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Cake to Feed 100.... - Page 2

post #16 of 23
Well said Squirelly!!! I feel exactly the same! And I also KNOW that you can easily get to be known as the " Cheap" baker... so if everyone knows that cousin Martha got a 5 tiered wedding cake with gumpaste flowers ...made homemade to serve over 250 for 125.00 they are going to expect the same! I almost let myself get there when I was trying to build my portfolio and my biz. Then I put up a price list that my sister and myself worked all evening on. And I do not stray from it!
To do what you truly love is to never work!
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To do what you truly love is to never work!
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post #17 of 23
Y'all have made some great comments! I, too, am under-charging. I get a price in my mind, and then I start second-guessing whether my stuff is good or not. I always end up charging less. I need to grow a backbone!
post #18 of 23
That is what I have been doing. Making a list of prices is a great idea. Be firm on your prices...if someone wants to go somewhere else...then let them. Make it worth your while.
traci
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post #19 of 23
Well, here's another idea, not sure if it's been brought up before, because it's just occurred to me.

Something to think about when you quote prices - How does this affect my fellow decorators on CC? When one of us quotes a price that low, does that raise expectations for the rest of us? Somebody that sees that cake and goes to their in-home decorator might say "I saw this cake at a party, and she only paid $50, you can do that, too, right?" In that situation, you can't really say you get what you pay for, can you?

Not that I'm trying to lay a guilt trip on you, tripletmom, but if we all ask ourselves that question every time we quote a price, maybe we will be a little less willing to sell ourselves short, since we're essentially selling our CC family short as well.

Just my $.02

Ali
Ali
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Ali
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post #20 of 23
I am starting to think NO ONE on this site be allowed to charge less than $1 per piece. That is highway robbery I think! icon_biggrin.gif

Anyway this discussion always reminds me of what I read on Earlene's site - http://www.earlenescakes.com/business01.htm

Short quote applying to this situation from above article -
Quote:
Quote:

Now, your friend who comes to the party - wants a cake for her little Suzy. Do you charge her for it? It is so much fun youll just do it because she is a good friend. WRONG. One, you will have expenses, two, you are using your time, and three, you should not feel funny about charging her. Up front from the very start - You should expect to be reimbursed for your time and expenses. Check out your area bakeries and DO NOT UNDERCUT their prices. If you are new at this you obviously cannot charge them for all of your time in decorating their cake. By the time you mix up one cake batter, bake it, make your icing and decorate your cake you have several hours of time in this cake. You are probably going to make about $1.00 an hour for your time (if you are speedy) for the first several cakes. You wont get rich but you will gain knowledge and experience and hopefully pick up some speed.

Bakeries make tasty cakes but you should also have as good or better tasting cake than your local bakery. But, you say your skills as a cake decorator are basic. We all had to start somewhere. If you only have basic skills then you may need to keep your prices the same as the bakeries - NOT LOWER THAN THEIRS. As your skills grow you can re-evaluate your prices. I had a friend once who told me. I feel like I should pay my friends to let me play and practice and learn. You can play, practice and learn on your family. If others outside of your family ask for decorated cakes they should be willing to pay you. If you are going to make this a business you must treat it like one.



I think she's got the right idea and I hope that I can follow the standards she has set! I think we should ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS start out with quoting the regular fee. Then, if you are going to give a discount, tell them the percentage off you are giving and SHOW them how much you are discounting, before you quote their final price. People should know how much they are costing YOU by getting a 'discounted' price, IMO.
post #21 of 23
God bless the friends out there that realize what you put into it. I did a cake last weekend for a friend. It was a small two-tiered Dora cake (6-inch and 8-inch). I charged her $25 but she insisted on giving me $50! I took it, but I still felt a little guilty.
post #22 of 23
Good for you KayDay!
I always did cakes for free or for cost for friends, family, co-workers and anyone that knew any of the above. Then it started to become a job. So I started charging. What I discovered is that people haven't got a clue how long it takes to make some of these things. One lady gave me a rough time about costs, so I itemized everything, the costs, the time, everything. Since the cakes were for Girl Guides and I knew she had a budget, I gave her a deal. Well the parents were supposed to raise the budget but you know, when it came the next year, they wanted another deal and this time they gave me design suggestions, that were actualy pretty ugly, in my opinion. So I stuck with their design and I could tell she was disappointed when she picked up the cakes. But hey, 2, 11X15 inch from scratch cakes for $60 that I added 64 hand molded chocolate shamrocks to the borders so each girl would get one, that is a good deal. Had they gone with a two layer cake, it would have been less work for me and cheaper for me. But they insisted on two separate cakes of two different kinds. Easily each cake was worth $45-$50 dollars each.
The thing is, with this lady, she always needs a deal. But lately I have come to the conclusion that if she wants a specialty cake, she should expect to pay the price or she should get them from Costco. I don't mind for the Girl Guides, but I do mind for every other occasion.
I often will still do a cake for cost, to try out a new idea or design, when the customer gives me free reign. But sometimes, people are a disappointment. A few years ago, I did a gorgeous 50th anniversary cake for a lady that was a friend of a friend. I bought the Wilton candlelight stand, purchased gold candles for it, had my sister crochet gold and ivory wedding bells and hearts to decorate the stand with, made my first attempt at fondant roses and used gold lustre dusts and such. I spent many hours on this cake and only charged her the cost of the cake. The only thing I asked was that she take a picture of the cake, because at the time I didn't have a camera. Well , I am still waiting.
Now my motto, is to charge a price I am happy with unless I want to give a deal. But I don't want one deal to result in many deals for anyone and everyone because I don't want to resent the customers. Or get so fed up with it all that I stop all together!
Most of us aren't even making minimum wage on our cakes. So basically we are putting all of this time and effort in and making a smaller wage than the decorators at the Costco type of stores. Does that make sense?
Hugs Squirrelly
post #23 of 23
I totally agree with Earlene and everyone else.
I especially like the point made about decorators on sites charging low and the position it puts the other decorators in. I believe this is true. So if you aren't going to do it for yourself, do it for all the rest of the decorators out there. And please, don't set about to undercut the other decorators in your area, to get their clientelle. In most places, there are more than enough customers to go around. You will get your own reputations and your own clientelle. I cannot tell you how often I hear this from new decorators, trying to undercut others in their area. Upset because someone else that took the courses with them has the collasal nerve to try to get customers, geesh! Do you really have the time to get everyone coming to you?
I know of one decorator who is so afraid that others may get some of the customers in her area, that she will drive hours away to deliver a cake. She just happens to live within a couple of hours of my area. She is an amazing decorator. But she is so afraid that others are out to get her, it is unbelievable. She has a site as do many other folks in my area. She is continuously accusing people of copying her or stealing her customers and such. Gosh with all of the worrying and fighting she does, it is amazing she has time to bake. She changes her prices every time someone else does and even removed the prices from her site so others couldn't copy hers. Talk about paranoid. She grilled me like I was her competition out to get her or something, geesh, I have been doing this all far longer than she has and it isn't like I even would have the same customers. Or want them, I don't want to do this full-time. And since the area we are talking about is quite a span, there is no way she could ever make all of the cakes for the entire area.
She went so far as to advertise that she was looking for a decorator about an hour and a half away. I gave her a name and then, she got so paranoid that this person might get some of her business, she actually made the cake and delivered it herself. Geesh!
Well, it takes all kinds, I guess.
Hugs Squirrelly
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