Thursday, April 12, 2018

Taking Offense

So... I honestly try to be as helpful as I can, as far as offering advice, and matching people up with chins and other pets...without trying to upset anyone, or anything like that.  Had someone the other day, they started off with asking if the chinchilla was still available (like specifically those words).  I asked which one, they said they were interested in Freddy.

I told them, I had two people who had just contact me about Freddy, and I had just sent return emails to both of them.  In the one email, it seemed the person had like really read over Freddy's ad and mentioned specific things that made me think she'd be a great home for Freddy.  Of course, I never ended up hearing back from this person.  The other person didn't specifically reference how Freddy is a bit reserved and will take some effort to come out of her shell, so just to check that this person had really read the ad, rather than just looked at the cute pictures, and seen the "chin comes with decked out cage part" (which attracts a lot of attention, by the way), I added a line into my return email that basically asked if this person had noticed this.  Never heard back.

But let's back up for a moment.  Before all this happened with these people flaking out, I was texting back and forth with this person who was interested in Freddy.  I told them that I was waiting to see if these other people would get back to me (while I don't hold chins without a deposit... if you send me an email about a chin and I send you one back... I will probably give you some time to respond [assuming you didn't come off as someone I won't adopt to] before I re-home the chin to someone else).  I also asked this person if there were any others they might be interested in.

Their response was to ask if I had any other ones that were $150 or less.  I said sure, and asked if they were looking for a male or female.  They didn't care, and asked if the other chins came with cages as well.  I told them that the main reason Freddy came with a cage was that her owners had dropped off the cage (most people surrendering just drop off the animal and nothing with it) and wanted the cage to go with her and that usually I don't have cages to send with them (even if I wanted).  I told this person, most of the chins are cheaper, like the adults are $75-100, so the extra money saved (versus $150 adoption fee) could be used to pick up a cage.

They asked if I had pics, I referred them to the page on the website.  They asked if I knew where they could get a cage for the price difference, I told them to check craigslist or facebook marketplace.

Next day, they texted and asked if I could let them know if Freddy actually gets re-homed.  I told them sure, and I told them that I was still waiting to hear back from those people.  I had someone else, in the meantime, who had asked about Freddy, but wanted her brought back to the rescue so they could see her... Due to the fact that Freddy comes with her cage and all that, she can only be adopted out from her foster home in Island Lake, so I told them, sorry, but they'd need to find a way to get out there.  This isn't a game to see how much we can shuffle the chins around before they finally make their way to their forever home.

Anyway, due to this, I thought, I should ask this person (who was texting), would they even be able to head out to Island Lake?  Because if they couldn't, no point to continue the convo. 

They said yes, and then asked if I could lower the price.

Now, you all know how mad that question always makes me.  Short of craigslist, where can you find a chin WITH a cage that retails for $120 new, plus wood shelves, a house, accessories, toys, metal poo guards, etc... for $150?  Nowhere.  I would actually sell the cage for more if it wasn't with Freddy, but obviously since the previous home wanted it to go with Freddy, it's cheaper in combination with her.  The adoption fee for Freddy and cage is $150.  PERIOD.

I HARDLY think that is a bad price.  The cage is literally like-new, as is much of what's in it.

My response:  No, sorry.  Honestly if you can't afford $150 for a chinchilla and a cage, you'll never be able to afford caring for one.  The cage that's included with her goes for $120 by itself and there's all sorts of accessories in it.

I feel like... that's the truth.  Not saying chin care is ridiculously expensive (it depends on where you buy stuff, but...), but if $150 is breaking the bank, heaven forbid you ever have to take the chin to the vet... or if you're buying supplies at the pet store, heck the 3 pound bags of Oxbow are $15.  At that rate, you'd spend more than $150 on food per year, for one chinchilla.

Even if you get everything here.  Let's figure this out really quick.  Chins eat 2.5ish pounds of food per month.  So on Tradition ($0.75 per pound), that's 2.5 pounds x 12 months = 30 pounds x $0.75 = $22.50.  Say they eat 10+ pounds of hay per year, at $1 per pound, that's $10.  Say they use 10 pounds of dust a year.  At $1.25 per pound, that's $12.50.  Say they go through 5 chew toys, and you have purchased the $4 ones = $20.  Let's say you use two bags of bedding per year, at $8 per bag, so $16. 

$22.50 (food) + $10.00 (hay) + $12.50 (dust) + $20 (toys) + $16 (bedding) = $81 per year.  Yes, I agree, cheaper than the pet store ($150 just for pellets), but still... if $150 is breaking the bank, is $81 per year in routine costs affordable?  Cause keep in mind, this doesn't include treats, hammocks, replacing anything that breaks, vet care, etc etc.

Their response:  How would I not be able to afford one?  It's not like I need more than one cage, after that it's basic needs.  I'm pretty sure my reptiles cost more than a chinchilla.  Just a high school kid trying not to "waste" money and find the cheapest way.

... which begs the question if they're even 18, for the purpose of adopting... but we never got that far. 

My response:  Basic needs aren't super cheap, there's still food, dust, hay.  I'm not saying that's super expensive, but $150 for a chin and cage is pretty cheap to me.

So, few days pass, and I still haven't heard from those people who had emailed, so I thought, well... the texter's response to me seemed kinda like it was written with a tone, but I thought, I can ask, just in case... so I texted them, letting them know that the other people hadn't gotten back to me, and that I wanted to know if they were still interested.

No response. 

Here's the thing.  I want what is best for the chinchilla.  I don't want to send you home with a pet, just cause you've been dying to have one for years, but know nothing about it.  I want to educate you.  I want to be sure you are an appropriate home.  I want to know that that chinchilla will be cared for, and if for some reason it can't be, I want to know it will come back to me, so I can find another (better) home for it.  At the end of the day, what's important is that you will be able to care for the chinchilla, whether that's having enough time, or having enough money, or whatever.  If that's not do-able, that's fine, but I want to find that out, before you take one of my animals home.  They come first.

People ask for discounts all the time.  My usual response is, wait for a sale.  They'll eventually be on sale, and the sale drops the prices $10-50 for the chinchillas, depending on what their initial prices are.  If you can't afford the full price, the sale may drop one into your price range.  It's rare to get a discount other than a sale, with the exception being someone adopting multiple chins (then we have our multi-chin discount of $25 off for every additional chin -- which does not apply during sales).  But when you ask for a discount on something that I already think is a steal... there's about no chance I'm going to give one.  Nothing against anyone specific, and not trying to offend anyone.  I didn't mean to make that person mad or upset or whatever, when I said that if they didn't have $150, they probably can't afford a chin.  I think that' the truth!  The purchase price of the pet... whatever pet... is a tiny fraction of what you will pay out for it over it's lifetime in care, so if the purchase price is out of budget (and I'm not talking about a $500 chin... but something reasonable), I honestly think people should look into either a cheaper pet or no pet.

As far as the price being a steal already... I sold one of those Feisty Ferret cages not all that long ago, with considerably less stuff in it than what Freddy's cage contains, and in not nearly as good condition... for $100.  With all the stuff in hers and what comes with her, I might have upped it to $125, if I was selling it as a decked out cage without Freddy.  Freddy, being an adult standard grey female, goes for $75, so that would have been a total of $200 (for her and the cage).  Because the two are going together, I dropped it down to $150... so in my mind, people are already getting a discount.... which further irritates me when people then want it dropped even lower.  I know I've said it before and I'll say it again... this isn't a garage sale.  If you don't like the adoption fees, that's fine, keep scrolling... maybe you'll find one in your price range.  If not, there's always craigslist.

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