Friday, August 31, 2018


People are getting really bold, and, honestly, if it keeps up, no one's getting no discounts anymore. 

Now, you may know, I have sales periodically, so the chins do go on sale, and they're slightly discounted at that point, usually between $10-50 off, depending on the price.  Obviously, the cheaper chins are $10 off, the higher, $50 off.  Sometimes at the beginning of the year, I'll have a percentage sale, like for 2014, I had 14% off for January.

Other than these sales, I usually will give a $25 discount off of two chins, plus an extra $25 for every additional chin.  So, get 2 chins, $25 off.  Get 3 chins, $50 off. 

Honestly, I think this is all pretty nice.  Not to pat my own back, you understand, but I have pretty regular sales (one every spring, one every fall, one every summer, usually one first of the year), whereas many breeders don't have them all the time, and many private rescues NEVER reduce adoption fees.  My prices are also lower than the competitors...I sell my whites for $200-250 (and if it's $250, it's really something special), the next closest breeder starts their whites at $300.  So, I kind of feel like, ok I'm cheaper to start with, and then I have sales... pretty good deal.

So lately, I've had two people who've asked what discount they will get if they get two chinchillas.  My response is $25 off.  The response, both times, has been basically, "that's it??"  My response back, that's what everyone gets. 

Don't think that's a good enough discount / sale price?  Let's do an example.  There's a breeder who occasionally does buy-one-get-one-half-off on her chins.  Their whites start at $350 and greys usually $100.  Versus my whites (even an expensive one) $250, and greys $135.  So, for their buy-one-get-one-half-off, you're looking at $400 ($350 + $50) for the two chins.  People can whine all they want that they have that sale and I don't... but I mean, even at my REGULAR prices ($250 + $135 = $385... and really it'd be $360 because of the $25 off), I'm STILL cheaper than their sale prices.  But yes, it totally makes sense to whine that I don't have good sales.

It says nothing on my website, anywhere, about getting a discount for getting two chins.  I offer that because I try to be nice.  I understand that people want to save money, get a discount.  I get it  But guess what, I have bills to pay too, and if you wouldn't go into walmart and ask for a lower price, please don't do it here.  If someone thinks my prices are too high, that's fine.  They're welcome to go elsewhere.  I'm sure they can find a nice backyard-bred chin on craigslist for somewhat less than my prices.  The prices are what they are.  If someone wants a better price, they're welcome to wait for a sale... of course, can't guarantee that the fancy colors and whatnot will be here when the sales roll around, but they might be.  Just a gamble that ya gotta take if the prices are normally too high.

I don't say this all to be a bitch.  But believe me, it gets really old when people question prices and ask for discounts, and then your fellow breeders tell you that that same person bought chins from them at higher prices and didn't blink an eye.  Just because we have rescue chins doesn't make this a garage sale.  They are all living, breathing critters, and deserve nice homes (and not to the lowest bidder).  That is all.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

"He's Only 12 Pounds!"

So, I get a lot, and I mean a LOT of calls for me to take in dogs and cats.  People don't look at where they are calling, they just see the word rescue, and call.

I specify, we take in small caged pets, like guinea pigs, chinchillas, etc etc.

I had a guy tell me the other day that we he had a miniature pinscher that he needed to give up.

So I repeated, we only take in small caged pets, gave examples, and then even went as far to say, we don't take in any dogs or cats.

The response?  "He's only 12 pounds."

Now tell me.  If you have a miniature pinscher and you go to the pet store.... do you go to the small animal section?  Heck no.  So don't be calling a small animal rescue about your small dogs and cats.  It's that simple.  Really. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Rosebuds are one of our top selling herbs.... so you know, as if they weren't expensive enough, the supplier raised the price almost $5 per pound! 

We have low profit margins on our items, with the goal being to pass along the savings to the customers, making chinchilla supplies affordable for them, while still bringing in a little for the rescue.  With the low profit margins... I can't eat the cost of another ~ $5.00 per pound, unless I want to sell them for less than what I'm paying for them.  Unfortunately, that means I have to pass the cost increase along to my customers. 

Rosebuds were $2.50 per ounce, now they will be $3.00 for one ounce. 

The larger package was $7.00 for three ounces, which was a savings of 50 cents off the normal cost of 3 ounces... now the larger package will be $8.50 for 3 ounces, still a 50 cents savings off the normal cost.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Shipping... "But It's Not That Far"

I know I've talked about shipping before, but it seems that now that I've posted several times saying I can't ship, now I'm getting these messages saying, well, am I sure I can't ship?  It's not that far.

Distance has NOTHING to do with it.  It costs just as much for me to ship a chinchilla to the Indianapolis airport as it does to ship one to the Seattle, Washington airport.  This isn't like booking a human flight, where farther is more... it's flat rate for animals.

And, as mentioned before, it's $400+ to ship one.  So, not cost effective for the buyer, and not worth my time to spend all that money (even with getting it paid back) to make the cost of one adoption fee.

Not to mention, even if someone wanted to pay the money, plus throw in an extra $$$ for me to make it worth my effort... it's like 90 out.  Waaaaaay too hot.  So, I couldn't ship, even if I wanted to.  Sorry. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Not Eating Food

Someone asked about this in an email, and I thought it was a good quick useful topic, so I thought I'd post here.

In the email, they specified that their chin had stopped eating pellets, but was eating still the hay and the treats, and they wanted to know if I had any thoughts on this.

My first thought would be teeth problems / dental issues.  Here's why.  Think about it this way.  If your teeth hurt, you're still going to need to eat, but are you going to choose to eat applesauce or hard candy?  Assuming you're planning on biting the hard candy... that would hurt your teeth, correct?  So you'd eat softer foods. 

The same is often true of our furry friends.  If their teeth hurt, the first thing to go as far as them eating, will be the hardest thing that we give them to eat.  Out of pellets, hay, and treats, the hardest thing to crunch down on would be the pellets.  So, those would be the first thing they'd stop eating.  Eventually, the hay would be next to go, followed by the treats.

I advised this person to get the chinchilla's teeth and roots checked, as that would be the main guess as far as what's wrong.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Going Elsewhere to Adopt

Let me start by saying, I completely respect everyone's right to adopt from wherever they like.  That said, I still think people should have some common courtesy.  For example...if someone is talking with me, back and forth, and then decides to go elsewhere, I feel like it's never a bad thing to receive an email saying, you know what, we decided to go elsewhere.  I know, I know, people don't do that.  But it would be damn nice if they did.

Case in point.  I had someone wanting to adopt two same-sex guinea pigs.  When they originally emailed me, I had one of each gender, but I told them, I knew I had more younger ones coming in, and when I got back in town, I'd let them know what gender they were.  Obviously, since there were multiple, I would end up with at least one same-sex pair, which is what they wanted.  So, she waits until I get back in town and sends a quick email, asking for an update.  I email the next day, telling her I'd checked the guinea pigs, had two males now, and asked her if she wanted to see pics.  Yes she did, so I told her, I'd get those within a few days.  Send her the pics.  *crickets* 

I was going through my inbox today, and saw that email sitting there, still with no response, so I sent her a quick message basically saying, you know, just wanted to check if she was still interested, and if not, that's ok too, but also letting her know that I'd appreciate if she could let me know, because I hadn't listed the guinea pigs, due to her saying how she wanted the same-sex pair and basically waiting around for me to get more in, pair them, yadda yadda.  I got an email back like that *snaps* saying they decided to go with another rescued pet, sorry it didn't work out.

Here's the thing.  No hard feelings.  Like, it's literally no big deal.  What frustrates me about this sort of thing... what if I'd had someone here over the last few days wanting to adopt a young male pair of guinea pigs?  I would have told them, sorry, this one person is going to adopt them... and then you see what happens.  This is why I feel communication is so important, and why I feel like if someone decides to go elsewhere or get a different pet or whatever... that they should let the original rescue they were conversing with KNOW about it.  Common courtesy, to me, anyway.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Shipping (well, not)

So, I used to have on my website a thing saying that we did ship.  Now, it seems sometimes that I ought to put something up saying that we don't.  Since I stopped shipping, I have never run into so many people asking if we do ship.

I tend to think this is because the same company that we used to ship -- PetSafe -- is the same company almost everyone used to ship chinchillas, so all of a sudden, it went from a handful of breeders shipping chinchillas, to almost no one shipping chinchillas, and the people wanting chinchillas shipped, left high and dry.

Unfortunately, nothing I can do about this.

I actually went on PetSafe's site a few days ago, just to check that nothing had changed, but nope, they are currently still only shipping cats and dogs.  As chins aren't cats or dogs... can't ship them.

Did I look into other airlines?  Of course I did.  The cost is severely prohibitive with anyplace else (and it wasn't exactly cheap with PetSafe).  With using PetSafe, the total passed-on-cost to the purchaser was $200-250 to ship 1-4 chinchillas.  That included the flight, carrier, paperwork, etc etc etc.  The flight ALONE on some of these other airlines starts at $220.  YIKES.  The carriers are $30-50, and then... these other airlines require health certificates for the pets.  Those run ~ $125 per pet at our vet.  So figure, $220 flight, $30 carrier, $125 health cert (1 chin) = $375.  That's not counting the little bit I'd add in for gas and my time... yeah no.  People balked at paying $200-250 to ship a chin... so when shipping basically went up to $400+ for ONE chinchilla, I took the shipping part off the website.

I've still had people say they can find our website when they search for breeders who ship.  Here's the thing.  Search engines aren't smart.  Every word is single and by itself.  My ads that are on other websites all have the same line in them.  It goes:

This chinchilla is located in Hammond, Indiana (zip code 46324). Sorry, but we do not ship.

Now, consider that each word is considered individually.  See the problem?  The word "ship."  It sees the ad and sees that we are a breeder and sees that the word ship is in there, and is like, "oooh! a breeder who ships!"  Yet... if I take that line out, or even remove the part about shipping... then I get even more people asking about shipping (versus just the ones that can't read, or see the ads on our site, where it doesn't say anything about shipping).  So.. can't win there. 

Even if someone wanted to pay $400+ to ship a chin... there's an awful lot of effort involved in shipping animals.  Of that money, as you can see based on numbers above, I'd make very little on shipping.  Maybe $20 plus my cost for gas.  Let's be honest, that's not much for all the time it takes to set up the flight, the time at the airport, the time getting everything organize and set up and everyone on board... and this isn't including the new regulations which would require the time to get the animal to the vet and get the vet cert (only a few days prior to shipping), plus the time spent at the airport with these other airlines that are clueless about chin shipping (Jim spent 2.5-3 hours shipping with American cause they were so disorganized and clueless)... it's not really worth it for the average $100 chinchilla.  Yes, of course, we make the $100 (well...  minus the costs incurred to care for the animal while here), but probably lose an entire day or two to adopt out one chinchilla.  Yes, the chinchilla is being adopted, I acknowledge that.  But...there is such a thing as time better spent.  So, until the day PetSafe decides to ship small animals again, they are currently only available for pickup, or meeting at someplace we are already going (like an expo or chin show).  Sorry for the inconvenience.  I'd like to ship too... but not with the current state of things.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Is My Chinchilla Drinking?

This question (above), well an offshoot of it, is what prompted the post yesterday about telling people that they're always welcome to ask questions.

I got a text from someone telling me that they noticed some odd behavior with their chin... they thought he was going to a corner to pee, but then wouldn't pee, and if they offered him water, he wouldn't drink.  Their question was, would this warrant a vet visit?

My first questions to them were, is he eating, and is he pooing?  The answer to both was yes.  That's always a good sign, because usually if they're not drinking, they won't be eating either. 

Since he was pooing, the next question was, do the poos look normal?  They say yes, they do.  Also a good sign, as if a chinchilla is not drinking, the poos shrink.  Without water intake, there is less water coming back out of the bodies in the poo, so you end up with smaller, usually rounder, harder, poos.  To me, they're obviously different, and probably to most people as well.  If you think the poos look normal, they probably are, as changes are fairly obvious. 

They said he was also acting normal and playful, which is also good sign.  If he was stressed or sick, often you see chins that act lethargic or just sit on one place.

All in all, I didn't think anything was wrong, and this person appreciated getting an educated opinion.  This is your tidbit of chin-knowledge for the day :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Questions / Concerns

I feel like I say this (or try to) to everyone who walks in the door, but in case I missed you somehow... I'm always happy to answer questions and/or address concerns.  Even if you've never been here / never adopted / never bought anything.  I get calls from all sorts of people with questions, I'm always happy to help.  The goal of the website with a zillion pages on it is to educate people and help people out... of course, it can't cover everything, or specific-to-the-situation questions, and that's where everyone can always feel free to reach out if they need something.

My contact info:

Email --
Phone (call or text) -- 219-789-0026

It doesn't matter how stupid you think the question is, if you don't know, it's not a stupid question, you just don't know!  Feel free to ask...

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Testimonials Posts

Not sure if anyone other than me notices this... but I must delete at least 2-3 junk testimonial posts daily from the website.  This page here, in case you're unfamiliar.

There used to be two distinct pages on the website, guestbook and testimonials.  Anyone could post in the guestbook, but the testimonials needed to be approved.  I had some awesome testimonials!  Unfortunately, the web host decided to discontinue that app awhile back, and so most of those were lost, and all that's left now is the guestbook page (which I have re-named testimonials, in effort to hide it from the spammers).

See, if you go on there, you fill out the form at the top, and press submit, and it shows up on the site.  So, at any given day, you may find postings for viagra, computer repair, illegible writing, etc etc.  That drives me insane. 

The sad thing is, very few people actually post reviews / guestbook posts / actual testimonials.  If you look at that, the last one is from April of 2017!  I know I've had happy customers since then, come on people, let's post some happy thoughts / reviews / etc! 

Every time someone completes that form, I get an email that basically says, "you have a new guestbook signature!"  Every time I see that (so, several times a day), I go look at the website, like excited, thinking maybe this time, it's a real post and not another viagra selling ad.  Nope!  Not since April of 2017.  Boo.  Disappointed every time.

We also do have facebook reviews open, if anyone prefers reviewing on that, that's always an option as well.  Not a ton of people do that either, but definitely more of those than the testimonials posts!

Monday, August 13, 2018


I generally try to be nice.  I generally try to count to 10, or walk away and come back, before I send a nasty response out to anything.  But sometimes people just push my buttons.

Do you remember the hay scandal (or whatever you want to call it) from a few years back?   In case you don't, here's the blog post about it -- here.

If you don't care to read it, quick synopsis is that I understand that it's not worth it to a lot of farmers to sell a handful of bales of hay at a crack, especially if the hay isn't located where they live.  So, Jim and I found a local-ish farmer with timothy hay, who would sell a few bales of hay.  To make it worth his while, we paid $100 to him for 20 bales, and only took 5, with the understanding that we would be returning for the rest.  We talked and agreed that I would just contact this person when I needed hay, and we would arrange a time for me to pick up another 5, and so on, until I'd exhausted the money paid.  You can probably guess from what you've read so far, that I never did get the rest of the hay.  The guy basically fell off the planet.  To this day (and this was November 2016 this happened) this absolutely pisses me off and boils my blood.

For some odd reason, this hay guy is still my facebook friend.  So, the other day I was eating dinner and I saw this meme that he posted:

I wasn't in the greatest mood then, and replied, "what about when someone buys hay, and it's never delivered?"

I basically forgot about it for a day or two, but something reminded me of it today, and I went to go see if maybe he responded.  Nope!  In fact, the dickhead deleted my comment!  So, I commented this:

Needless to say, NOW I have been un-friended and that post deleted.  Amazing what shitheads people are, no?  I often try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I was talking with a friend about this, saying how it's not like I really thought that he'd be like "oh I forgot," but somehow, I still tried to think maybe something came up, or he'd own up, like you know, a good human being, but nope! Complete asshole!

I hope he gets his.  Just like I hope Joel gets his for stealing $8000-9000 from me / the rescue.  I'm trusting, but people will tell you, I'm HARDLY over-trusting, so I find it insanely frustrating that these people do this stuff, and get away with this shit.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Donations / List of Needed Items

In cleaning up (ha, hahahahaha), I found a sheet where I'd written down potential items for donation.  I now have that List of Needed Items page on our website, and actually, some of these items on the list weren't on there, so I added them to the list. 

In case you were curious, the items added were old towels (used to as rags), fleece / JoAnn gift cards, Chlorox Clean-Up, laundry detergent, plain cheerios, old fashioned oats, and used cages / small animal supplies.

I somehow must have glossed over the cheerios, old fashioned oats, and un-frosted shredded wheat squares before, but for example, we use those to make the goodie bags that we sell, and more importantly, that go home with all the adult chins (well, chins 6+ months) that go to their new homes.  Those were on the list I found, but also, someone actually made me think of those more recently, in that I had someone coming by... I was going to chin sit their chins over a weekend, and they said they wanted to donate some items, and asked what I need.  Let me start by saying, that's never a bad idea to ask.... there's usually something on that list that I'm either out of, or will soon be, and that would be a higher priority (and a trip to the grocery store for me) than something I'm still well-stocked on.  For that specific time, I was intending (and still am...) to make some goodie bags.  To do that, of course, we need the items that go inside them.  So, I told her, ziploc baggies, cheerios, oats, etc etc.  Obviously, I told her, that's just what I will need, so she had a variety of things to pick from.  She ended up actually getting about everything I'd listed and then some, so that was super awesome of her.  If you're reading this, thanks Chris!  Anyway, the thing is, never hurts to ask if something specific is needed.

Also... now that I do have a list up there of needed items, I've had people that have asked why we don't have absolute necessities on there, like chin food, bedding, and hay, just for example.  Here's the thing -- if you have open bags of chin food(or other small animal food, or heck, even cat or dog food for the prairie dogs), or bedding, or hay... or it's something you've already purchased for yourself or whatever... we can gladly use it here.  The reason it's not on the list... I just don't want people buying it new for the rescue.  The reason being = cost.  I can get a bale of hay, that I'm thrilled with, for under $10.  I think the current going rate is $7-8 per bale.  That's usually roughly 40 pounds of hay, and maybe lasts about 2 weeks.  Let's compare that to Oxbow hay, here.  Now, those prices listed on that link are even cheaper than what you'd buy at the pet store, but they're fine for making an example.  At even $8 per pound, a 40 pound bale works out to $0.20 per pound, which amounts out to $4 per week (that we spend in hay).  Versus in comparison, the smallest package of hay that Oxbow has is $4.39 for 15 ounces.  To equal 20 pounds of hay used a week, we'd have to use 22 of those bags per week.  At $4.39 per bag, that works out to $93.65 in hay per week.  Compared to $4, yeah.  Even with their largest hay, which is 90 ounces (5.625 pounds) for $18.69 (so, cheaper per ounce), we'd be at $66.45 for hay.  I see no reason why people should buy the expensive store hay, when if someone's going to spend (for example), $4 for less than one pound of hay... I'd see that $4 better spend at the dollar store, where we could get two sharpies, a box of kleenex, and a roll of paper towels.

Same with cages.  If you want to donate used cages, I will never tell you no.  However, going out and buying a cage just isn't all that practical.  Chances are, I'll eventually get the cages I want donated, and the ones that I don't need here end up sold as used cages when there's no longer critters in them.  So, new cages not needed, but of course, we can always take used cages / supplies / etc donated.  Just the money to buy this sort of stuff new would be better spent on other things.  Thanks!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Scrap Wood

Did you know... we rarely throw out any of our wood?  Now, I'm not talking about peed-on shelves or that sort of thing, but the pine boards we buy that get made into houses and toys and all that... possibly little known fact, everything gets used.

When we make the houses, sometimes the boards will snap when we're cutting those circles.  While of course that's not idea, because then we need to re-cut that piece, re-sand it, re-cut the hole, and re-sand all of that... it's not really a problem, because we still use it!

See, the first toy we ever made and sold was the Anything Goes Toy.  It's literally labeled as the toy made with just about anything... as long as it's pine wood pieces!  Sure, some of that is literally cut up to be toy pieces, but a lot of it is simply scrap.  You know, you get a 6' board and start cutting up 11" pieces and 13" pieces and 10" pieces and whatnot, and in the end, maybe you end up with a 2" piece.  I usually have a pile going of scrap wood, and once there's a good amount there, or I've run out of toy pieces to work on, I'll cut that up.

Same goes for wrong cuts.  A few people may remember me talking about when I was making some of the double entry houses... the roofs are 9" x 8".  9" wide and 8" deep.  This needs to be cut down out of larger wood, so I usually take a 10" wide piece of wood and cut it to an 8" length.  Then the 10" side (which is really like 9.5" due to milling) gets cut down to 9".  So, there's multiple cuts on several sides of the same piece of the wood... gotta pay attention to which side you're cutting and which length that side is supposed to be.  So the story of the week, a few weeks back, was when I cut four or so roofs... 8" x 8".  Um... oops?  That's ok though!  I now have a few 8" x 8" shelves available! 

Same with some smaller scrap pieces.  If it's big enough to still be a perch-ish shelf, like where a chin could potentially use it, I may throw some bolts on it and bring it to an expo or use it in one of our used cages.  Too small for that, and it gets further cut down to become a toy part.

If there's a big knot, or something weird about it that I think someone might question whether it's safe or not (it's safe... but understandably, people question everything), I'll keep it here and use it for my chins.  So, either way, it's all getting used.  Just in case you were curious :)

Friday, August 3, 2018

Packages & Refunding Shipping

If you've ever tried to order from our webstore, you may have been surprised by the high shipping amount that the shopping cart tries to charge.  Well... sometimes that amount is correct, sometimes not. 

The way shipping is set in the cart is a bit funky, but the amounts are set per item.  The problem isn't usually if you order one item.  See, if you order one hammock, I believe the amount is set at $3.50 for shipping.  Shipping usually costs around $3 to ship a hammock first class, so that's about right. 

The difficulty is ordering multiple items.  If you order two hammocks, shipping does NOT jump to $7 ($3.50 + $3.50).  Likewise, if you order any two other items, shipping is often less than the sum of their shipping amounts.  Problem is, the shopping cart doesn't know, and has no way, of determining this.  So, sometimes we end up refunding large amounts to the customers.

For example, these packages...

...resulted in a whopping $63.75 in refunded shipping charges.  I acknowledge, that's a lot of money!

I always tell people, I will refund excess shipping.  And that's fine, if that person can afford to pay the high shipping charge at the time.  But, what if they can't?  Well, the other option is to send me an email or a message with the items desired and the address that the items would be shipped to.  Then, I can pack it all up and get back to you with an actual shipping quote.  Then, you'd know that's all you'd be paying, and it wouldn't be overcharged or anything like that.  So, that's also an option, if you ever are trying to order and the shipping amount looks sky high.  Options for everyone! 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Foster Home Pics!

One of the things our foster homes help with is that they give us more information about the personalities of the chins they are fostering, as well as some pics!

Wanted to share with you some pics that one of our foster homes sent us of some of their fosters....

Here are some pics of Chili Mac:

And here are some pics of Wife & Daughter:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Pros & Cons of Chinchillas, Hamsters, & Guinea Pigs

So, someone asked this in an email, and I thought this might be an educational thing for everyone.  Of course, this is just my take on the animals, so it is my opinion... but here goes:

Chinchilla pros:
1.  For being one of the larger small animals, cage is cleaner.
2.  Drinks less water than similar sized small animals, so less time spent filling bottles.
3.  Eats a simple diet, pellets and hay.  No need to go buy produce all the time.
4.  Interactive in the energetic sense.  Will hop around and be fun to watch, whether in the cage or during playtime.
5.  Sometimes can be potty trained for their pee only.
6.  Don't tend to bite, though they do often nibble / taste (like a little pinch).
7.  They are relatively quiet, most make almost no noises.

Chinchilla cons:
1.  They poo constantly.  It is dry, so it's not icky, but with the multilevel cages that they usually have, it tends to be out of the cage and on the floor.
2.  Need a larger and probably better quality cage than the other animals on the list.
3.  Need more chew toys than the other animals on the list.
4.  Aren't typically cuddlers.  Depends on the chinchilla of course, but the average one isn't going to chill with you while you watch tv.  Can be held, but for shorter periods of time.


Guinea pig pros:
1.  Make cute noises.
2.  They are more of a chill pet.  They can be hard to catch, but once you catch them, they are the type to sit and watch tv with you and chill on your lap.  Can be held for longer periods of time.
3.  Can live in smaller cages as opposed to the chinchillas.  One-level cages are typical, versus chins have multi-level cages.
4.  Don't chew as much, so you don't need a Fort Knox type cage and you don't need, nor will you go through, a million chew toys.
5.  Don't tend to bite, though may nibble.

Guinea pig cons:
1.  Make noises.  If the wheeking for veggies / attention / cause they feel like it ... if this gets on your nerves... you will be constantly in a state of irritation lol.
2.  In the cage, they tend to like their safe space.  Often an igloo or some sort of house... at least the gp's here, I don't see much of, they like to hide.  Not a pet that's all that fun to "watch."
3.  Need vitamin C added to the diet (not in water additives) in the form of veggies and produce.  Unless you grow your own, this means constant trips to the grocery store.  They need a cup per day, per pig.
4.  They drink water like no tomorrow.  A water bottle that would last a chinchilla a week might last a guinea pig 2-3 days.  Because of this, the cages need cleaned more frequently, which is compounded by the moisture intake from the produce they also require.


Hamster pros:
1.  They're little.  So, potentially smaller cages and less footprint from their cages.  
2.  Because they are small, small animals, the cage can be cleaned less frequently.
3.  Eats less food / water, so less money spent over the lifetime of the pet.
4.  They can eat a wider variety of foods, not such a restricted diet like a chinchilla.

Hamster cons:
1.  Some hamsters like to be handled, but the ones I tend to get in here tend to be very flighty, and many bite.  Like MANY.  To the point that I call them "fur with fangs" (and friends in small animal rescue tend to agree).  They tend to be more of a pet to watch than a pet to handle, unless you get the awesome one that loves being handled.  How you get that one... I really don't know, lol.
2.  They chew... so those tunnel cages aren't the best for them, as they can often chew their way out of those.
3.  Can be so small that if they do get out, they are hard to find in the house.