This seems to come up during the holidays with me and I was wondering if anyone else has this problem. I bake and can well enough that people ask me if they can either buy baked goods (usually cakes or decorated cookies), or canned items (pickles or jam). This falls into 3 different groups of people:
The people that expect to pay a fair price for the item made. They understand that my time is valuable and that I have a skill that they may not have. They do not balk or ask for discounts or freebies. These customers and friends are appreciative of the amount of work that goes into making a cake, cookie, jam or pickle.
The people that balk at the price and ask for a discount, or in this case the recipe. I had a person balk at the price of a jar of pickles, and then ask for the recipe so she could just “make it herself”. This was after she had explained she could not cook. I gave her “part” of the recipe, and then she complained that the pickles did not “turn out”.
I’ve also had people say-it’s just a jar of jam, can’t I get a discount. Someone said this to me once and I had just met them! I used to explain the time and expense involved in making things, but the people asking for a discount have no clue how to make the things I do and their eyes either glaze over in boredom, or they tried to argue with me on how deserving they were of a discount. I always respond now with “that will not be possible”.
The people that ask for “free”! Many years ago, when I first started canning, I had a neighbor ask for peach jam. I gave him a pint of jam and he went home. The next day he came back and asked for another jar, so I asked what happened to the last jar-from the day before. His reply was he ate the jar of jam with a spoon the night before and it was so good he wanted more. At that point I told him it took me several hours to make that jam and I had about $4.00 in supplies (not counting time), and no- he needed to go home. His reply ….” it’s just jam”! He never got any more jam from me, and luckily, they finally moved away.
How does everyone else handle these situations? 1206-18
I think you are handling it quite well. I get the same thing only with crafts and some confections. I make a one-of-a-kind Christmas ornament using paper to make 3 dimensional diorama shadow boxes. A few of them have tiny HO gauge train figures in them. I make them for me or family or a few select friends but never for sale. Last year someone asked me straightforward if I would give her a specific one that had 2 HO figures in it. Those HO figures are not exactly cheap and if I were to sell these ornaments, they would be $25 each, minimum. No offer to buy it, she just wanted me to give it to her. I demurred saying that my season of Christmas crafting is done for the year and I won’t be making any more until next December. She has, so far,not reminded me of this.
I smile and ignore people who outright ask me to give them something I have made and then I vow to not to talk about my baking plans in front of them ever again.