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January 4th, 2013, 07:57 AM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Jan 2013 Posts: 2 Thanks: 0  No good at maths! so stumped!
Hi All, A posing question. Here's the scenario. Excel related! A Man sells cupcakes. Every cake costs 10P <FIGURE 1> (or what ever figure you want) and the profit is 20p if sold <FIGURE 2> (or whatever figure). Let's say that the man makes ten cupcakes(figure can change). So the total cost if he doesn't sell all the cakes is £1.00, and if he does sell all, profit is +£2.00. Now the question is, what is the formula for the number of cupcakes to be sold before he breaks even, i.e., does not make a loss nor a profit, given that figure 1 and 2 may change at any time, and the amount of cupcakes made may also change. (Does this figure need to be a percentage also for it to work? Can it be displayed as a percentage, or is the value = to 0%) I think (if my maths is correct) in this example is that he would need to sell 5 cupcakes to break even. i.e 50%. so.... figure 1 total, to figure 2 total, then divide by the amount of cupcakes made.... is sort of the lines I was thinking. I'm not even sure if I'm in the right forum! So apologies if I am not. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 
January 4th, 2013, 10:31 AM  #2 
Math Team Joined: Oct 2011 From: Ottawa Ontario, Canada Posts: 13,941 Thanks: 985  Re: No good at maths! so stumped!
Are you a math student? What grade are you in? Can you post an actual similar problem taken from a math book? Yours is almost impossible to follow... 
January 4th, 2013, 11:37 AM  #3 
Senior Member Joined: Mar 2012 From: Belgium Posts: 654 Thanks: 11  Re: No good at maths! so stumped!
cost =10p profit=20p so that means he sells the cakes for 30p so if he makes x cupcakes he has to sell 1/3 cakes to break even. For example, if he makes 333 cupcakes he got a loss of £33.30, then he sells 111 and has got his money back. 
January 7th, 2013, 01:58 AM  #4 
Newbie Joined: Jan 2013 Posts: 2 Thanks: 0  Re: No good at maths! so stumped!
Not maths student but thought this might be the right section, so forgive me. Hmm. Tough one to try to put simply, as I don't think it's a simple calculation, but I'm no good at maths so any calculation's hard. What I aim to derive is, the formula which calculates the amount of cakes the man has to sell, to break even, taking in the potential loss that he would get from not selling cakes. So if he makes 10 cakes at a cost of £0.10p, fails to sell 6 of them, that's £1.00p loss, before he sells any of his ten cakes. Now if he sells 2 of them at £0.20p, he makes £0.40p. therefore the total loss is now only £0.60p. So to break even, he would need to sell 3 more cakes to even out the cost of making the cakes. So out of 10 cakes, he has to sell 5 cakes, out of ten to break even. Because the cost of making them every time costs him money. So my proposed question was, and I'm no good at maths so I'm going to give it my best whirl to you clever lot, how do I derive the figure of break even. i.e., if X is equal to the amount of cakes, Y is equal to the total loss, and Z is equal to the profit gained. How does it formulate that figure as an example it take 1.367573 cakes to break even of X cakes sold subject to Y and Z (made up example). Not sure if this makes sense! lol 
January 7th, 2013, 06:15 AM  #5 
Global Moderator Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,262 Thanks: 1958 
Suppose cost of manufacture = C per cake, n cakes are made, and the selling price of each cake is P. To break even, he must sell nC/P cakes, i.e., he must sell (100C/P)% of the cakes he makes. (Note that I used P for the selling price, not the profit.) 
January 8th, 2013, 04:55 AM  #6  
Math Team Joined: Apr 2010 Posts: 2,780 Thanks: 361  Re: No good at maths! so stumped!
He must have that the cost of manufacture is less or equal to the selling price of each cake. I.e. C <= P if [color=#00AA00]skipjack[/color]'s definitions are used. Quote:
 
January 8th, 2013, 06:15 AM  #7 
Global Moderator Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,262 Thanks: 1958 
I thought that "selling price" and "total revenue" were unlikely to be confused, but as the original post seemed to be written without due awareness of the distinction between "selling price" and "profit", I wanted to draw attention to the terminology I'd decided to use.

January 8th, 2013, 06:22 AM  #8 
Math Team Joined: Apr 2010 Posts: 2,780 Thanks: 361  Re: No good at maths! so stumped!
IMO, your thought is OK, but then you distinguish between them and in the note the distinction vanishes.


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