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Sucker for underpricing! - Page 2

post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetAsLemmons


Are there any idiot proof formulas for pricing anyone knows about?




I don't know how idiot proof it is, LOL but the cake matrix figures out how much you should charge for your cake three different ways and then gives you an average. icon_smile.gif

One way is per slice, the other way is by the hour and the third way is charging by mark up. You set your cost per slice ahead of time (you can easily change it later if you want, same with how much do you want to get paid per hour...and you even input how much your cake mix costs, eggs, milk etc...

The thing is, it only works if you a) tell the customer you will get back to them with the quote and b) stick to the price and not undercut yourself.

If you don't know excel this is a great chance to learn it. : )
I love excel, I even balance my check book with it. Maybe it would be worthwhile to have a little tutorial on how to customize and use the cake matrix. thumbs_up.gif
Amy in Alaska
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Amy in Alaska
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post #17 of 68
Let me start by saying that I don't sell cakes. However, my family and friends have bought many homemade products from others. If you are selling cakes on the side for a little extra money, then my suggestion is to have a set price based on the size of the cake. Keep it simple. Then you won't underprice yourself and you can charge for extras like fresh strawberries, giant fondant bows, shaped cake or whatever else the customer dreams up. It also makes it MUCH easier to get business by word of mouth. Someone can say, "Becky will do your birthday cake for $40" instead of "Becky charges $4 slice."
Sleep deprived
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Sleep deprived
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post #18 of 68
Thread Starter 
What would any of you ladies charge for a 1/4 sheet, buttercream iced with simple borders, BUT with gumpaste flowers instead of buttercream or royal icing ones? (not too many though).
A bad day in the kitchen is better than ANY good day at work!
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A bad day in the kitchen is better than ANY good day at work!
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post #19 of 68
I still get confused over the sheet cake sizes.

What are the measurements for the 1/4 sheet cake? I don't do gumpaste flowers but maybe someone else could help you with that. : )
Amy in Alaska
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Amy in Alaska
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post #20 of 68
SweetAsLemmons - You sound just like me. I've been doing cakes a couple of years now but just decided to start selling them for some extra money. People asked me how much for a certain cake and I would say, I'm not sure and felt like I lost a potential customer. So what I did was this: I put together a portfolio with a description of each cake below it and what occasion it was for. Inside the front cover I put my business cards and the very last page of the album is a price sheet. It lists all of my pan sizes, approximate number of servings and the associated price. I also make sure to note that the prices are for basic decorating and filling and that it would cost extra for special decorations or recipes. Then at the bottome I list the basic cake flavors, basic frosting flavors. This way if someone asks you about a cake you can show them your portfolio and they can see your prices upfront and there is no worries about pricing unless they are wanting something special in which they know that it will cost more than what is listed.

I just did a black and white cake for my old place of employment and only charged $40 (I gave her a quote before I did my price list) and realized I was off at least $20. I told the person who ordered it that I was off in my quote that way just in case she orders from me again she won't be expecting such a low price again.

Good luck and welcome!
post #21 of 68
Thread Starter 
Christinasconfections,

Hey, and thanks for the welcome! icon_biggrin.gif

What a good idea! Too many times have I blurted out a price only to get home, calculate, and realize I suck at that! icon_cry.gif But having a list with me would relsolve this problem.
Do you ever have trouble letting a job slip through you hands? I mean it makes TOTAL sense for you to pass up a cake if the client wont be fair about it, but I always feel so bad about it. Just wondering.

Thanks for the info!
A bad day in the kitchen is better than ANY good day at work!
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A bad day in the kitchen is better than ANY good day at work!
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post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by okieinalaska

I still get confused over the sheet cake sizes.

What are the measurements for the 1/4 sheet cake? I don't do gumpaste flowers but maybe someone else could help you with that. : )




A 1/4 sheet is a 9x13 or 9x12.

Just like most people that I chat with here I too underprice. For me I think that I'm not quite at the stage of decorating where I can actually charge some of the prices that I've seen on here.

I had my first paid cake orders this past weekend. It was two 1/2 sheets on the same day I almost went crazy. LOL
Everything I need to know I learned in Cake Central !

Lots of love, Melony.
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Everything I need to know I learned in Cake Central !

Lots of love, Melony.
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post #23 of 68
I'd also like to see what everyone charges for their cakes just to get an idea.
Everything I need to know I learned in Cake Central !

Lots of love, Melony.
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Everything I need to know I learned in Cake Central !

Lots of love, Melony.
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post #24 of 68
I think we are our own worst critics. I have found that even when I feel I have done a sub-par cake, people still love it. It is a forgiving craft. I have don about 50 cakes in the past year and sell them for the following prices: 1/4 sheet $20, 1/2 sheet (with character on top or computer generated photo) $30, Full Sheet $55.

I used to sell for $5 less and raised the prices and I still get more orders than I really would like. I have a regular job too.

The bottom line is it comes down to confidence in your product. People tell you how good it tastes and how great it looks. We need to believe them and charge them accordingly becuase we all put tremendous effort into even the simplest cakes.
post #25 of 68
SweetAsLemmons:

To be honest I haven't had anyone not order from me due to prices. I think my prices are fair; approx $2 per serving and I charge at the highest serving suggestion. For example if a cake serves 8-12 people I will charge $24 for that cake, provided it's a simple smooth icing and simple decorations. I try not to compare myself to places like our local grocery store because there is no comparison, though I do my research to find out what is out there. Also, people can order whatever their hearts desire unlike the local store.

I also like to talk to people about providing them with a quote first and then have them tell me if they want to still order with me after they know how much it is, that way it's not a real order until they accept my quote (it's a frame of mind thing icon_smile.gif

I definitely agree with djjarreett88, we are our own worst critics. Your time and talent are worth something (definitely more than the local grocery store).
post #26 of 68
I don't know how many male bakers we have out there, but I think part of the problem so many of us have with fairly pricing our cakes is that we are women!
I think it tends to be more in the female nature to want to please people. Top that with underestimating our decorating ability - we end up underpricing (and then kicking ourselves later!)

I really like the idea of having a portfolio with a price list already in there is great! Just leave it in the car or your bag, and you can always be ready to quote a reasonable price.
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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post #27 of 68
I'm at a point where I'm trying to decide if this is worth taking time away from my kids. I think of a price, then when the cake is done I wonder if it is really as good as I am pricing it for. I need to come up with a price list as well. I don't think I've ever charged more than $40 for a cake. Most of my cakes I've sold for between $25 and $35. They are all so different I don't know how to charge for them. My cookies are a problem as well. I have been charging between 1.00 and 1.25 per cookie. It seems like it takes me the same amount of time to make two dozen as it does to make four dozen. Alot of the work seems to be in baking the cookies and just getting the icing prepared. Another problem is that most of my customers are friends.
post #28 of 68
I am a male baker/decorator and I charge too little compared to others. I am in a smaller area and feel being as close to grocery store prices the better. I know I am selling myself short, but I'm definately not losing money. Yes, time is money but my time is spent fiddling around so why not put it to good use. If I only make $20 profit on a $30 half sheet cake that took me the better part of two nights to bake and decorate it is still $20 I didn't have before. Sitting on my couch watching TV pays me nothing. The bottom line is I do it for the creative enjoyment first and the money second. When I'm in the grocery store and see someone pickup a cake I think to myself, "Boy are they missing out". The point is many of us don't do it for the money. It is a hobby. I don't want to price myself out of the market and lose opportunities.

Probably after the first of the year I will raise my price another $5 for a half sheet to make myself feel like I'm not getting cheated too much.

Where you can really make decent markup is on the larger cakes, ie full sheets, weddings, etc. I just received $175 for a 3-layer full sheet cake. That is good markup and the decorating part is still about the same work.
post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by djjarrett88


I just received $175 for a 3-layer full sheet cake. That is good markup and the decorating part is still about the same work.



hi djjarrett88, just curious, was that three layers of cake or do you mean you torted it into three layers?

If it was actually 3 sheet cakes stacked, holy moly that's a lot of cake, LOL.
Amy in Alaska
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Amy in Alaska
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post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by okieinalaska



hi djjarrett88, just curious, was that three layers of cake or do you mean you torted it into three layers?

If it was actually 3 sheet cakes stacked, holy moly that's a lot of cake, LOL.


Hi,
It was a total of 18 cake mixes, 6 1/2 sheet cakes, trimmed, torted and filled on each layer.
Almost broke my back getting it in the car. Got help when I delivered it to walk it into the room. I'm guessing 40-50 pounds with the plywood base, but I'm not sure. My heaviest cake to date.
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