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Am I missing something? Or is she?!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So today I got a request for a quote on one of my cakes. Its a three tier birthday cake (12", 10" & 8"). The woman had been referred from a mutual friend. Now this 'mutual friend'... I had made her wedding cake as a gift before I started my business last year. She bought the ingredients and I made the cake. She paid out around £100 ($160) for ingredients, supports, topper. I provided the base.

 

Anyways, I know this woman knows all of this, yet her reply told me in no uncertain terms that my quote of £105 (roughly $168) for a 3 tier cake with plenty of details...was way over her budget?!! Say what?! People around here would pay around £250-300 ($400-480) for a 3 tier wedding cake. I even gave her and option of 2 tier at £55 ($88) and I provided serving amounts so she would know just how much cake she is getting. So shes basically telling me she expected a three tier (multiple flavored) fully decorated fondant cake, delivered and set up and wasn't even willing to pay £55? As you can probably guess from the huge pointless post, I'm a little sensitive about this! I've only been in business 4 months, this the first person to question my prices, I wont back down, pointless post really but I need to vent icon_sad.gif

 

Charlie x

post #2 of 14

Sounds like she is wanting you to practically give the cake away. Stick to your guns. As we all know, it takes a lot to make a cake and when you add up the time involved, the decorating and the prices of everything, you have to make some kind of profit!!!  She was probably hoping you would do the same for her as you did for your friend.  A big three tier cake like that will cost you big bucks around where I live.

post #3 of 14

Don't give in.  I've given in before and then regretted it.  That is too much work.  Besides, if she is that demanding, you don't want any part of that.  She would probably find something wrong and want her money back!  icon_smile.gif

post #4 of 14

Then you send a polite email, saying , 

I am very sorry that my quote was not within your budget, and I hope that your event goes well, 

Kind regards, 

Charlie.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the support! I had a chat to my other half and mum and they both think that £105 is a lot of money for a cake, but I think that is because my other half gets free cake and my mum can bake so she would have no need to spend big money. Felt like I was losing my mind and that I really was asking too much!

The lady got a very kind, very professional email thanking her for her interest and wishing her luck with her party.

 

Thank you thumbs_up.gif  Charlie x
 

post #6 of 14

Seriously - a 12-10-8 for £105 IS giving it away. How an you make even a small profit selling your cakes that cheap?

 

She should be falling all over herself trying to place her order with you.

 

Why are you selling your cakes for less than half of what others in the area are selling them for?

post #7 of 14

I think you failed to give the customer any other choices.  You could have saide something along the lines of what is your budget?   This is what I can offer you for that price.  We need to educate the public and you failed to do so from what you have siad.

post #8 of 14

I really don't think people understand how much making a cake costs. The box, cake board, supports etc cost enough on their own! I'm so glad to hear your not giving in! its REAL cake, REAL decorations and REAL TIME to do it. If she wants something that cheap, full of additives, generic looking/tasting and doesn't mind eating something that's not exactly fresh from the oven, point her towards the nearest Morrisons or Tescos, not sure where in the UK you are (guessing by the £'s) but I don't think even Waitrose would do anything like that for that price!

post #9 of 14

Hi

 

I agree with both Kakeladi & Gemmal they both had valid points (not to say that the other comments are not valid).

 

Education is key especially when the customer hasnt got the foggiest idea of what time, energy and passion goes into making a freshly baked cake for their request.

 

(I got a request from a man yesterday saying that he wanted a 2 Tier Cake when I asked for the date in question he told me 29th Nov - so I naturally assumed it was for 2013 but he corrected me and said no 2012! He said that he cant understand why its not possible afterall it only takes 2 hours to bake with some flour, eggs n butter - so I had to educate him about all the factors a cake maker would need to factor in (whether or not he took anything on board- who knows...) ).

 

In heinsight you could have asked her what her budget was so that you could have proposed an alternative option for her - and from that you would know if she was a serious potential customer or just a customer who wanted something for nothing.

 

Second pointer is that you need to consult with other fellow cake makers not family or friends who dont know what factors/elements that you have to consider which would determine the overall costs.

 

If she was reluctant to pay £105.00 for a 3 Tier Multi Flavour Cake then you could kindly re-directed her to M & S the link is below - it quite clearly states £249.00 for a 3 Tier Multi Flavour, not to talk about any design work that you would have to implement.

 

http://www.marksandspencer.com/Elegant-Round-Assorted-Wedding-Cake/dp/B0080DGI5U?ie=UTF8&ref=sr_1_2&nodeId=80083031&sr=1-2&qid=1354031166&pf_rd_r=1CVF8ENCMR0QP885BFA1&pf_rd_m=A2BO0OYVBKIQJM&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=80083031&pf_rd_p=321381387&pf_rd_s=related-items-3
 

Third pointer if I may is that although you kindly did a cake for your friend - your friend without knowing (not saying that it was intentional) may have relayed the generous favor you did for her and as a result the mutal friend wanted/expected the same priviledge.

 

That's my two pennies worth!

 

Nixs :o)

The Sky is the Limit... If you ARE prepared to fly.

 

Success is not a destination...it's a journey.

 

http://www.noveltycakeslondon.com

Reply

The Sky is the Limit... If you ARE prepared to fly.

 

Success is not a destination...it's a journey.

 

http://www.noveltycakeslondon.com

Reply
post #10 of 14

Op GAVE her a cheaper option.    " I even gave her and option of 2 tier at £55 ($88) and I provided serving amounts so she would know just how much cake she is getting."  Op, you stick to your guns some people want champagne on a beer budget and you can't help them.   

live to ride
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live to ride
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post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nixs247 View Post

Hi

I agree with both Kakeladi & Gemmal they both had valid points (not to say that the other comments are not valid).

Education is key especially when the customer hasnt got the foggiest idea of what time, energy and passion goes into making a freshly baked cake for their request.

(I got a request from a man yesterday saying that he wanted a 2 Tier Cake when I asked for the date in question he told me 29th Nov - so I naturally assumed it was for 2013 but he corrected me and said no 2012! He said that he cant understand why its not possible afterall it only takes 2 hours to bake with some flour, eggs n butter - so I had to educate him about all the factors a cake maker would need to factor in (whether or not he took anything on board- who knows...) ).

In heinsight you could have asked her what her budget was so that you could have proposed an alternative option for her - and from that you would know if she was a serious potential customer or just a customer who wanted something for nothing.

Second pointer is that you need to consult with other fellow cake makers not family or friends who dont know what factors/elements that you have to consider which would determine the overall costs.

If she was reluctant to pay £105.00 for a 3 Tier Multi Flavour Cake then you could kindly re-directed her to M & S the link is below - it quite clearly states £249.00 for a 3 Tier Multi Flavour, not to talk about any design work that you would have to implement.

http://www.marksandspencer.com/Elegant-Round-Assorted-Wedding-Cake/dp/B0080DGI5U?ie=UTF8&ref=sr_1_2&nodeId=80083031&sr=1-2&qid=1354031166&pf_rd_r=1CVF8ENCMR0QP885BFA1&pf_rd_m=A2BO0OYVBKIQJM&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=80083031&pf_rd_p=321381387&pf_rd_s=related-items-3

 
Third pointer if I may is that although you kindly did a cake for your friend - your friend without knowing (not saying that it was intentional) may have relayed the generous favor you did for her and as a result the mutal friend wanted/expected the same priviledge.

That's my two pennies worth!

Nixs icon_surprised.gif)

This! My mum doesn't have the slightest idea what one of my cakes should cost, she's not a cake person. You definitely need to raise your prices if your work is of standard, for your own sanity at least icon_biggrin.gif
"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
www.sugaredsaffron.co.uk
www.facebook.com/SugaredSaffron
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"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
www.sugaredsaffron.co.uk
www.facebook.com/SugaredSaffron
Reply
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, thanks for all the replies. I really appreciate all the feedback. Like I said I am still starting out so to speak so still trying to find my groove. I did give the lady another option at around half the price. In the future I do need to be a little/lot more direct and actually ask her budget. I agree with dynee that she had champagne tastes and defo a beer budget!

 

I totally agree that family don't understand and are not the people to talk to about this, tis why I came here to vent, it came up in conversation. I know its totally pointless but I do find myself trying to make family understand and we're not a family that would spend a lot on a cake as either me or my mum make all the birthday cakes, and have done for years. We obviously know the value and time but cannot justify paying somebody else if you see what I mean.

Being perfectly honest I do think I need to raise my prices. I've spent so long doing cakes for cost for friends and family, and getting up experience/practice I'm struggling to say 'This is my price...I am a business'. I think I just need to put it down to experience, grow a backbone (by not giving in to her I'm on the way hopefully!) and level up with my damn prices!

Thank you for your input..it really helps thumbs_up.gif

Charlie x

post #13 of 14

I've done several cakes for family and friends that are deeply discounted and I ALWAYS tell them what their cake would cost anyone else,  and make sure they know that if anyone inquires about the "COST" of the cake, it is valued at $XXX, not what they paid for it as a gift of my time and skill.  Maybe that's a tacky way to do it, discussing the cost of a gift, but almost always you have a guest at the party that wants to know how much the cake cost and I don't want that person calling me expecting a 3 tier cake for $75. Luckily, my family and friends know the time I put into my cakes and value my time and skill as much as I do, if not more, so they don't have a problem with telling people "that cake costs $350", for example.   

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani1081 View Post

I've done several cakes for family and friends that are deeply discounted and I ALWAYS tell them what their cake would cost anyone else,  and make sure they know that if anyone inquires about the "COST" of the cake, it is valued at $XXX, not what they paid for it as a gift of my time and skill.  Maybe that's a tacky way to do it, discussing the cost of a gift, but almost always you have a guest at the party that wants to know how much the cake cost and I don't want that person calling me expecting a 3 tier cake for $75. Luckily, my family and friends know the time I put into my cakes and value my time and skill as much as I do, if not more, so they don't have a problem with telling people "that cake costs $350", for example.   

I agree.  I have one customer who will always get his cakes for the cost of ingredients only.  Every time I make one for him I tell him to make sure if anyone asks how much it cost, to tell them it's a $XXX cake. He's happy to do it and no one ever knows how much he actually paid me for it.

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