Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Taking advantage of niceness

People, please don't take advantage of the fact that I'm nice.  I really shouldn't be, and as the years have gone on, I can even tell, myself, that I'm less nice than I used to be.

Case in point.  I have a dark ebony female here with a pedigree if someone wanted it.  She's about 5 months old, and I was going to sell her as a pet, most likely.  Well, someone emails asking about a dark ebony female for breeding, and I asked them what age they're looking for.  Well, 5 months or older.  Ok, so I mention her.  So, this is literally October 1st.  So, we go back and forth, she wants to know about the parents, colors, weights, ranch brands, what's in their lines.  Don't get me wrong, this stuff is important if you're going to breed. 

However, what is also important is my time and my policies here.

Including the policy that we only hold for 7 days without a deposit.  Well, that passed way at the beginning, when she was still asking questions about the pedigrees.  Fine, I thought, ok, well she's going to come get the chin, and I hadn't listed the chin yet, so that saves me effort if she buys one I haven't had to list or anything yet. 

Until she starts taking about a week and a half to respond to my emails.  On October 17th, she tells me that, after I've told her everything under the sun about this chin, that she's very interested but she's unsure if she's going to be able to make the trip, and not sure she wants to put down a deposit because she's not sure she can make it here in 30 days.  Which I feel is fair and honest, so I tell her, the 30 days is flexible (which it is, to an extent), but I would need to have some idea of when she's coming to get the chin.  So she waits 9 days to email me back (26th) and finally says, she has to talk to her husband.  What was she doing for the 9 days???

My patience has worn out, as this chin still hasn't been listed, and is now a month older (and harder to find a home for, the older they get), and she's no closer to adopting.  She also mentions, in this email:

I am very interested in a good size female. The male I would want to eventually pair her with is only about 600 grams. He is young and may get a tad bit bigger but he won't be huge. 
He's a tov white and I am hoping to put him with a nice dark eb female.

I may also be looking for a nice mosaic female soon to pair with a dark eb male I have.

... which I feel is a crock of shit because we've already gone over how large this girl is, how large the parents are, and all that... and then she says this.  So this was my response:

I mean no offense, but I need to hear back from you with a firm decision in the next, let's say 5 days -- so by the end of the day on the 1st.  Since your original email at the end of September, I've hung onto this chin because I kept telling myself that you were going to get back to me and come here to adopt her.  As time's gone on, more time as passed between getting emails back from you, and really, I do my best to be fair.  We only hold chinchillas for 7 days without a deposit.  I tell that to people all the time, so why I've hung onto her this long (I told you about her on October 1st, so 26 days), is a good question.  But what it ends up coming down to is this -- most people I sell chinchillas to are pet people.  Sure, the ones that do well at shows, those tend to go to breeding homes with other breeders, but many of them sell as youngsters, and the older they get, the more difficult that is.  Right now, I'm between jobs and selling quite a bit of chinchillas that I might otherwise keep, and the older she gets, and the longer I hang onto her for you, the harder she will be to find a home for if you don't end up getting her, which is why I feel like I have to set a firm time frame on this.  I've already been more than lenient on that 7 day hold, I just feel like I can't continue this forever.

As far as your email -- the only way to know a chinchilla's adult size is to buy an adult.  Sometimes you put two large chinchillas together and get a small one.  Sometimes you put two small chinchillas together and get a large one.  Somewhat it is the genes, but it's also the individual chin.  The guy I work for breeds chinchillas, and when he weans them, he often marks babies with notations for red, small, lacking veiling.  It's amazing how many he marks small, when weaning, that end up being huge later on.  But the thing is, you don't know until they're full grown, exactly how they're going to turn out.... which is why you often see people buying chinchillas to breed at a show, or after a show, when the chinchillas is at least 8-10 months old, usually full size or almost, and already having been evaluated. 

Another note on size is this -- weight isn't everything.  I have a chinchilla here who looks like she might easily be 1000 grams.  She's more like 650.  While you definitely don't want to breed a small chinchilla, as that's not the breed standard and definitely don't want to run into problems with birthing, most of the show chins are in the 600-800 range, and the fur is what makes them look "large."  I used to buy chinchillas at a show and think, omg it's huge! and come home and weigh it... and it would be 600-700 grams.  Not saying they're all that way, but some of what goes into them looking large (and on the show table, it's how they look, not how much they weigh) is their conformation and how long their fur is.

For males, 600 grams is plenty.  Could go bigger, but don't want HUGE.  Most breeders will tell you, you don't want a huge male, because the huge ones tend not to breed.  Most people use males that are smaller than, or the same size as, the females, because you also don't want a huge male impregnating a female and then having her unable to pass overly large kits. 

I don't have any mosaic females that are any older than I think like 2-3 months right now.  And as with this female, could not easily say how large they will turn out.  That is just the gamble you take with buying one young, and why most breeders will buy one that's full grown so there's no guesswork.
...which is the truth.  You want one that you FOR SURE know is going to be exactly what you want, especially for something like breeding, buy an ADULT.  I could see this person turning into one of those who would get a chin now, and then complain later when it doesn't mature into the right size or right build or whatever.  I could just see it.

-----Moving along to my next case in point-----

I have another chin here, Hershey, and a critter nation cage that are on hold for someone.  This person originally emailed me in the middle of September and decided they wanted to put down a hold on Hershey and this cage, and I received their money order for the deposit on October 1st.  They were set to come get him and the cage somewhere in there, and ended up having to back out.  They're from WI and had been planning on coming to see some friends in Chicago and I guess that didn't work out.

Well, I tell her on the 1st that I get the money order, and ask if I missed any emails, cause I hadn't heard from her about pickup.  Nope, I didn't.  So, I have the money order for the hold for 30 days, so not a big deal, but I don't hear from her for a bit, so on the 15th, I send her an email asking about when she's planning to pick up, and reminding her she only has 30 days total to do so.  I get an email two days later, saying they basically haven't been able to work out this Chicago trip with their friends, and that maybe they'll just come down and stay in a hotel.  And so then they ask me what hotels are around, and ask about coming November 1st.

First, I am not Travelocity, if you're able to find me, surely you can find hotels near me?  I emailed her a few that are around here, but specified that I don't know what they're like because I've always lived in this area, so I've never stayed at any that are close to my home.  And then thought, why am I looking up hotels?  Can't she make the effort?  She's the one adopting.  Anyway...

So moving along, I emailed her back that day to let her know that the 1st would work, but is filling up with appointments, so we need to set a time asap.  Today is the 26th and I have yet to hear back.  So today, I called her AND emailed her.  On the phone I left a message saying I need her to call me back, as her 30 days is almost up, and I told her I'd send her an email as well.  Mentioned that I will extend the 30 days by another 10, until the 11th, because I understand things come up, but that's it. 

When people put down the deposit, I ALWAYS specify that you have 30 days.  Can't make it in 30 days?  You don't need to put down a deposit and you don't need that specific chin.  There are almost no occasions when I feel like hanging onto a chin for months and months while you get your act together to get over here.  There's just not.  I can have that chin listed and someone can come and adopt it in the meantime.  Same with that cage she wants -- I could have had it sold 10x over in the past month if she didn't want it.  No problem whatsoever.  And she wants to look at a used wheel I have so that's been sitting around waiting for her to come by as well. 

I told her, if she isn't able to come by to adopt, by the 11th, she can still adopt, she'll just have to put down another deposit to hold the chin / cage (if even here) for more than 7 days.  And she'll have forfeited the 1st deposit.  Don't like it?  Tough cookies.  Even before I revised the sales policy, this 30 days with non-refundable deposit has been this way forever. 

...and the thing is, all these people are taking advantage.  The first person has been taking advantage of me being nice and hanging onto the chin without a deposit and (in my eyes, potentially) dragging everything out so she has more time.  Nope, come the 1st, that chin gets listed if I haven't heard from her and don't have a deposit.  Same with Hershey and the cage on the 11th.  A humane society wouldn't hold for freaking 1 day for you.  Someone gets there 5 minutes before you, guess they get to adopt, and you get left out.  Sorry.  I try to be nice, and that's why I do the 7 days, because I understand people work, and since I travel a lot, I'm not always home either, but that's what gets me walked all over.  And from here on out, it's not going to be this wishy washy shit.  You can't pick up in 30 days?  Don't put down a deposit until you know you can, because otherwise, day 30 passes, and you lost that deposit.  So sorry.  Don't let the door hit you on the way out. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Show and blue cloud and other stuff

Let me start with the thing that's on the top of my mind.  Adopting.  Let me share with you a few snippets of emails just from this morning:

Hello my name is Anthony I would like to adopt a chinchilla but I would like to know if I have to pick up the chinchilla.


I live in Brookfield, Wisconsin 53005, I was wondering if there is a way you can bring a chinchilla here for adoption, or...

...keep in mind, these are just from this morning.  As in, give it a week and I'll have a minimum of 10 emails or messages or texts asking this.  Here's the short answer:

YES, you have to come to the rescue to adopt.

The only, and I mean ONLY time when that would not apply would be if I was going to a show, and you happened to be going as well, or lived in that area and were going to meet me at the show or at my hotel near the show.  So, in a year, you'd have maybe 5-7 opportunities for that, and you would need to be in either central Ohio near Jenera (well, I'm there all the time), near Madison, WI, or near Auburn, IN.  Otherwise... you're outta luck.  And for example, that WI one... is once a year.  You miss it by a week or two (for example, I don't know where Brookfield, WI is, but even if it's close to Madison... they shoulda emailed me a few weeks ago when I was in the area...), and you're outta luck, cause I won't be back until next year.

Here's the thing.  If you can't drive to the rescue or find some way to get here, what is there to make me think that you're going to drive to the vet, if needed?  Yes, I know, you can ship in all supplies, whether from me, or from Amazon, or whatever.  But you know what you can't ship in?  Vet care.  If your chin gets sick, yes, I realize, a cat and dog vet can come to the house if you pay enough (though, you usually see this in cases where the animal needs to be put down, not emergency care).  If your chin needs an x-ray, or fluids, or a wound sewn up, do you think a vet is going to do this in your living room?  The answer is no, they're going to tell you to bring it in. And if you say you can't, well, they're not going to be able to help you.

I feel that coming to the rescue is an important part of adopting.  It shows effort on your part.    You want everything handed to you and the chin delivered?  That shows lack of effort, to me.

For the persistent people, I have told them, I can bring you a chin, that you have paid for in full and filled out all docs for beforehand, for 50 cents per mile roundtrip.  So if you're 30 miles away from here, 60 miles x $0.50 = $30.  Which would also need to be paid ahead of time.  No one has ever taken me up on that.  No, they want free delivery.  And mind you, most people that I'm talking about aren't 20 minutes away.  No, they're 4 hours away, so 8 hours roundtrip.  That is an absolute minimum of $50 worth of gas, if not more.  And that's just gas, we're not including that I probably need to eat sometime in that 8 hours.  Plus, it's 8 hours of my time.  Plus, I either need my phone or a gps to find your place... none of this is free.

Let's just say all we consider is the gas, which is $50.  For someone adopting a baby standard grey, which are on sale for $110 right now, that brings the price down to $60 that the rescue gets.  $50 currently adopts you a senior chin, $75 (down to $65 right now for the sale) adopts you a standard grey adult.  So by delivering you a baby standard grey and eating the gas cost, I've basically given you a considerably more expensive chin for about the price of a senior.  If you can give me some awesome reason why I should do that, by all means, I'd love to hear it.

To be perfectly honest, here's the reason why it's not worth me eating the gas cost and using my time and paying for food and the effort to bring that chin to you (unless you really are going to pay mileage) -- because I could drop the chin cost and have someone else drive to my door to get it.  Do I want to eat the $50 and 8 hours of my time and deliver it to you?  Or do I want to list a baby standard grey as $60 and watch people flock to my door to get it?  I think, if that's all I'm going to get out of it, I'm going to do the second, and never have to leave my house.  Hence, mileage, if you want me to drive.

Personally, I don't care if you think it's reasonable or not.  You want a plumber to come out to your house?  $60 service call.  You want the electrician?  $75 service call.   Why should a rescue be any different?  In fact, you're likely going to be paying the rescue LESS for the chinchilla than you would ever pay these service people, who charge you a fortune to come out to start with... so why should we not charge anything for our time?  They have no problem doing it, and most people have no problem paying it.

Moving along.  In case you didn't hear, the blue cloud mine has been shut down.   Apparently, it was on Bureau of Land Management land, and some environmentalists didn't like that they were mining on BLM land, so once the current supply of blue cloud has been exhausted... we all very well may be out of luck.  The blue sparkle mine is still running, but blue cloud has stopped.  Just so everyone's aware.  I don't sell blue cloud, so this really doesn't affect anyone buying dust from me, but affects people showing.

Moving along again.  Went to the claim show in Ohio on Saturday.  Brought a beige male who got phase champ (best male in the dark beige phase), and Pancake, who got another 2nd.  Their main comment was simply that she's not big enough, and she is a bit smaller than some of the show bunnies, but I was talking to Jim and he looked at her and said she's definitely still too nice to sell as a pet, so she's likely going to go with either that one chin I have that looks like his butt was dipped in white paint, or a pink white male that I have here.

I also want to post about the change in my sales policy and health guarantee, and I will do that, but either later today or maybe tomorrow.  Too long to add to this post and I need to get some other stuff done...

Monday, October 19, 2015


Frankly, I'm sick of people being late, forgetting about appointments, etc.  Let me be more specific.  A few days ago, I set an appointment with someone who wanted to come see the hamsters, for 11 am today.  11 comes.  11 goes.  11:15 comes, 11:15 goes.  I'm working on laundry and other stuff, and I intend to go upstairs and get their phone number so I can text them.  By 11:25, I'm upstairs and texting, and ask if they're still coming.

Oh, their son is sick and they're home and "OMG they completely forgot."  Seriously?  Would you forget if you had a doctor's appointment?  I highly doubt it.  If nothing else, if you couldn't make it, you'd call, apologize profusely, and reschedule.  But yet, people think oh they can make an appointment at a rescue and oh if they forget, no big deal, I have nothing better to do than sit home and wait for them.  Right?  Oh wait, their time is valuable.  But apparently, MINE isn't.  It's getting old.

Someone I know in the chin community just implemented an appointment fee, and after this recent influx of people not showing up or showing up super late (within the last week or two, had four people show up over 30 minutes late, or not at all, and only ONE of them texted to let me know they were going to be late).... it's sounding quite appealing.  So here's how it works:

To make an appointment, people have to put down a $15 deposit.  If they show up, within 15 minutes of their scheduled appointment time, that $15 is credited towards whatever they buy / get / whatever.  If they show up late, forget, never show up, whatever, they don't get that $15 back.  Tough cookies. 

I like this.  I think I will be implementing this soon.

Current Stuff

So, we have a sale going on.  You may have noticed.  So as usual, multiple chins are on hold.  Since my computer's still in the shop, the website's not up to date, which is not helping anything.

And people wanting to look at multiple chins when they come by, which is fine, but holding multiple chins, not so much.  You want to look at all the available females when you come by?  Great, I will gladly show you them all.  You want me to hold them all until a week from now so you can see them all?  Uh... no.  Sorry, but no.  Our holds (without deposit) are for 7 days, for ONE chinchilla.  You may still get here, and decide you don't want to adopt that one chinchilla.  You may pick another one.  You may decide you don't like any, and go home without one.  But I won't hold 5 and prevent 5 from being adopted for a week, and then you come here and go home with one.  Sorry, no can do.

Moving along, if we don't have an appointment set up yet, and my schedule changes, I apologize... but it happens.  Had someone email me the other day, asking about a certain day, and I told them, yep, have that day open.  So they said, oh they'll email closer to that day.  That's fine.  In the meantime, my schedule changed and I won't be here that day.  Well, if I'd had a scheduled appointment, I might have been more concerned about the schedule change... but if I had a penny for every person who said they'll "email me later" and never did, I'd be rich.  So I don't bank on it.  So with no appointment, wasn't concerned about the schedule change, and now I won't be around for them to come that day.

Which brings me to my next thing.  I have had people email and ask, well can someone else help them (on a day I'm not available).  That's actually kind of funny.  Who else?  I can't get people to help me out at a one-day expo, much less someone else come by and help out with adoptions and questions and stuff that actually requires some knowledge (and knowledge of all the chins and products here and all).  In case it's not clear (which, maybe it's not)... everything that's done.. is me.  I update the website.  I post the chins.  I make the houses.  I clean the cages (with help).  I answer the emails.  I fill the orders.  I mail the orders.  I feed and water the critters.  I handle the adoptions.  I handle supply sales.  I book all the expos.  I find (usually less than successfully) help for the expos.  Not saying any of this is rocket science difficult.... but it's all me.  So, no, there's no one else to help someone with an adoption, or really, with anything.  Just me.

Which can be kind of funny on phone calls too.  Cause people tell me they spoke with someone about adopting.  Always me.  The best part is when we're talking about food, or treats, or something, and basically we're disagreeing.  Like they'll say "oh I give a box of raisins everyday," and I'll tell them, "that's not good, you'll want to stop that, because..." and then their next statement is, "well I called your rescue last week and spoke with someone and they said the raisins were fine!"  Um.... I know *I* didn't say that, and I'm the only one here, so unless they called the wrong rescue... that didn't happen.  Which, I suppose for that, is kind of convenient that I'm the only one here, because I know what I said or didn't say.