EVER SEE A $1500.00 CAKE?

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DJSTEVEZ

DJ Emeritus
I DJ'd a Bar-Mitzvah this weekend that had a cake that cost $1500.00. No there was not an X-box in the middle and no it didn't come with Britney Spears singing "Happy Bar Mitzvah". It was done by "ACE OF CAKES" who is the Rachel Ray of celebratory cakes on The Food Network. Let it fly if it don't apply, but how would you feel if you did a 1 hour cocktail/4 hour reception, 70 adult / 50 kid Bar Mitzvah, only charged $1000-$1200 and found out they paid $1500.00 for a cake? My comapny didn't have to worry about that but I know there are those who would.

The reason I'm sharing this is to piggy-back on what DJ Rob was saying in his thread "Stop Killing The Market". So many clients will sit in your office and ask for a break or cry poverty...yet, they they've dumped obscene amounts of money in other areas of their special day. Find me any DJ that that charged more money for a 1st wedding than what the bride's dress cost and I'll show you a DJ with a fearless sense of self-esteem.

BBBuffalo has the right idea including "Raise Your Rates" as a part of all his posts. We will get more money when we feel we deserve that money. Whatever you're willing to put up with in this world is exactly what you'll get...Meaning it's up to you to set the mark and enforce how you're willing to be treated. Look at it this way, ACE OF CAKES has no problem charging what he thinks he's worth, why shouldn't we?
 

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DJ Dave

New Member
My local wal-mart can make the same cake for $15. I can't compare a cake (or any other good) to my services. Why? It's none of my business how much they spend on cakes, flowers, photographer etc. When I negotiate a price I don't ask how much they are paying for their cake? or flowers? etc. to determine how much I will charge them. If I were to do that , It would seem as if I were jealous of what others are charging for their goods & services.

I base my price on many factors such as; travel, equipment cost, insurance, taxes, music and a little for me.

I know some don't agree and I don't care, this is the way I see it.
 

len

New Member
It's about perception, and about priorities.

If you had a tv show, people would pay you more, even if you were the crapiest dj on the planet.

Also, I've seen people spend money on crazy stuff. One example of a house I saw recently:

Average home price in this community: $250,000
Price range overall: $125,000 - $2,000,000
This house: $450,000
Powder room Sink and vanity: custom made, $9,000.

Cost of the cabinets in the kitchen: $8,000.

In Chicago a big thing at events is to have an ice luge. http://nadeauice.com/images/luge-lg.jpg They're quite expensive considering that they don't really chill the liquor and add absolutely nothing IMO to the flavor of the drink. But they're cool and people want them.
 

DJ Ducky

New Member
Perhaps the cake just HAD TO come from that company, and that's what they charge. I gotta agree...if you're gonna spend that much on a cake, at least ask for something more difficult than that!

As an interesting side note, there are a lot of people on this forum who equate their prices versus a less expensive DJ to the difference between eating at McD's or a higher-end steak house. DJ Dave just brought up a point that Wal-Mart can make the same cake for $15. So what does a DJ do if a less expensive DJ can provide the same quality for less?
 

bjojade

New Member
That guy has to sell 1 cake a week to make ends meet. If all Wal*mart did were to sell cakes, they would have to sell a couple hundred in the same period of time to make the same amount of money. Maybe they can. But as a single op, it certainly is easier to sell a cake once than it is to sell a couple hundred of them.
 

DJSTEVEZ

DJ Emeritus
DJ Dave said:
My local wal-mart can make the same cake for $15. I can't compare a cake (or any other good) to my services. Why? It's none of my business how much they spend on cakes, flowers, photographer etc. When I negotiate a price I don't ask how much they are paying for their cake? or flowers? etc. to determine how much I will charge them. If I were to do that , It would seem as if I were jealous of what others are charging for their goods & services.

I base my price on many factors such as; travel, equipment cost, insurance, taxes, music and a little for me. I know some don't agree and I don't care, this is the way I see it.
I absolutely hear you DJ Dave. Your point is well taken, although I'm a little disappointed you didn't list your expertise among the factors you use to determine price. The quality of your services vs. a little iPod DJ down the street is likely quite large. I'm going to guess that was just an oversite, because expertise is a part of quality.

Sound ecconomic theory on which at least part of how prices are determined is what any given market will bare. I was just poiting out what people will pay for other items that are vital to the celebration of the day. IMHO it's an indicator in what the market will bare. I'm not posting to argue with anyone. It's simply my wish for every DJ to get evey dollar for which they're truly entitled. You are absolutely correct in stating that in determining that, to each there own. I was just offering a point for consideration.

Cheers to all!
 

DJ Dave

New Member
DJSTEVEZ said:
DJ Dave said:
My local wal-mart can make the same cake for $15. I can't compare a cake (or any other good) to my services. Why? It's none of my business how much they spend on cakes, flowers, photographer etc. When I negotiate a price I don't ask how much they are paying for their cake? or flowers? etc. to determine how much I will charge them. If I were to do that , It would seem as if I were jealous of what others are charging for their goods & services.

I base my price on many factors such as; travel, equipment cost, insurance, taxes, music and a little for me. I know some don't agree and I don't care, this is the way I see it.
I absolutely hear you DJ Dave. Your point is well taken, although I'm a little disappointed you didn't list your expertise among the factors you use to determine price. The quality of your services vs. a little iPod DJ down the street is likely quite large. I'm going to guess that was just an oversite, because expertise is a part of quality.

Sound ecconomic theory on which at least part of how prices are determined is what any given market will bare. I was just poiting out what people will pay for other items that are vital to the celebration of the day. IMHO it's an indicator in what the market will bare. I'm not posting to argue with anyone. It's simply my wish for every DJ to get evey dollar for which they're truly entitled. You are absolutely correct in stating that in determining that, to each there own. I was just offering a point for consideration.

Cheers to all!
A little for me doesn't count? Really, I just left it out but it all factors in.
 

djrox

Account Closed
That cake has a unseen but recognizable option. The "My cake was made by a guy on TV" option. Pitiful. :(

If that's a $1500 cake, it must have been purchased by a really wealthy and label hyperconscious individual.
 

Ken Heath

Super Moderator...da-ta-daaa!!!
Staff member
Fondant is WAY overdone. I've watched the show and, personally, don't care for the way it looks in most applications.

I'm not sure they'd feature that cake on the show...perhaps if it'd been of Dodger Stadium, Angel's Stadium, Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park or some other famous and difficult-to-accurately-re-create place that price tag could be understood.

:oops:
 

Jon Bruce

Sanity Checker
When you add in cutting and plates for cake, I'll bet we have all seen a $1500 cake.

Figure $3 - $5 a slice.

plus someone to cut it
plus an extra plate to put it on.
 

DJ Dr. Drax

Active Member
Did everyone miss the point?

It isn't about a $1500 cake, it is about someone that understands their value & charges for it. It is a designer cake no matter how you look at it becuase it was from ACE of Cakes. Not everybody is his client. BUT he still was getting enough clients to make a living & EMPLOY others doing what was his passion...

maybe there is a lesson for DJs to learn........... ;)
 

DJ Ducky

New Member
I'm one for believing that music (and yes, cake, too) is made for the masses and shouldn't be available only to people who are privileged enough to have a lot of money.
 

DJ Dr. Drax

Active Member
So your ok with them spending $2000 for bed linen draped over chairs, $1500 for water poured into a mold & frozen, $3000 for carrots & broccoli, but you need to give them your talents for cheap or free? How does that make any sense?

Please define "privileged enough to have a lot of money." How much qualifies as "a lot of money"? to someone broke, minimum wage earners have "a lot of money". TO a minimum wage earner, someone with a degree earning $40K has " a lot of Money". To the degreed professional someone that is running a business & taking risks but earning $200K "has a lot of money".

To 90% of the worlds poor, the poorest American is wealthy beyond measure. How much defines "having a lot of money"?

Please define the boundary for being considered to have a lot of money. Do you "have a lot of money"? Does your parents?

That statement made by you reflects a perception based upon class envy & poverty concience thinking. It reflects a misconception that paying for any of the things above is reasonable & customary, & unpriviledged but paying a living wage for a DJ is not.

If you feel as you do, why do you charge anything at all? By doing so you are keeping some from having music. By that thinking why should anyone be kept from anything because of money? Why shouldn't everything one desires just be free?

Actually, ANYONE can have music, & pretty much ANYONE can provide music.
Entertainment, now that is another subject. ;)
 

DJ Ducky

New Member
Drax,

I do a lot of events for people who are more budget conscious, but are looking for the best bang for the buck, which is what I offer (and then some). I charge enough to cover equipment maintenance & upgrade, travel expenses, and music. I am repayed by the results of my talents - smiling faces, air guitars, encore chants, etc. A lot of my clients would not spend $1500 on just a cake, and yes, I believe that amount is A LOT of money. I will admit that I am privileged; I was able to attend college to earn a Bachelor's Degree.

I work my @$$ off at a steady, salaried job during the week, so that I can pay all my bills and living expenses. I have fun DJing during the evenings and weekends. You have no right to ask about the financial situations of myself or my parents. That is NONE of your business, "Dr."
 

DJ Dr. Drax

Active Member
Ducky,

I am sorry, I wasn't really asking about your parents or you to obtain an answer, but to give you pause to think in the discussion about your statement about "privileged to have a lot of money". You opened that door, I simply walked in and asked what defines having a lot of money.

That's all. I apologize for offending you. I really didn't see how you could take it as you did. That said, my goal was to get us to discuss what reasonable & customary should be.

To continue forwards:

You state:
I charge enough to cover equipment maintenance & upgrade, travel expenses, and music.
Ok, that's fine, but that doesn't define being a professional DJ & making a living as a DJ which is the derivative of what this thread is about, Getting what your worth, or making a living as a Mobile DJ.

It is now more than clear since you openly admit that you don't charge anything for your time or talents that you are rather someone that enjoys a great musical hobby bringing fun to the masses in lieu of being one that is seeking to be a professional mobile DJ earning a compensatory fee for your talents & services. I am ok with that.

I have worked for many budget minded clients, yet they all somehow found the money to pay my fee. Maybe they just chose different priorities upon how they spent their money?

I am ok with that. Are you?
 

DJ Ducky

New Member
Nope.

I do make money off this and I do own a business as a professional. I choose to make use out of my hard-earned degree with a full-time, salaried job. There's nothing wrong with having two jobs, you know. If this were a hobby, I would be paying to do this; that is not the case.
 

DJ Dr. Drax

Active Member
Ducky,

I don't care if your part time or have 2 jobs or even 10. Not my concern. You state you make money...... But then.....

You state:
I charge enough to cover equipment maintenance & upgrade, travel expenses, and music.
In that statement you never mentioned a "profit" or a salary for you for your time & talents.

Rather you stated:
I am repayed by the results of my talents - smiling faces, air guitars, encore chants, etc.
Your only compensation for your talent is smiles, encore chants & air guitars..... Last I looked you couldn't spend them, put them into your bank account or list them on a P&L or a Tax Return.

A hobby is a business that doesn't earn profit & pay taxes on it because it brings in less than or equal to what it spends.

You clarified:
I charge enough to cover equipment maintenance & upgrade, travel expenses, and music.
You are stating that you make no profit, that you only make what you spend. That Ducky is a hobby as defined by the IRS. I didn't make up the rules, they did.
 

DJ Ducky

New Member
Well, I do make some profit, and I do claim it on my taxes...it's not a hobby, it's a business; there is too much money moving around. I wasn't thinking about the profit when I posted at the top. Like I said earlier, if this were a hobby, I'd be paying to do this. The main purpose of my business is not for mere monetary profit - that's just a nice benefit. My business was founded on the principle that people do not necessarily have to pay thousands of dollars for a high-quality DJ.
 
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