SUGGESTION: Clips to include pricing and decorating time?

Hi --

 

I love to look at the stunning cookies everyone here posts -- many are breathtaking and truly works of art.

 

When I see particularly fabulous or intricate designs, I always wonder how long they took to make, and how much they are being sold for.  It is easy to look at some of these incredible designs and begin to question my own cookie ability - I'm sure others feel the same way.  I wonder if knowing how many hours went into a particular cookie, and how much it was sold for, would help us all to keep our own cookie abilities in perspective.

 

It would be interesting when looking at the clips, to know the time involved and the price of the cookie (assuming it was sold, of course.)  What do you think?

 

[EDITOR'S NOTE: MEMBERS, PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING POLL TO INDICATE YOUR INTEREST IN ADDING SUCH A FEATURE.]

Original Post

Yes, I understand how you feel and ask myself the same questions when I see them. Such beautiful work is on display! even the size of the cookie I wonder about, sometimes I image them on just a three inch cookie and can't believe I could ever measure up to it, then I will see a another picture and it takes two hands to hold it. I understand some of them are just one cookie for the art design of it and some are selling them, any information would be nice if added.

I think that's a great idea, but I'm not quite sure how one would implement this idea. I wouldn't be comfortable requiring people to enter that information. (Some may consider it proprietary, and then there's the matter of asking people to supply more information when they upload . . . the more that's asked, the greater the deterrent to upload.) It also already takes a ton of moderator time (mostly mine) to make sure that photos are properly catalogued.

 

I think your best bet may be just to ask . . . If you see a cookie that you're particularly interested in learning how long it took (or cost) to make, feel free to ask the creator in the comments area under the cookie. I think this would be a terrific dialogue to start to foster. But I think it needs to be generated from you all . . . as opposed to something that's mandated by me or the site.

 

I have found that everyone here has been most generous with input when asked!

Thanks for responding, Julia!  I agree, folks should not be required to provide this information -- I was picturing some sort of prompt asking for the information, which could simply be bypassed if desired.

 

Knowing a particular cookie's or set's selling price (if any) could be helpful, but I really think it would be fascinating to know how much time people actually spend on some of these little works of art! 

 

 

 

 

Julia, what is the formula you follow when pricing your cookies?  Originally Posted by Julia M. Usher:

I think that's a great idea, but I'm not quite sure how one would implement this idea. I wouldn't be comfortable requiring people to enter that information. (Some may consider it proprietary, and then there's the matter of asking people to supply more information when they upload . . . the more that's asked, the greater the deterrent to upload.) It also already takes a ton of moderator time (mostly mine) to make sure that photos are properly catalogued.

 

I think your best bet may be just to ask . . . If you see a cookie that you're particularly interested in learning how long it took (or cost) to make, feel free to ask the creator in the comments area under the cookie. I think this would be a terrific dialogue to start to foster. But I think it needs to be generated from you all . . . as opposed to something that's mandated by me or the site.

 

I have found that everyone here has been most generous with input when asked!

 

Originally Posted by UUjerri:

Oh I think I posted in an odd place. I will post here now:

 

Julia, what is the formula you follow when pricing your cookies?

I don't sell my cookies any longer, but I basically followed the cost-based approach that Aymee VanDyke is laying out in her From Dough to Dollars pricing series on this site. I start by figuring how long it takes me to make/decorate (from mixing dough to bagging) a standard size batch of a certain cookie design. I apply an hourly labor rate to those hours (what I pay my employees or me) to determine a labor cost; then I add the materials cost; then I mark up that sum at least 100% (double it) to cover my overhead and make a profit. (But I had a lot of overhead, as I had a separate shop and did not work out of my house, so markups can vary.) It makes little sense to price a highly decorated cookie based on its size (provided the cookies aren't huge), as it's the labor cost that is the real cost driver and ultimate price driver. Aymee's series isn't finished yet, but she explains how to compute all of these things in the first two parts of it, here: http://cookieconnection.juliau...rom-dough-to-dollars

Still, I encourage you to ask people how long it took them to make certain cookies. It is not an easy/cheap thing to add a prompt of the type you suggest to the photo upload area.

 

And first, before I could make an investment of this sort, I'd need to know how many other members would want this sort of prompt added. I typically don't invest in new features unless a majority feel that it's very important.

 

That said, I've added a poll to the top of this post to take the pulse of everyone on the site. Let's see what they say.

I'm curious to know on some of the really intricate cookies made the time spent on them, but in saying that I think a lot of those type of cookies are done as a labour of love and the artist is not necessarily watching the clock as they decorate. As for pricing I think this is a subjective thing, especially when you take into consideration the skill level of the decorator. I know how you feel when you compare your work with others and can feel overwhelmed by the intricate pieces of art we see, but I think putting a price on those on this site could possibly invite negativity. As I said pricing is subjective and what one person is happy to pay another may feel is very exorbitant. 

Originally Posted by Belleissimo Cookies:

I'm curious to know on some of the really intricate cookies made the time spent on them, but in saying that I think a lot of those type of cookies are done as a labour of love and the artist is not necessarily watching the clock as they decorate. As for pricing I think this is a subjective thing, especially when you take into consideration the skill level of the decorator. I know how you feel when you compare your work with others and can feel overwhelmed by the intricate pieces of art we see, but I think putting a price on those on this site could possibly invite negativity. As I said pricing is subjective and what one person is happy to pay another may feel is very exorbitant. 

I see what you mean...I hadn't thought of it as inviting negativity.  To me, the art I see on this site would be worth whatever the creators charge!  I just think that knowing what those kinds of cookies go for, assuming they are even made to sell, would help me keep my dinky little cookies in perspective.  For example, knowing that a particular intricate cookie was sold for $10, might make me feel  better about my imperfect, simpler design that I sold for $3.  I guess it's all about comparison -- I know we shouldn't compare our work to others', but it seems to be human nature to do just that.

Originally Posted by Custom Cookies:
Originally Posted by Belleissimo Cookies:

I'm curious to know on some of the really intricate cookies made the time spent on them, but in saying that I think a lot of those type of cookies are done as a labour of love and the artist is not necessarily watching the clock as they decorate. As for pricing I think this is a subjective thing, especially when you take into consideration the skill level of the decorator. I know how you feel when you compare your work with others and can feel overwhelmed by the intricate pieces of art we see, but I think putting a price on those on this site could possibly invite negativity. As I said pricing is subjective and what one person is happy to pay another may feel is very exorbitant. 

I see what you mean...I hadn't thought of it as inviting negativity.  To me, the art I see on this site would be worth whatever the creators charge!  I just think that knowing what those kinds of cookies go for, assuming they are even made to sell, would help me keep my dinky little cookies in perspective.  For example, knowing that a particular intricate cookie was sold for $10, might make me feel  better about my imperfect, simpler design that I sold for $3.  I guess it's all about comparison -- I know we shouldn't compare our work to others', but it seems to be human nature to do just that.

If you are struggling with pricing your work then the model that Julia refers to above on this site is a great starting point. There are also other bloggers out there that have broached the subject, namely Sweet Sugarbelle. Search her site for a reference guide. But as I said it's all subjective and if you have customers happy to pay for your work then continue to build on that and try not worry about comparing yourself to others too much I know it's hard believe me, I'm the worst but I really try to make it drive me to do better and challenge myself and of course still remember to have fun cookieing!

I think there are several things that go on in terms of comparing your work to others, but I don't think that the pricing metric is one I would ever want to see laid out.  Most people state in their profile whether or not they sell, if it makes you feel better to know that someone is making something without an eye on the bottom line.  But does it? Everyone has a different skill set, a different market, or no market.  I do my work to feed my soul and hopefully inspire others. Other people are making birthday cookies. I've seen birthday cookies that inspire my soul, and I hope that they cost a pretty penny, too. There are a million reasons why I think how much the cookies cost is neither here nor there, but an international public cookie forum is the last place I think this sort of thing would be appropriate.

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