Monday, June 29, 2015

Cage Costs and other things

So, I get often, people tell me, oh the cages look great.  They would love to replicate the cages.  And I tell them, it's one thing if they do it themselves, because there's not the labor cost added into making the stuff.  You know, like if I make shelves for one of my cages, or for a cage I sell, it costs the rescue the price of the wood and the price of the hardware... not the price I'd charge for the shelf.  Like anything, if someone else makes it for you... it costs more.  IKEA furniture versus furniture anywhere else.

So, just to illustrate.  We have someone who adopted a chin a bit ago, and is looking to adopt another.  So they asked about doing shelves and accessories for their cage, and they have a feisty ferret, which is similar to ferret nation cages that I have, so I suggested they go on the website and check out the cages for ideas.  Well, they liked this cage.

...and wanted replicas of everything in it.

So I numbered everything on a piece of paper and started figuring our prices.  Without getting prices for the four items (the wood perch in the top right, the bridge, one of the houses, and the corner shelf) we were already at $100.50.  And mind you, that doesn't include things like the flying saucer, the ceramic hidey house in the bottom back corner, the cuddle cup in top left, or the fleece tunnel, or any of the toys.

Because I realize that not everyone's got endless money to spend, before I figured out everything else, I sent the person the numbered pic and the price of the items I'd already figured out, and asked if there was anything they wanted to take out.  So they took out a few things, and I went and figured out the price of the other things.

Anyway, the point for all of this is that I have people tell me all the time, oh make the cage look just like yours.  Cause they really like the cage, and some of the stuff in these cages is purchased (not made by me) and so I usually tell people, these cages didn't come together in a day, mainly because of cost.  Things were bought and added over time, to make the cages what they are now.  And the cost is why.  I can try to create or replicate just about anything you want (artwork aside, I can do my best).   But at the end of the day, I do have to build it, and cut it, and sand it, and put in hardware, etc etc etc.

Most of this stuff isn't actually expensive.  Most items are under $10, but there's just so many of them... it all adds up.  Long story short, we worked out what items they wanted, and they're right over $100 for maybe about 2/3 of the stuff in the cage (not counting the wheel, some of the fleece stuff, pans, etc).  So I'm working on that at the moment, because they're picking up the chin at the expo this weekend.

Moving along, I had someone order like 30ish toys.  I think, of those 30, I have like four made.  And at least 10 of the ones he wants have to be dyed, so that ought to be fun.  Working on that at the moment. 

Moving along again.  Had two people across the country want to adopt Dewey.  Not sure what exactly is special about him that makes the California people want him, but I believe both people were from that area.  First one asked if there was a way to ship them, and I mentioned, but told them, when I look at the small animal (as in, something that can be easily kenneled in a small crate), it's still $200-600 to get them a few states away.  Not cheap.  Haven't heard from them again.  Second person texted today asking about getting Dewey out to them in California, and when I asked them how they planned to do that, they said they wanted to ship him by airplane.  I told them, two things, it's too hot this time of year, and even if it wasn't... we don't ship, and that's on 95% of our ads (the new ones... some of the old ones are missing it) and most definitely on the website.  I mean heck, we actually have a page on the website devoted to why it's we don't ship and why it's really not practical.  Chins aren't geckos that you can stick in a deli cup and stick that in a priority mail box and send cross country.  It has to be the right temperature.  They have to have a vet certificate of health.  They have to go through the airlines.  Have to have a special carrier.  Have to be picked up by the airlines.  Even if the adoptive home wanted to pay the costs of the vet bill, carrier, etc.... there's still the fact that the rescue would be making $75 adoption fee off the chins, and frankly... it's not worth the time and effort for $75.  I drive to an area around O'Hare occasionally, and gas there and back is $25.  All of a sudden, that chin's adoption fee is, effectively, $50.  Waiting at the vet for the health check, which I can almost guarantee you, my vet has no idea how to do the paperwork for, would probably be several hours.  How much is that time worth?  Even at minimum wage, I could be cleaning cages or making toys or whatever, at minimum wage, two hours work is about $16, so effectively, adoption fee just went down to $34.  Heck, if I'm going to make that amount, I might as well list the chin at $35 and not ever have to leave my house, cause at that price, it'll be adopted that day.  Needless to say, the guy said thanks anyway, hope Dewey finds a home.  He will, just not through airline shipping....

Alrighty, so, spent some time packaging things we're taking for the expo, and working on the shelves and hammock for the people who we're bringing supplies for. 

Got a phone call from someone interested in one of the chins, sent them the care packet and adoption form.  Got an email back that it must not have attached, so sent it again.

Got an email from someone showing a pic of an awesome cage that they were asking if it would work.  Cage would definitely work, just needed some wood shelves... but not to be paranoid, but it looks like something I've seen online somewhere.  Which, it's totally possible I have, most cage companies make multiple of their cages, like, hundreds.  But I told the person, for them to adopt with that cage, I need to see it with wood shelves in it.  So, if it really is their cage (or one they're looking to get for their chins),  and put in wood shelves, there should be no problem.  The person seems very nice from the email, but so have most people who've been trying to pass off cages that aren't their own as theirs.  Though it doesn't show up on a google image search.  That's alright, I'll be perfectly happy to see what they do with it with wood shelves.

Someone finally filled out the app for Marble (the guinea pig), and is just working on finishing their 3' x 5' C&C cage, so as soon as that's done, he will be going to a new home.  Yay! 

Had someone stop by to get food today, and plan when they'll be bringing their chin for chin sitting.  So now that's all planned out.

Posted on facebook about us being in Newcastle and Anderson over the weekend.  Already bringing along two chins for some people, along with over $100 in supplies, and someone else is returning a chin that they've only had for a bit that's meeting us down there, so while we're down there, might as well see if anyone else needs anything.  Nobody else has chimed in yet, but we shall see if anyone does.

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