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Possible First Cake Order...Pricing Panic

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So I may be getting my first real cake order.  I got a phone call from a man wanting a Sweet 16 cake for his daughter (on Thanksgiving no less).  He started off saying he wanted a 3 tier leopard print fondant cake with a shoe, bag, accessories, etc.  He said he wanted it to feed about 60 people.  I looked at the wrong serving sizes and so estimated the wrong price (although said that I would have to get a better idea when designing etc.).  He then changed to a 4 tier which would have to be a 6, 8, 10, and 12, which I also looked at the wrong size for.  Ugh!!  Anyway, they said they would e-mail me pictures of cakes they were interested in tonight and I could get back to them.  First question, am I the worst person ever if I explain that their cake will actually feed 100 people and therefore with the detail they are asking for would cost more?

 

 Second question,  I know that this is the question asked by everyone and the answer is always that "it depends", but how much would you honestly charge for this cake?  I am a legal home based baker but I'm just starting out, so certainly don't feel like I can charge what the "professionals" do.  I live in an expensive metro area though, so prices are pretty high here.  I was thinking $3.50 for fondant with basic decorations, but this seems more extensive.  What do you think? 

post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

Just looked again, and my quote for the original cake wasn't that off, it was more that I didn't think that the 12 served as many as it did, so I'm not as bad a person as I thought.

post #3 of 5

You can use a cake dummie. 

post #4 of 5

at 136 servings (wilton chart), and at $5.25/serving for fondant (i would be inlaying the leopard print and rolling it out smooth) that would be $714 before decor. A shoe ($30), purse ($30, depending on logo work requested), and accessories/jewelry/lipstick ($20), tax and delivery would put it over $800. 

 

That is my business price and what I would charge to do it on a holiday with very little notice (actually, I wouldn't take the order because Thanksgiving is a fun day for me, and is therefore a blackout day for me).  Ideally, something with that kind of gumpaste work would be ordered at least a month in advance to prep the shoe/purse/etc--and to get payment and contracts signed. 

 

Though, i understand that with it being your first big order that it feels crazy to price out such a big cake. I know that on my first cakes--or even now on designs that I really want to go above and beyond--I over delivered on my price because I love the craft and wanted to have some great photos from it.  But it can be a double-edged blade because while you get some great photos and experience, you also undercut yourself and your local industry by training your customers to expect low prices and unlimited availability. In two years, you won't want to be taking a holiday away from your family just to break even at a below minimum wage. 

 

what did you quote him?  I'm guessing that he called around for availability/prices, and once he heard the deal you were giving him, decided to up the size of the cake. 

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Well, thanks for the responses.  They didn't end up ordering anyway, so oh well

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