Sunday, April 26, 2015

Discounts. And other things.

This is a post from 4/22.  Not sure what happened, but it never posted, so I'm posting it today, 4/26.

So, discounts are fine.  I get emails all the time asking, hey, can this adoption fee be lowered.  Some people have budgets.

But I'm starting to ask, do they already have all the stuff for the chin?  Cause I had someone this morning tell me they had a budget of $150, could I lower the adoption fees.  It wasn't clear if they meant a budget of $150 for the chin itself or for everything.  Well, all the chins they were interested in had adoption fees of $175.  I told them, I can reduce those adoption fees down to $150.  But then asked, do they already have a cage and everything they need?  Because if they don't (and I told them this), the setup for a cage and supplies often costs as much, if not more, than the chin itself.  And if they're hoping to get everything for $150 (couldn't tell from the way it was worded)... that can be hard to do.  They'll have to find a cage on craigslist, fix it up themselves, get in the wood shelves themselves, and end up with a grey adult chin.  Not one of the white babies that they mentioned they were looking at.

Which brings me to another thing.  Discounts really are fine.  Within reason.  $175 chin for $150, not the end of the world.  A good home is a good home, regardless of $25.  But a lot of people want these deep discounts.  I literally get emails saying they want the $175 chin plus a cage plus toys, plus everything they need to start out.. for $200.  Um... considering even a used cage is $100 and figure in at least $50 for some basic supplies... all for $200... that means they'd be looking at a discount of $125.  When petstores bundle stuff, they often do 10% discounts.  Like I remember we'd put together a fish tank with accessories and stuff and add up what everything cost and it'd be 10% less if they bought everything together.  So instead of $300 it'd be $270.  But in this case, a discount of $125 off of $325 is 38.4%.  Um... most of my margins are WAY lower than that.

For example.  I had someone, awhile back, asking about if they could get the large cage for $100 with shelves and everything (it's $163).  Let me share something with you.  For me to purchase the cage costs $102.  So if I sell it for $100, I'm losing $2 that I paid for the cage, plus I'm not getting paid for the $43 worth of shelves that I put in it.  Um... no.

I totally can do discounts.  Mostly, the discounts come on the animals themselves, or on used cages.  Want to know why?  Because those are typically things I either paid for way back when (not a current cost on my expenses sheet) and am not going to get anywhere near what I paid, or the cost is not set (like an animal... put a price on it).  Now, I'm still not going to cut the price in half for you, but those sort of things have more wiggle room.

Moving along, if you are on facebook and ever wonder why some people I will immediately start talking to about adopting and offer the care packet and adoption form and all that, and other people I will say "the price is on the pic" or whatever.... that's another thing.  There are people in the chin world, who do not follow through.  Again and again and again.  There's someone on facebook who I think I have emailed my care packet and adoption form to at least 3 times.  Over numerous different chins.  They have never gotten back to me.  Every time I post a chin pic for sale, they want to know about it.  The description is under the pic, and time has shown me, they're not likely to adopt anyway, so they can read, versus me regurgitating the info over and over.  And... they don't adopt.

I'd like to think I'm nice to everyone.  I try to be, anyway.  The people who ask for discounts (reasonable ones) are treated just as nicely as the people who pay for everything full price and don't blink an eye.  The people who fill out adoption forms wrong are treated just as nice as everyone else.  But where I draw the line with going above and beyond to help you, going out of my way to be nice, is when I try to help you and you consistently do not email me back or contact back.  I can't make you email me, but when these people ask, oh email me this, oh email me more pics of this chin, etc etc etc, you're taking time away from other adopters.  And if you adopt, that's great.  If you decide that chin's not for you, that's fine.  But there's a clear difference between those people who decide they want to wait for the perfect chin and those that are clearly just wasting my time.  And I'm  not being mean to them, I'm just not giving them the sort of time that I would give other people.

Moving along again to pairing up chins.  I know a lot of breeders / rescues won't let you bring your chin with you to their place.  We're different, you can bring your chin.  The reason being, if your chin and our chin don't get along, it's easier for you to walk away from here with no second chin, versus otherwise you have to separate the two, return our chin, and so on and so forth.  Plus, in general, we have more of a neutral environment.  If two chins aren't getting along in a neutral environment, chances are, they're not going to get along at all.  In a neutral environment, neither chin thinks it's the top chin.  So, they're on a more level playing field.  That's why, if you bring your chin here to find a buddy, I will pull out a cage that neither has been in.  Because neither knows the cage and it will be new to both of them.  And if it doesn't work, well, then it doesn't work, but at least you know.

Some people don't want to bring their chin by, which is perfectly fine as well.  The only thing is, then, the dynamic is a bit different.  A lot of people only have one cage -- the cage their chin is in.  Which is fine, but their chin knows that it's that chin's cage, and they are the top chin in that cage.  So, typically they will be dominant, even possibly aggressive.  That's why you may hear me tell people that if they're going to put both chins in that cage, to rearrange the cage.  Move around shelves, toys, etc, so the original chin doesn't recognize the cage as much.  It's not quite the same as a different cage, but that helps a bit.  Sometimes, people take home a chin and it works out wonderfully.  I have one person who took home a chin a few weeks ago who sends me pics of the two chins snuggling.  Sometimes, it doesn't work out so well, and people tell me they had to separate the chins because the one went after the other.  9 times out of 10, it's the original chin going after the new chin, because of what I've just talked about.  But everyone has the choice of bringing the chin or not.  I just offer the option of bringing their chin because I find it easier.  But to each their own.

Moving along again.  Patience.  I know I mention this with some frequency.  But lots of people have no patience.  So I told you all that I emailed back the person who was asking about the discount and adopting and all that.  Maybe 10 minutes later I get a text message saying that this person sent me an email this morning and they hadn't heard back yet, and could I please respond to them.  Jim has worded this perfectly, in saying that "these people think their time is precious and your time is worth nothing."  Yes.  Exactly.  Someone emails me and I'm expected to jump and answer the email, or phone call, or whatever.  But then, when they go to respond to me... they may take a week to get back to me.  But then when they finally do, I'll get two emails 20 minutes apart, saying, oh did I get the first email?  Cause they didn't hear back.

Let me address this for all of you, very simply:  I have somewhat of a life, and, perhaps more importantly, other people inquiring about adopting other than you.  I try to go through emails in the order I receive them, with the exception being if you email me about something and you've got an appointment to come by the rescue later that day (then I check it because I don't know if you might be cancelling or need something or what).  But in general, first email in the inbox is first read.  Same goes for chins going on hold.  You email me at 10 am and get me the adoption form and cage pics and everything looks good and such, I will mark the chin you want on hold.  Someone emails me at 10:01 and wants the same chin, sorry, it's on hold.  And I should literally screenshot these emails, because some of these people are hilarious.  You should see people try to convince me why I should just "forget" that the chin is on hold for someone and that they're the better home and I should go with them instead.  Really?  If I approved someone to adopt, chances are... that means I think they're a good home.  If I had questions or doubts, I would have asked questions, and if something is really eating at my mind, they won't be adopting.  Doesn't happen super often, but it does happen.  But trying to convince me you should adopt instead of them... when you don't even know them.... unlikely to succeed.  Now, if you'd like to donate a few hundred dollars or more to the rescue, along with your "I should adopt instead of ________"  I may think about it.  Lol.  That never happens though, in fact... a lot of those people want a discount.  I get a lot of "hey, so I see that chin is on hold... but I really want it... and I was wondering... it's listed for $175... but I only have $150...."  Yeah.

So I heard back from the person who wanted to adopt for the discounted $150.  They wanted to adopt at the expo this weekend.  The expo doesn't allow for on-site adoptions.  And I told this person that.  So they said, ok, can they adopt in the parking lot.  NO.  What is it about these people.  So I told them, if the expo people saw, they can ban the rescue from the expo.  Obviously not something I want.  So they said, let's meet at Starbucks.  Let's not.  The main reason for not meeting is because people drop chins all the time.  If someone drops one outside a Starbucks, there will be no catching it, ever.  And I told them that.  And I actually told this person, nicely, that they're not going to find a Humane Society type place that's going to meet them at a starbucks.  Most places require you come to the rescue to adopt.  It's different than getting a chin from someone on craigslist who's rehoming their personal pet.  So, long story short, we end up discovering she's not as far away as she thought, and she would be willing to come to the rescue.  And she wanted to get a cage and everything for an extra $100.  So she asks where she can get stuff at a price like that.  Well, no pet store is going to have anything at that sort of price, but I figure up some stuff and tell her, well, I can manage a little cage, used food bowl, used water bottle, few pounds of food, etc etc... all for $100.  So $250 including the discounted chin (which is actually very reasonable for everything she would be getting).  Well, she ended up saying it sounded good and she wanted to go that route.  Which was good, because I did have to figure out what all I could manage for $100 so she'd have a little of everything... and probably needless to say... days later never heard from her.... yeah. 

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