Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

A few weeks ago a woman that I know through working with our local school fundraising committee, emailed me for a quote to do a christening cake/birthday cake. Without asking more info I said that my prices started at $100 and went up from there depending on the level of decoration required. I never heard anything more about it. No worries; all well and good.

Then last week someone else was chatting with me and told me how this woman had been telling everyone at a party they were at, that my cakes were too expensive and she couldn't believe I was charging so much blah blah blah, but the kicker was "I'm thinking of doing some cake decorating and charging reasonable prices"!

At first I was shocked as I had seen her on several occasions and she had said nothing to me. Then I started to doubt myself and THAT was the worst! All it had taken was some uninformed trailer trash to make me think I was being unreasonable!

Why did I give that comment that power over me? Because secretly I can't believe people pay so much for a CAKE that I bake and decorate because I certainly wouldn't!!
But then I would be able to make my own and deep down I think I assume everyone else could do the same if they put their minds to it!! I know, I'm an idiot! I'm not being at all logical and not everyone has the time, patience or inclination.

So what did she get for her child's christening cake? An unmemorable, store bought slab cake with a bit of piped buttercream and some writing No other decorations. This cake cost her $140; but I'm too expensive remember.

I did this christening cake for the weekend and charged $150 for it. It was 10x10in chocolate mud cake/ganache/fondant.
http://www.cakeswebake.com/photo/christeningcake-booties1?context=user

THEN a "friend" of mine celebrated her daughter's 18th birthday. She told me that she didn't get me to do the cake as I was expensive, then proceeded to tell me how she had got this 10inch round cake covered with strawberries and chocolate for $160, she had to drive 45min away to get it and bring it back; but I'm too expensive??

Apparently it's fine to charge if you have a store, but not if you run your business from home! I'm not about to change what I charge as people have free will and I'm not going to be emotionally blackmailed into dropping my price for anyone. I have plenty of return business and customer testimonials and that's good enough for me.

Those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind.

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I recently had someone e mail to get a quote.  Obviously I never heard back. lol  Then this person had the nerve to complain my prices were too high at a school function.  Well,  my son was there and replied to her.. "Oh don't worry, she understands.  Some people shop at Macy's and some need to shop at Walmart." What a great kid.

Oh well said that boy! I need to adapt that to Australian equivalents.  Hmmm maybe Myer or David Jones and Woolworths (Safeways)? Love it! Bravo that boy!

Judy said:

I recently had someone e mail to get a quote.  Obviously I never heard back. lol  Then this person had the nerve to complain my prices were too high at a school function.  Well,  my son was there and replied to her.. "Oh don't worry, she understands.  Some people shop at Macy's and some need to shop at Walmart." What a great kid.

Off topic. The same son went to Austailia 2 years ago.  His goal now is after college, make enough to bring me there. (He also wants a second home there.)  Dream Large!!

Bettina Thorp said:

Oh well said that boy! I need to adapt that to Australian equivalents.  Hmmm maybe Myer or David Jones and Woolworths (Safeways)? Love it! Bravo that boy!

Judy said:

I recently had someone e mail to get a quote.  Obviously I never heard back. lol  Then this person had the nerve to complain my prices were too high at a school function.  Well,  my son was there and replied to her.. "Oh don't worry, she understands.  Some people shop at Macy's and some need to shop at Walmart." What a great kid.

Great post!

I've been dealing with this issue too.  I live in/near Nashville, TN (I can see downtown from my neighborhood) and, while cake decorators in Nashville charge upwards of $6.00 a serving, the people in the little city where I live balk at my prices, which start at $4.00 per serving.  They'd rather go to Publix or Kroger and spend almost the same for a frozen cake.  It's completely illogical, but, as Amadeus said, "Well, there it is!"

I've come to realize that there's a certain demographic for my work and I need to market to them.  My mom also gave me some great perspective (she decorated cakes as a stay-at-home baker throughout my life): she told me that I should never depend on friends or family for business.  She always got taken advantage by family and friends.  Somehow, they have an expectation of something for nothing just because you're family/a close friend.  She told me that her best business came from strangers she met at church events or at a store, etc.  I'm finding the same to be true!

Keep your head up and know that your talent deserves better customers!

I have had this happen to me too. You are not alone. I recently had one mother bring her adorable little girl into my kitchen...We went through all the riggers of selecting her daughters birthday cake..I wrote up the order, and then, as they were leaving she asked" Well, I plan on ordering two cakes next month, would you consider taking 4.00 off each cake?" I said No. If I had said yes, this Mother would have gone to ALL her friends stating such and then the issue becomes, Why do I write up a menu and price list? She called to cancel her order the next day.

The worst of it for me, was the little girl. I do cake demos for various organizations and this little girl had to witness this all, I feel like a crumb but what can I do?

Thanks for brouching this subject

I'm a little frustrated at this.
I mean, HERE I AM, giving my heart, my time, my effort into a heavenly cake I think is AWESOME and there they are, buying heartless cakes from stores, just cus they think they can't spend a few more on a cake I can make EVEN BETTER!
It does get emotional and hurtful sometimes, I will admit. But a fact is a fact.

You know, I think the way around this would be to SHOW them your cakes. Choose an event where there'll be a LOT of people - potential customers!
Offer to charge your cake at a very reasonable price, both for you and the buyer. Then make the BEST cake you can, decorate it as if HEAVEN just sat on your cake, and show all the people what marvelous creations you make! In short, give them a piece of you, they'll never forget.

Doing this, you can achieve two things:
1) Pleasant public impression about YOUR creations. Get them shocked at the quality you offer. They'll never say anything about your prices.
2) Customers!
3) Goodwill for the buyer. She thinks you're awesome and starts the "Blah blah blah" about you. And this time, the good blah blah.
hahahaha~

It's okay. Life isn't always a bed of roses! But hey, there's a way you can move around the thorns - CUT EM.:)
And what I told you is a good business tip - Cut those thorns for yah.

You can also buy a informative guide by a woman who made a six-figure income from her home-owned business!
She'll offer you great advice on how to do the same! Business tips and tricks and great how-tos on reducing unwanted expenses.:)
Just giving you a heads up!
http://b3797bx9pvg10r60nfo0oy6y8j.hop.clickbank.net/

Good luck with your business!:) Don't let those thorns cut ya.

ps: It'll be good to let the buyer know that you're doing a one-time offer for her. Like, "hey, it's a big big event for you! Alright, tell you what, I'll make a cake for you and I'll cut back on the prices for you cus it's a big event for you!"

Best wishes,
a business minded baker.
Wow you work is awesome! I am totally new to cake baking/decorating but, learned quickly it is a lot of work! My son came in and ask me what I would charge for a cake I was making @ the time (birthday cake for a friend) I told him it would be at least $100. LOL He said I was crazy people would just go to Walmart and get one for $20. I said go ahead but once I get good at this it will be at least $100 to buy a Debbie original!!!

Thanks for the advice John. It's part of my strategy anyway, to do a spectacular cake once or twice a year for a considerable discount, when I know there are going to be lots of local people; weddings and such. The corpse bride cake was one of these.

The thing is, you can never really get paid for your skill and time. When people look at a cake they go WOW, but have no idea what happened to get it to that stage. People don’t care if you made it all from scratch after walking 400miles to milk a cow, by hand. They don’t care if you have RSI from piping delicate lace and extension work. They don’t give a toss if you hand moulded your figures or used a mould as long as the end result is WOW….of course that is not to say that you couldn’t turn these sorts of things into a successful marketing tool. LOL

I have some great moulds now that save me heaps of time and heartache – although I simply love making a lot of figures and flowers from scratch; I get a great deal of satisfaction from it. But most customers couldn’t care about my sense of satisfaction, just the end result. As long as the cake looks the part and tastes nice.

I don’t want to cater to people who think that a bit of piping is the ultimate in cake decorating; or that having your name on a cake is the height of sophistication. I'm not Walmart, Woolworths or Safeways. I make bespoke cakes and price accordingly; not as much as in the city by any stretch of the imagination. (I charged $AU250 for a handbag cake; the exact same cake in Sydney goes for $AU680!)

It's not the emotion or the ‘heart and soul’ thing it's the logic and the vitriol of it that stunned me. I really could care less if someone buys or not from me. But why carry on and on about it? Is it disappointment that causes their tongues to become so vitriolic?

It's interesting that these two people are on facebook yet there are no photos of these wonderful cheaper cakes amongst the photos taken at these occassions! No pics of the birthday girls cutting this wonderful cake; no pics of the christening cake being cut? If you bought a cheaper cake, surely you chose one that you liked? Why slag me off?

For the record here is a reproduction of the christening cake that was such a better buy. See I'm not talking about a cheap but decently decorated cake that someone else made for a better price. It had writing; it had a cross; it had a piped border.


John reece said:

I'm a little frustrated at this.
I mean, HERE I AM, giving my heart, my time, my effort into a heavenly cake I think is AWESOME and there they are, buying heartless cakes from stores, just cus they think they can't spend a few more on a cake I can make EVEN BETTER!
It does get emotional and hurtful sometimes, I will admit. But a fact is a fact.

You know, I think the way around this would be to SHOW them your cakes. Choose an event where there'll be a LOT of people - potential customers!
Offer to charge your cake at a very reasonable price, both for you and the buyer. Then make the BEST cake you can, decorate it as if HEAVEN just sat on your cake, and show all the people what marvelous creations you make! In short, give them a piece of you, they'll never forget.

Doing this, you can achieve two things:
1) Pleasant public impression about YOUR creations. Get them shocked at the quality you offer. They'll never say anything about your prices.
2) Customers!
3) Goodwill for the buyer. She thinks you're awesome and starts the "Blah blah blah" about you. And this time, the good blah blah.
hahahaha~

It's okay. Life isn't always a bed of roses! But hey, there's a way you can move around the thorns - CUT EM.:)
And what I told you is a good business tip - Cut those thorns for yah.

You can also buy a informative guide by a woman who made a six-figure income from her home-owned business!
She'll offer you great advice on how to do the same! Business tips and tricks and great how-tos on reducing unwanted expenses.:)
Just giving you a heads up!
http://b3797bx9pvg10r60nfo0oy6y8j.hop.clickbank.net/

Good luck with your business!:) Don't let those thorns cut ya.

ps: It'll be good to let the buyer know that you're doing a one-time offer for her. Like, "hey, it's a big big event for you! Alright, tell you what, I'll make a cake for you and I'll cut back on the prices for you cus it's a big event for you!"

Best wishes,
a business minded baker.

I apologize if I got your nerves stretched again by the thought of such customers.^^

You do seem a little disappointed, if not angry. I couldn't really think of saying anything else, really.  Because, truth to be told, a fact...is a fact.  People will always try to buy cheap and store brought, as long as it looks okay and doesn't taste bad - thats how the world works.

 

I guess it all boils down to ONE single question :

Do YOU love your work?

 

Whatever the world may say, whatever blabber people may start up, whatever opinion they might hold of you or your creations, do YOU love your work?^^

You do.:) I know it because you made that difficult decision the day your heart told you about starting a business. I know it because you loved creating that beautiful delightful thing that made you smile just smelling it, leave alone looking at it! I know it because you love hand-moulding those flowers yourself trying to get it just right!

 

Don't let the world bother you with your love for your work. So what if they don't care! Let them not! They're idiots! (haha, I smiled)

The question is, will you let the people interfere with your love for baking?

Will they succeed into forcing you to not care about what you DO care?^^

 

Ah, the world and it's ways. So magnificent in it's own being. So systematic. What a matrix!

Sometimes it's great to let them be! Sometimes it's also great to follow their ways.

 

Speaking of following 'their' ways, you should hire a kid who says "ah, no worries, aunt bettina understands! Some people shop at Bettina's and some people need to shop at Safeways."

 

KABAM! A punch on their jaw! hahahaha.

 

Good luck in life and business Bettina! 

See you around.

 


Bettina Thorp said:

Thanks for the advice John. It's part of my strategy anyway, to do a spectacular cake once or twice a year for a considerable discount, when I know there are going to be lots of local people; weddings and such. The corpse bride cake was one of these.

The thing is, you can never really get paid for your skill and time. When people look at a cake they go WOW, but have no idea what happened to get it to that stage. People don’t care if you made it all from scratch after walking 400miles to milk a cow, by hand. They don’t care if you have RSI from piping delicate lace and extension work. They don’t give a toss if you hand moulded your figures or used a mould as long as the end result is WOW….of course that is not to say that you couldn’t turn these sorts of things into a successful marketing tool. LOL

I have some great moulds now that save me heaps of time and heartache – although I simply love making a lot of figures and flowers from scratch; I get a great deal of satisfaction from it. But most customers couldn’t care about my sense of satisfaction, just the end result. As long as the cake looks the part and tastes nice.

I don’t want to cater to people who think that a bit of piping is the ultimate in cake decorating; or that having your name on a cake is the height of sophistication. I'm not Walmart, Woolworths or Safeways. I make bespoke cakes and price accordingly; not as much as in the city by any stretch of the imagination. (I charged $AU250 for a handbag cake; the exact same cake in Sydney goes for $AU680!)

It's not the emotion or the ‘heart and soul’ thing it's the logic and the vitriol of it that stunned me. I really could care less if someone buys or not from me. But why carry on and on about it? Is it disappointment that causes their tongues to become so vitriolic?

It's interesting that these two people are on facebook yet there are no photos of these wonderful cheaper cakes amongst the photos taken at these occassions! No pics of the birthday girls cutting this wonderful cake; no pics of the christening cake being cut? If you bought a cheaper cake, surely you chose one that you liked? Why slag me off?

For the record here is a reproduction of the christening cake that was such a better buy. See I'm not talking about a cheap but decently decorated cake that someone else made for a better price. It had writing; it had a cross; it had a piped border.


John reece said:

I'm a little frustrated at this.
I mean, HERE I AM, giving my heart, my time, my effort into a heavenly cake I think is AWESOME and there they are, buying heartless cakes from stores, just cus they think they can't spend a few more on a cake I can make EVEN BETTER!
It does get emotional and hurtful sometimes, I will admit. But a fact is a fact.

You know, I think the way around this would be to SHOW them your cakes. Choose an event where there'll be a LOT of people - potential customers!
Offer to charge your cake at a very reasonable price, both for you and the buyer. Then make the BEST cake you can, decorate it as if HEAVEN just sat on your cake, and show all the people what marvelous creations you make! In short, give them a piece of you, they'll never forget.

Doing this, you can achieve two things:
1) Pleasant public impression about YOUR creations. Get them shocked at the quality you offer. They'll never say anything about your prices.
2) Customers!
3) Goodwill for the buyer. She thinks you're awesome and starts the "Blah blah blah" about you. And this time, the good blah blah.
hahahaha~

It's okay. Life isn't always a bed of roses! But hey, there's a way you can move around the thorns - CUT EM.:)
And what I told you is a good business tip - Cut those thorns for yah.

You can also buy a informative guide by a woman who made a six-figure income from her home-owned business!
She'll offer you great advice on how to do the same! Business tips and tricks and great how-tos on reducing unwanted expenses.:)
Just giving you a heads up!
http://b3797bx9pvg10r60nfo0oy6y8j.hop.clickbank.net/

Good luck with your business!:) Don't let those thorns cut ya.

ps: It'll be good to let the buyer know that you're doing a one-time offer for her. Like, "hey, it's a big big event for you! Alright, tell you what, I'll make a cake for you and I'll cut back on the prices for you cus it's a big event for you!"

Best wishes,
a business minded baker.

No worries John. I just find the logic people apply to rationalise something bewildering sometimes - like in this example. But life moves on and the vindictiveness of this person hasn't made a difference to my orders in any way at all.

I will go where I am going to get the best deal for my dollar, so I certainly don't begrudge others who do the same. The difference being that I just go and buy whatever it is and that's the end of it. I don't feel that I have to bad mouth a business because I could get a better deal elsewhere or because I couldn't make one business give me a discount.

I loved you last comment as it mirrored something my daughter said to someone she went to school with. It was one of those times where you had the right words at the right time and 'SNAP"'! LOL


John reece said:

I apologize if I got your nerves stretched again by the thought of such customers.^^

You do seem a little disappointed, if not angry. I couldn't really think of saying anything else, really.  Because, truth to be told, a fact...is a fact.  People will always try to buy cheap and store brought, as long as it looks okay and doesn't taste bad - thats how the world works.

 

I guess it all boils down to ONE single question :

Do YOU love your work?

 

Whatever the world may say, whatever blabber people may start up, whatever opinion they might hold of you or your creations, do YOU love your work?^^

You do.:) I know it because you made that difficult decision the day your heart told you about starting a business. I know it because you loved creating that beautiful delightful thing that made you smile just smelling it, leave alone looking at it! I know it because you love hand-moulding those flowers yourself trying to get it just right!

 

Don't let the world bother you with your love for your work. So what if they don't care! Let them not! They're idiots! (haha, I smiled)

The question is, will you let the people interfere with your love for baking?

Will they succeed into forcing you to not care about what you DO care?^^

 

Ah, the world and it's ways. So magnificent in it's own being. So systematic. What a matrix!

Sometimes it's great to let them be! Sometimes it's also great to follow their ways.

 

Speaking of following 'their' ways, you should hire a kid who says "ah, no worries, aunt bettina understands! Some people shop at Bettina's and some people need to shop at Safeways."

 

KABAM! A punch on their jaw! hahahaha.

 

Good luck in life and business Bettina! 

See you around.

 


Bettina Thorp said:

Thanks for the advice John. It's part of my strategy anyway, to do a spectacular cake once or twice a year for a considerable discount, when I know there are going to be lots of local people; weddings and such. The corpse bride cake was one of these.

The thing is, you can never really get paid for your skill and time. When people look at a cake they go WOW, but have no idea what happened to get it to that stage. People don’t care if you made it all from scratch after walking 400miles to milk a cow, by hand. They don’t care if you have RSI from piping delicate lace and extension work. They don’t give a toss if you hand moulded your figures or used a mould as long as the end result is WOW….of course that is not to say that you couldn’t turn these sorts of things into a successful marketing tool. LOL

I have some great moulds now that save me heaps of time and heartache – although I simply love making a lot of figures and flowers from scratch; I get a great deal of satisfaction from it. But most customers couldn’t care about my sense of satisfaction, just the end result. As long as the cake looks the part and tastes nice.

I don’t want to cater to people who think that a bit of piping is the ultimate in cake decorating; or that having your name on a cake is the height of sophistication. I'm not Walmart, Woolworths or Safeways. I make bespoke cakes and price accordingly; not as much as in the city by any stretch of the imagination. (I charged $AU250 for a handbag cake; the exact same cake in Sydney goes for $AU680!)

It's not the emotion or the ‘heart and soul’ thing it's the logic and the vitriol of it that stunned me. I really could care less if someone buys or not from me. But why carry on and on about it? Is it disappointment that causes their tongues to become so vitriolic?

It's interesting that these two people are on facebook yet there are no photos of these wonderful cheaper cakes amongst the photos taken at these occassions! No pics of the birthday girls cutting this wonderful cake; no pics of the christening cake being cut? If you bought a cheaper cake, surely you chose one that you liked? Why slag me off?

For the record here is a reproduction of the christening cake that was such a better buy. See I'm not talking about a cheap but decently decorated cake that someone else made for a better price. It had writing; it had a cross; it had a piped border.


John reece said:

I'm a little frustrated at this.
I mean, HERE I AM, giving my heart, my time, my effort into a heavenly cake I think is AWESOME and there they are, buying heartless cakes from stores, just cus they think they can't spend a few more on a cake I can make EVEN BETTER!
It does get emotional and hurtful sometimes, I will admit. But a fact is a fact.

You know, I think the way around this would be to SHOW them your cakes. Choose an event where there'll be a LOT of people - potential customers!
Offer to charge your cake at a very reasonable price, both for you and the buyer. Then make the BEST cake you can, decorate it as if HEAVEN just sat on your cake, and show all the people what marvelous creations you make! In short, give them a piece of you, they'll never forget.

Doing this, you can achieve two things:
1) Pleasant public impression about YOUR creations. Get them shocked at the quality you offer. They'll never say anything about your prices.
2) Customers!
3) Goodwill for the buyer. She thinks you're awesome and starts the "Blah blah blah" about you. And this time, the good blah blah.
hahahaha~

It's okay. Life isn't always a bed of roses! But hey, there's a way you can move around the thorns - CUT EM.:)
And what I told you is a good business tip - Cut those thorns for yah.

You can also buy a informative guide by a woman who made a six-figure income from her home-owned business!
She'll offer you great advice on how to do the same! Business tips and tricks and great how-tos on reducing unwanted expenses.:)
Just giving you a heads up!
http://b3797bx9pvg10r60nfo0oy6y8j.hop.clickbank.net/

Good luck with your business!:) Don't let those thorns cut ya.

ps: It'll be good to let the buyer know that you're doing a one-time offer for her. Like, "hey, it's a big big event for you! Alright, tell you what, I'll make a cake for you and I'll cut back on the prices for you cus it's a big event for you!"

Best wishes,
a business minded baker.
good for you hun, wish i had your confidence i take hours making my cakes usually rich fruit cakes with loads of sugarflowers which take me days to make, i know im only just starting out and things in the uk are really tough at the moment but the most i can charge for a single tier is £75, but i know i'm worth much more,

I know this post is old but reading the above really is helping. i just got my heart broken that I wasn't asked to make my stepdaughters birthday cake. Not only that but I wasn't even invited to the party. Maybe because of the grocery store cake?


 
Renay Zamora said:

Great post!

I've been dealing with this issue too.  I live in/near Nashville, TN (I can see downtown from my neighborhood) and, while cake decorators in Nashville charge upwards of $6.00 a serving, the people in the little city where I live balk at my prices, which start at $4.00 per serving.  They'd rather go to Publix or Kroger and spend almost the same for a frozen cake.  It's completely illogical, but, as Amadeus said, "Well, there it is!"

I've come to realize that there's a certain demographic for my work and I need to market to them.  My mom also gave me some great perspective (she decorated cakes as a stay-at-home baker throughout my life): she told me that I should never depend on friends or family for business.  She always got taken advantage by family and friends.  Somehow, they have an expectation of something for nothing just because you're family/a close friend.  She told me that her best business came from strangers she met at church events or at a store, etc.  I'm finding the same to be true!

Keep your head up and know that your talent deserves better customers!

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