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Charging Family Members for Sculpted Cakes? - Page 2

Poll Results: Do you charge family members anything for very expensive labor intensive cakes (sculpted or multi-tiered)?

Poll expired: Oct 19, 2012  
  • 50% (17)
    Just supplies
  • 26% (9)
    Full cost of cake
  • 23% (8)
    Nothing at all
34 Total Votes  
post #16 of 39
I just set a standard with my family when I started. I don't make any cakes for any events unless I volunteer, which is rarely. I love my work, but when I am with family, I want to relax. I might make a double chocolate cake, but it's not highly decorated. You need a break sometimes. One person in my family teases me about this, but he doesn't really like me that much anyway, so whatever!
T.
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T.
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post #17 of 39
I only offer friends and family 10% off if they can't afford it they simplify their order or they go somewhere else. I treat them like regular customers now no deposit no cake. After a couple of people abuse your genorosity you stop being generous. If I volunteer than I do it completely free they don't have to pay for supplies.

 

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post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 
Well, I appreciate all the good advice. At least I know that I'm not being the crazy one here...lol

I have to find a middle ground that works for me. Like I mentioned before, I have no problem doing big cakes for some of the people in my family (with the supplies being paid for) because they do appreciate the work I do, but they certainly couldn't afford one of my cakes.

As for my sis, she CAN afford what I do. She spends more money on trips for cheerleading (with my niece) than I make in a year...lol Thanks to everyone for the great insight and advice....much appreciated.

So with that being said, when my sis decides she wants more free cake...it's No cake for you icon_smile.gif
"This is the captain. We have a...little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and then...explode."

"C'mon....we're talking about cake here, not murder....lol....can we get back to the cake?"
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"This is the captain. We have a...little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and then...explode."

"C'mon....we're talking about cake here, not murder....lol....can we get back to the cake?"
Reply
post #19 of 39
I just wanted you to know i learned this lesson a long time ago because my aunt is a hair stylist. Every girl in the family wanted their hair done you know like full color, cut and style. For a long time my aunt ate the cost. she usually did the families hair after she had been working a 12 hour shift on her feet all day. She couldn't afford doing 7 family members hair monthly. Finally she snapped! a couple of people had their feelings hurt but in the end they were able to see things from her side and she only charges family the cost of her supplies. In fact she took a couple of them with her to Sally's beauty supplies so they could pick each thing they wanted, to help them realize how much it cost. I know its a lil off topic but its how i earned to feel about my cakes. I've had to take a few years off for medical reasons and i'm trying to get back in the swing of things. next month i have offered to do my nieces bday cake. Keyword is I OFFERED lol i'm only eating full cost to get back into swing and start on a new portfolio. I've always kinda had to lay down the law about costs. Family members are suppose to help each other. in my mind at least, BUT that being said my family members wouldn't be helping me by bringing down my money and i wouldn't be helping them by going to someone else to pay full price. I understand your frustration and i do hope things get better for you!
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar_Art_Cakery

Now she and my b-i-l want me to do a cake for my nieces birthday next month. My niece is 17 and she wants a sculpted cake that looks like the Disney Castle along with gumpaste figures of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Snow White....etc. I told her that she would need to pay $150 for supplies as this is a LARGE cake but that I would donate my time to build it. Please keep in mind that this would be a $600 cake for ANYONE else. My sis BLEW UP when I told her this. She says I should do the cake for free since I'm the uncle and godfather. I tried to explain to her the amount of time this kind of cake would take and how much money I would lose since I wouldn't be able to work on other cakes. I'm not about to go $600 in the hole just to do a cake for a family member. I might as well hand my niece a check for $600 and say Happy Birthday. Sorry, but I don't have that kind of money for a Birthday gift.



I think this what I would say next time: Family gets cakes at half price. Check my website for the price list. Do the math yourself.

Your sister is out of whack and has probably been watching WAY too much Cake Boss on tv.

If your sister makes any noise, tell her she's like Buddy's sister Mary.

One of my sisters had this habit of grabbing all the good stuff like the antique furniture, the family needlework collection, even stuff that she would never use...and it looks like nobody else in the family visits her anymore. Because the stuff was so important...
post #21 of 39
[quote=
I'm a professionally trained cake designer. My simplest cakes start at $250 and go from there. If you aren't willing to pay for my skill and effort, go someplace else....especially if I've offered to donate my time as long as you pay for supplies. I have bills to pay just like everyone else..[/quote]
Sisters. Grrr....
What you said.
So what's the problem?
What you CAN do is tell them that you expect to be swamped ('expect" being the operative word here) that week BUT you can recommend someone who'll be able to do what they want. Then be a fly on the wall when that person gives them a price....
post #22 of 39
If I volunteer they don't pay, it's a gift. If they ask they pay, they're placing an order. I'd probably discount a little but not more than about 10%.

And I agree with the person who said that "that's what families do" is code for "I want to screw you over and not be blamed for it." I'd respond with "Families should be your biggest supporters, and my supporters pay me what my services are worth."
post #23 of 39
I mean seriously...My kids don't even get birthday cakes on their birthdays because they fall right in the middle of wedding season. They're only kids and they understand, so an adult should be able to be reasonable unless she's a victim of arrested development.
post #24 of 39
I've already told my family that each family "unit" gets ONE free cake during MY business lifetime and after that its 65% of the regular cost. This is working great for me. They have also learned the hard way that I need at least a months notice if they want to ORDER. The best way that I have found that gets my point across to just how much time and money goes into making cakes is by having them come and help me make their cake: 10-12 hours later, they are shocked at the amount of work that is required!
Cake just happens....
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Cake just happens....
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post #25 of 39
I so wish there was a like button here lol, well my opinion is that we should charge for our cakes for sure, and stop being afraid that everyone will think were mean, every single time I've bent that rule I've regretted it, I just moved to AZ so my family who was all excited about my cakes quickly began asking me to make cakes for my nieces/nephews (it seems like theres a birthday every week!) So I wasnt the mean auntie I told my nieces/nephews they could have a dozen of cupcakes the flavor of thier choice, so a a week before my nephews birthday they decide to go to a pizza place- just us and them, and my sister in law asks if I can make a small cake instead so I agree, then a few days before my moms telling me I really need to make a sculpted spongebob cake (I know Jason, I know) then my sister in laws mom sees me at church and I guess she'll be there too so she's asking me not to make chocolate cause she hates chocolate cake, then I find out there's really going to be like 30 guests and it's a party and I get to make cake for a bunch of people I dont even know and some I dont even like! So of course I would be a terrible aunt if I changed my mind about making the scupted spongebob cake I promised- how did that happen from agreeing to make a dozen cupcakes??? Ehh, now I know I should have stuck to my family gets 20% off rule! People really do appriciate and respect you more for it, then if some family memeber wants you to make a cake for your bastard brother in law at least you can think of a way to upcharge so they cant afford it (thats another story)
post #26 of 39
The ONLY free cakes I ever do are the 7 grandchildren!! Luckily for me their birthdays are generally spread out over the year.

It is true...people just do not have a CLUE what it takes - both monetarily and skills!!
post #27 of 39
personally, $100-$150 for supplies is definitely reasonable! If I were your sister, I would be ecstatic, especially given the detail her daughter wants in this cake. I made my sister's wedding cupcakes and did it all for free because it was my gift to her for her wedding day. I spent more on supplies, labor and time than I would have on an actual gift probably. But she was appreciative. Considering what your cakes usually go for, I'm baffled that she would complain. But then again, I know what goes into buying the supplies and spending your own time to build a cake for significantly less than what you SHOULD be charging. It's because you're family that she's getting such a great discount. If she can't see that, then apologize and decline. If she wants to look into buying a cake of that detail and design elsewhere, she'll see really fast how good she had it with you.
post #28 of 39
I make free cake when I volunteer. Period. I may discount depending on how busy I am. Whether people understand or not is not my concern. I am more concerned about my health as long caking hours affect my health.
Life is short. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now. -quotebites.com

http://m.facebook.com/Edible.Elegance.cakes.Zimbabwe
http://www.flickr.com/photos/73178569@N05/
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Life is short. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now. -quotebites.com

http://m.facebook.com/Edible.Elegance.cakes.Zimbabwe
http://www.flickr.com/photos/73178569@N05/
Reply
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar_Art_Cakery





No offense to yourself or any others on the forum that use these....but I wouldn't use a licensed character topper on one of my cakes if you offered to pay off my entire business and every bill I have. My cakes are custom, one-of-a-kind cakes....not Walmart cakes. Someone wants their Walmart cake with the Mickey topper...go 4 miles down the road and take a right and look for the pick-up trucks.

I'm a professionally trained cake designer. I didn't pay $20,000 for school to put some cheesy topper on one of my cakes.

As far as offering to do a simpler cake, I won't do that. I'm known in the area for the particular skill I have and that is sculpted cakes and/or theme cakes. I don't do simple cakes. You can go to Walmart for simple cakes or even hit Carvel if you want a whale shaped Ice Cream cake. That's not me and that's not what I do. My simplest cakes start at $250 and go from there. If you aren't willing to pay for my skill and effort, go someplace else....especially if I've offered to donate my time as long as you pay for supplies. I have bills to pay just like everyone else.



This comes off really bitchy.
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by salokin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar_Art_Cakery





No offense to yourself or any others on the forum that use these....but I wouldn't use a licensed character topper on one of my cakes if you offered to pay off my entire business and every bill I have. My cakes are custom, one-of-a-kind cakes....not Walmart cakes. Someone wants their Walmart cake with the Mickey topper...go 4 miles down the road and take a right and look for the pick-up trucks.

I'm a professionally trained cake designer. I didn't pay $20,000 for school to put some cheesy topper on one of my cakes.

As far as offering to do a simpler cake, I won't do that. I'm known in the area for the particular skill I have and that is sculpted cakes and/or theme cakes. I don't do simple cakes. You can go to Walmart for simple cakes or even hit Carvel if you want a whale shaped Ice Cream cake. That's not me and that's not what I do. My simplest cakes start at $250 and go from there. If you aren't willing to pay for my skill and effort, go someplace else....especially if I've offered to donate my time as long as you pay for supplies. I have bills to pay just like everyone else.



This comes off really bitchy.



So?

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

Reply
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