About Me

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Durham, NC, United States
My name is Veronica and I own Southern Gold Leaf Cakes. I opened my home-based business in 2008. I am a licensed and inspected home bakery specializing in custom cakes. Since all cakes are made to order there are no frozen cakes here, only fresh and only home made. I am a self-taught baker but I have a strong art background with years of baking experience. It is the most rewarding feeling in the world when you can apply your skills to do something you love. To see my cake creations and view our yummy menu visit us at www.southerngoldleafcakes.com!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tire Kickers

This is my term for the phone calls I get when someone is truly just looking for prices.  The problem is they never say they are just trying to get a quote.  I'm not sure why.  It would save us both a lot of trouble and probably a shorter phone call or email.

It seems the worst are those that call and go through all the details, ask about all the types of decorating you can do, what colors can we do it in, et cetera and after fifiteen minutes have created a very elaborate cake.  You are able to price things out for them, explain how deposits work and even though you have a sneaky feeling they really are just price hunting you finish the call.  I find I'm generally given the, "Let me check and see if this works and I'll call you back."  I am fairly certain I will not hear back from this person.

In the beginning this really bothered me and I beat myself up about it.  What did I do wrong?  Did I charge too much?  Then I realized it is just part of the process.  Would it be easier for them to just say "I'm just curious about pricing" ?  Yes, yes it would.   Would it be easier for them to just admit that they don't want to pay what you are charging?  Yes, yes it would.  Here's a recent example:

On a Friday afternoon I was called with a question about a baby shower cake for two weeks from that date.  She was looking at the website, new what she wanted, talked about the changes to the cake in question and we chatted for a few moments before she said, "Can I see you tomorrow about the details?"  I had to honestly answer that I could not see her on a Saturday less than 24 hours away for multiple reasons, mostly due to already being scheduled.   She asked about pricing again and when I repeated that she thought that it was too much for so little cake but had a "change of heart" and said she would see if her daughter could meet with us a on a different day to confirm things - she would call me back.  I haven't been holding my breath on this.

I knew before the phone call was half way through that this was someone who wasn't going to commission work from me, for whatever reason, and wasn't going to call back afterwards.  I do not fret about these things anymore.

I get many of the same type of request by emails as well.  The result is much the same.  I used to agonize much the same way as well but not anymore.  Those who truly want to commission my work will do so, others will hope to get a cheaper price or all for nothing so they are just kicking the tires.  Remember kids, it's okay to say, "I'm shopping around and comparing prices and work/taste for my event."  I promise, we'll both be happier.

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