Need help making sure my LFS doesn't screw me!


New member
I have never tried selling/trading a fish back to my LFS, but think I may need to now. I recently aquired a 6" porcupine puffer that seems too aggresive for my tank. Newbie mistake...:sad2:

What is the best way to approach the subject with the guys at my LFS and what should I be expecting for trade-in value? It should be noted I got the fish from a guy tearing down his tank, not a store.


New member
you can expect credit to be at least half of what they sell them for....they will probably even give you less.

gerneral markup on livestock in LFS's is about 300% for fresh and 200% salt.

...oh and go in there and ask first before you bring in the fish. as an ex LFS employee, we HATED it when people would bring in something on the spot and want to trade it in. we need to make sure we have room for it, and can actually take the item. if (for example) we already 6 porc puffers we obviously dont need any more. and then when we said we didnt want it, they would throw a fit and say things like "I dont under stand why you cant take it?" or " well, what am I supposed to do now? I have to go to the grocery store and do other shopping!, I cant take it with me, or it will die!"

also, if you dont like their price, then say ok thank and leave. Dont argue, thinking you should get more....afterall, YOUR the one who came in looking for the trade, the LFS did not come to you.

not trying to sound harsh....but I know whts its like on the employee side...and some customers can be very nasty when we dont want to take their trade in.

hth , .02


New member
the LFS here give 25% of what they would normally sell it for. and you will need to call first to see if they will take it. your best bet is to try to find someone local to buy it from you, if thats possible. i would perfer to give something to someone local than to take it back to the LFS to get 25% so they can turn around and sell it again. thats just me. :D


Staff member
RC Mod
Advance notice is a very good thing: you wouldn't want someone to show up at your door with a fish you weren't prepared for...

But most will give you what amounts to their original purchase price from their supplier: the [usually 40% of price] percentage that represents their 'overhead' [rent, heat, light, salt, etc.] is something they've already invested in that fish, so they shouldn't have to give me that part back as a refund, imho. They buy it back as a courtesy to you, in concern for the fish's welfare, and in the hopes they can generate good will. If the fish or coral comes back notably a better specimen, fatter, bigger, etc, sometimes they will adjust the refund upward, too, a good will transaction. If worse, but not too worse, they generally still try to take it.