Thursday, February 19, 2015

Communcation and Adoptions

Communication and Adoptions.  They go together.  I do intend to write about them separately, but let's start with communication as it relates to adoptions.  I receive all sorts.  Phone calls.  Emails.  Texts.  I prefer email, because it's not acceptable for me to call you back at 2 in the morning (though I can send you an email at that time!), but any of them are fine.  But there's a few things that I guess people don't know, that are worth noting.

First, I cannot send you the care packet and an adoption form over text.  There's just no way.  They're Word files.

Second, because they are Word files, regardless of the type of phone you have, you will not be able to input info into them on your phone.  You can open them, look at them, sure.  But you won't be able to write into that form, save it as a Word file, and email it back.  Just doesn't work that way.

Third, if you don't have a computer, I will no longer be mailing you an adoption form and care packet.  If you want one, you can come by to pick it up, because every time I mail one, that's a $1.50+ that I spend in postage, and I have yet, since 2003, to see one of those people show up at the rescue to adopt or purchase anything.

Fourth, you people need to learn some patience.  At least 90% of the people who contact me, I contact back within an hour or two.  Of those 90%, at least half tell me "they've already found a chinchilla elsewhere."  Really?  Personally, if I email someone and ask questions about it, I give them at least some time to get back to me, and by "some time," I mean more than an hour or two.  Same goes for the orders.  If you put in an order, and email me literally 2 hours later asking, "so you've mailed it out, right?  When am I going to receive it?" on an order that contains 6-made-to-order hidey houses plus other small stuff.  I'm going to laugh at you and try to answer that email as nicely as I can.  And I will note, that you clearly didn't read where it says hidey houses can take up to two weeks to ship.

Fifth, getting back to me.  For some reason, it's unacceptable if I don't respond absolutely immediately to a lot of people's communication.  Ok.  But it's perfectly acceptable for them to not respond to me.  Most emails I reply to, I never get a response.  A lot of people want custom stuff for orders, I tell them, shipping will probably be about this much, the house (or other custom item) will probably be about this much, and they give the go-ahead, knowing that I can't give them an exact quote until I've actually made it, weighed it, boxed it up.  So then, I have it all boxed up and everything, and email the person, "ok, your total is this amount, the item was this, shipping was this, please let me know how you'd like to pay..." and I've actually started telling people, you have 5 days to get back to me (and then their order just moves to the end of the line).  Or whatever.  Cause either people take forever and a day to get back to me, or magically no longer have the money, or just don't get back at all.  Which I mean, if they think it's too much, I'd rather they say so.  I can still sell the item.

One last thing that I don't get though.  Free shipping.  The reason my houses are $15-25 is because shipping is not included.  Go on some other websites, look at their houses.  Why are they $50 for a small one?  Because there's "free shipping."  It's not really free, people, you're paying for it.  And no, I won't "price match" free shipping.  I emailed someone the other day about a custom house they wanted.  House was about the size of the cottage house, with a few alterations.  And my prices for custom houses start right around whatever size my normal house would be.  So in this case, cottage house is $20, custom house around the size of that house would start at $20 and go up.  It required a little more work, so I think I told her $21.  Her response "oh that's with shipping, right?"  No, it's not.  Shipping for this house (which is waiting for her response, see above paragraph for complaint about that) is $12.  So, I'd make $9 on a house that's slightly bigger and more complicated than the cottage house, because it's a custom house?  I don't think so.  I don't go nuts with my custom prices, because I don't churn out the normal houses like clockwork.  They all take at least 1-2 hours to make, and custom ones do as well, so if I have to make a house anyway, it's really not a lot of extra effort to make something how someone wants (assuming it's possible)... but I just can't throw in free shipping unless people want all the prices jacked way way up.  I mean, hammocks are $8.50.  Costs about $3 to ship em (give or take).  I, personally, would rather pay the $8.50 and shipping, than see a hammock for $11.50 with free shipping.  Cause I'd look at that and say, yeah, it's free shipping, but every place else has them for $8.50.

Speaking of orders, a lot of them are going to go out today.  Yay!! 

Moving along to just talking about adoptions.  Had someone text me the other day, and this is how it went:

Them:  Hello, is your chinchilla china still for sale?

Me:  She's on hold for someone right now

Them:  Is Penelope as well?

Me:  He's still available.
Me:  If you're interested in adopting, there's a care packet you'll need to read, an adoption form to fill out, and then we require proof of cage.  I can email you the care packet and adoption form if you'd like?

Them:  Is this with all adoptions?

Me:  Yes it is

...and naturally, that was the end of the conversation.  I mean, really?  No, it's just for the adoptions of the chins I like.  Want a chin that I hate?  Just come over and I'll hand it to you, no questions asked, and it's even better if you look like a serial killer.  I mean, what do people expect from a rescue?  You go to a humane society, you have to (in general), fill out a form, they want to know stuff, for you to adopt a dog or a cat.  A dog or a cat.  Mind you, animals that most people know how to care for.  Versus a chinchilla, which is not so well known, and people screw up the care on all the time.

Alrighty, well I had someone else submit an app filled with "whatever you recommend," so I'm going to email them back and pack up some more orders to mail out before I leave, so that's going to be it for today.  

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