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Old 03-10-2005, 12:12 PM   #11
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Customer service is the way to beat all others out, I hate dealing with poor attitudes and high prices. I persoanlly dont mind helping out lfs's by paying higher prices but when you add lies and misinformation count me out.
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:15 PM   #12
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Don't try to oversell.. The LFS here would sell 50 fish to put in a 29g tank... If you don't make an extra buck, to save a fish DO it!
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:41 PM   #13
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Eels, don't forget the eels!
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:42 PM   #14
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Since everyone else answered all the other common complaints about a LFS... I would like to say... Education!!!!

I would have loved to have seen like a full scale vinyl wall hanging layout of a complete tank/pumps/sump etc. Most often when you are new to all of this and you ask a LFS what you need to do it right - it is so overwhelming. They start spouting words like "chiller, skimmer, heaters, sump, refugium, macro, tank, stand canopy, metal halide, vho, power compant, t5,"... well - you get the point.

Having a drawing of a full setup with like an arrow pointing to each individual item (return pump, refugium, overflows, etc with arrows showing water flow) Then have an "ask about details" on each point and have a price list well layed out and be able to explain the differences in design, warranty, effects, long term, etc. Then have product scales layed out on paper and give HONEST opinions on what they should purchase given the application. I hope all of this makes sense.

Example
Skimmer
low cost low function low warranty period 15.00
med cost medium function 1 year warranty 45.00
high room for growth, etc " "" '" "" 200.00
luxory 500.00
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidreamer
Since everyone else answered all the other common complaints about a LFS... I would like to say... Education!!!!

I would have loved to have seen like a full scale vinyl wall hanging layout of a complete tank/pumps/sump etc. Most often when you are new to all of this and you ask a LFS what you need to do it right - it is so overwhelming. They start spouting words like "chiller, skimmer, heaters, sump, refugium, macro, tank, stand canopy, metal halide, vho, power compant, t5,"... well - you get the point.

Having a drawing of a full setup with like an arrow pointing to each individual item (return pump, refugium, overflows, etc with arrows showing water flow) Then have an "ask about details" on each point and have a price list well layed out and be able to explain the differences in design, warranty, effects, long term, etc. Then have product scales layed out on paper and give HONEST opinions on what they should purchase given the application. I hope all of this makes sense.

Example
Skimmer
low cost low function low warranty period 15.00
med cost medium function 1 year warranty 45.00
high room for growth, etc " "" '" "" 200.00
luxory 500.00

I have to agree whole heartedly with the above statement. If more LFS's did this sort of thing, it would definitely contribute to the growth of the marine fish industry, which could in turn, lead to more people propagating corals and breeding fish, which would ineviditably lead to lower prices for all of us!!

Just be educated so you can educate others correctly, and above all be honest. It's not the one-timers coming into your store that are going to make you money, it's the repeat customers that that will.
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:37 PM   #16
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also left out is have a good variety of aquarium books on hand and for sale... also have common pvc piping and clear hoses of assorted diameters for the pumps you sell. and whatever you sell in the store have accessories and replacement parts for them all
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:54 PM   #17
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I dont know if someone else has mentioned this. But here is my ideas. I think that apperance and current stock is the biggest things. Have a shop that is super nice looking playing some great toons, and people will enjoy to be in there.....the more they are in there, the better chance of them giving you $$$.

I have looked for some quality books before at Barnes & Noble, but mostly they just have "starter books".

Refugiums seems to be big. Have a tank set up with one to show custumers what it is and most importantly if you can afford it have some IN STOCK. It is very distracting when a LFS says they "can get it" instead of just being able to get it right then and then.

I can go on with more but I need to go. Hope this helps!!
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Old 03-10-2005, 06:46 PM   #18
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anything made by Tunze is a definite seller
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Old 03-11-2005, 01:22 AM   #19
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Yeah BDawg... glad you saw my point. I had the same exact thoughts going though my head that you followed up with Also supermarvin makes some excellent points... I LOVE going to this one LFS because they have an upbeat/electronic but not overly irritating music lineup always going. Sometimes even some alternative which fits the scene perfectly for this hobby... and people are all walking around checking out stuff and pointing with girlfriends/kids/etc. Its great stuff. I almost want to start helping and giving advice/opinions myself because the atmosphere is so great. "Where's the applications again?" hehe j/j But really - if the people there weren't so grumpy and they educated a little more and had the plumbing in stock, it would rock!
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:02 AM   #20
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Excellent, excellent, nothing but excellent replies from all of you. Actually, I didn't even expect this much of a response. Alot of you hit key points that have often run through my mind and have been brought up with my boss. I definitely feel customer service is where we stand above most in our area. Although I'm not a genius when it comes to ALL things related to aquaria, I help the best I can with a smile and a nice greeting. I know more about freshwater than saltwater, but I'm learning every day. My boss is the genius when it comes to marine. Books, replacements, maintenance, clean store, friendly atmosphere, and no false information or lies just to sell a product or fish are key players in a successful LFS, and if we aren't there yet then I try and discuss it with those who know what it takes or what it would take to get there. Unlike other LFS around town, myself and my boss both love fish. I mean, look at my name...it says it all! I would really like to thank those of you who have already responded. You've helped me in such a great way I couldn't ask for more. I'll be completing my list of products and fish by the end of the weekend(before our next convention)...so keep all these great recommendations and advice coming!

Thanks again everyone, this post is awesome!
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