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Frustrated

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 

I am a self taught cake designer making special occasion cakes from my home.  When people ask me how much I would charge for a cake before figuring out the number of servings and what all would go into actually making what they are asking for, I always tell them that my cakes will cost more than the grocery store cookie cutter cakes and less than an upscale bakery.  I always strive for a good tasting cake as well as pretty to look at.  Why bother doing this if the cake doesn't taste good, right?  I am very conscientious about how much I charge for anything I make, often undercharging myself. My problem is that people are wanting the specialty cakes at grocery store prices.  I had a lady call me and ask how much to make 250 cupcakes, for her daughters wedding.  I quoted her $300 for 250 cupcakes simply frosted; the price of supplies and boxes to transport them. Making them a whopping $1.20 ea.!!  She turned me down for Walmart. Another sent me a pic of a really cute stacked (8", 6" x 4" and small half ball pan) pirate cake using a lot of fondant work.  She turned me down when I quoted her $150.  Another is insistent that I make her grand children's birthday cakes next month, and she wants them to be "special", but she doesn't want to pay more than $40!!  As a rule of thumb, trying to be fair to both myself and the customer, I usually take the cost of my supplies and double it for the price of my cakes. It doesn't always equal out fairly for myself.  If anyone is going to benefit from the deal it's always my customer. I've found that I get more business when I am actually making cakes and post or share the pictures. Then other people see my cakes and ask if I would make them one for their special occasion. Knowing this, I have done a few cakes for the cost of supplies just so that I can share what I am doing in order to inspire others to order a cake from me. 

 

Like so many others, I'm doing this as a way to earn a little extra money from home. I would like to be busier than I am but I can't get people to understand what it is they are asking of me when they request a specialty cake. I simply can not beat the prices of Walmart or other grocery stores. But I do guarantee a better tasting cake as well as a custom design. I've had many people comment that I am not just making a cake but rather an edible work of art. And that is exactly what we are doing.  Just how in the world to get that across to people when they are asking me to make a custom cake?!  I'm trying very hard not to take these things personally, but it is really difficult.

EvArt's Cake Adventures
Where every cake is an adventure!!
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EvArt's Cake Adventures
Where every cake is an adventure!!
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post #2 of 54
That is so true why would you not want a beautiful and tasty cake , I'd pay any price for those cakes
Your prices are well put and figured out people needed to be respectful and pay it because they have to be good
You have the time of work and the price of the supplies needed to do that cake
post #3 of 54

As a rule of thumb for not complicated cakes, you should be looking at 3 x your outlay (ie ingredients, boards, boxes) to charge.

 

I charge a LOT, LOT more than supermarkets for my cakes.  But then, I know that supermarket cake customers were never going to be my cake customers, anyway.

 

Believe me, it WILL get easier, but you need to say to that grandma that for $40 she can have X cake.  If she wants Y cake, then these start at $<insert your figure here>
 

Suzanne x

Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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post #4 of 54
For a custom product it is impossible to set accurate prices if you rely on the cost of ingredients and supplies alone, whether it's 2x, 3x, or 10x. You must take into account labor (the number of hours required to complete the order from start to finish multiplied by your hourly wage) and overhead (license fees, insurance, etc. on a per-order basis).

If you charge what your products are worth and start targeting customers who are willing to pay for quality you will be less frustrated.
post #5 of 54

I hear you and I can say the same things, exactly!! People want me to beat the Wal-Mart pricing. I'm totally struggling!!!!!!!!

 

I understand doing cakes and showing them does attract more business. Instead of under selling them make dummy cakes and photograph them for your portfolio and your personal learning experience.

 

If you want to practice baking real cakes, donate them to places. Like just drop by your hair stylist and give her a free cake (and some business cards). Let the hard working under paid people of the world get your treats. They'll love you and in time their appreciation comes back to you when you need their services.

 

They'll do more good for your business then what you'll get back from that customer you under charged will. That cheap customer only gives you more people like her.......

post #6 of 54

You need to seek out a demographic willing to pay your prices.  Most people in my town are what my husband calls "sheetcake" people, but people in the next town over (slightly wealthier), people have no problem with my pricing.  I tell everyone that my cake prices tend to range in the $3-$4 per serving category, less for cupcakes.   I don't even market in my town.  

post #7 of 54

I think your prices are too low. I checked some bakeshop in your area and one is priced $2.50 for a cupcake with a simple cut out fondant flower. The other is charging $3.00+ per serving of cake, not covered in fondant and just chocolate shavings on top. People who wants Walmart/grocery prices are not your target market.

post #8 of 54

Hang in there and keep your focus on what YOU offer and not what the local grocery offers. Remember that everyone's needs are different, and there is little you can do to change it. What you have to do is find the people who need what you make! 

 

I find that being sure about my point of view is important so that I can express it to my clients and then they become my best advertising. I was dropping off some cupcakes for a friend's party on Saturday and overheard one of their friends say, "Better than Crumbs" about my work. So that can happen. Just stick with it!

 

Try to remind yourself that price is important, but it's not the only important thing. 

 

I had someone question my price in the daycare today (my other job) and I simply pointed out what I offer that the others don't.  Between us, if I can't get my rate, I can't stay open. That's the fact. So don't beat yourself up!

 

Good luck,

Jen

post #9 of 54

When you sell your cakes as cheaply as you are, your cheap customers tell their cheap friends and then they expect a cheap cake from you. 

 

Stop giving away your cakes, even if you only get one order all month but it gives you the same profit as you previously earned for the whole month prior then you're only ever going to come out on top. Don't confuse being 'busy' with being profitable. 


A lot of very wise people on here will tell you that they'd rather make 1 $300 cake than 3 $100 cakes. 

elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla View Post

Hang in there and keep your focus on what YOU offer and not what the local grocery offers. Remember that everyone's needs are different, and there is little you can do to change it. What you have to do is find the people who need what you make! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle View Post

When you sell your cakes as cheaply as you are, your cheap customers tell their cheap friends and then they expect a cheap cake from you. 

Stop giving away your cakes, even if you only get one order all month but it gives you the same profit as you previously earned for the whole month prior then you're only ever going to come out on top. Don't confuse being 'busy' with being profitable. 

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 #11 of 54
The hard part is first determining your target audience and then finding them.

As long as you continue to meet the low price, you will continue to attract the same kind clients. As Kiky&Kyle said, they send their cheap friends.

It still happens to all of us, we just try to educate the clients who don know.

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 #12 of 54
Thread Starter 

I appreciate every constructive comment. Wish we had a "Thumbs Up" or a "Like" button.

 

Kikiandkyle: I totally agree. I Have more fun making 1 $400 wedding cake than I do making a 4 $100 cakes any day!

 

I'm not wanting to focus on quantity but rather quality and profitability. And I do serve a quality product which I am very confident and proud of. And I do let prospective clients know that. I do depend on a lot of word of mouth to spread the word. Guess it's time to find better mouths to spread the word for me.  lol 
 

Thank you all.

EvArt's Cake Adventures
Where every cake is an adventure!!
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EvArt's Cake Adventures
Where every cake is an adventure!!
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post #13 of 54

post #14 of 54

This ^^^^ was on the internet the other day posted by someone on facebook. It is so true! Hang in there and stick to your guns.

post #15 of 54

I really like the saying I've seen on here so many times: "You can get A cake for $40, but you can't get THIS cake for $40."  Set a minimum amount that will make it worth your time to even turn on your oven.

 

Where I work, we have one birthday celebration every month for whoever has a birthday during that month.  And every month, the other lady in the office buys cakes from the grocery store.  She knows very well that I do cakes, but she's never asked me to make any and I've never volunteered.  We both know that the company isn't going to fork over what I would charge.  So everybody eats grocery store cake and thinks it's great.  It doesn't bother me in the least because I know my cakes are worth more than the $30 she spends.  My fellow employees are NOT my target market.

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