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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone else sometimes find it hard to know what things cost when shopping at a LFS? I mean, they have a list of prices next to a tank of 20 or 25 specimins, but you have no idea which item is which?

Also, is it just me, or are alot of things not priced. Seems like prices are "made up" alot of times.

Wish more stores had easily accessible coral and fish books to do a quick read up on livestock. Too often you are supposed to take the worker bee's word as gold. Not saying they don't give good advice, but I'd like an objective opinion as well. (If you are selling me something there is always some doubt). I usually research before I get to the store, but sometimes the LFS has something I didn't consider and it is nice to be able to do a quick read up and see what the books say.

-Chris
 

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That's why they should have a large reading area with all of the current books avaliable in a nice reading area. So you can check up on what they are telling you, or research something new, without just having to "take their word for it."

;)
 

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Many people carry their favorite coral/fish books in their car just in case the store doesn't have a good book you can look at.

Personally I never just deal w/ a "worker Bee". If the knowledgable person(s) who I'm used to dealing w/ isn't there or isn't available then I either make the best decision on my own or not make the purchase. I never rely on the "worker Bee" --- thats how bad advice turns into tragedy in your reef.
 

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Our price listings are Horrible......even.....I cant tell what the marked price is half the time......I am in the works to fix both our stores blurr chicken scratch prices and the lack of proper names.......:mad:
 

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Good constructive thread! Helps to tell us LFS types where we need to improve. Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees :D

My biggest weakness is not having the livestock price cards up to date (they were half updated last night, the rest to be done this morning!). All my dry goods have price stickers near the bar codes on them. In addition, when I opened I bought a set of those labels with the animal's name and picture -- so if you're staring at the tank, look at a particular specimen, see its picture with the name on the sticker, then look at the card for the name, date and price..... I also date each specimen with its arrival date ("How long have you had it?"). That was one of my biggest complaints when I was a hobbyist... "What IS that?" Pictures make it very easy. Not EVERY specimen has a picture label but the vast majority do. The labels also came with a number for each species so when I set up my cash register, the number on the sticker is the SKU number for the animal -- killed 2 birds with one stone. Tank-Raised False Percs are #019, Turbo Snails are #693, Astreas are #679, and etc.

As for books, I've got 2 of Scott Michaels' Marine Fishes available to anyone that are so dog-eared I can't sell them (neat copies need to be kept behind the counter, of that title!) If I kept 5 copies on the rack, they'd all be dog-eared! I also have Sprung's Corals: A Quick Reference Guide available too.... as well as 2 racks of other books, Borneman, Riddle, Tullock, and so on, and many folks thumb through them all the time. I don't have the luxury of a reading area - but many's the time when somebody's browsing around with a book in their hand. It's encouraged.

When I was a shopper I carried Michaels' Marine Fishes and Sprung's Corals with me to the stores, that way if there was dubious help, or if all the clerks were busy while I made up my mind, I could do "instant research". I stuck an address label inside the cover of each of my books so folks would know I wasn't shoplifting :D This way I could make my choices without tying up anybody with unnecessary questions, and if I still had questions, they were meaningful.

We appreciate the feedback :D

Jenn
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I usually do the book in the car thing also. Just a pain to do that when there is an easy remedy of having a store copy. I always research before buying. Several of the books I have were bought after finding store copies useful (hint hint- provide books, people will buy them for their own copy).

One thing I like about Pets Unlimited is the easy identification of what is what. They have each coral in its own marked area. However, the drawback is that the display lacks the aesthetics of a more natural setting. I think customers like to envision what the coral might look like in their tank, so putting it in more of a natural setting helps for that (e.g. like Cap Bay or Fish Garden).

I like Jenn's idea of the pictures. If they make those pics with some general info about them it would be even better (size, what they eat, tank size suggestion, lighting requirements, flow, etc). Remember those cards that had wild animals on them with their habitat info, size, eating habits, etc that they sold for kids to learn about science? That is sort of what I have in mind. In fact, I'd love to have information like that in my reef room for guests to read when they come see my tank.

The more easily accessible info available on something, the more likely I am to buy it. On the flip side, for the people who don't do a lick of research before coming to the store, perhaps it would save them from a disaster later. I think we all know people in the category that have spent big bucks on a tank, but choose their fish and corals based on how the colors might fit with the curtains and decorations in the house, rather than if they can care for the creature. This tends to lead to early deaths.

Also, customers sometimes assume unmarked or unpriced items aren't for sale (e.g. it's for display/sick/quarantine).

-Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BTW, glad to hear the LFS take this as constructive. I'm not complaining, just pointing out my perception. Which, true or not, is my perception (unless of course you think I'm lying :) ) hehe.
 

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georgiajams said:
I like Jenn's idea of the pictures. If they make those pics with some general info about them it would be even better (size, what they eat, tank size suggestion, lighting requirements, flow, etc). Also, customers sometimes assume unmarked or unpriced items aren't for sale (e.g. it's for display/sick/quarantine).

-Chris
Yes, I surely see it as constructive -- how else do we know if we're doing OK, unless we get feedback? :D I think Jeff sees it as constructive too, judging by his comments. Perception IS everything - so feedback like this is very important.



This is the labelling system I was talking about. It has the common name, Latin name, growth potential and there is a colour coded legend for "safety" with corals and invertebrates and small fishes. They also give some labels with a translation of the legend... C is "coral" S is small fishes and crustaceans, and those letters are either green (safe) yellow (caution) or red (nuh-uh!)

Most of the pix were made by Scott Michael, so it's easy to match the labels with the book for more details. You can only fit so much on a tiny label.

Jenn
 
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