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The unrealistic client - Page 10

post #136 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godot View Post

But see, that's just the thing - it IS my business.

I've busted my @$$ working my bakery, paying off loans, renovating, doing bookkeeping, cleaning, baking, etc, and it is very much my business to help shut down the illegals. Our HD has limited resources and I know they appreciate tips.

I don't go trolling around for illegals (ain't nobody got time fo' dat!*), but if do happen to stumble across them I will report it.






*Thank you, Sweet Brown, for enriching my vocabulary:-)
Hahaha! I knew the quote!

But I make time on a Tuesday when I am not doing anything, but trolling CC. I hope over the Craigslist Cincinnati, type "cake" in the search bar, and have a little look-see. I warn all the KY people that it is illegal to operate out of their home, and if I see them advertise again, I will be calling then health department and IRS.
When the pricing is particularly atrocious, I mention how much it cost me to get legal, and how it hurts my business for them to undercharge.
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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 #137 of 157

Got to love a bit of Sweet Brown! 

 

A lot of people think its fine for someone to run a small illegal business that 'isn't hurting anyone'. Until someone does get hurt, and then everyone's up in arms that these people go unchecked for so long. 

elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #138 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by melanie-1221 View Post

Also , to chime in with the somewhat off topic conversation here:

.......

I have potential clients come to me with photos of 3 tiered cakes, but they only need 30 servings but want the EXACT cake, and if they have already priced my  ' competition ' they are expecting me to make the 3 tier cake and only charge for the 30 servings they need as she does. ( Who does that?!? ) 

 

You really have to wonder...an illegal baker...charging a small fraction of  the actual ingredient cost of the cake...why on earth is somebody dumping money down the drain like that?  Teenagers with a job like babysitting or paper delivery are smarter than that.

 

So if you get nowhere with the HD you still have the IRS as an option. Also your state department of labour.

 

And you should tell these nonclients, that they can go right ahead and pay somebody else 50 cents an hour for labour...if they don't mind ending up being identified as participants in a violation of minimum wage laws.

post #139 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene View Post

You really have to wonder...an illegal baker...charging a small fraction of  the actual ingredient cost of the cake...why on earth is somebody dumping money down the drain like that?  Teenagers with a job like babysitting or paper delivery are smarter than that.

 

 

Some people just honestly don't think about it. They'll go grocery shopping for the household and buy the cake ingredients during that trip. They make the cake, charge someone the $30, and think to themselves that they made $30. There is a genuine disconnect between their understanding of costs etc and the reality of actually running a business to make a profit. I think that's probably why so many home bakers go out of business after a relatively short time trying to sell to the general public. They realize that they're working a lot harder than they thought they would on the marketing end of it, and they're not making as much as they think they are once they actually start tracking costs.

post #140 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

Some people just honestly don't think about it. They'll go grocery shopping for the household and buy the cake ingredients during that trip. They make the cake, charge someone the $30, and think to themselves that they made $30. There is a genuine disconnect between their understanding of costs etc and the reality of actually running a business to make a profit. I think that's probably why so many home bakers go out of business after a relatively short time trying to sell to the general public. They realize that they're working a lot harder than they thought they would on the marketing end of it, and they're not making as much as they think they are once they actually start tracking costs.

I think this is exactly what is happening. I had a price increase immediately when I recently sat down and put a pen to paper and factored in cake drums, fondant to cover the cake drum, cake boxes, support dowels, and the price increase in the ingredients from the time I started making cakes. She may not have factored all this in. I highly doubt she is making any profit, just muddying up the market here . 

post #141 of 157
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


Art is subjective. Generally it is easy to distinguish beginners from experts, but different people will have different opinions on the finer distinctions between levels.

Objective criteria like location and the amount of labor required for a design are better judges of expected price.
Actually it plays a pretty big role in establishing unrealistic expectations among potential clients, since illegal bakers have an artificially low cost structure and tend to not account correctly for even those costs. It's a financial issue, not a moral issue.

 I do believe I was the originator of this thread and there was absolutely NOTHING in my post about other cakers, them being legal or not.  It was about clients having unrealistic expectations for their cakes and ways of educating them of what to expect.  Another person stated that it would be a good idea to for cakers to post pics and prices for their area and so forth.  You hijacked my thread I am asking to please get off the darn legal or illegal statements...there are plenty of other threads on this site for that discussion, take it there!

 

Personally I think anyone who isn't at least an advanced decorator has no business trying to sell cakes.  Call me a snob, so be it.  I also think that if they do choose to do so, they should not ask the price that an expert decorator can demand.  Ability is not subjective, it is pretty definitive as to what constitutes different ability levels.  Natural talent also factors in so someone can go from beginner ability to advanced ability rather quickly, there is no time table for progression from one ability to the next. Rylan is an example of that. 

 

Oh btw I am a legal storefront owning cake artist. Now please let's take this back to the original discussion. Thank you.

NOW

post #142 of 157

 Wow.

 

Threads get hijacked all the time.

 

Honestly, I don't even really remember the OP.  It was 10 pages ago & there have been several topics of discussion.

 

What was the question?  Oh yes...Unrealistic Clients.  Then we got sidetracked with who is to blame.

 

CakesDivine, what do you suggest we (as a collection of bakers) can do to educate the masses?

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
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www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #143 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine View Post

 I do believe I was the originator of this thread and there was absolutely NOTHING in my post about other cakers, them being legal or not.  It was about clients having unrealistic expectations for their cakes and ways of educating them of what to expect.  Another person stated that it would be a good idea to for cakers to post pics and prices for their area and so forth.  You hijacked my thread I am asking to please get off the darn legal or illegal statements...there are plenty of other threads on this site for that discussion, take it there!

It's fine if you believe that, but my opinion is that unrealistic pricing expectations is the symptom, while the underlying root causes are businesses that do not price according to their market for whatever reason (including operating illegally).

If you want to have complete control over the conversation I recommend posting on your blog instead of on a public forum.
Quote:
Personally I think anyone who isn't at least an advanced decorator has no business trying to sell cakes.

There are many different market segments out there. I agree that catering to the higher end of the market requires advanced skills, but plenty of people are successful at the lower end of the market without having advanced baking and decorating skills. I would argue that a business's success at any level (in terms of profitability and avoiding creating unrealistic expectations) is more proportional to the owner's business skills than their decorating talent.
post #144 of 157

I think it went in that direction because someone was citing their non-professional status as reason to undercharge clients, and we were trying to explain that not being licensed doesn't mean they're not professional, or that it's OK to charge less than other bakeries, since the customers then have unrealistic expectations about prices...

elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #145 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle View Post

I think it went in that direction because someone was citing their non-professional status as reason to undercharge clients, and we were trying to explain that not being licensed doesn't mean they're not professional, or that it's OK to charge less than other bakeries, since the customers then have unrealistic expectations about prices...
yeah, that's it! It was so long ago I had forgotten but that definitely rings a bell!
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 #146 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

It's fine if you believe that, but my opinion is that unrealistic pricing expectations is the symptom, while the underlying root causes are businesses that do not price according to their market for whatever reason (including operating illegally).
 

 

Facile reasoning.  While businesses that do not price according to market may contribute to unrealistic pricing expectations they are far from the "root" cause.  There are any number of factors including: low cost providers that do price according to a market (Wal-mart, grocery stores, Sams Club etc); cultural beliefs (it is only cake) which are based on experiences with cake other than encounters with specialty cakes; television shows which show everyday individuals who look like average folks ordering elaborate cakes without showing prices producing the belief that anyone can afford these cakes; and a lack of knowledge (I am sure there others).  The elimination of the kind of establishments you cite would not result in an end to unrealistic expectations. 

post #147 of 157
Too bad we can't just eliminate all the under privets and see if it helps icon_wink.gif
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 #148 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake View Post

While businesses that do not price according to market may contribute to unrealistic pricing expectations they are far from the "root" cause.  There are any number of factors including: low cost providers that do price according to a market (Wal-mart, grocery stores, Sams Club etc); cultural beliefs (it is only cake) which are based on experiences with cake other than encounters with specialty cakes; television shows which show everyday individuals who look like average folks ordering elaborate cakes without showing prices producing the belief that anyone can afford these cakes; and a lack of knowledge (I am sure there others).  The elimination of the kind of establishments you cite would not result in an end to unrealistic expectations. 

We are generally talking about customers who want quality cake here. I agree that TV shows can contribute to unrealistic expectations, but price-sensitive customers who shop at Walmart, grocery stores, or ethnic bakeries do not overlap with the ideal target market for a bakery that specializes in quality.

If all custom cake businesses priced correctly, there would be no undercutting for customers looking for something better than a grocery store cake, and customers entering the market with unrealistic expectations based on a TV show would quickly modify their expectations to match reality (which would mean increasing their budget if possible or settling for a grocery store cake).
post #149 of 157

As a business owner with high overhead, I have to agree with Jason.  I can explain to a potential customer that Duff''s 8 inch non-custom cake is $250.00 and his custom cakes start at $1000.00, so mine are not impossibly priced.  On the other hand, if this client can see on Craig's list that a three tiered cake for 100 people is $100.00 they don't want to hear that that is because the baker loves decorating so much that they don't really care if they make any money, while I have to cover the rent, insurance, licensing, etc.  The buyer doesn't  care if the baker is legal (if they even know there are laws about who can sell food) unless they get sick, which with cake is very very unlikely.

 

People who want to justify underpricing are going to convince themselves that it doesn't hurt the industry, but it certainly does.  And yes, I didn't sell cake until I could do it legally, first renting space and then building a kitchen.  Until I was legal, I gave away a lot of cake for five long years.

post #150 of 157

icon_eek.gifnever thought I would hear sum1 say the same thing I say...tell it girl!! get ur $...free cake don't tast as good any way!! I do 185.00 mi self. but we know we r worth far more..but what ta do,what ta do..

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