Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › Bullying tactics being used by another baker
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Bullying tactics being used by another baker

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

A local baker, who works out of her home as well and has been "on the scene" longer than I have has been using intimidation and threats to get me and others to try and close my business.  Using phrases like "you don't want to piss me off" and "I would watch your back".  She goes so far as to tell me (and others) that our work isn't comparable to hers and we should consider shutting down before making fools of ourselves.  Apparently, she offers her cakes for less than $1.50/serving (she insisted she charges less than I do, and that is the lowest I will charge).

 

The icing, so to speak, is that she has stolen at least 3 of my clients by underpricing me, then uses my designs to create their cakes.  While I understand that my ideas aren't protected in any way, her complete lack of integrity and the sheer pettiness of this is what lead me here.  So, for those who have experienced this before, how do I handle this situation?  I'm more than sure, because this is a smaller, rural community, that she'll pop up again.  Thanks in advanced!

post #2 of 43
Is she operating legally?
post #3 of 43

Ignore her, she'll go away…someone so cruel usually self-destructs.  My guess is she is not great with customers, either.  Her pricing will make her burn out.  Be patient…

post #4 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmom View Post


Ignore her, she'll go away…someone so cruel usually self-destructs.  My guess is she is not great with customers, either.  Her pricing will make her burn out.  Be patient…

That's a risky strategy...she may burn out after 3 months, or 3 years, or never (if she is supported by someone else's income).
post #5 of 43
Protect yourself by not giving designs to clients until they have paid a non-refundable deposit, and attract a higher class of clientele by charging a decent price. The kind of customer you get when you charge a real price isn't interested in saving money by going with someone less professional. At $1.50 a serving you're competing with Walmart.
elsewhere.
Reply
elsewhere.
Reply
post #6 of 43
She sounds awesome.
post #7 of 43

Something like this happened to me when I opened a small shop in our town.  The other caker and I were on friendly terms until then, and she accused me of stealing her idea to open a shop.  I later found out she had wanted to open a shop - and in the building I ended up leasing - but didn't have the money to do it, so it appears she took it out on me. In my opening weeks, she gave free cake samples to all the businesses on both sides of my street, and bad mouthed me to to whoever she could - including my relatives and customers!

 

Fortunately, I was so busy I had no time to think about it or get too stressed by it.  I decided not to play her game, and I ignored her.  I gave excellent customer service, I donated cakes to community causes, i was positive and I shared caking information.  In short, I developed a good name and this seemed to override the negativity she was causing.  When she temporarily closed her business to start a family, I heard no more, but have no doubt she is still harbouring resentment or whatever it is she was feeling.

If you are really concerned about the threats to your safety, reporting the threats to police would be wise. 

 

One other thing - don't base your pricing on her undercutting you.  Price according to what you feel is a good price for both you and and your customer for what you provide.  If your product is good quality, people will be happy to pay a little more, and will give you great word of mouth - and that's what will help you rise above this other woman.  Good luck!

post #8 of 43

i have a mini tape recorder  ;) records phone conversations also

 

peace of mind is a lovely thing-- proof is even better

my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post

i have a mini tape recorder  icon_wink.gif records phone conversations also

If you use a smartphone there are also apps that will record phone calls. However you may want to research state laws on this, since in some states you can only legally record a conversation if both parties consent.
post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fbrumback View Post
 

  Apparently, she offers her cakes for less than $1.50/serving (she insisted she charges less than I do, and that is the lowest I will charge).

 

 

Wow, you are charging so little that to undercut you, she has to charge $1.50 a serving? This is the kind of situation so many keep ignoring.  No one thinks his/her little cake business effects the market prices...  It sounds to me like you may possibly be guilty of some serious undercutting yourself. Who knows?? Maybe she had to lower her prices because you and others charge so little. Maybe this woman is so desperate to make a reasonable amount, she's snapped and is trying to squash the under chargers in any way she can. I'm not saying that's what's happening, but I don't know that it's not.

 

I'm not sure that would be legal for her to do that, but the trade laws were made to protect the little guy and with the assumption that sellers would act in their own best interests (and not under charge). The law was to keep a giant company from coming in and charging less to put the little guy out of business and then raising their prices back up to where they have to be to make a profit. This lady IS the little guy.

post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet View Post

Wow, you are charging so little that to undercut you, she has to charge $1.50 a serving? This is the kind of situation so many keep ignoring.  No one thinks his/her little cake business effects the market prices...  It sounds to me like you may possibly be guilty of some serious undercutting yourself. Who knows?? Maybe she had to lower her prices because you and others charge so little. Maybe this woman is so desperate to make a reasonable amount, she's snapped and is trying to squash the under chargers in any way she can. I'm not saying that's what's happening, but I don't know that it's not.

I'm not sure that would be legal for her to do that, but the trade laws were made to protect the little guy and with the assumption that sellers would act in their own best interests (and not under charge). The law was to keep a giant company from coming in and charging less to put the little guy out of business and then raising their prices back up to where they have to be to make a profit. This lady IS the little guy.
Great observation, could have some merit.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


If you use a smartphone there are also apps that will record phone calls. However you may want to research state laws on this, since in some states you can only legally record a conversation if both parties consent.

 

 

yes of course--forgot that part--the devil's in the details--very important detail--thank you for pointing that out

my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
post #13 of 43
I am sorry you are in this position and hope you can maintain a positive community presence as said above. There's that dang professional high road again.
Sadly, phrases like 'watch your back' are not the kind of threats the police can follow up on. Sure they have to take your report but not much more can happen. Not in NY State anyway. My real job involves a lot of people who are already in court for something and think nothing of saying writing or leaving messages that most of us would never dream of. As a result I have a close personal relationship with my local police station and a panic button. (Now you all know why I find comfort in cakes!). Anyway, the actions of others that the police can act on is 1) a specific quantity in a short time period of harassing calls 2) a very specific threat of harm . Have a face to face chat at your local precinct if this persons actions worry you. Just present it in a straightforward and specific incident way. They may tell you to file a report so something is on file if something should happen or they may have some specific advise. Does your town have a Chamber of Commerce ? Join it and make your local presence known. Good luck.
Theresa
post #14 of 43

geez theresa----i'm sitting here thinking that you already know this but you need to watch your back--but i mean it in the nice way -- because that whole inflection thing is the thing--and i understand what you mean about the limitations/boundaries of the police--

 

in this case, op says 'herself and others' so that in itself is concerning--

 

this is making my bp rise--

 

check your laws and get a tape or app of something--

 

maybe contact some of 'the others' and y'all or a coupla of y'all stop by the precinct--or get together with the others and call and they will send an officer out to you--this chick should not be out there blowing like this--how much the stupid cupcakes cost is the least of the matter--

my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
post #15 of 43
Thanks for your concern K8! I am always trying to watch my back! People can be crazy (today's understatement!)
All the more reason to keep good records of actions and don't willingly start something with a nut!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating Business
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › Bullying tactics being used by another baker