Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"I Can Pick Up Today" & Other "Offers" With Lower Prices

Let me share with you a short convo I had with someone the other day:

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Them:  How much total for Duke?

Me:  His adoption fee is $100.

Them:  Possible to be any lower?  $50.  I'm coming way from Waukegan

Me:  Sorry no

Them:  I could pick up today if $50 but ok

Me:  That makes absolutely no difference.  This is a chinchilla rescue not a flea market.  I'm not dying to sell them as quickly as possible to the lowest bidder, sorry

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Let me make it very clear.  I don't freaking care if you can pick up in 5 minutes.  My prices are my prices.  ESPECIALLY on the cheaper chins.  If I have one for $600 and you offer me $550, we may discuss it.  You offer me HALF on a $100 chinchilla?  Oh hell no.  I don't care if you can teleport to my house right now to get it.  Nope, no how, no way.

Do these people go to Walmart and haggle?  Hell no!!!  So why do they do it here?  Oh it's a small business.  Guess it's ok for Walmart to make money, but not for the small business, that, you know, actually cares about it's customers?  Oh heavens no.  Pardon the small business from making any money, but the billioniare corporation, oh we can't question their prices!!!

People like this, I honestly want to tell them where they can shove their money.

It gets old, really old, when people constantly question how cheap they can get everything.  Since I have a lot of chins, I should just hand them out like Halloween candy, eh?  I think not.

Now, I'm sure some of you out there are like, hey, how do you know these people aren't good homes and just want to save a few bucks?  They may very well be.  However, I have sales, they can wait for them.  And... wait for it... these are LIVE ANIMALS.  We're not talking about a tchotchke that they can haggle down from $1 at a garage sale.  You can't then haggle down pet food.  Or vet care.  So if someone is going to try to haggle down the price of the chinchilla (and mind you, not by simply asking, hey, are there any discounts...that's fine... but by the way they ask about it and the way they try to convince that I should take their lower price)... I don't want them adopting anyway.  They can be a good home to another chin somewhere else.

By the way, these tend to be the same people who point out to me that there's chin on craigslist for $100 with cage and all accessories.  How come mine is $100 for just the chin?  Oh, well, it has a health guarantee, will replace if it dies within the first week, you have a lifetime of support, yadda yadda.  But, oh, I can't throw in a cage and everything with it, for the price of the chin?  No, sorry.  And guess what?  If I tell them, well, if it's such a great deal, why don't you go get the craigslist chin?  The answer never fails to be some variation of -- well, yours looks healthier / better cared for / etc etc.  Amazing -- you get what you pay for!  Imagine that.

I'm never going to get rich off these furballs and selling supplies.  Some people are like hey you sold that one chin for $200!!  Yes, but each parent likely cost at least that, so they need to have a handful of babies just to recoup costs of parents (and some of those babies will hopefully be held back for show and to put back into the herd), and then of course... maintenance costs.  My new basement AC this year was almost $700.  My AC bills have ranged between $300-450 per month all summer.  Sure, some of the chins sell for a lot, but the bills and expenses are also a lot, and eat up a lot of the money brought in.  The reason I mention this -- I'm clearly never going to become a millionaire selling chinchillas... and that's fine.  But the place has to stay running in order to keep rescuing and keep providing people with safe chinchilla supplies.  To do that requires money, and requires not accepting the lowest bidder on everything.  So, sorry not sorry, but lowball offers are insulting and I will not entertain them.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Keeping Appointments

So, I won't go into the one no-show appointment yet (that'll be a story for another day), but for the sake of this post, all you really need to know is that the one morning a few days ago, I had several appointments set for the evening, including a 5 pm appointment. 

The 5 pm appointment was actually someone I sort of knew, who was supposed to pick up pre-arranged stuff (and that is all I will say at the moment), so I didn't anticipate them being a no-show.

So, when someone who I'd talked to about appointments contacted me later in the day and asked if 5 pm would work for me, I told her, sorry, no, but that my entire evening was booked up, and that the next time I would have available was a day or two later, after the weekend.

Probably needless to say, you wouldn't be reading this, had my 5 pm showed up. 

However, since I didn't know they weren't coming, I told that person they would not be able to come at that time slot, and they said they would have to get back to me with other times that would work for them.  Now, they still may... but it's been a few days... so I'm not holding my breath.  See, most people that really want to come by, keep in good contact and don't wait days upon days between email / phone responses.  So, I don't anticipate hearing from her.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that that 5 pm may think that not showing up for her appointment doesn't really affect anything other than her appointment (well, it does, but again, another post for another day).  But in reality, it does.  See, had I known she wasn't coming, I could have scheduled the other person for that time slot, and potentially adopted out a chinchilla and maybe even sold some supplies, and possibly even educated someone more on chinchillas and there care.  But, as I did not know that my 5 pm wasn't going to show up, I told the other person that I was booked, and ended up sitting around for 60+ minutes, twiddling my thumbs while waiting for a text back.

So, this is just a friendly reminder that people need to remember that if they can't make their appointment, for whatever reason, it is considerably better to let me (or wherever you're going) know, so we can adjust accordingly.  So that not only do you make us miss out on your appointment, but we also don't miss out on others, that we might have filled your slot with.

That is all.... for now.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Ask Questions!

I feel, personally, this goes without saying...but if you want info and it's not there... feel free to ask!

I had someone last week, email me about putting down a deposit on a chin.  Little did they know, the chin (which wasn't listed yet, and still isn't), is $600.  Needless to say, when I emailed back and said how much the deposit would be (their question, along with wanting to see pics) and sent pics, I never heard back.  If there's no price listed, ask.  If it doesn't say whether a chin gets along with other chins or not, ask.  I may not know, but it can't hurt to ask.  If I didn't post the back story about how a chin came to the rescue and that's a pondering of yours, ask.  Again, I may not know (a lot of people say they can't care for it anymore or don't have time... and leave it at that), but you can ask!  About the only thing I don't want you to ask for is a discount (see previous blog post), and that's more out of respect than anything.

I try to post whatever info I have on the chins.  I've even tried, lately, to include what back story I have, if I have one.  Sure, for some chins, it's "the kids got tired of them," or "developed allergies," or whatnot, but if you read Ash's backstory, there's quite the story there.  Not all relating directly to him, specifically, but it's about how his family came upon getting chins, and how they were intentionally misinformed, and so on. 

But try as I might, I can't include everything.  Undoubtedly, someone will wonder if the chin is good with cats or kids or dogs or whatever.  I try to put in all the listings if the chin would or would not make a good first chin.  However, I don't re-write each ad from scratch (I know, how dare I try to save time), so if the ad I use didn't have it, I may forget to add it back in.  That's where, if you're wondering something and it's not there, a quick email asking a question never hurts! 

I'm always happy to answer questions and give advice and help out where I can.  But I don't know that you have the questions if you don't ask them! 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Discounts

People are getting really bold, and, honestly, if it keeps up, no one's getting no discounts anymore. 

Now, you may know, I have sales periodically, so the chins do go on sale, and they're slightly discounted at that point, usually between $10-50 off, depending on the price.  Obviously, the cheaper chins are $10 off, the higher, $50 off.  Sometimes at the beginning of the year, I'll have a percentage sale, like for 2014, I had 14% off for January.

Other than these sales, I usually will give a $25 discount off of two chins, plus an extra $25 for every additional chin.  So, get 2 chins, $25 off.  Get 3 chins, $50 off. 

Honestly, I think this is all pretty nice.  Not to pat my own back, you understand, but I have pretty regular sales (one every spring, one every fall, one every summer, usually one first of the year), whereas many breeders don't have them all the time, and many private rescues NEVER reduce adoption fees.  My prices are also lower than the competitors...I sell my whites for $200-250 (and if it's $250, it's really something special), the next closest breeder starts their whites at $300.  So, I kind of feel like, ok I'm cheaper to start with, and then I have sales... pretty good deal.

So lately, I've had two people who've asked what discount they will get if they get two chinchillas.  My response is $25 off.  The response, both times, has been basically, "that's it??"  My response back, that's what everyone gets. 

Don't think that's a good enough discount / sale price?  Let's do an example.  There's a breeder who occasionally does buy-one-get-one-half-off on her chins.  Their whites start at $350 and greys usually $100.  Versus my whites (even an expensive one) $250, and greys $135.  So, for their buy-one-get-one-half-off, you're looking at $400 ($350 + $50) for the two chins.  People can whine all they want that they have that sale and I don't... but I mean, even at my REGULAR prices ($250 + $135 = $385... and really it'd be $360 because of the $25 off), I'm STILL cheaper than their sale prices.  But yes, it totally makes sense to whine that I don't have good sales.

It says nothing on my website, anywhere, about getting a discount for getting two chins.  I offer that because I try to be nice.  I understand that people want to save money, get a discount.  I get it  But guess what, I have bills to pay too, and if you wouldn't go into walmart and ask for a lower price, please don't do it here.  If someone thinks my prices are too high, that's fine.  They're welcome to go elsewhere.  I'm sure they can find a nice backyard-bred chin on craigslist for somewhat less than my prices.  The prices are what they are.  If someone wants a better price, they're welcome to wait for a sale... of course, can't guarantee that the fancy colors and whatnot will be here when the sales roll around, but they might be.  Just a gamble that ya gotta take if the prices are normally too high.

I don't say this all to be a bitch.  But believe me, it gets really old when people question prices and ask for discounts, and then your fellow breeders tell you that that same person bought chins from them at higher prices and didn't blink an eye.  Just because we have rescue chins doesn't make this a garage sale.  They are all living, breathing critters, and deserve nice homes (and not to the lowest bidder).  That is all.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

"He's Only 12 Pounds!"

So, I get a lot, and I mean a LOT of calls for me to take in dogs and cats.  People don't look at where they are calling, they just see the word rescue, and call.

I specify, we take in small caged pets, like guinea pigs, chinchillas, etc etc.

I had a guy tell me the other day that we he had a miniature pinscher that he needed to give up.

So I repeated, we only take in small caged pets, gave examples, and then even went as far to say, we don't take in any dogs or cats.

The response?  "He's only 12 pounds."

Now tell me.  If you have a miniature pinscher and you go to the pet store.... do you go to the small animal section?  Heck no.  So don't be calling a small animal rescue about your small dogs and cats.  It's that simple.  Really. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Rosebuds

Rosebuds are one of our top selling herbs.... so you know, as if they weren't expensive enough, the supplier raised the price almost $5 per pound! 

We have low profit margins on our items, with the goal being to pass along the savings to the customers, making chinchilla supplies affordable for them, while still bringing in a little for the rescue.  With the low profit margins... I can't eat the cost of another ~ $5.00 per pound, unless I want to sell them for less than what I'm paying for them.  Unfortunately, that means I have to pass the cost increase along to my customers. 

Rosebuds were $2.50 per ounce, now they will be $3.00 for one ounce. 

The larger package was $7.00 for three ounces, which was a savings of 50 cents off the normal cost of 3 ounces... now the larger package will be $8.50 for 3 ounces, still a 50 cents savings off the normal cost.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Shipping... "But It's Not That Far"

I know I've talked about shipping before, but it seems that now that I've posted several times saying I can't ship, now I'm getting these messages saying, well, am I sure I can't ship?  It's not that far.

Distance has NOTHING to do with it.  It costs just as much for me to ship a chinchilla to the Indianapolis airport as it does to ship one to the Seattle, Washington airport.  This isn't like booking a human flight, where farther is more... it's flat rate for animals.

And, as mentioned before, it's $400+ to ship one.  So, not cost effective for the buyer, and not worth my time to spend all that money (even with getting it paid back) to make the cost of one adoption fee.

Not to mention, even if someone wanted to pay the money, plus throw in an extra $$$ for me to make it worth my effort... it's like 90 out.  Waaaaaay too hot.  So, I couldn't ship, even if I wanted to.  Sorry.