Ugly Cakes, Surcharges, and Rush Fees

One of the dangers of doing cakes for a long time is that eventually someone will want you to make an ugly cake. I've written about this in depth before, read that here: What To Do If Someone Wants You To Make An Ugly Cake

What I wanted to add to this is the idea of whether you should charge more for said ugly cake. Now keep in mind that an ugly cake may not be ugly to the person ordering it, that's not the point. If you're going to cringe during the entire process of making it, is it worth it to you to expend the mental energy involved? What if I offered you an extra 50% of the price? Is it worth it now?

Well, well, maybe if you're going to earn more money, that cake might not be so ugly.

I can hear the dissenters now..."But that isn't fair to charge more just because you don't like the design! Everyone should pay the same rate no matter what! Fairness and equality!"

Easy there...The reality of the situation is that pricing includes variables such as how much pain the making of the cake will cause you. This is why a rush fee for a last-minute order is perfectly acceptable by most decorators. If a customer wants something custom on short notice, and you'll need to rearrange your schedule to accommodate that order, a rush fee should be added.

So maybe people should think of both ugly cake fees and rush fees as "inconvenience fees." If you work for someone else and they ask you to come in on a holiday, you get paid more for the inconvenience. Why shouldn't we get paid an inconvenience fee for doing something that's going to be aggravating?

You can set any prices that you want, it's your business. Don't let people tell you that you're rude or mean to price something differently because it's a rush order or is something that you don't enjoy doing. Those situations deserve a little extra to get you motivated.

For more information on pricing, get my e-class that will take away any doubt about what you should be charging...Notice the "for profit" in the title?

On the other hand, there may be things that aren't worth any amount of money to do. Let's discuss that next time.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and

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