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Classic Car Cake Pricing???

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I've been commissioned to build a cake replica of a classic car for a man's 80th birthday. I've underpriced myself many times before because I wasn't sure how the end result would turn out. I'm finally confident enough that I know it will be really great, I just don't know where to start on pricing a cake like this. Just for reference, my base price for regular, non-sculpted cakes is $3.50/serving for singles, $4/serving for tiered cakes. I asked the client how many guests she would be serving and she was more concerned with looks than servings. How large should it be in order to get the most detail and full effect? Also, does anyone know of a tutorial to help me get started? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 29
Well this is truly a masterpiece sorta cake! I charge $250US minimum for carved 3D cakes. Time is going to be your biggest cost to factor into this cake. I did a 3D catamaran cake and I spent 3 hours just stacking, filling and carving.
post #3 of 29
I recently did a replica of an old Chevelle, down to the bumper sticker he had on it. I charged $175, and that was for a very good friend. It took waaaay longer than I had anticipated and required a lot of patience. My best advice is to start with a whole lot more cake than you think you need. You'll waste half of it carving, but you'll be glad you had too much rather than not enough. My car came out really well, except it looked like it's growth was stunted....needed to be longer (more cake). I used 3" styrofoam for the tires and they should have been more like 2.5" (impossible to find) or even 2". Of course, had the cake been longer I'm sure the tires wouldn't have looked so large in relation. Good luck!
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post #4 of 29
Just goes to show what a difference a country makes.... In Australia a car cake such as this, with good attention to detail - chocolate mudcake with chocolate ganache and fondant cover - starting out with a 10inch x 4inch high cake - carved etc (most of the carvings can be re-used when layered with the ganache - would start at $600 - this is not something that you would knock out in an afternoon

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A sense of humour is a wonderful thing  - without laughter, the world is a SUPER boring place

PS..... only smart people can read truly WITTY comments and chuckle instead of getting all miffed

Hero of all time - GODOT

 

 

www.facebook.com/applegum

Th...

Misc 3D Cakes
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post #5 of 29
Definitely find out the customer's budget before you go any further, you're probably looking at at least a $500-1000 price point.
post #6 of 29
Just goes to show what a difference a country makes.... In Australia - a car cake such as this, with good attention to detail - chocolate mudcake with chocolate ganache and fondant cover - starting out with a 10inch x 4inch high cake - carved etc (most of the carvings can be re-used when layered with the ganache - would start at $600 - this is not something that you would knock out in an afternoon

A sense of humour is a wonderful thing  - without laughter, the world is a SUPER boring place

PS..... only smart people can read truly WITTY comments and chuckle instead of getting all miffed

Hero of all time - GODOT

 

 

www.facebook.com/applegum

Th...

Misc 3D Cakes
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A sense of humour is a wonderful thing  - without laughter, the world is a SUPER boring place

PS..... only smart people can read truly WITTY comments and chuckle instead of getting all miffed

Hero of all time - GODOT

 

 

www.facebook.com/applegum

Th...

Misc 3D Cakes
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post #7 of 29
If you go to Mike's Amazing Cakes website they have an awesome DVD on how to do cars as well as recipes he uses, it cost $40.00 w/shipping and handling.
post #8 of 29
When i did my grandson's truck cake,i had mikes dvd. I also would e-mail them and ask a few questions. They always got back with me. I had questions about he icing, etc. I had questions about the back of the truck. I got an answer every time. You could send them a pic, (after asking the first) and see how it would go with you. hth
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
I shot the client a $400 quote for 50-60 servings and I'm still waiting to hear back before I proceed any further and purchase Mike's DVD. Thanks everyone for your tips and advice!
post #10 of 29
That seems pretty low, especially since OK does not have a cottage food law so you would need to factor in the overhead of a commercial kitchen, and labor will be the biggest cost component by far. If your kitchen rent + wage is $30/hour and you spend more than 12 hours or so on this cake you are already taking a loss .
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm currently operating rent-free out of the commercial kitchen at my Mom's restaurant which closes at 1:30 in the afternoon so it works out pretty well for me. Most clients pick up their orders during business hours or I deliver if it's a large order. In the future, if I can save enough cash to open a shop, I'll definitely have to raise my prices. For now, I'm more concerned with building my reputation which I'm doing fairly quickly, however, I'm over feeling guilty about my prices and working for free. The only competition in my area comes from the supermarket or from a few others who advertise their "business" with a Facebook page that basically states they work from home. I've been too busy to advertise because I also work part-time and since my employees are me, myself, and I, there is no way I could handle any more than I currently am.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by kendra_83

In the future, if I can save enough cash to open a shop, I'll definitely have to raise my prices.


You may want to consider raising your prices now to factor in the market rate for rent. Since it sounds like you are operating at capacity this is the perfect time to raise prices. When you open a shop and suddenly have much more capacity you don't want to raise prices then since that would reduce demand, plus it would alienate your existing customer base.

Another way to look at this is figuring out who is really benefiting from your rent-free situation. If you are not including market rates for rent in your prices, your customers are receiving 100% of this benefit, and you are getting none of it.
post #13 of 29
$400 is low and $175 is ridiculous (unless your cake is a sloppy mess) Setting out to put real bakeries and people who don't want to work for nothing out of business is irresponsible, or at least not very nice, and that is what you're doing if you underprice your cakes, folks.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft


Another way to look at this is figuring out who is really benefiting from your rent-free situation. If you are not including market rates for rent in your prices, your customers are receiving 100% of this benefit, and you are getting none of it.



This right here. It's like using supermarket sale prices to determine your final cost instead of what it usually costs (if your ingredient purchases are retail).
post #15 of 29
I recently did a vintage cadillac and I charged $750.00. It was extremely time consuming!!! I found the specifications for the exact vehicle and did the math and scaled it down to 24" long. Every mirror, light...geez, it was worth EVERY DIME they paid for that cake.
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