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How do you get your customers to understand why custom cakes are expensive?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Recently I had 2 clients who wanted sugar flowers/toppers on their cakes but couldn't understand why a "simple" flower/figurine would cost so much. In both cases I recommended they check out Etsy and see about buying it themselves (in neither case was I inclined to make those items, just wouldn't be worth it). In both cases, the individuals 'got it' as they didn't know that those labor intensive "Simple" toppers could go for $35-$45 before you even start to talk about the base price for the cake.

I've seen facebook posts discussing this issue trying to educate clients about custom cakes and prices, and since pricing is a hot topic these days, I figured we could discuss ways you educate customers so they 'get it' that custom cakes aren't cheap.
post #2 of 27

I give them my cost and I don't explain.  No one explains why something costs what it cost.  You pay for quality or do without.

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Lindas Just Desserts

Inspected and licensed commercial kitchen
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Making life sweet!

Lindas Just Desserts

Inspected and licensed commercial kitchen
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post #3 of 27
Usually breaking down the labor cost is enough to get people to understand...once they realize that their cake will take 20 hours to make instead of 2 hours they are either OK with the price or start scaling things down.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LKing12 View Post

I give them my cost and I don't explain.  No one explains why something costs what it cost.  You pay for quality or do without.

Whenever I work with a contractor that creates a custom product I always ask for an itemized breakdown of costs. Every single reputable contractor I've ended up working with has had no problem with this (anyone who could not do this did not get my business). I used to do the same thing when quoting IT services to customers. And when I sent invoices or quotes to my bakery customers I would break the price down by high-level design element.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LKing12 View Post

I give them my cost and I don't explain.  No one explains why something costs what it cost.  You pay for quality or do without.


Yea, I don't quite agree with this statement either.  A little education can go a long way, especially to those in areas who really don't know, instead of just not getting it.  I've had some - not alot, but some who have come back to place an order once they understood pricing.

 

I typically use McDonald's as my analogy.  I say if you pay $1.00 (plus tax!) for frozen french fries dropped in 5 day oil, and you serve it to 100 people for that one task.  That is gonna cost you $100.  Now, I have to get the ingredients, mix, bake, ice and decorate a cake. If I charge the same $1.00 per person as McDonalds for each task, etc.

Usually at this point, the light bulb goes off...

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by btrsktch View Post


Yea, I don't quite agree with this statement either.  A little education can go a long way, especially to those in areas who really don't know, instead of just not getting it.  I've had some - not alot, but some who have come back to place an order once they understood pricing.

I typically use McDonald's as my analogy.  I say if you pay $1.00 (plus tax!) for frozen french fries dropped in 5 day oil, and you serve it to 100 people for that one task.  That is gonna cost you $100.  Now, I have to get the ingredients, mix, bake, ice and decorate a cake. If I charge the same $1.00 per person as McDonalds for each task, etc.
Usually at this point, the light bulb goes off...

Yeah can't forget those who go price shopping only to realize they're not going to get the quality they seek any cheaper. Half the time they come back and order, the other half they order somewhere else and the result is NOTHING like the original design. Most often it's been scaled down beyond recognition.
post #7 of 27

I am the same way.  I don't explain anything.  They ask how much, I tell them how much, and if they ask why, I tell them all of our work is hand made.  Period.  Those who know my work are more then willing to pay it.  I only have the kind of look of shock from those who can't afford us to begin with.  To me it's not any different then walking into a Porsche dealer and asking why are they so expensive.  It's a Porsche for gods sake!

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post #8 of 27

I'm not going to explain unless they ask. Hardly anyone asks. I will itemize if I think it will help the customer figure out what he/she wants.
 

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms View Post

To me it's not any different then walking into a Porsche dealer and asking why are they so expensive.  It's a Porsche for gods sake!

I'm not sure that's the most useful analogy. Porsche has the benefit of several decades of marketing pushing its premium brand positioning around the world, and there is a very high barrier to entry to becoming a Porsche dealer. The customization options and itemization involved in buying a Porsche are also very limited.

Contrast this with custom cakes, where industry marketing and unlicensed bakers can often end up devaluing premium products. As a result, customers set unrealistically low budgets, and it falls to the vendor to educate them.
post #10 of 27

I tell them everything is made from scratch including the fillings, frosting etc. That usually works. But some people need it broken down a little further. This is the example I use.

It takes me 10 hours from start to finish to make this cake if I do it for $50 that equals to $5 and hour after I deduct ingredients it's drops down to $3.50. If you went to a job iterview and someone offered you $3.50 an hour would you accept the job? 

 

So far no one is willing to work for that. lol

 

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Don't aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference.

 

 

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post #11 of 27

I don't explain anything, but people don't ask me why my cakes cost what they cost,either. If someone did I would tell them that they're not only paying for the scratch baking, they're paying for the experience of someone to bake it from scratch and decorate it so that it looks the way they want it to.

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

I don't explain anything, but people don't ask me why my cakes cost what they cost,either. If someone did I would tell them that they're not only paying for the scratch baking, they're paying for the experience of someone to bake it from scratch and decorate it so that it looks the way they want it to.


...And deliver it to your wedding venue as a licensed, insured vendor, on the right day and time, and not have it looked like a monkey made it icon_wink.gif

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

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Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply
post #13 of 27
I actually do sort of itemise my quotes. The base price I work out myself taking into account all the ingredients, labour and overhead and numbers of servings required. That's a fixed number on the quote. The rest of it is itemised so they can see what every optional extra is costing them. Like toppers, bling, and highly detailed painted or piped effects. This works best for me as clients then get an appreciation for the way cost can build up for their 'champagne tastes'.

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir View Post


...And deliver it to your wedding venue as a licensed, insured vendor, on the right day and time, and not have it looked like a monkey made it icon_wink.gif

Monkey iced cakes not allowed!

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LKing12 View Post

I give them my cost and I don't explain.  No one explains why something costs what it cost.  You pay for quality or do without.
I agree! I have never asked why anything costs what it does, I just ask what it costs and figure out if I can afford it!
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms View Post

I am the same way.  I don't explain anything.  They ask how much, I tell them how much, and if they ask why, I tell them all of our work is hand made.  Period.  Those who know my work are more then willing to pay it.  I only have the kind of look of shock from those who can't afford us to begin with.  To me it's not any different then walking into a Porsche dealer and asking why are they so expensive.  It's a Porsche for gods sake!
yep? The shocked people are not my clients!
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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