Question about value of live rock

RichFellows

New member
Hey guys,

I have a question about the value of live rock. I have seen it for sale around me for $6-8/lb quite frequently (seems the going rate for as long as I've been around fish keeping, which counting freshwater in the early days is way way too long). In trying to figure out what I could sell it for privately (I am leaving the hobby entirely) I've seen some discouraging posts about people having a hard time to sell it even for cheap. Why is that the LFS can essentially charge whatever they feel like and a private person has a hard time giving it away? One post went so far as to say they saw someone giving it away because they couldn't even unload it at $1/lb. Is it just a lack of trust in what could hitchhike in with the privately sold LR? If you were shopping locally and someone had some for sale that's Fiji rock, well cycled (about 4.5 years in my hands), very little purple (just haven't had the time to properly supplement the tank and really take care of it right) and a few sparse aiptasia what would you expect to pay? I'm a long time lurker with no posts here (8 years and I only had signed up to be able to use the search and look things up on here along the way) so won't be able to sell here, this would be very the fun and exciting sketchy Craigslist scene to give an idea of the market place.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Rich

Ps - Mods, if this looks too much like a for sale post feel free to delete. I'm really just looking for advice on this not to sell here.
 

mcgyvr

New member
Seems from your experience people are willing to pay because they have trust in the LFS vs any monkey off the streets..

Also.. Its the whole "new vs used" thing.. Purchasing from the LFS makes you believe its a "new" product" vs not knowing if the monkeys rock is filthy with phosphates/aiptasia,etc..

I believe you should easily get 50% of LFS prices.. Of course people are getting cheaper and cheaper by the second in this world.. On craiglist..anyone can ask if you will go lower.. You don't have to.. Just means it might take you longer to find the right buyer..
 

RichFellows

New member
Of course knowing how terrible the "products" are in 80% of the LFS out there you'd think they would be just as inclined to buy privately. Back when I was heavy into large freshwater predators I used to drive to every store I could find in a 150 mile radius and man have I seen some awful stores. I've seen live rock in a tank so gross you could barely see through the glass for $8-9/lb. Maybe I'll get lucky, who knows. I went to the closest LFS near me, they told me $0.50/lb in store credit or $0.25 in cash (why would I need store credit if I am quitting the hobby?). I politely said I'll talk to my fiance and figure out what we want to do, which was hard because of the desire to punch him. They are selling it for $8/lb. Told my fiance I'll throw it in the trash or give it away to some kid getting into the hobby before I get ripped off like that.

Speaking of which, if anyone has a kid wanting to get into the hobby drop me a PM if you are driving distance (you pick up) from 06708. If I can't sell it for what I want your kid might have an early Christmas present. Sure it's got a few scattered aiptasia but hey, that'll teach them some fish keeping skills. :)
 

RichFellows

New member
I should put in my post that its basically recycling and it's the eco friendly way to go. I think that should add $2/lb right there!
 

tkeracer619

Premium Member
I'f I could get someone to pay $8lb for it I would sell the roughly 2500lbs of it I have and start over :lol:

I typically buy it when I see good pieces on craigslist for $1lb. I then soak it, test for heavy metals, acid bath it, then toss it in a vat. Takes a long time but I don't trust any live or dry rock I buy 2nd hand. Most people in the hobby that leave do so because of problems. So live or dry I don't care, I treat it all the same.
 

RichFellows

New member
To be honest I'd like it gone sooner rather than later am I asking too much if I wanted $2/lb? Have 75lbs of rock, a 56gal tank, black particle board wood stand, a HOB Marineland filter, a CPR skimmer and a hang from the ceiling light that's about the width of the tank and has 4x fluorescent bulbs and a metal halide in the center. There's even a single fish in there (a larger size Fiji damsel that's been there the whole time and killed everything else), an urchin and some zoos. If I put it all up for $200 would I be crazy or is that probably fair? I know that the price on hardware is pretty much nothing used. Not a lot of comparable craigslist posts around me. Not sure if its because they just get bought up so fast or if there's no real market here. Kinda hard to tell.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
I have twice used 'used' live rock and would do it again in a heartbeat. Best stuff going, granted the seller kept a decent tank. Lot of life, quick cycle, comes already corallined.
 

JZinCO

New member
I think alot of it is due to market asymmetry. I couldn't give away a UV sterilizer and I live in a city. But on eBay, mine, used, would have sold for $80.
It is just hard to find the right buyer on the second-hand market. Fish stores don't have the problem.
 

RichFellows

New member
I have twice used 'used' live rock and would do it again in a heartbeat. Best stuff going, granted the seller kept a decent tank. Lot of life, quick cycle, comes already corallined.

For me that's the only thing I have going against me, not really as well kept as it should be and not corallined. That's why I am getting out of the hobby, just never had the time to do it right so someone else can take over where I failed. I work full time, travel a lot for work and personal reasons and just started an MBA program. At this point I'm lucky if I even sleep right. But I certainly know that I can't charge crazy money for less than perfect rock. It's good shaped chunks which is nice, not some of that crap that's all tiny pieces, but it could have been better kept for sure.

Oh well, time to take some good pics and try to post them up online. Going to try some Facebook tag sale pages first before Craigslist, at least those are a little easier to screen the crazy people. Really hate having psychos come to the house to buy things. It's not like when I sold a printer though and I could meet the guy in a shopping center parking lot, kind of hard to get 800lbs of tank in the car. :D
 

CrayolaViolence

New member
It also has to do with the quality of rock. Not all Fiji rock is the same. If you have heavy, non porous, rounded bolder rock, no you're not going to get much for it. If you have open, airy, nice pieces that are light weight and high quality, then yes, you will get significantly more. In my honest opinion, the over all shape of the rock and type of system it has been house in is what makes it worth the price.
 

RichFellows

New member
It also has to do with the quality of rock. Not all Fiji rock is the same. If you have heavy, non porous, rounded bolder rock, no you're not going to get much for it. If you have open, airy, nice pieces that are light weight and high quality, then yes, you will get significantly more. In my honest opinion, the over all shape of the rock and type of system it has been house in is what makes it worth the price.

It is bigger pieces on the heavier side. Hmmmm, didn't know there was such variation in it. Good to know. I think for everything I knew about freshwater when I was living that life there's at least one saltwater fact I didn't know. Oh well, maybe if I dive back in 10 years from now I'll get a bit smarter with it. Wish I had the time to have fully committed, I've been stalking this site for 8 years now and have always been amazed at what some of you have done. Wish I could make the time and money commitment to get there but it's just in the cards.
 

Mishri

Active member
Yeah, my problem would be, who knows where it came from (his backyard?) and what has he put in it? copper? Do I want to have to run polyfilter all the time? and then the hitchhikers.... i had a bad aptasia infestation I just couldn't get rid of years ago, tried everything... i'd have to kill the rock if I saw it on there now.
 

crawlerman

New member
When I moved from SC to PA I sold my liverock. Had about 140 lbs, 80 of it being choice pieces of Marshal Island rock I paid $11 a pound for at a LFS. I knew it was crazy high, but I was able to pick out the exact pieces I wanted. Ended up selling all of the rock for $100, broke my heart. Should have just dried it out and kept it.
 

Ou8me2

New member
I can get dry rock and live rock all day long on Craigslist or Reef Facebook groups. Prices for Dry Rock 1.00 per pound or sometimes less. Depends on how many are trying to sell it. Premium Quality live rock is 2.00 per pound max price, all day long.

The only way I would pay more is if I knew the tank owner. Otherwise, it's a crap shoot of hoping you don't get anything bad from the rock.

It's definitely a buyers market and no so much for the seller. I buy almost everything used. I see so many people get into this hobby and buy everything new and a year or less they are ready to tap out and sell everything off. Those people really lose out the most. You will get a tiny fraction of what you paid.
 
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