Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › Second guessing my quote :(
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Second guessing my quote :(

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone! I'm new to CC and fairly new to the cake decorating business so please bear with me if my plight is one that you've heard before and maybe even weighed in on.

I recently was contacted by my a friend of a friend (someone I've never met) who saw my cakes and was enquiring about a cake for her 3 year old twins' birthday party. She would have been my first client whom I had no personal connection to and also the first person I would be charging properly (so far, I have only done cakes for friends and charged for materials only). Her initial email to me asked for a quote for either cupcakes or a cupcake cake with 2 very different and disconnected themes to serve roughly 30 people. I wrote her back with an estimate and after some email exchange and phone conversation she decided to go with a 3 dozen cupcakes split between 2 cupcake cakes. She also had concerns about nut allergies and I assured her that I would not use any nut products, provide a list of ingredients and also repurchase ingredients to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.

I drew up 2 sketches, one had 18 cupcakes, a fondant mermaid figurine sitting on a rock (to match the one on her invitation), a starfish, a sand dollar, a crab and 2 shells. And the other had 18 cupcakes a racetrack made of fondant, a Lightning McQueen car and some stars shooting out of the ground with the son's name and age. I quoted $65 for the first one and $55 for the second. I know there aren't any pictures to prove it but I'm super detail oriented and spend a lot of time perfecting my figurines so I knew the mermaid and car would take me a good amount of time. After I emailed off the sketches and quote, she came back saying that she loved the designs but she and her husband had gone over the budget and realised they were well over even without the cakes and therefore would not be moving forward with the order.

Of course I suspect that it was the price that scared her off so my question is...was I way off the mark with this one? I honestly don't feel like the price was too much given that I know how much time I would have put into it and I still feel like I would have underpaid myself. And I also have been reassuring myself that if she thought it was too expensive then she isn't my target clientele but I can't help but second guess myself since it would have been my first "full-price" order.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks icon_smile.gif
post #2 of 29

No, you were not over priced.  Just the fact that you were going out of your way to deal with the "concerns for nut allergies"   I only say that I will not add any additional nuts but that some of my ingredients "may" have nuts , nut flavors, etc"  As you state, you place a lot of time in the detail.

 

Many people just don't want to pay for custom work.  They like what they see until reality hits them with the price.  Don't loose sleep over it.

Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
post #3 of 29
Yes, you were off the mark...your quotes were too low. $55-65 may be OK for 18 basic cupcakes but once you factor in the labor involved in creating the other decorations you probably won't be making much money. Not to mention the fact that Lightning McQueen is copyrighted and you would need Disney's permission to recreate it.

I recommend reading the Pricing Formula and Copyright links in my signature below. Also make sure you are compliant with food safety laws in your area, some states require a license and/or an inspection before you can sell food to the public.
post #4 of 29
Even though you are second guessing yourself, her explanation seems like a likely one. Birthday parties can get out of hand quick lol. Maybe she was just telling you the truth and your prices are not a turn off. COGS
Hey everybody! Check out google.com ! This is clearly an attempt to direct traffic onto that site and away from cake central. Because everyone knows you can only have one browser open!
Reply
Hey everybody! Check out google.com ! This is clearly an attempt to direct traffic onto that site and away from cake central. Because everyone knows you can only have one browser open!
Reply
post #5 of 29

It is very hard to price as they should be, or even price close to as should be.   However if you dont start to do this what will happen is you spend all your time baking and decorating to make someone's birthday party special  and in return you get no sleep, no profit, and no family time and then you even start to not enjoy the Hobby Baking.   I after 5 years and still learning this and have learned to stick to my guns.. ( most of the time ) lol.  It does take awhile because you either know the person or know their story and you get wrapped into ,, Yeah  I can do this...then we cringe because we know the cost of the cakes is alot and second guess ourselfs alot too.  However I have seen the store prices go up and if someone wants to pay the store prices.... then let them have the store cake.   I learned that I just cant do every event or friends cake for the best friend price and that sleep and family is important too. 

Best wishes

post #6 of 29
If you are new to decorating, I don't feel it's fair to charge as much as a seasoned decorator. I've been decorating for 22 years and that's probably close to what I would charge. So I guess I'm in the minority for thinking that price is too much.

Not having seen your work, I am only going by your post that you are fairly new to this. And when you're new, it takes more time, but I've never thought it fair to charge a customer more because it takes an inexperienced decorator longer to produce a cake.
Plank.
Reply
Plank.
Reply
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked View Post

If you are new to decorating, I don't feel it's fair to charge as much as a seasoned decorator.

Assuming you can at least create a saleable product (if you can't, you shouldn't be in business at all yet) your price should be in line with the market value based on your location. If you are new and therefore less efficient, you will automatically be paying yourself less on a per hour basis since the cake will take you longer to make. As you become more seasoned and can make cakes faster, your wage will increase without having to change your price.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

. If you are new and therefore less efficient, you will automatically be paying yourself less on a per hour basis since the cake will take you longer to make. As you become more seasoned and can make cakes faster, your wage will increase without having to change your price.

Isn't that what I just said?
Plank.
Reply
Plank.
Reply
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked View Post

Isn't that what I just said?

Not the way I read it, you mentioned that you thought the price was too much because you would charge that much as a seasoned veteran. My point was that a beginner with enough skill to produce a product suitable to their market should charge the same as a veteran making a similar product in the same market, the wage difference shows up in the labor cost component and is not visible to the customer.

Please clarify if my inference was incorrect.
post #10 of 29

I had a woman literally scream at me on the phone for charging what I charge. She was an ignoramus. Not everyone can afford fancy cakes. Most people I meet can't afford fancy cakes. I can't afford my own cakes. Don't feel bad when someone can't afford your cake.  I imagine it's no coincidence that there are so many cakes made of $700 Jimmy Choo's. I can't afford Jimmy Choo's, either.
 

post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked View Post

If you are new to decorating, I don't feel it's fair to charge as much as a seasoned decorator. I've been decorating for 22 years and that's probably close to what I would charge. So I guess I'm in the minority for thinking that price is too much.

Not having seen your work, I am only going by your post that you are fairly new to this. And when you're new, it takes more time, but I've never thought it fair to charge a customer more because it takes an inexperienced decorator longer to produce a cake.
This is the double edged sword for us new business bakers. If we price our cakes similar to other bakers in our area, we are accused of charging too much, if we charge less because we don't have 22 years in the business then we are accused of under-cutting. Everyone has to start somewhere. If people are willing to pay for my cakes, even though I've only got a couple years in, then I see nothing wrong with that. I will charge them properly for my time, ingredients, etc.
post #12 of 29

Your quote was fine and quite reasonable.  Actually,  it was not enough considering how detail-oriented you say you are, as they sound time consuming to make.  Maybe next time you can have another less expensive option, as in just cupcakes with VERY simple decorations on top.  I had a customer request cupcakes I knew she would think were too expensive, so I told her how time consuming they would be and presented her with a more simple, less expensive option.  You don't want to burn out not making any money, so don't second guess yourself!  It is very true that not everyone can afford custom baked goods.  She could not, but someone else will.

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbe86 View Post

If we price our cakes similar to other bakers in our area, we are accused of charging too much.

There's nothing wrong with people accusing you of charging too much as long as you realize that they are not your target customers. Your marketing strategy should be centered on customers who shop primarily based on quality instead of price, and the kind of people you get inquiries from will be a good indicator of how well your strategy is working.
post #14 of 29

Jason maybe you could put some input into this?

If you offer a cheaper price detailed cake would a customer automatically get that because they want to save $$ then be disappointed because they

took the offer so fast? You know with the idea of the cake they wanted but agreeing to the cheaper price? I like this idea but feel if I offered it with sales I'd be

undercutting sales I could make merely because the customer wanted to save a buck. Where as if they had originally gone with the first price and gotten the wow

factor they would be happier. Am I making sense?

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by smittyditty View Post

Jason maybe you could put some input into this?
If you offer a cheaper price detailed cake would a customer automatically get that because they want to save $$ then be disappointed because they
took the offer so fast? You know with the idea of the cake they wanted but agreeing to the cheaper price? I like this idea but feel if I offered it with sales I'd be
undercutting sales I could make merely because the customer wanted to save a buck. Where as if they had originally gone with the first price and gotten the wow
factor they would be happier. Am I making sense?

I'm not sure I fully understand your point, could you clarify?

If you are referring to offering a cheaper, less detailed cake as an alternative, that is definitely a viable option, but it is only necessary when the customer's budget does not match their initial expectations. The less detailed cake will make you less income, but if you structure your prices correctly your profit margin and hourly wage should be the same.

In fact you could even build in a larger profit margin to your smaller and less detailed cakes to help compensate for the lower sales price.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › Second guessing my quote :(