Thursday, March 14, 2013

Why I Don't LIke to Ship Large Cages

So, I've gotten into heated arguments with people about shipping cages.  Right now, everyone and their brother wants me to ship cage #40, but no one wants to pay what it would cost to ship.  So, I've actually put on the website that I will not ship this cage.  And the reason being -- if someone was willing to pay shipping, that would be fine, but what invariably happens is that I get the cage taken apart, packed in a box, shipping calculated... and then the person says, no I don't want the cage. 

Or like the other day, I had someone who thought they wanted their (different) cage shipped, until I figured out that shipping would be $69, which, completely understandably, was too much.  So they said they'd come and get it and wanted it still taken apart.... well, until they got here and actually saw the size of it.  It's 24 x 24 x 41, but in their head, they thought it was going to be smaller than their 30 x 20 x 30 cage (which was too big)... the fact it was significantly larger was clear when they saw the size of the cage and the box I still had it in.  Course, the whole thing could have been solved by them actually reading the dimensions, but I digress.  The point is, the entire cage is still taken apart, still in its box, so I'm going to have to put it back together if I have any hopes of selling it.  Which I could have avoided had, first of all, they read the dimensions, but more importantly, had shipping not been so high.  So, my time taking apart the cage, packing it, all that, and now, having to rebuild it, is all basically a waste of time, which I honestly don't have enough of as it is.

Which brings us to today.  Text messages from today:

Them:   Love the cages the big one!!!!  Can I have mailed?? Or shipped

Me:   It's like at least 60 pounds and large, it'd cost a fortune to ship.  Like I had a smaller cage that was 25 pounds that someone wanted shipped and it was gonna be $60 to ship.  I can't imagine how much this cage would be.

Them:   Well, I need to find out because I'm committed to getting and purchasing one of your cages or that cage in particular!!!  And since I live in New Jersey I can't pick it up.  And just the whole setup and craftsmanship well I just got to have it

Me:   It actually says on the website the cage listing that I won't ship the cage.  Assuming it's 60 pounds, which it very well be more, shipping to Hoboken zip code would be roughly $75.  The cage itself is only $65.  In the off chance its over 70 pounds, it's not even shippable through USPS.  Not to mention, even if you wanted to pay the $75 to have it shipped, I may not have a box this big.  Even folded down its at least 30 x 36 x 12

Them:   Okay I get what you're saying I got it, I wouldn't have a problem spending the money but I respect what you're saying thank you

**** let's take a pause shall we?  "I wouldn't have a problem spending the money" -- to me, that meant that he wouldn't have a problem spending the money to ship, since I quoted shipping in the previous text, and I think my interpretation is a reasonable interpretation of what he said -- which leads me to this thought: if he's actually gonna pay the $75 shipping, I can ship the cage ****

Me:   If you're willing to pay, I can pack it up and ship it out of town.  I can look at it when I get home.  In the meantime, if you haven't already, maybe read over the whole description on the website - I've been getting a lot of people lately who get here and think the cage will be a lot smaller/bigger than it is and when they actually see it, don't want it.  So dimensions, any problems with the cage, etc., will be on there. 

Them:   Ok, I will call you later if that's okay with you.  In the meantime I'll do a little research on my own and figure out what's the best way to ship this and can I have the measurements or you could give me definite measurements I won't be disappointed if I know them

**** pause again:  anyone who knows me knows that a pet peeve of mine is people who don't read my ads and ask about things that are clearly stated in the ad.  Like, what color is the chin, when the first line in the ad says "GiGi is a standard grey female chinchilla......"  Another pet peeve of mine?  People who don't read my texts... cause I'm pretty I sure that I said, in the previous text, that the dimensions are listed on the website ****

Me:   The measurements are on the website.  Calling is fine.

**** few hours passes, I'm still not home yet to check on if I have a large enough box ****

Them:   Just to make sure and confirm it's cage 51 that I need!  I could probably downsize a little bit
 Me:   Ok so 51 instead of 40?  That's like double the size of 40.  I can almost guarantee I don't have a box that will hold that cage, but I won't know until I get home.

Them:   Well, do you think I should downsize its for only one ferret

Me:   It depends on how much you want to spoil the ferret.   I mean it's a good sized cage, that would be a happy ferret.  That cage would be ferret heaven haha.  You would have a lot of room to add toys or beds or whatever you wanted.

Them:   I know and I so want that change because I ordered a cage set up to go inside of it all handmade tunnels etc.  But I cannot pick it up because you live in another state than I do, correct?
 Me:   If you want to drive here to get it, be my guest, but it'd be quite the drive, I'm in Indiana

Them:   Oh my goodness, thanks but no thanks.  I can speak to UPS I can speak to FedEx and find out how items like this get shipped!!!  And don't you get requests for cages this big, how have you sent them in the past?

Me:   I don't typically ship cages this big.  I almost never get in ones this big.  I'm looking online to see if I can find a weight on this cage before I dismantle the whole thing.  I don't believe I have a FedEx near me.  I would prefer to ship USPS as I typically don't ship things this large, and in the past, UPS has always been more money than USPS (for the smaller packages that I ship, anyway)

Them:   If you never get a request for a cage this big why would you even have it on your website if you could never ship it??????
 Me:   People come to my house on a weekly basis to adopt all sorts of small animals from the rescue that I run, and those are the people who buy 95% of the cages (in person, they take the cage home with them in their vehicle).  I have the cages listed on a variety of classified ad sites, but they're all in the Chicago area.  People seeing them outside the area happens, but usually no one wants to pay to ship them.  They think its gonna be like $20 to ship and when it's not, they're like "oh forget it." 

Me:   Ok, so its 43 pounds, so definitely within shipping rate.

Them:   All I'm saying is why put up a picture up and advertise that I will never be able to ship and if you have to ship your customers should know that its going to be pricy.

**** pause again:  how hard is this to understand?  Most people buying the cages are local so I do not have to ship 95% of them ****

Me:   I'm telling you, the ads are in the Chicago area.  For the people in Chicago, they can drive here.  All the ads say "pickup in Munster, IN only."  Some people email anyway and ask to ship, but I don't promise anywhere that I will ship.

Me:   And yes I agree they should know its going to be pricy.  But often these are the same people who want a chinchilla or rabbit shipped to their door.  I don't ship pets, but even if I did, they ship through the airlines for $250+.  The same people wanting the cage shipped often ask, can you ship a pet inside the cage?  I'm not kidding, I end up talking to a lot of idiots.  And those people, I kid you not, think I can ship a cage, fully assembled, with animal inside, for $20-30. 

Me:   I think shipping is a tad ridiculous, especially as prices have risen lately, but it is what it is.  I can't change it, I can only quote prices.

Me:   The cage goes together with screws tightened by an alan wrench I believe.  You would need one to put it back together.

Them:   Okay so how would you like me to do this?????  This way I can get what I need and you can get what you need. 

Them:   I know exactly what type of cages because I've seen them in person and I also have assembled one all by myself!!!!!!!  

Me:   Well if you're positive you want the cage and want to pay the shipping, which I estimated earlier at $75, I can break it down and pack it up when I get home.  If shipping was less, I could refund you the difference in shipping, but that is what the shipping calculator is quoting me based on the weight and size of the box.

Me:   It would be $195 including shipping.  And I want to say I may have an extra shelf or two not hanging in the cage in the picture I took.

**** note: cage 51 is $120 + $75 shipping = $195 ****

Them:   No thanks, I'll find something somewhere else but thank you for your time.

Me:   Alrighty, good luck.

--------------------------end of convo-------------------------------------

Now.... wait....what?  This is the same person, that hours before, said they would pay after I quoted them $75 shipping for a cage HALF the size of the cage they decided they wanted.  So $75 was ok to ship the smaller cage, but for a cage double the size, forget it?  Those texts, though there's not a ton of them, went back and forth all day, only for this person to finally say, no thanks?!?  Mind you, this is after this person asked why I would list cages if I couldn't ship them, so I said, fine I'll ship, and then this person turns into another that doesn't want to pay the cost of shipping... after this person said that my customers should understand that shipping will be pricy for large items.  Oy.

Just as a sidebar -- I have someone purchasing (like, I have their credit card info and need to run their card in the morning, so they are definitely buying) a medium cage (our NEW medium cage).  To ship THAT cage, with wooden shelves and an extra, light-weight, item or two, is costing them $27.50.  Just as an example, so when you look at those bigger cages, all of a sudden it makes sense that if a cage barely 30 x 20 x 30, with a lightweight plastic pan and thin bars, costs $27.50 to ship, then one that's 32 x 21 x 50, with a metal frame and metal bars, is going to be a tad bit more. 

...and now you understand why I don't even bother with shipping the large cages.

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