So, I got a text. Well, I get them all the time, and many just like this one, but I wanted to use this as a good example to explain something. Several somethings.
The text: Are you firm on price of your chinchilla's ??? would love to have one for my Granddaughter but your price is to high for me
Now... few things. First, let's touch on the granddaughter bit. The adoption form asks, is the chinchilla for you, or someone else. If someone indicates that the chin is for a grandkid, I will ask, do the parents know (and are they on board) with the kid getting the chin. Believe it or not... most of the time... the parents have no clue! Red flag #1. Chins end up at the rescue, after being perfectly and intentionally wanted, much less when someone buys one for someone else as a gift and the adults in the household are not on board.
Next thing... price. I actually did message this person back and mentioned that if they're looking for a lesser expensive chin, they might check out the adults and seniors... because I DO understand that not everyone may want to afford a $250 adoption fee for JUST the animal (not including cage, supplies, etc). Versus... the adults and seniors range from $50-100. This person never did reply back to me (and I will never understand that, by the way). But, if $50-100 is too much... then honesty, they shouldn't have a chin. The cage alone is going to cost more than that, as will vet bills, if needed. We sell food and bedding and such here inexpensively, and that's why people return time and time again to get supplies... but if you're shopping at the pet store, it can cost a pretty penny when you're getting 3 pounds of food for $20 and 2 pounds of hay for $10 and so on. That'll add up to $100 within a month or two, when you consider most people also feel the need to buy expensive treats (that are undoubtedly bad for the chin) and carefresh bedding, which of course can also cause impaction if eaten.
Last thing -- cage. This person never mentioned a cage, but yesterday I had someone contact me who had purchased a chin, but did not have a cage, and the chin was running loose in one of their bedrooms. I won't even go into how bad that is for a 4 month old chin that should not have playtime, which was also being fed the wrong foods and was drinking out of a bowl. But so, they asked about cages, and I told her, the only used ones I have right now are used FNs, and new cages. So I send her a pic of the new cage and the price ($137) and she tells me, she's not looking to break the bank. Well, honey, chins are not the pet for you then. Long story short, she decides that a used FN with a few wooden shelves is the way to go, and says she wants to get it, but tells me that I shouldn't worry about hanging onto it for her, because she doesn't know when she can come to get it. So... apparently the chin's going to run around loose forever. Wonderful owners. The point of this is, this person thought that it'd be too much money to spend to get a FN full of wooden shelves, for less than the price of a new one (which would need to be modified and have shelves added in), because she didn't want to spend money on the chin. Well... then WHY BUY THE CHIN IN THE FIRST PLACE?? I will never understand.
The point is... a cage is the most important purchase you will make for your chinchilla. Some people start out smaller and buy another, larger cage later on, as the chin grows. Some get a big one to start with. It really doesn't matter which. The important thing is, if you get a good, quality cage, that cage can last for the life of your chin, and is where your chin will spend 95% of its life... so that's not the point when you want to cheapen-out, and say, oh well you can only spend $20 on it.