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Need honest opinion on dealing with customer

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I am a home baker that bakes about 3 cakes a week plus cake pops and other cakes. I do take pride in my work and consider it an art. Today I had a customer who wanted a cake several weeks ago for today. We had been camping in the Sequoias and woke up at 6 in the morning to drive 6 hours home in order to make this order happen. Not the customers concern but shows that i care about quality and didnt freeze my cake ahead of time. The customer wanted a red velvet belly cake for a baby shower plus a dozen vanilla cupcakes and a dozen lemon cupcakes. All the cakes where made from scratch that day, three cakes from scratch and 3 fillings. I charged the customer $80 for everything and delivered the cake 15 miles from my house and waited 25 minutes for them to show up.

The customer left an Email this evening saying that they felt frankly ripped off, that the cake would not feed enough people. In previous talks I told him that the cake an 8" sphere and 2 4" spheres would feed 25 and needed to feed 60 people so they decided to order 2 dozen, they did the math not me. Looking back frankly I think I under charged just in the nice cake board and fondant it was about $15 probably we probably made $25 max for 3 hours worth of work. I emailed the customer back explaining our pricing and that everything was with quality, where would you more experienced go with this, offer free product or tell them to pack sand?

Image
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by that1luckystar

, offer free product or tell them to pack sand?




Pound sand, that's what a coworker of mine use to say. You don't owe them anymore than they ordered and agreed on. Sounds like with gas and waiting time you didn't make much on the deal. PS The cake is beautiful.

As long as you explain the cost especially the base and fondant cost and all the ingredients etc they should understand a little more. People think a box mix costs $1 and so you spend $5 on all ingredients and you make a $75 profit, they don' t know.
post #3 of 27
Hey the cake is beautiful. Well, there seems to be some forgetfulness by your customer on cake sizes. Always put things in email vs talks. That way you can refer to an email. This cake plus the 2 dozen cupcakes I would do for $120US at least or around there,
post #4 of 27
Aweeeee - they feel ripped off - so now they wish to rip you off..... icon_rolleyes.gif

Apparently icon_wink.gif they know everything about ammounts per guest so the ball is back in their court .

Once again - *we stuffed up - so lets blame the cake lady* -
icon_rolleyes.gifthumbsdown.gif

Bluehue
post #5 of 27
Buyers remorse for sure! That was more than enough cake, and they got one heck of a steal especially for a scratch red velvet that is not cheap to make! The cake is beautiful, but it's not your problem if they served too large of slices, etc. Also, you should NEVER feel like you have to justify your price to someone by going into detail about your costs. That's YOUR business, not theirs.
post #6 of 27
seems like you got ripped off not them!
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by neekole

seems like you got ripped off not them!



I agree with this 100% Too bad, so sad on their part.
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post #8 of 27
Your work is beautiful and you will always get someone from time to time who thinks like that. I bet you have many satisfied customers who are delighted with your pricing and baked goods.
post #9 of 27
I don't see how you are at fault at all in this- you told them how many the cake itself would serve, and they opted to get only 2 dozen more servings in the cupcakes. That was their decision to try and get away with less cake.

I would just respond that while you are sorry to hear that they didn't have enough cake, what was provided is what was agreed upon and paid for. There's really nothing more to be said.

And yes, you did undercharge! Raise your prices! icon_smile.gif
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post #10 of 27
I'd say what was given was not enought BUT!.....it was *their* choise to only get 2 dz cuppies after you explained how much the main cake would serve.
I don't think you need to offer anything - UNLESS you really want to - and then I would only offer say 10% off any future orders. Your prices are much too low to begin with. The work is good. Dont let them walk all over you.
post #11 of 27
You discussed the number of servings with your customer.
Your customer ordered an additional 2 dozen cupcakes.
You delivered the agreed-upon cake and cupcakes.

You don't owe numb-nuts anything.
post #12 of 27
Why would you offer a free product you did nothing wrong . Except undercharge . Your cake is lovely I think it alone would be $80.your ingredients ,time ,and traveling cost is worth a lot more .
If these same bozos went to a store front business would they have the nerve to go back and say they felt ripped off. Heck no they got what they ordered.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by neekole

seems like you got ripped off not them!


Agreed...I don't see how you can earn a profit or even pay yourself at those prices. For just the cupcakes we would have charged $90 including delivery, the bakery I founded is also in California and we are required to operate out of a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen to legally sell baked goods.

If you are operating illegally I would be very careful here, if the customer feels ripped off and knows about CA food safety laws things could get very difficult for you.
post #14 of 27
I agree with Jason. At those prices, I don't see room for a commercial kitchen. She can get you into trouble.

For the cake amounts, when she ordered, it was your obligation to tell her exactly how many it would serve if she was cutting it close. You are supposed to be the professional and not allow the customer to order too little without a full understanding of what they are ordering. Also, it was your job to show her exactly what size to cut to get that amount. Either of these two thind on your part at the time of the order would have helped her to make a better decision.

As it stands, not helping at the time iof the order will tarnish your business and you will have negative word of mouth and at the extreme, a call to the health department.

Yes, you can all say this is the customer's problem, but we can help when we know that they are cutting it close. Every time this has happened to me, I remind them they are close and they adjust the order. The customer does not want to look bad to her guests. One too many is always better than one too few. It's also the magic difference between a happy and a mad customer.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

For the cake amounts, when she ordered, it was your obligation to tell her exactly how many it would serve if she was cutting it close. You are supposed to be the professional and not allow the customer to order too little without a full understanding of what they are ordering. Also, it was your job to show her exactly what size to cut to get that amount. Either of these two thind on your part at the time of the order would have helped her to make a better decision.



And do all these things by email with a cc to yourself.

There are people who think they know better than the cake maker.

There are people who deliberately order not enough and then threaten to sue. They get their cakes for free that way...until somebody files with the local Better Business Bureau.

You need to decide whether you can filter the bad apples.
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