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How do you price your cake pops?

How do you price your cake pops? Do you ask a friend how much they charge and charge the same thing? Did you go to Starbucks look at their prices and charge that? Do an internet search? Or do you have a formula based on more complicated factors to determine how much you price? Have you thought about your overhead (all costs not associated with supplies), supply cost, time involved from prep to clean up and delivery, skill level and clientele?

Pricing is a common question I get asked by my followers. Usually it is along the lines of "How much should I charge?".

got asked a question today by a follower about cake pop pricing. Specifically this person made a more involved cake pop and found people were trying to bargain with them and eventually they had to lower the price significantly to sell. They wanted to know what went wrong?

It got me thinking about pricing, starting out, choosing what to offer customers, knowing your market… lol… my mind pretty much wanders all over so it got me thinking a million different cake pop business directions on what went wrong in this scenario, but sticking to the pricing issue……. and a little bit about cake pop choice.

In pure economic terms you can charge what your customers are willing to pay.

I don’t sell cake pops nor have I ever, so I can't give you my personal story on how I built my cake pop treat business, but I do own a business and all businesses deal with pricing as a key business decision that can make or break you. So from a business stand point I would say that you should charge enough to cover all your costs (and you should know all your costs) including your cost to pay yourself (per hour cost and how many cake pops you can make per hour). You should also know how much you need to make per hour to live and how much would you would like to pay yourself. In the beginning you may need to only charge what you need to and as your business grows you can charge more to eventually get to what you want to make (per hour). 

I realize this is probably the obvious, but I would say some people out there ask a friend what they charge and charge the same thing never doing the math if they are really making money? What happens if your friend is better and faster at making cake pops than you? If your friend can make twice the cake pops in an hour then you can and their cake pops are more elaborate and prettier than yours, you can’t charge the same rate or expect to make the same money.

This discussion is meant to be thought provoking, so instead of asking the question: “How much do you or should you charge?” I ask the question “How do you price?” What factors do you take into consideration in your pricing? This will give you pricing strategy and possibly marketing strategy to get more profit per cake pop.

Going back to my customer's situation above, this may not have been a pricing issue as much as a venue issue. I don't have any of the specifics but the first thing that came to mind was, if you are just starting out and you are going to a fair or market to sell you may not want to bring cake pops that took forever to make. Also in this situation the cake pops were a very specific theme and that theme may not have appealed to the audience present.

In order to maximize profit per cake pop, selling simple cake pops that look beautiful and are generic will get you more profit dollars than an elaborate cake pops that are a particular theme, that may not be appreciated for the time and effort involved in making them. Very often your customers will have no idea the work involved in making a cake pop and they will be just as pleased with something simple as they are with something that took you a long time.

Continuing on this specific situation, If you are going to a fair or farmers market the clientele buying your cake pop is more than likely buying on impulse to eat on the spot. Therefore, a delicious cake pop that is simple might sell just as well as an elaborate one that is meant more for a theme party.

There is a lot of skill involved in making cake pops so when you are first starting out it may take you a lot longer to make a cake pop than someone else who has been doing this for a long time. That can mean that they can make a lot more cake pops per hour than you can and therefore their profit per cake pop will be a lot higher. My advise is if making cake pops for a living or as a hobby to sell is your goal and you are new, stick with easy designs that you can perfect and get skilled at making them fast and efficient. Your "go to" pops that are the bread and butter of your business. Then when you have mastered that progress to add more elaborate cake pops as your clientele grows with your business.

Leave a comment below if you sell cake pops and how you got started and what your pricing strategy was?