At Fish store today and he the Net is killing the Lfs sales

jamesyoung_31

In Memoriam
Fellow who owns the store and has been nice to me since my startup has a real fear of losing his store through internet sales. We had a conversation and I told him that RC is very informative for those who want to learn, Great for me!!!:). He said his sales regarding fish and especially dry product is plummeting. He has been open 12 years and the diff in sales has been going downhill especially in the last few years. I sympathized with him and told him I will support him for frozen food and nice fish that I may want. I told him that saving money is especially important in this hobby(believe me I know, as I know everyone can agree too). Do you agree with what he is saying? I think it is sad when a small local guy hurts over the net and big box stores. Do you think that this will be the end of such stores? Just asking opinions. TY
 

BobNY

New member
I hate to see a small local store suffer because of internet sales.
I try to purchase as much local as I can. If the people are nice and they keep thier prices fair I am happy to buy locally. I dont mind paying a bit more for the convienience of being able to stop in and get what I need quickly. I personally would miss the local reef stores if they no longer existed.
Have I purchased some of my dry goods on the net....Yes. Mostly because some items just aren't carried locally.
 

creefer01

New member
I hate to see a small local store suffer because of internet sales.
I try to purchase as much local as I can. If the people are nice and they keep thier prices fair I am happy to buy locally. I dont mind paying a bit more for the convienience of being able to stop in and get what I need quickly. I personally would miss the local reef stores if they no longer existed.
Have I purchased some of my dry goods on the net....Yes. Mostly because some items just aren't carried locally.

+1

I agree 100%. We are fortunate in our area to have a hand full of good quality reef stores. I have been to all but 2 that are within 60 miles of my home and regularly purchase from them. Typically, I buy some things o ver the internet, as Bob suggested, that are typically not available locally.I think it's important to develop a relationship with your LFS and support their business whenever practical.
 

Lynnmw1208

New member
Yeah I hear you on this one. The only problem is some of these stores charge an arm and a leg for dry goods and fish. I mean I'm not going to pay $80 for a bucket of reef crystals.... NO THANKS lol. I think that sometimes they are trying too much to make a quick buck and that is the sad part. Some are also just really bad. There are a lot of stores around here that don't care about the fish and they are always diseased and dying and others will not work to order you fish you want. So if they are unwilling to put in effort, it is no surprise that they aren't doing well.

I did find a LFS that will match any online price which is awesome. He seems to be doing well and obviously has figured out a business sweet spot:)
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
In today's economy, an LFS without a significant maintenance business does not have a working business model.
 

DownwardDawg

New member
We've lost 2 in Hattiesburg, MS over the last couple years. I would buy frozen food, filter media, some fish, salt, etc... I had to order a lot of other things because the LFS didn't carry what I use. Now, I have to order everything!
 

Gandolfe

New member
I think some of the problem is too that People open these stores thinking that they'll make a quick buck and don't realize how hard it is to maintain a good stock in a saltwater store. Besides the economy tanking,a lot of suppliers have gone out of business as well. Boats can't afford the price of gas to go out and collect fish, not to mention UPS and FED EX always screwing up orders and causing a lot of die off.Have you ever checked out the mark up Petco and Petsmart have? it's over 40% even between the internet sales and the local store sales on their own website. I have bought bird food from them where their website price was 12.99 and the store price was 17.99. I printed the price out and they honored the website price but geesh!
 

greech

New member
My LFS does pretty well. It's a well run shop and the owner is younger and willing to take the time to help people out. Thet also keep their systems clean and healthy.

Just yesterday I was talking to the owner about his customer base. He recently got a bunch of high end corals/colonies after one of his long time customers broke down their tank. Large pieces of chalices like the bubble gum monster, cotton candy and a cornbred mummy eye. Lots of nice acans and other LPS too. A kid came in and asked how much the chalice frags were. The chalice frags were $30 and they were nice 3/4" frags. The kid took a pic on his smart phone and walked around the store typing away on his smart phone. After about 15 minutes the kid said, "well they are nice frags but I think the price is just a bit too high". I was floored. No way you can find quality frags like that for less unless you get them for free!
 

kuyatwo

New member
In today's economy, an LFS without a significant maintenance business does not have a working business model.

+1 also if the lfs is complaining about Internet sales then start a website to compete. They have access to the majority of the same dry goods and livestock.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Chris27

New member
Many people today just aren't the same, they don't support local business, they don't have respect for people in a face to face conversation, and they certainly don't like venturing out into public, rather choosing to live their life behind a computer or smartphone. That said, they internet shop for just about anything they can, in a feeble attempt to save a few bucks.

We have those people come into the store I work in, they have no problem coming into the store to have us test their water, provide advice on problems they may be having, and to borrow a fish trap or bucket of water.....then they turn around the next week and order frags from someone across the US, and equipment from a cut rate vendor who undercuts the MAP. It's painful really, to provide hours of face time out of shear love for the hobby, just to see someone shop on-line despite the fact that our prices are no different after you factor in shipping.

Remember when we all got into this hobby, the hours of weekend days spent driving around town going to each and every LFS, buying something at every stop.....those days will be no more eventually....it's just a matter of time.

Support your local business folks, for everything, the pleasure of being able to go shopping for something and come home that same day with it will become a thing of the past.
 

Tradewinds

New member
In today's economy, an LFS without a significant maintenance business does not have a working business model.

+1 also if the lfs is complaining about Internet sales then start a website to compete. They have access to the majority of the same dry goods and livestock.

+1 The LFS, if so inclined, could also get into drop shipping via the Internet, which eliminates the need to keep as much inventory on hand, and greatly increases his or her product line.
 

J2T

New member
I have two LFS close by and I enjoy both and I buy my livestock from them because their prices for the most part are close to online prices once you factor in shipping prices and I prefer to look at the animal I am buying in person. Dry goods is a mix...typically LFS are higher than online but some things work out even such as lights and even salt.

Its a mix but I also try and support the locals because it would suck if I didn't have any besides PetLand (livestock typically does not look very healthy) or PetCo which is a farther drive for me than either LFS.
 

sbabs

New member
The internet is not killing the business. The business plan is. There is additional overhead to running a shop, but a properly designed shop will still get the sales and make a profit.

The internet is simply cutting out a lot of the huge margins that were there. Businesses have to adjust margins to meet competition.

Sure it's nice to sell an ATP that costs 65.00 for 160.00, but the reality is that selling that unit for 80.00 will get people in the door and you have to do that.

The LFS I frequent the most is doing well, amidst a horrible economy. He sells salt and other dry goods close to cost or at a loss, but he makes money on fish and coral, and he has a maintenance business.

I will always support local over internet provided it is reasonable.
 

Dazmguk

New member
To be honest, I've yet to buy anything for my tank online, I've always tried to give all my patronage to a local store. The owners a bit of a sour bugger, but the people who work there are very nice and knowledgeable. When you can, go local.
 

Brando8719

New member
I believe it.

I buy all my livestock, salt, and smaller items at my lfs (there are 3 in town) and I vary between them. However, I can't justify buying the more expensive items from them if they can't match the price of an online store. At one lfs in town, they advertise that they will match the competitors price. So I went in there to get an ATO that was also at pretty much the only online store I've found in Canada that is any good. The lfs was charging $150 and online was charging $100. The lfs said that they couldn't match the price.

As much as I would like support the lfs - I am a poor student... So saving $50 means I can pick up another coral. I feel the lfs could have matched the price.. or even said that they would go down in price to offset the difference... but they didn't so I bought online.
 

xCry0x

New member
This is the same argument people try to throw out there against walmart, wah wah wah small businesses suffer.

It is called capitalism and the consumers are the ones who make the choices on where to buy 'stuff'. As someone else said, the area a LFS can stay competitive is by having a tank maintenance business. That is one thing that you cannot buy online or go and get at petco. If I can buy a bucket of salt for $50 online with free shipping and no tax while the LFS charges 9% tax (california) ontop of a $65 list price why should I buy it locally? If you say its to support the small business, would it make sense for you to grocery shop at my corner store if all i did was walk across the street to walmart, buy all my store goods and mark them up 20% then complain that I am local and you need to shop at my store? If the LFS wants to mark stuff up like that then their consumer base is going to be the people who 1) are in an emergency and cannot wait for an online order 2) feel the need to support their store.

Do not get me wrong, i have spent well over $400 in the past month at my lfs buying dry goods for setting up my tank, but I also spent over $250 at bulk reef supply because there is no tax, no shipping and it is at least 10% cheaper. Shopping for the best deal is my right as a consumer.
 

Sport507

~Just a Farm Boy~
Many people today just aren't the same, they don't support local business, they don't have respect for people in a face to face conversation, and they certainly don't like venturing out into public, rather choosing to live their life behind a computer or smartphone. That said, they internet shop for just about anything they can, in a feeble attempt to save a few bucks.

We have those people come into the store I work in, they have no problem coming into the store to have us test their water, provide advice on problems they may be having, and to borrow a fish trap or bucket of water.....then they turn around the next week and order frags from someone across the US, and equipment from a cut rate vendor who undercuts the MAP. It's painful really, to provide hours of face time out of shear love for the hobby, just to see someone shop on-line despite the fact that our prices are no different after you factor in shipping.

Remember when we all got into this hobby, the hours of weekend days spent driving around town going to each and every LFS, buying something at every stop.....those days will be no more eventually....it's just a matter of time.

Support your local business folks, for everything, the pleasure of being able to go shopping for something and come home that same day with it will become a thing of the past.

+1

I believe that we should do all we can to support local retailers and not just for this hobby.

Probably 95% of everything I have purchased in the hobby has come home in my truck. Tanks, stands, fish, corals, live rock, sand, equipment, food, test kits, chemicals, lights, bulbs and the list goes on. I will pay more because I want to help support them and know how tuff times are in this economy. It's nice to go in greet them with a handshake and visit face to face and let them know that I appreciate their efforts.

I will be very sad if the day ever comes, that the only face we may get a glimpse of is the UPS or Fed Ex driver.

I know that times are also tuff for the consumers but if you are living on a very tight budget maybe you should think twice about getting into this hobby, until times get better for you.

To many folks live by the theory if I can make the payment I can afford it. IMO that's how we got in this economic mess. I am fortunate to be debt free but I always lived by the theory, if I can afford twice the payment then I can afford it.
 

jcw

New member
Fish I buy online. I just can't find anyone that can match the guarantee.

Frozen foods I buy local to help out what I can. However, in the end, it's my hard earned money and I feel I should spend it where I wish.
 

b0bab0ey

Moved On
LFS where I live (KC) are horrible. I gave them all a chance when I first moved here. High prices, diseased fish, b/s customer service. I got tired of it, switched over to Liveaquaria.com and haven't looked back.
 

dockery07

New member
I used to buy local all the time we had great stores in MKE and Chicago. Now (2 weeks ago) we moved to a small town I have to order everything online. Or I would be driving about 2 hours to a LFS we are going to KC tomorrow I was going to do some local shopping but I have not gotten good reviews from any of the local stores
 
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