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Newbie looking for pricing advice - please!!!!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello!
I am kinda "fallen" into cake decorating and have been getting numerous requests to make cakes but I truly have no idea what to charge. I have read on here anywhere from $2.50 to $7 per serving with more (but how much more?) for extra toppers, etc...
Here is a cake I just did for a 1st birthday party - it is a 9" x 4" round, three tier vanilla cake with vanilla custard filling and vanilla buttercream. What would you charge?
I am in BC, Canada, if that makes a difference...

Thanks for the helping hand, Everyone!!!
LL
post #2 of 19
The best way to set prices is to look at your costs -- including ingredients, labor (# of hours needed for the order * your hourly wage), and overhead -- then add a markup for your profit based on the local market value of similar products.

You also need to be very careful about copyright. Purchasing licensed Disney cake toppers to put on a cake is fine, but you can't legally copy Disney images or characters without permission.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Wow... thanks, Jason. I appreciate the head up on the Disney situation. Are they sticklers even if it isn't a exact likeness? And I did purchase the toppers from Toys R Us so they were "paid" for that.
Appreciate your response!
Rhea
post #4 of 19
A good rule of thumb to use is if an average person looks at a copied design and thinks "Mickey Mouse", it's probably infringement. The toppers are fine since they are licensed, but for the cake in your picture you would probably want to at least lose the ears off the front of the cake to be safe.
post #5 of 19
I have a friend who just got a nice big check from Disney for turning in a copyright violator. They don't play around if they decide to go after you, so it's better to just not do those cakes at all.
post #6 of 19
I have a question about this, its based of likeness so what if you change like Cinderella's dress from blue to like purple or change her hair color does that make a difference?

I'm not saying this as a way to break the rules I was just asking and is it okay if you just make the figures just for your own self?
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tink986201

I have a question about this, its based of likeness so what if you change like Cinderella's dress from blue to like purple or change her hair color does that make a difference?


If you look at the likeness and think "Cinderella", it's probably infringement. The problem is that if you change it enough so it's no longer recognizable as the character, the customer won't want it.

Quote:
Quote:

I'm not saying this as a way to break the rules I was just asking and is it okay if you just make the figures just for your own self?


If you make the figures for your own personal use and do not give them away, sell them, or publicly display them (including taking pictures and posting them online) you should be OK.
post #8 of 19
Honestly, Disney and the other people that want to sue us need to get a life. These characters have been around since the 1930's. People have grown up with them, had their kids watch them buy their stuff, go spend a cazillion dollars at their theme park and they are worried about some caker trying to etch out a living by putting one of their figures on a cake. It's a compliment for heavens sake. It's usually for a kid and kids are what bring the parents to the show, theme park, store , buy books,whatever to spend the money to buy the STUFF. It makes no sense because it will never be absolutely positively the same as theirs. It's a knockoff, just like a dress....or a painting or a cake!!

Colleen

SweetCakes & CheeseCakes

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Colleen

SweetCakes & CheeseCakes

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post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Lol... I have been in a panic since reading your reply Jason that someone would call Disney on me but I didn't sell the cake - it was a birthday gift for my best friend's son. Hopefully I am ok...
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by maendings

It's a knockoff, just like a dress....or a painting or a cake!!


That's exactly the point. People and companies invest a lot of money in the creative, marketing, and overhead required to design and successfully launch new characters. If copyright law did not exist, there would be no incentive for businesses to do this, since people could simply copy the characters and create knockoffs without paying the creator.

Now you can argue that the scope of copyright has been extended beyond logical reason (which I believe), but it is the law, and if you disagree with the law you should take up with your legislators instead of willfully violating it. Even if the victim is rich.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
You know, I am so not interested in breaking any laws and turning what I love to do into something that bankrupts my family, so if I aboslutely HAVE to make one of these cakes it will be gifts for friends and family only. And I will take your advice, Jason and not post the photos anywhere - I just can't figure out how to delete the photo from this forum post!!!!
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by maendings

Honestly, Disney and the other people that want to sue us need to get a life. These characters have been around since the 1930's. People have grown up with them, had their kids watch them buy their stuff, go spend a cazillion dollars at their theme park and they are worried about some caker trying to etch out a living by putting one of their figures on a cake. It's a compliment for heavens sake. It's usually for a kid and kids are what bring the parents to the show, theme park, store , buy books,whatever to spend the money to buy the STUFF. It makes no sense because it will never be absolutely positively the same as theirs. It's a knockoff, just like a dress....or a painting or a cake!!


Maybe the argument that drives me the craziest of all. Having your intellectual property stolen is not a "compliment".

Also, by law, companies are required to follow through when they become aware of copyright infringement, or they risk losing their copyright and their legal right to that image. Do you think Disney has a vested interest in keeping and protecting its copyrights? You bet. To the tune of millions and millions and millions (heck, it could even be billions) of dollars per year in licensing revenue.

I did receive a cease & desist letter from Jack Daniels, for the "Old Fart" cake in my gallery. They were certainly not flattered. They asked me to remove the photo from my web site and not sell any more of those cakes. My lawyer and I decided it would be cost-prohibitive to argue with them over whether or not my cake was a legally protected parody (which we felt it was), and I took it down. It was a nice enough letter, as those things go, but it was still a cease & desist letter, and no one ever wants to get one of those.

You'd be pissed if someone stole your cake photos and used them as their own. Happens all the time, there's even a Facebook page devoted to it. There's not much difference.
post #13 of 19
Guess I should keep my opinions to myself.....

Colleen

SweetCakes & CheeseCakes

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Colleen

SweetCakes & CheeseCakes

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post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by maendings

Guess I should keep my opinions to myself.....

If you're not open to receiving contradicting opinions, that's probably a good idea. icon_rolleyes.gif
Histrionic Personality Disorder; learn the symptoms and get help. The life you save may just be yours.
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Histrionic Personality Disorder; learn the symptoms and get help. The life you save may just be yours.
Reply
post #15 of 19
I think even giving cakes away for free would still be copywrite violation as your still using a protected image without permission. The fact that you didn't make any money off it would not stop them coming after you. There was an article about copywrite violation in the cake deco magazine I buy and they said if you really really must copy a protected image then don't post it online as most cease letters ad prosecutions are from photos passed round on fb etc.
It's frustrating when you really want to do a cake or your customer is begging for one but it's not worth the risk of a fine. It's a bit like speeding, just cos others do it and don't get caught doesn't mean you won't. I was asked to do a cake based on a popular computer war game, I've written to the software house who own the images as they are known for being litigious around their image particularly with YouTube videos, as expected they haven't replied. I'm so gutted that I don't have permission to do the cake, it's a free one for my bil but I've had to tell him no. It's hard when I see a lot of cakes posted on here using the same game images, but I have to think about the consequences of me getting caught and not worry about them and whether they got away with it.
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