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The unrealistic client - Page 2

post #16 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibeeflower View Post

I found her comment surprising because she is getting her master's degree in business! I know she isn't trying to exploit me, but I at least thought that she would consider that I should make more than 9.00 for a dozen cupcakes. or 18 dollars for a 9 inch cake. I explained to her what pricing was in the area and she thought it was insane.
Having a degree in business is more about knowing how to do market research/pricing/etc. in general than covering specific examples for different industries. If you don't have the specialized knowledge to know how long it will take to create a product, then you won't be able to price that product accurately, and that specialized knowledge comes from work experience in the field.

That said, she probably should have withheld her advice until she had more information.

This is not unique to making cakes, I've come across this attitude myself in the form of "it's just a web site" and "fixing this computer problem should be easy".
post #17 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


Having a degree in business is more about knowing how to do market research/pricing/etc. in general than covering specific examples for different industries. If you don't have the specialized knowledge to know how long it will take to create a product, then you won't be able to price that product accurately, and that specialized knowledge comes from work experience in the field.

That said, she probably should have withheld her advice until she had more information.

This is not unique to making cakes, I've come across this attitude myself in the form of "it's just a web site" and "fixing this computer problem should be easy".

You have a point Jason. I'm guilty of underestimating costs for certain things as well. Research would have to be done.

post #18 of 157

One advantage to having it on cake central would be to educate a large number of home bakers on how they are giving away cake and creating an uneven playing field for those who are trying to eek out a living in this business.  As far as any bakers' websites being to blame for people expecting low prices as mentioned earlier, I would blame the many people undercharging for giving people the wrong idea about fair prices.

 

I find only about 20% of people actually really anything on my website and just see the sparkly pictures anyway.
 

post #19 of 157
Bakers giving away cake is exactly what is happening in los angeles. All over craigslist they are selling cakes that at the minimum should be $200 for around $60:(

If they make a thirty dollar profit, they are good with that. I cannot compete with there prices. It's not worth it for me.

They have orders and orders, and I think that for them it is about volume of sales.

I saw on there facebook a 4 tier huge wedding cake with all over bling and quilting and they price they gave to customers was $200.

It makes me so sad to see this kind of undercutting.

Life is a slice of cake.

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Life is a slice of cake.

Reply
post #20 of 157

I too have had this problem before, I think my prices are VERY cheap, sometimes I do not make any money on a cake but I only started selling them not too long ago and at the moment prefer to get some "publicity" than the money, but I get loads of ppl saying they could get a cake in the supermarket for 10 euro!! this really irritates me, as all my cakes are made from scratch and I put myself under a lot of pressure to bake them last minute so its as fresh as it can be, unless you have ever made and decorated a cake I don't think anyone understands how much materials cost and the amount of hours that goes into it!!!

post #21 of 157
So, lets do it.

Later today, I'm going to go through my glory & add a price to my cakes.

Now, how do we start a cool section for this? Or do we just start a thread?

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

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 #22 of 157

I would love to see this.  I am sort of a newbie, I used to work at a bakery (ages ago in my college days) and am now a stay at home mom looking to make a little spending cash.   I've been making cakes and really don't know how much to charge all the time.  And, really I'm making cakes for friends and family and don't always want to charge typical "bakery" prices.  I'd love to see what prices some more professional bakers are charging.

 

I'd like to add that a website like this ought to showcase a range of abilities.  There are some cakes here that I couldn't do even for $20/serving, because I lack the skills to pull it off.  I'd be willing to post some of my stuff, if people would be kind!  I'd love some insight on how much to charge.

post #23 of 157
That does pose an interesting point.

There is a gentleman in my town with insane talent. While I am proud of my work, I am not yet at his level of technique & expierience.

As people view the examples & prices, they will need to know they need to adjust pricing accordingly. It's not fair to charge the same for a cake with minor blemishes as one that is flawless.

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

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 #24 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidcaes View Post

 

 I'd love some insight on how much to charge.

Add up all your costs--ingredients, electricity, paper goods, equipment PLUS calculate at least minimum wage for your time.

 

The people who are grossly undercutting are not earning the minimum wage.  They are not even thinking about earning the minimum wage. They are directly putting honest workers back 100 years to the days of piecework for pennies a day.

 

And I wish that customers had the decency to ask home based bakers "are you really earning the minimum wage" BEFORE they buy.

post #25 of 157

I do add up all the costs (although I haven't done electricity or water or gas.  I always run another load in the dishwasher plus wash a lot by hand), but I am lacking in adding in my time.  I do add for my time, but I'll be honest, not min wage.  And because I only have about a cake a week, if that, I do them "here and there", spending an hour or so after my kids go to bed.   I haven't yet added up all the time that a cake will take me, but I ought to.  I'm really new at this and underestimate the amount of time that a cake will take me when quoting a price.  And I often add details to a cake that weren't requested that take me much longer than I thought.

 

I absolutely do not mean to undercut any other bakers.  Partly I'm trying to create a portfolio and using people who would buy a cake from a grocery store or not at all and partly I'm just inexperienced.

 

I plan to add all my time for the next cake and see just how much time I am spending on the cakes.  I bet it will surprised me!

post #26 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidcaes View Post

 

I absolutely do not mean to undercut any other bakers. 

 

I plan to add all my time for the next cake and see just how much time I am spending on the cakes.  I bet it will surprised me!

I know that you are dealing honestly.  I was referring to other posts about other peoples prices. And the race to the bottom is happening all over the place, not just in home based baking.

 

Keeping track of your time is important while you are working up the portfolio--then you can give good estimates to customers.

post #27 of 157

speaking of adding in the cost of your time, I don't think most people know how much to charge for their time. I haven't found a good source for hourly rates,  I know it is somewhat based on area, but finding a starting point is hard.  I called around to bakeries (storefront, but not grocery) and couldn't get a straight answer. I find it funny how cake decorators give away all their trade secrets on decorating, but won't tell another person how much they make.

 

I'll try.... SO what rates are you all paying yourself? I think I pay myself a bit high for my years of experience (who knows how good of a number it is), but it takes a lot of R&D to develop my recipes, so I pay myself $15.00 per hour. I looked on payscale.com and other places and it says cake decorators should make ~8.00-15.00 an hour. 

post #28 of 157
When adding a cost for your time, you have to consider reasonable time. When I first started, it took me forever to frost a cake. I spent hours getting it straight & smooth. Now, I frost a cake in 1/3 the time. Think like a mechanic. They have set "times" it should take. Some move faster & others slower. It's not fair to overcharge a client because we are slow or inexperienced. Course, it's also not far to undercharge.

Just a thought.

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

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 #29 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene View Post

I know that you are dealing honestly.  I was referring to other posts about other peoples prices. And the race to the bottom is happening all over the place, not just in home based baking.

 

Keeping track of your time is important while you are working up the portfolio--then you can give good estimates to customers.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts View Post

When adding a cost for your time, you have to consider reasonable time. When I first started, it took me forever to frost a cake. I spent hours getting it straight & smooth. Now, I frost a cake in 1/3 the time. Think like a mechanic. They have set "times" it should take. Some move faster & others slower. It's not fair to overcharge a client because we are slow or inexperienced. Course, it's also not far to undercharge.

Just a thought.

I absolutely agree with DeliciousDesserts, I never actually calculate my time as I know for example that to make a person out of fondant probably takes me ten times longer than somebody that has been doing it for a lot longer than me

I usually have a "base" price for a cake as in, a round 8" is one price and then add on to that depending on the amount and type of decoration I was asked for, NO WAY it is my intention to undercut anyone else, ( this wouldn't happen anyway as there isn't anyone else in my town doing this at the moment) but it is trial and error for everyone and I know if I tried to charge the same as an established bakery I would never sale a cake as I'm only starting, I don't have a shop and rely a lot in word of mouth.

post #30 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdovewings View Post

I'll try.... SO what rates are you all paying yourself? I think I pay myself a bit high for my years of experience (who knows how good of a number it is), but it takes a lot of R&D to develop my recipes, so I pay myself $15.00 per hour. I looked on payscale.com and other places and it says cake decorators should make ~8.00-15.00 an hour. 
Personally I prefer factoring R&D in to overhead costs, since after you launch the business and get your recipes ready you won't be doing R&D for every order. Payscale is generally accurate and $8-15/hour is a good range, again depending on area. If you run your own business you will also get the benefit of your markup for profit that accrues directly to the business (usually in the 15-45% range depending on your costs and market values).
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