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Spring Cookies
Posted: 16 June 2009 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Patrincia - 16 June 2009 01:29 PM

Hmmm… I don’t charge family, but I’m always a part of the festivities.  I’ve never been asked to bake something so someone in the family can take it to work.  That’s a tricky one.

Ditto. I have no idea what I’d do in a situation like that. I’m looking forward to reading what others have to say.

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Posted: 16 June 2009 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Bill - 16 June 2009 01:17 PM

I’ve learned in my line of work that if you present yourself as if you are worth a large fee, then people will be happy to pay it.  I learned this lesson after a good 18 years of charging to little and apologizing for the cost of my services.

I think Bill is absolutely right here (even though I have a really hard time doing it!).  I’ve started saying to people, “if you’re asking me because you think it will be cheaper, it definitely won’t be”.  I cannot buy my ingredients at wholesale, I cannot turn out finished products as quickly as a bakery can, and I use more expensive ingredients than the bakeries in my area.

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Posted: 16 June 2009 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Patricia, I agree with you about not getting the ingredients at wholesale prices. My daughter’s teacher asked if I could make the Kindergarten graduation cake this year. She said they usually get the cakes from Costco. The first thing I said to her was I can’t compete with the Costco and grocery store bakery prices b/c they get their ingredients at wholesale, they have the manpower and they use inferior ingredients (like shortening, margarine etc). She agreed with me. I made the cakes but charged only for the cost of the ingredients. It was for my daughter’s graduation afterall.

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Posted: 16 June 2009 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I don’t charge family either…but like Patrincia, I am always part of the festivities.  but…if I think it will be too much work, I say :  “I don’t have time…I’m so sorry”.

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Posted: 16 June 2009 10:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Ski, those cookies are gorgeous. You have a very delicate hand with your piping and are able to get a thin and steady line which is hard to do. While I do not charge family either (ingredients only) I know how much work is involved in something like this and you really need to begin to charge or you will start to dread doing it. That happened to me on a project that I was so happy to work on the idea and the planning but did not want to do the labor. Especially when I began to realize how much effort was involved. I kept looking at the clock and wanted to let mistakes go because I knew that I was not really getting paid enough. I have begun to force myself to charge more recently. It is hard and even requires more discipline than those piping lines.

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Posted: 16 June 2009 10:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I am thinking that for family (for festivities that I am not a part of- like my dad asking for a cake to bring in to work) I will charge what I ‘normally’ do (for any other customer) and take say 20% off.  Because I AM still putting in TONS of effort, and I am still getting paid- just not AS much.
Do you think that is fair???

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Posted: 16 June 2009 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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It is hard to give a blanket per centage because there are so many variables when pricing. I have done cakes where all of the ingredients were bought retail which can male it difficult to add labor charges because the price comes out so high. Once I made a cake for a friends brothers 50th Birthday. Because I wanted the outcome to be stellar I used Valrhona chocolate, butter with a high fat ratio, and fresh organic eggs from the farmers market. When I priced all of this out I had to take a hit on the cost of the cake and they still thought it was expensive. I think that you need to do what is right for you. Make sure that all of the costs are incorporated including any gas that it took to buy ingredients or deliver the cake. Fifteen percent seems fair to me if you go that route.

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