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Reefer Dude Abides
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Discussion Starter #1
I try to pay as much attention to our local reef stores as I can and I do spend money in support. This thread isn't a complaint but more of a question. I go to store X. "I would like 1 Peppermint Shrimp please." The guy doesn't go to the display tank where they are nice and big. He goes to the back and comes out with this tiny shrimp and says, "That will be 16 dollars." I said that little thing won't make the trip home. I asked for a larger healthy one, because I know I'm paying way too much for a Pep.Shrimp. They refused, sale lost. Fast forward 2 weeks. I am at another very local reef store that has more on display that is not for sale than they do that is for sale. I tell them I need a peppermint shrimp. Same drill, tiny shrimp, tries to charge me 10 dollars. Again I pleaded my case sell lost. I go home and with a heavy heart place an order with Liveauq. for medium to large shrimp for 4.99 each. I realize most of us don't mind paying for great service, friendly advice, some tank talk, but when you don't get any of that and are still raped pricewise, was I wrong for leaving the store with no sale?
 

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Yeah, its nice to support a LFS but when you encounter instances like you did your choice is about all one can do. You'll buy other items like salt, etc (items whose shipment may be too much or you need asap) from them...that will still be supporting them.
 

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I have never had an issue ordering from on line, but I always give my LFS the opportunity to match the price. Last year when my skimmer died I needed a new pump. It would take five days to get the new pump online. I decided to upgrade. I went looking locally for the skimmer in mind. Found it, but it had almost a 75% markup over SRP. I asked the store clerk if they would match the price on-line. They caved and did.

As far as live stock I always ask for particular fish or inverts. If it is not in a store display tank I expect to be able to purchase.
 

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Yeah, its nice to support a LFS but when you encounter instances like you did your choice is about all one can do. You'll buy other items like salt, etc (items whose shipment may be too much or you need asap) from them...that will still be supporting them.
With all due respect, if that is all we ever did as hobbyists, then there wouldn't be a LFS opened to buy from. The margins on dry goods are so small that if that's all we every bought from a LFS they would go under in short order. I'll grant you, there are stores out there that try to gouge customers on those items and that's a shame on them. But for the average LFS that sells at normal profit margins and follows MAP pricing, they couldn't cover the operating costs of their store on dry good sales alone.

As for buying out of the display tank, well, quite frankly why would you expect them to do that? Not all display tanks are there for selling out of. Sometimes those displays are the personal collections of the owners. You don't get upset with someone when you go buy a frag from them and they sell out of their frag tank and they refuse to sell you the colony out of their main tank.

Also, try to remember, those stores get their livestock from distributors, and they don't get to handpick most of them. There's nothing they can do if they order medium Peppermints and the distributor sends them small ones because that's all that's left.

I'm not here to defend the bad fish stores, they don't need defending, but I'm afraid that too many hobbyists have unrealistic expectations of their LFS.
 

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Reefer Dude Abides
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161 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Very fair and good points, I was a little vague on the going to the back to get my request. I asked the store keeper what was for sale and what was not for sale. He informed me, and I quote "Everything on that wall is for sale." So I proceeded to by a beautiful wrasse and the shrimp were right next to it. I've been in enough stores to know (usually) what is personal property and what is not, that is why it caught me so off guard. Yes, they will continue to get my business even though its over an hour drive to this one store, as I said, I try to support them all. I will not do bait and switch again, if I'm told everything on that wall is for sale, that is what I expect. totally caught me off guard..
 

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Reefer Dude Abides
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Discussion Starter #7
I also love going into aquarium stores just to shoot the breeze, reefer talk is way better in person and most of those places are an oasis of awesomeness and great story telling ;p
 

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I asked the store keeper what was for sale and what was not for sale. He informed me, and I quote "Everything on that wall is for sale." So I proceeded to by a beautiful wrasse and the shrimp were right next to it.
And that is the very actions I would never defend. That's just plain unacceptable. if "Everything on that wall is for sale" then you should definitely have been sold a big shrimp.
 
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