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Frustrated with the unlicensed!

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 

Just need a place to vent. I own a licensed custom bakery. Put alot of hard work and money into making my dream a reality. I charge in the upper middle of the road for my creations. Probably could charge a bit more but I don't have huge overhead costs.

So I am getting frustrated when I hear brides asking for quotes then come back with "A lady told me she can do it for less than $2 per slice" I know people need to start somewhere and charge accordingly but come on! Ugg! How are you making money at that price point??

I am not trying to compete with Costco. I make a great tasting cake and am very busy with the orders I get. I'm just getting frustrated with all these "home based non-licensed bakeries". In BC you must be licensed by the city and inspected by the health unit and you are not allowed to advertise until the paper work is filled out. It just frustrates me.

Thanks for letting me get it off my chest :cake:

post #2 of 79
I understand and definitely feel you! I think a lot of it is ignorance when it comes to pricing, or this is an easy way to make extra money (read that in a magazine the other day-new jobs for stay at home moms or something like that).

I remember a past thread where someone was saying they only get paid for ingredients or they charge less because they are new. Someone stated MD's, lawyers, etc. don't charge less for being new to the business lol, I love that because it's so true!
post #3 of 79
If you're "very busy" and are happy with what you charge, why does it matter what anyone else is charging?
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #4 of 79

Definitely don't lower your standards or your prices to compete with those that aren't charging enough. One thing is for sure - when people don't charge enough they will either burn out or they will be forced to raise prices anyway. At least that's what I've found.

post #5 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked View Post

If you're "very busy" and are happy with what you charge, why does it matter what anyone else is charging?

 

It doesn't matter how busy a business is. When someone does "cheap" work, it affects the entire profession. I'm licensed and work from my home kitchen, I charge as if I have a storefront. I've been told I'm pricey then they go to their grandma's uncle's cousin for the cake because they'll make it for $25. I get a little irritated with this, but honestly,  I get more satisfaction when they post pics of the cake wreck. Lol

post #6 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwtCanuck View Post

Put alot of hard work and money into making my dream a reality. I charge in the upper middle of the road for my creations. Probably could charge a bit more but I don't have huge overhead costs.

If you can charge more, do so...not having huge overhead costs just means that you will have a higher profit margin. Factoring in what local licensed competitors are charging for similar products as well as the budgets of your target customers will help determine how high you can go.

The main issue seems to be with other businesses underpricing, regardless of whether or not they are licensed. I wrote an article on my blog ("Pricing, Market Value, and Economic Damage", linked below) about this topic and some steps you can take to address it.
post #7 of 79
Everyone has the right to set their own prices, and I'm a firm believer that new, inexperienced decorators SHOULD be charging less. After all, what is a "cake wreck" worth?
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post #8 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked View Post

Everyone has the right to set their own prices, and I'm a firm believer that new, inexperienced decorators SHOULD be charging less. After all, what is a "cake wreck" worth?

Prices should be based on cost and quality, not experience. If an inexperienced decorator happens to have innate talent and can produce a similar quality cake as efficiently as an experienced decorator there's no reason the inexperienced decorator should charge less.
post #9 of 79
Thread Starter 

You know it's not even really the prices that bug me. As someone else said they will burn out from over work and underpayment. My problem is with the Un-Licensed. In my province you are not legally allowed to charge anything for anything that comes out of your house, period. When I was starting I gave my friends and family tons of cake for free so I could become good at what I was doing. When I was ready to start charging I went through the proper paperwork and fees associated with opening a business. So that is what my vent is about. I realize there is enough work for many decorators in my community (on average I do 5 orders a weekend on top of my full time job) but please do it legally!

post #10 of 79
I think it partly is ignorance, we see so many people on here who think it's ridiculous when we tell them that they can't just sell their $20 cakes on Craigslist because it's just a hobby, they think that because they don't have a shop they're not really in business so the rules don't apply.
elsewhere.
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post #11 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwtCanuck View Post
 

Just need a place to vent. I own a licensed custom bakery. Put alot of hard work and money into making my dream a reality. I charge in the upper middle of the road for my creations. Probably could charge a bit more but I don't have huge overhead costs.

So I am getting frustrated when I hear brides asking for quotes then come back with "A lady told me she can do it for less than $2 per slice" I know people need to start somewhere and charge accordingly but come on! Ugg! How are you making money at that price point??

I am not trying to compete with Costco. I make a great tasting cake and am very busy with the orders I get. I'm just getting frustrated with all these "home based non-licensed bakeries". In BC you must be licensed by the city and inspected by the health unit and you are not allowed to advertise until the paper work is filled out. It just frustrates me.

Thanks for letting me get it off my chest :cake:

 

It sounds to me like you're less upset with the unlicensed and more upset with home bakers who are:

1) too clueless to know what the heck they are doing

2) too irresponsible to find out and

3) too selfish to care how their actions may be effecting others.

 

post #12 of 79

I hear you!

My situation is difficult -- I'm that baker just starting out. I gave away a LOT of freebies, and I'm still in that spot.

I'm 100% ready to start the application process to be a "real" business, but I'm running into red tape. I contacted my county health department -- I'm in NE Ohio -- and they referred me to a person with a .utah address. I asked THAT individual whether he was the person I needed to contact to obtain a license for Ohio. He replied that he was (go fig) and that he needed more information. I gave him all my info regarding my business, and he hasn't replied. So now I'm back to square one. I, like you, work full time, so doing things during "business hours" usually involves email communications. I'm getting REALLY frustrated!

post #13 of 79
On the other hand, what if a person can't afford to give away cakes for free or pay for a license without even practicing, how are they supposed to get anywhere?
I'd understand if you were mad about the pricing issue, but what difference does it make to you whether or not a person is doing it illegally
If they're selling a lot of cakes, they'll eventually get caught and have to pay for it
And if they aren't doing a lot of cakes, then really, what difference does it make?
I'm not saying it's ok to do it illegally, but that's the persons business.. Why get frustrated over it
post #14 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whirlwind View Post

On the other hand, what if a person can't afford to give away cakes for free or pay for a license without even practicing, how are they supposed to get anywhere?

They can save money until they have enough to launch a business the right way.
post #15 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwtCanuck View Post
 

You know it's not even really the prices that bug me. As someone else said they will burn out from over work and underpayment. My problem is with the Un-Licensed. In my province you are not legally allowed to charge anything for anything that comes out of your house, period. When I was starting I gave my friends and family tons of cake for free so I could become good at what I was doing. When I was ready to start charging I went through the proper paperwork and fees associated with opening a business. So that is what my vent is about. I realize there is enough work for many decorators in my community (on average I do 5 orders a weekend on top of my full time job) but please do it legally!

I'm from good old Slurrey, lol, sooo many unlicensed kitchen there.

Sadly, it's just one of those things you have to deal with in this industry, doesn't mean you have to like it though.
I knew a lady in Kits who was a total hag, but I kind of loved her, she would spend her day off reporting illegal bakers she found on FB and craigslist, lol.
It's a nasty place to get in trouble for it, $10k fine, and they often won't give you a cease and desist first, I know of quite a few who got slammed with the fine right away. It is a $10k fine if you get caught, sometimes they will give you a warning, often they just fine you straight away. I can't imagine baking a few illegal cakes is worth that.

 

It is a very difficult province to get legal in, not excusing illegal kitchens, but it makes more sense that there would be so many there.

Here in WA they have a cottage food law, a couple hundred dollars and a bit of time is all it takes, but there are still people too lazy and irresponsible to do it.

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