This week’s blog is a guest post from Simon AKA who I like to call Mr. Guinea Pig man. I’m always telling Oliver about the new babies who have arrived or what a stud Cromwell is! So without further ado, here is Simon’s guest post…
This is the second time that I have owned Guinea Pigs, the first time was way back starting in 1978…through to 1995: in that time, I had quite a few, also there was some breeding, a bit of showing in the later years and also supplying to pet shops of surplus numbers. I also sometimes had to sell them through the classified ads of the local free newspaper. That entailed putting together a few words, and posting them off with a cheque and your home phone number and awaiting a call or two…it worked, but wasn’t a perfect system – ever had a phone call from a drunk at midnight saying…”are you selling some pigs!?”
Anyway, fast forward to 2018, and with a young family we wanted some pets, and we chose Guinea Pigs. Yay. Obviously just getting a couple of them was not really something I wanted, and the plans evolved as we awaited our first four from a local breeder who I had known way back in the early 1990’s! Also I had gone into a local school where they had ‘school pets – guinea pigs’ and I had done a ‘very well received’ talk on them – and so I decided I’d like to do more of that – the benefits of being a part-time worker as well!
The long and the short of it all was that we ended up in September 2018 with 6 females and 1 male (he was a 180 mile round trip…saw him on Facebook).
You can guess the next stage we had…
Early January, our oldest two females had 8 youngsters between them – all from our male. We didn’t plan on keeping any of them, we bred so that we could breed again at a later date – and maybe keep one or two. Anyway, I wanted to try out Facebook and see what happened…
So, I took some pics of the two week old youngsters – nothing was to go until 6 weeks, but I wanted to drum up some interest. Well, I went on a few Facebook sites – they are quite strict on where you can sell. And my phone was buzzing with messages almost immediately…I was utterly amazed !! We had 4 males and 4 females, and as they were closely related, they had to go as a 2x pairs of males, and 2x pairs of females. So I basically needed 4 buyers. I actually got 8 people seriously interested – some were very happy to wait anyway, my ‘For Sale’ post was quite detailed, and they knew there were a few more on the way. The pictures of the Guinea Pigs and the parents were excellent as well.
Obviously with phones nowadays, you can instant message people, so it’s all there and so easy.
I directed all ‘interested parties’ to my blog and Instagram.
Having these sites already set up, meant that I didn’t need to let people around ‘for a look’…we are not a Petting Zoo! Once they had seen the Blog and Instagram, they knew they were coming to buy and we also insisted on a deposit to guarantee the Guinea Pigs to them. I also send them pictures and video of their Guinea Pigs while they are awaiting for ‘release date’ – I also contact them post sale to check all is ok.
The success of using Social Media to sell those original 8 in January, has been beyond our dreams, we have subsequently always had a ‘waiting list’ – and once the Guinea Pigs leave us, the new owners are recommending us to others. Also, in our local area, we seem to be the popular ‘go to’ people if there is a request to get a couple of Guinea Pigs. People genuinely don’t mind waiting for their pets. We are upfront and honest – we sell, as we’d like to buy is pretty much our tagline. The Guinea Pigs come first and last when we sell.
We sell them at £25 a pair, which is basically half-price of the local big chain pet store, but we can tell people exactly when the animals are born, their parents and the ‘buyers’ can see them all. I also have a loose arrangement with a local breeder, so I can breed using her animals, so we don’t use our male with everything. Everything we have had, has been really good. Feedback is excellent. And we don’t breed to order.
Ultimately, they are our pets – and we love them to bits!
You can follow Simon on all his socials here:
The blog: notyoumate.wordpress.com (loads of blog posts with many photos on)