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Overpriced Cake Or Not?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I made a cake last weekend for a client of mine that was a 3-D can of beer. The actual size of the cake was 9 inches tall. Was made with 4, 4 inch round cakes and feed about 24 ppl. Here is a picture of the cake. It's difficult to tell the scale of the cake in the picture but like I said, it was 9 inches tall.

700

This morning my client called to the cake was great and it tasted really good but she felt like I was pricing myself right out of doing birthday cakes and felt that It wasn't worth the 164.00 that I charged her for it. The cake was actually 150.00 but I have a legal business so of course the rest was tax. She told me she couldn't say anything to me when she picked the cake up because the birthday person was with her. I'm not sure what people think they should be paying for a 3-D cake...(scratching my head) icon_confused.gif... So what do you guys think.....150.00 to much?

post #2 of 21

The cake is fantastic.

 

She's a stupid git.

 

 

That's less than 7$ per portion. She should be grateful you didn't charge twice that.

post #3 of 21

Nice work, I don't see why people order and agree with the price and complain later. That was a GREAT job done. IT is a little pricey, but I do cakes and know the work involved. I look at it this way if they want it they will pay for it cause where else can they go to get it? I sometimes feel like the cake prostitute, Tired of it actually. By the way how did you get that nice coors writing done?

post #4 of 21
I think the problem with some buyers are that they don't think too deep about the work and effort it takes to reach the finished product. YOu did not over charge what so ever. What you have to calmly tell them is are you going to be able to find exactly what you want at another shop? Are you going to be able to have it as personalized as I can do for the same price? Is someone else really going to spend 2-3 days on a cake and charge you 50? Cake decorators always underprice their work because they feel guilty or like they arnt going to get business, talent pays. remember that. wonderful job as well!
Thornton Cakes
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Thornton Cakes
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post #5 of 21
How many hours did you spend making the cake, including prep and cleanup?
post #6 of 21
Where are you located? I have a legal business, and I'm not allowed to charge tax, just pay it:-) of course I have to pad my numbers before I decide on prices to make sure that I still pay myself what I need to be paid, after taxes are taken.

But yeah, the cake looks great, my price for it would've been different, but not necessarily right. It depends on your area, and ingredients and how much you pay for your space.

My serving chart says a 4" double layer cake serves 8, so I would've only charged for 16 servings. But if you have a minimum dollar amount for 3d cakes, it doesn't matter if it serves 2 or 10 or 24, you have to charge your minimum.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

The cake took 10 hours just to stack and decorate it. This didn't include mixing and baking. I told her that when she picked it up because her daughter asked me that very question. I do live in a small city and there are'nt to many other places around without traveling about 50 miles that she could have gotten a cake like this. There are some (several) people that are doing cake out of their homes that do not have a license, that are pretty well giving their cakes away. I also have a home based business but I have actually remodeled our garage into a cake kitchen and am licensed so I do charge a bit more because I have to run it like a business. This is my full time job. I just feel a bit offended. I didn't actually talk to her this morning, she left a voicemail but would like for me to call her back and talk to her about it.

post #8 of 21
I think once you discuss the amount of time that went into the cake along with the overhead you pay for licensing, insurance, administration, etc. she will feel more comfortable with the amount she paid. Most customers underestimate the amount of labor required by a substantial margin and don't even think about overhead cost. You probably barely made minimum wage on this cake.
post #9 of 21

That is pretty awesome!!! You did a great job!!! Yes it does take a long time to decorate and many people have no idea what it involves.  For 10 hours of work, you should be paid for your time!!!
 

post #10 of 21

That cake is great!  I would have charged what you did as well.  That being said, I would not have made that cake for my demographic, because people around here don't like to pay for cakes.

post #11 of 21

For 10 hours work, $150 sounds about right.  And that's before you even get into the cost of ingredients or the decorating or overhead or anything else.  She may have had a bad weekend or the party might not have gone as well as she planned - - you never know what's behind what people say.  As far as pricing yourself out of business, you might be pricing yourself out of HER business.  Did she agree to the price ahead of time?  Then she has no room to complain.  I say keep up the good work - - that's a beautiful cake!

post #12 of 21

If you project the 10 hours of decorating time only (she did not count in the baking time) to a 40 hour work week, that means she has $600/week revenue, wich has to cover her ingredients, her overhead, her labor cost, marketing cost, new cake tools, insurance etc. As a business owner you really want to pay yourself less than minimum wage per hour? With that, even if you work 80 hours strait, your business still only brings in $4800/month? Also what about the time spent on consulating about her design, answering e-mails or phone calls? Maybe samples were provided as well.

You can spend 40 hours of of work on a 6" cake, if you want to. Size can't be your only measure here.

People do not have to have a custom cake like that. They can go to the grocery store or order a much simpler cake from you. But if they want artwork, they have to pay for it. Not everybody is capable of creating  an edible art.

 I think for 10+ hours of work you seriously undercharged.

post #13 of 21

I do think that your sizing is a bit off.  A 4" wide cake x 9" tall by my (the Wilton party chart = 12 cubic inches per serving) chart is only about 10 servings.  Even going by a "wedding" serving chart (8 cubic inches) it would feed about 15.  I charge $9 per serving for carved cakes (basic shapes like this) plus $30 for the custom board plus maybe $20 more since the logo was hand-done and not an edible image for a grand total of $140 for 10 servings.  Perhaps she was thinking that the cake would be physically larger.  Did you discuss the specific size that you were making?  Maybe that's what she is *really* feeling, that the cake was smaller than the picture in her head which she had associated with the quoted price.  If I ordered a cake for 24 people I would expect it to be larger than 4x9".

 

Beautiful cake!!

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK View Post

I do think that your sizing is a bit off.  A 4" wide cake x 9" tall by my (the Wilton party chart = 12 cubic inches per serving) chart is only about 10 servings.  Even going by a "wedding" serving chart (8 cubic inches) it would feed about 15.  I charge $9 per serving for carved cakes (basic shapes like this) plus $30 for the custom board plus maybe $20 more since the logo was hand-done and not an edible image for a grand total of $140 for 10 servings.  Perhaps she was thinking that the cake would be physically larger.  Did you discuss the specific size that you were making?  Maybe that's what she is *really* feeling, that the cake was smaller than the picture in her head which she had associated with the quoted price.  If I ordered a cake for 24 people I would expect it to be larger than 4x9".

 

Beautiful cake!!

That's what I'm thinking too. It was just too small for her crowd, and expectations. 

Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #15 of 21

I'm confused, she wants you to call her back and talk about it?  Talk about what?  It really isn't her place to set your prices for your business.  Does she discuss it with the grocer too when she thinks their meat is priced too high?   

ORIGINAL creator of Gelatin Bubbles

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ORIGINAL creator of Gelatin Bubbles

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