Pricing for hand-painted cookies

Discussion in 'Cookies' started by Sharzi, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Sharzi

    Sharzi New Member

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    I've not only created several flavors of cookies but I hand-paint them. I cannot find hand-painted ones that say how much cookies like mine should be priced at. Any suggestions? I sold a lot of them for Valentine's Day but people kept telling me I was undercharging. I don't want to price myself right out of customers though. I make 2", 3", 4", 4 1/2", 5 1/2" and some hand-cut that are larger.
     

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    Sharzi, Feb 10, 2018
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  2. Sharzi

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    There is no standard formula for determining price. The cost of your ingredients and supplies will not be the same cost as the cookie baker the next town over.

    And what your local market will bear price-wise is going to be different from the market in other areas.

    When you get into extremely laborious decorating such as hand-painting, it’s near impossible to charge a livable wage. The hours you invest in shopping for ingredients, the baking and decorating will far exceed the amount that you will ever be able to charge your customer.

    Pricing comes down to is what an actual customer will actually pay for your cookies in your area. It also depends on availability and demand in your area. I live in an area that is a wedding destination. So there is a strong demand for wedding cakes and custom decorated cookies. The prices here are going to be much higher than the prices in the next town.

    The other thing is not everyone wants a hand-painted cookie. So if you limit yourself to a single product you have narrowed your customer base significantly.

    The only way to know the price point in your area is to look at pricing of the competition.

    People can tell you that you’re under charging, but if they’re not actually paying a higher price then it’s really not relevant.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Feb 10, 2018
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  3. Sharzi

    Sharzi New Member

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    Thank you for your input. Between the cookies and one mid-sized wedding cake, I made over $500 in the last couple of weeks, but you're right... it takes 1/2 hour to do one cookie (typically) and I'm not making enough to justify my time. Still, I do love it! I charge $1.00 for a 2" cookie or 5 for $4.00. The average price for a 3" cookie is about $1.50 to $2.00. 4" cookies run between $2.50 and $3.50. 5" or higher start at $5.00 to $10.00. I sold a lot of the 3" and 4" cookies.
     
    Sharzi, Feb 11, 2018
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  4. Sharzi

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Decorating time of 30 minutes per cookie is not profitable or sustainable as a business model. If you received an order for an event, such as a wedding, the order would be 100+ cookies.


    At 50 hours of decorating labor, you would spend an entire week just decorating cookies. A full week of work for $100 - $200 before additional related labor and costs.

    After factoring in other labor (shopping, baking, packing, delivery), then deducting for your ingredients and supplies you would literally be working for pennies.


    Since cookies go stale in a week’s time, and you cannot freeze them once they’re decorated, you would have to figure out a way to decorate the cookies over a tight two - three day period. That’s a lot of stress to earn a few cents per hour.

    To be honest if you want to develop a baking business, wedding and event cakes is probably the better choice.

    Cake price per serving will vary by area, but people are willing to pay more for a whole cake then a box of cookie.

    Wedding cakes per serving can start as low as $2 serving. But the average is probably going to be somewhere around $4 serving.

    In major metropolitan areas the price will start around $6 serving.

    In my area prices starts at $8 per serving. But there is an nationally known event cake baker in the area who routinely charges $25 per serving and up.

    Most bakers have a $300 - $500 minimum regardless of area.

    At $8 serving, a wedding with 100 guests will be a $800 cake where I live. Definitely more profitable than cookies.

    And you can actually take more than one cake order each weekend during the wedding season as decorating a cake takes less time than hand-painting a couple of hundred cookies.

    Plus cake freezes very well. So you can bake your layers in advance.

    Your cookies are really quite charming, but I don’t think it’s a viable business model.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Feb 11, 2018
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  5. Sharzi

    Sharzi New Member

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    I was just speaking about the hand-painted ones. I also do others. Just made 100 cookies for a wedding and it didn't take long. The recipes I created, the cookies don't go stale for about a month. They stay crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

    I've done cakes for 25 years and still do them. I've also created 22 flavors of sponge candy. I have been doing it for years. My business isn't just hand-painted cookies, though this is the only thing I make that I'm unsure what to charge.
     

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  6. Sharzi

    Sharzi New Member

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    ======================================

    I make other things besides hand painted cookies. I've created 22 flavors of sponge candy and have been doing that and wedding & other cakes for over 25 years as well. The only things I'm not sure of when it comes to pricing are the hand painted cookies.
     
    Sharzi, Feb 11, 2018
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  7. Sharzi

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Oh I see you’re introducing a new product into your lineup.

    An intricately detailed cookie in the area I live in sells for $4 - $5 per cookie. And that’s for a 3” - 4” cookie. By intricate it doesn’t necessarily mean a hand-painted cookie. Rather, any cookie with more than five colors and intricate details.

    A friend who exclusively bakes and sells cookies doesn’t get many orders for wedding cookies. Most of the cookies are for bridal showers, baby showers, and children’s birthday parties.

    She has a pretty decent reputation in the area. Her prices are on the higher end. What others sell for $2.50 she’s probably going to sell for $3 to $3.50.

    The standard royal icing cookie with max 3 colors average $2.50 per cookie here.

    A cookie with 5 colors max is going to sells for around $3.50 - $4.00 per cookie.

    But it really comes down to knowing your market. My friend told me she gets a lot of complaints about her pricing. But she is targeting the higher end of the market, so she knows not every inquiry will turn into a sell. She belongs to a casual
    cookie “guild”. It’s not really a formally organized group. But they network so if one baker has a full bake schedule, she refers the next customer over to a member of their cookie group. It’s their way to support each other while helping the customer immediately locate another baker who offers the same quality of cookies.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Feb 11, 2018
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  8. Sharzi

    Jean S. Well-Known Member

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    I just wanted to say those are beautiful cookies! Thank you for sharing.
     
    Jean S., Feb 11, 2018
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  9. Sharzi

    Becky Administrator

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    Wow, they are beautiful cookies! :)

    It's a shame that people often aren't willing to pay a living wage for things like this, although if they are commissioned for a specific purpose (eg a gift) then people are often willing to pay more.
     
    Becky, Feb 13, 2018
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