May 23, 2012

Why my products are priced the way they are

I am in a total dilemma when pricing my products. The cost of the ingredients isn't the problem; it's the effort that I put in and my creativity that's hard to put a price tag to. My skills may not be at a very high level at the moment, but I am getting there especially with the constant research that I've been doing to pick up more ideas and techniques. Besides, creativity is more expensive than all the eggs, milk, and flour combined. You have to admit: it's easy to source for the cheapest ingredients, but it's hard to look for someone who has the inspiration and the creativity to make a cake that's also a visual treat.
These cupcakes look simple but the tiny details took a lot of time to make.

I came across this post about what to consider when pricing your products, and I have to agree with it. It could mean that I would have to turn down some customers even if I don't want to, but there's a reason I must be selective with my customers. People who want to get my products at dirt cheap prices are not in touch with the reality that it took a lot to come up with that cake. They just don't appreciate and respect my talent enough. In the mean time, I have to further improve on my skills in order to gather more fans who will appreciate what I do.

These sugar cookies took several hours to ice. The more details and colors involved, the longer it would take to complete them.

I do hope that my customers understand why it is cheaper to buy a cake at the mall than if you ask me to make one for you. I don't have a production line at home. I do EVERYTHING by myself, and by everything I mean buying the ingredients, rolling the fondant (I don't buy ready-made), washing up and tidying the kitchen, and delivering the goods. Rolling the fondant in itself is a very physical and time-consuming task. I get all sorts of aches and pains after I make a cake. Making sugar cookies takes a lot of effort too. The more colors the design involves, the longer it will take for me to complete.
These cars were also labor-intensive.
I appreciate customers who are straightforward in telling me that they have a certain budget for what they want. I can work with that. We can tweak the design or maybe trim down the size a bit. It's easier for me to work on something if you have a price range in mind. I'll try to see if I can work with that.

The problem with the Filipino culture is that we can't be very straightforward. We can't be frank about how labor-intensive a certain product is. Honestly, there are times when I get short-changed because I was too ashamed to say how much effort I put into a cake. Perhaps it is also because I was still a bit short on confidence in myself when I was still starting. However, I am confident with what I can do now, and I know that there aren't too many people in this city who can do what I do.

I hope my customers understand what I am trying to say. It is a delight to work on this cute cakes for you, but please show your appreciation by giving me the credit that I am due.

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