Pellets, like hay, are very costly to ship. In this post I am going to compare the three highest-quality pellet-makers for guinea pigs: KM's Hayloft, Sweet Meadow Farm, and Oxbow Hay Company. Since Oxbow no longer sells directly from their site, I am also comparing the top three sites they sell from, Leith Petwerks, PetFoodDirect and Dr. Fosters and Smith. Here we go.
Storing bulk pellets
50lbs of pellets showing up at your doorstep can be a little intimidating. But storing it is easier than you may think. First, calculate how much you will need in the next three months. I have found that my 7 guinea pigs [fed 1/8 cup each per day] go through 5lbs every 19 days. So they would need about 24-25lbs. Store these pellets separately from the remaining pellets.
Take your remaining pellets and clear some freezer space for them. We have an extra fridge/freezer. Put them in a plastic bag and let them shiver in the freezer for the next few months. This is so that the vitamins and minerals in the pellets don't break down.
As for the pellets you're going to use in the next three months, you have many options. You can use a plastic bag, a metal "trash can", a plastic storage bin, or any combination you wish, as long as the pellets are kept in an airtight container out of direct sunlight so they don't go stale or lose their vitamin C content.
Moving on to the exciting part.
Keep in mind that many of these sites offer sizes other than 50lbs, but not all do, so I used the one bulk size that all of them offer.
Also keep in mind that the estimated shipping is using the respective websites' shipping calculators, using my Syracuse, NY address. Their locations are noted so you can find the provider nearest you.
+KM's Pellets: 50lbs+shipping = $105.28
KM's Hayloft ships from Washington State.
+Sweet Meadow's Pellets: 50lbs+shipping = $42.43
Sweet Meadow ships from Massachusetts.
+Leith Petwerks [Oxbow Pellets]: 50lbs+shipping = $98.54
Leith Petwerks Ships from Oregon.
+PetFoodDirect [Oxbow Pellets]: 50lbs+shipping = $84.28
***location to be added.
+Dr. Fosters and Smith [Oxbow Pellets]: 50lbs+shipping = $80.98
Dr. Fosters and Smith ships from Wisconsin.
And lastly, comparing to the old way...
50lbs of pellets at PetsMart or my local vet = $140 + tax.