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I've changed my name as I'm not sure if my cousin is on Mumsnet.
so my cousin announced her wedding date, I am really excited for the big day.
so I make cakes, and if I do say so damn good ones, my cousin asked me if I would make her cake, I agreed she told me what she wanted, 4 tiers (3 sponge 3 flavours) and a layer of fruit. adorned with sugar lace gold leaf and handmade roses. her reference points where amazing, she asked how much it would be, I added it all up down to every morsel of ingredient and every support dowel need.
I also did some research for her into what this cake would cost at other bakers (not to undercut them she has no idea the work and hours that does into these pieces) and quotes ranged from £700 to a whopping £1000 which I already knew would be the case but I wanted her to see, I gave her my price, I thought a fair £250 as that is what it was going to cost me in ingredients and necessary items. that price did not include any payment for the 20+ hours of work no profit nothing to cover my overheads. nothing exactly cost price,(i even gave her my spreadsheets) she asked if I could get it down slightly so I did, change suppliers went from the brand ingredients to supermarket own brand, from free-range and organic to regular and I got it down to 190, (i also showed her how much I would charge someone else (750) and the quotes from the other people)
she claimed it was still to much,
am I being unreasonable in thinking she is being ungrateful, she claims to appreciate the work I put in, I dont feel she does, for years she has had cakes for family (her future husband's side- not ours) gatherings for next to nothing.
I can't help but feel offended and annoyed, to be honest. she and her husband have good well paid jobs and she has been saving for years for this wedding to have an incredibly glamorous day and I also know she budgeted 600 for a cake she told me this a year ago, I told her that was a good amount she could get a nice cake for that, but told her to speak to me closer to the time to see what I can do for her. for as always cost price.
She has now asked if she buys them ready made in a supermarket would I decorate them, I told her I will recalculate the costs and get back to her.
Now I get some people may think I should do this for nothing as her gift, I've already bought her gift from her gift list, if I hadn't I wouldn't be spending 190-200 on her gift anyway, I'm actually in two minds to just decline the work but I feel that is just being spiteful and petty, and I am just thinking this way because I am a bit Miffed.
your thoughts please..thanks in advance
Yanbu. She is a CF.
You're doing her a favour by cutting the costs down so much already.
You've bought her a present and you're giving x days worth of your professional time. She's being a CF.
absolutely a cf. I would retract your services at this point. ungrateful madam!
People have no idea how much time and effort goes into cakes like these.
YANBU. I think this will be trouble for you. Personally i’d decline and let her go to Tesco and buy a cake.
Oh goodness NBU at all.
Say you re sorry but you don’t think you can help her to get what she wants for the price/ and don’t decorate a bought cake as everyone will think you made it and the quality will be rubbish (bad for your reputation and business surely)
Say no, leave her to get a reality check and hold your head high.
Tell her you’re no longer able to help her out. Emphasis on the help.
She’s s massive CF. People don’t understand the time it takes to make a cake look clean and beautiful, nor the cost of ingredients.
CF. Tell her you’re sorry you won’t be able to help out as you obviously can’t stump up £200 from your own pocket alongside gift.
Agree with others - say you won't be able to help on the cake but you are very much looking forward to the wedding.
Thank you, I thought it was just me feeling a bit nose out of place, I am tempted to retract my services however I don't think I can be bothered with the all the "aww come on now she is your cousin" comments from the family, it will be me seen as being unfair.
I also failed to mention, she asked for edible favours, I gave her a very reasonable price for those also.
as I said before I actually gave her all my spreadsheet, which detailed cost quantities and she challenged me on the number of ingredients used...... I never give my spreadsheets to someone to go over I give them a pack containing my price list (which is already calculated with everything taken into consideration and charged accordingly) T&C's
and invoice quote etc,
I actually want to do her cake for her she is my cousin I love her dearly, however, I dont want to do it for pennies as I pride myself on being a small business, I do everything myself I dont hire in extra help, allowing me to provide one to one service, therefore I wouldn't take on any other work while doing her cake, meaning I could potentially lose out a good chunk of money from a buyer willing to pay full price.
That's ridiculous, you should have charged at least something for your time - eg £5 an hour, just so she could see how long it will take.
I'm known for being tactless, but you could just say "sorry no this is the lowest possible cost for the ingredients, are you going to add something for my time (you said budget was £600) or shall I factor that in too?"
@Cliveybaby i too are also known for being tactless at times, and i really want to be but withholding,
my family have had 1000's of pounds worth of cakes from me for next to nothing over the years,
she did receive a very detailed time sheet, down to how long it would take me to go to various stores to buy ingredients how long it takes me to make each flower I mean extremely detailed. I have a similar cake in a few weeks I might ask her to come and sit in and watch while I do it all over two days, she can be my KP and do all the washing up haha!
It sounds to me like she just wants it for free but doesn't want to ask you. Don't end up doing a cake you won't be proud for people to know is from you! I'd be offended at her asking me to decorate shop bought cakes if I was you
@Cliveybaby didnt charge nothing for time and considering i charge 15 an hour (yes it is a lot but if i say so i am good) £5 an hour would be very very reasonable but i quoted nothing for my time! people book with me a year or two in advance sometimes for a wedding cake, i have had rolling orders booked for several years too, so i am relatively established, locally
I would imagine the decoration is the most time consuming part of the work so if she does store buy the cake you should definitely charge something for your time!
@pinkyyy I was outraged, I will definitely not be decorating a shop bought cake, I can't put my name to something I never made, I could make a 30 quid cake look worth 600 but it will still taste like a generic supermarket cake and it will be my name associated with the flavour and texture, at the end of the ay every cake I bake for any type of gathering is a business opportunity, I always leave my cards with the host if someone asks for my details, I do not use social media and have established myself by word and taste of mouth alone,
Absolutely - tell her the price you have was ingredients cost only - don't do it and don't tell her how much over bakers cost otherwise she'll be back to you again and if she's already quibbling about the price I would be concerned I wouldn't be reimbursed for my expense - can't abide people that request the favours of family/ friends etc for mates rates .
And rightly so! Just let her know that this is lowest it will get, she's not going to go elsewhere because she's already paying less than half and is just trying to squeeze you, I'd want the payment first seeing as all she's paying for is the ingredients
No! You are not being unreasonable at all! I make wedding jewellery and this is my biggest ever bugbear. People just assuming I can conjure stirling silver and Swarovski out of thin air without any cost to myself.
She’s being very rude. Tell her you can’t help and won’t be decorating a Tesco cake. She can change her arm with someone else. Cheeky cow.
"sorry I don't think I can do what you want for the price you want, I think you'll need to look elsewhere.''
If I were you, i wouldn't want to do it now anyway, as she's spoiled the generous offer with her nit picking miserlyness.
Honestly, I think you need to sit her down and talk to her. Tell her how her penny pinching is affecting you both as a business. Tell her how undervalued and hurt it's making you feel. Everything you've put here. Then give her the choice, pay the proper price or find something else that suits her budget better. If she values you and your relationship at all she will be mortified at the way she's made you feel.
I think that you’ve been more than generous with your time and explanation. If I were you it’s time to give her a gentle wake up call, explain the family cost of the cake verses trading price and explain the business reputation implication of a shop bought cake decorated by you. If she cannot understand the huge effort and discount being offered then walk away and be a guest at the wedding. If anyone mentions it on the day have a simple statement that avoids conversation about why you didn’t make the cake. You have already done more than enough to accommodate her, don’t devalue your skill and business any further.
Thanks for confirming to me what I guess I already knew, that I am NBU.
I've called her and told her price, she can take it or leave it. I will not be decorating someone else's cake, if she wants to buy one and decorate it herself she is welcome to use some of my tools to do so but I will only give her instructions how to do it I won't be doing it I won't put my name to something I haven't made. I said it nicer than that though. I also explained the impact to my business and that it was more than fair the price I was asking, as it was cost price, I explained I was upset and offended she understood but still didn't say if wanted me to do it or not !!
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