I have come to the conclusion that we should all relax a little and not be so offended when people say things like "That's too expensive" or "I can't afford that" when they're asking about a custom cake price.
I see so many people who are mad because someone told them they didn't want to spend that much on a cake. I'm just as guilty of it as anyone else, but I do think that we really need to ease up a bit. We know the amount of work that goes into cake decorating, but most people don't.
Let's face it, it's expensive to get a custom cake. It's inexpensive to get a grocery store cake, and since most people are used to those prices, the cost of getting something made specifically for them will be surprising. I'm not saying that the custom cake isn't WORTH what we charge for them, I'm saying that it might surprise people.
If you're used to buying your furniture at Walmart and you go to get something made specifically to fit your living room, it's going to be more expensive. Same with cakes, but since a custom cake is a luxury item, people might not have ever shopped for one before. It may horrify them to find out how much they cost, and they might not be able to afford it. They might either just not email back after you send them a price quote, or they might say something like "I wanted to pay X amount," which is generally much less than the price you quoted.
Don't be offended, just assume that they don't know any better. Of course, there will always be people who DO know better and are just trying to haggle the price down, but the majority seriously don't know any better. No need to be offended or defensive about it.
Don't waste your time being mad at someone who says your cake is too expensive. Just fill in the blank at the end of that sentence...The cake is too expensive for them and their budget right now. Even if they get all huffy about it, remember that they're probably embarrassed because they now have to tell you that they can't afford to get what they wanted, and that's what's giving them their attitude. It has nothing to do with you personally, they'd react that way to anybody.
Of course if someone is nasty about it you can always put them on the "no cake for you" list, but that's another story.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, online cake supplies at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com