication that I wouldn't be able to deal with her either.

I'm skeptical of sob stories, especially when it comes to someone paying me for my expertise. I generally choose, while they are telling me their tales of woe, I'm already formulating my exit strategy.
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