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Old 02-19-2005, 05:24 PM   #11
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it is easy to armchair debate business costs and everything but until you actually own and run one and are responsible for making payroll and other bills you cannot fully understand the stress and headaches involved. Bottom line is 99% of business's charge a standard mark up in order to survive and turn a liveable profit. By comparison the fish hobby has a small mark up when compared to say automobiles or clothing. You gotta put it all in perspective.

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Old 02-19-2005, 08:14 PM   #12
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I"m sure you know better than any of use Darin

I"m sure I don't understand all the in's and out's....I'm just glad I have such a selection of local shops as well as knowing about all the great onlines places too!!

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Old 02-19-2005, 08:34 PM   #13
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I agree with the difficulties in being a buisiness owner. I was one for 7 years....I decided to go back to work for someone else and let them worry about making the decisions and pay the bills.

As far as online buying goes...the only way I can see myself saving any money is if I dont have to pay shipping. I haven't found a single product online that I couldnt get locally for around the same price. By the time I pay shipping, I may as well just go get it down the street! Especially fish and plants! Holy cats..I dont know how some people do it. If I had a huge tank and regularly spent a hundred bucks on fish or plants, I could see making a large order online, but other than that, there is no way I can afford it. Now I have seen some good deals on some hard goods that I could afford, but mostly thats only if it isnt available locally. I think the major advantage of buying online is the diversity of products available. If I want anything at all, I may not be able to find it in town, but I can be sure I can get it online.

Keep in mind that my opinion, here, on buying online is only regarding aquarium equipment and livestock. I have purchased online, but I doubt I will be buying livestock anytime soon unless there are some great specials or low shipping costs invloved.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:25 AM   #14
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Location: Wichita Falls, TX
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I just about HAVE to shop online. Here in Wichita Falls, TX there are only two marine fish stores: a local pet store 11 miles out of town called Natures Half Acre, and PetCo. The selections at both are limited (about 10 different types of fish at each place), which I can understand from the LFS, but I would expect the "big box" chain to be better stocked.

The metal building, bare cement floor and poor lighting (one should never light the display area with old actinic bulbs) of the LFS scared my wife. The reeeeeeally young man working the register was friendly enough, and said they could order "whatever I wanted" from their supplier (who I assume to be liveaquaria.com) but not very knowledgeable.

The chain store was clean, well lit, and had a knowledgeable person working the fish department. At least that is what the other employees of the store told me. Unfortunately, she decided I was unworthy of her expertise, and wouldn't answer my questions about their water parameters (I wanted to match them to reduce the stress on the fish) or their livestock.

Neither place has refractometers, power compact lighting retrofit kits, or anything by AquaC or CPR Aquatics. I ended up getting sand, salt, a hydrometer, test kit, and tank decorations from the chain store. :|

It's Captivereefs and Premiumaquatics for my business from now on.
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Old 02-23-2005, 10:10 PM   #15
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I find that when shopping for larger ticket items like a PS, lighting fixture, etc. I can save a bundle over my LFS. However, I always check with them first. If they are a little bit more expensive I will buy from the LFS and support them.

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