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Old 03-09-2005, 10:38 PM   #1
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Need to get some ideas for inventory of my friend's LFS...

Hey everyone! One of my friend's, who I work for part-time, would like me to gather up as much information as possible on what you all (the customer) feel is the best equipment and also fish. We have a retailer convention to attend soon and before we go we'd like to see what people REALLY want. This includes medicines, test kits, filters, heaters, and all the accessories included in having a successful tank(s). Also, feel free to list what, in your opinion, are the most popular fish for the home aquarium. This includes salwater and freshwater. Basically, what do you all wish your LFS would carry or what they do carry that you can't live with out. You guys don't have to reply if you don't want, but it would really help us out and our customers. We're located in Jacksonville, FL and have a new website in the works...www.fishbowlaquariums.com.

Thanks again everyone for your time!

*NOTE - Moderators, this is not an attempt to spam this forum in any way. Please, do not delete my post. Thank you.
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Old 03-10-2005, 03:10 AM   #2
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I can't live with out the lies my LFS tells customers about how they can have anemones and all the tangs they want in that little 32G hex tank with the NO florescent that comes with. I can't live without the ridiculously high prices acting as if the internet is some how inaccessable to everyone or broken in the city we live in. I can't live without the dead fish that were obviously dump 'acclimated' into the tanks. I can't live with out completely biased advice of a sells turd that smells money caring only about moving the junk out that no one wants and doing so at the expense of some n00b who doesn't know better. I can't..well you get the point. Obviously factitious, however I hope if you really are putting together a new fish store you will treat your customers, no matter how much they may deserve otherwise, like they have a shred of sense about them. Honestly, if my LFS 'd00dz' were palatable, I would probably not mind paying the extra money locally. Personally I feel that I should help support local business. Its the low lifes out for a buck that drive folks like me to do all shopping nearly exclusively on the 'net. One should consider if they can compete with the www before entering into such a venture..Maybe a nice online store front would suite you better? A good business plan with all the proper analysis takes care of that I suppose...

Anyway..

GL.
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Old 03-10-2005, 03:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PC
I can't live with out the lies my LFS tells customers about how they can have anemones and all the tangs they want in that little 32G hex tank with the NO florescent that comes with. I can't live without the ridiculously high prices acting as if the internet is some how inaccessable to everyone or broken in the city we live in. I can't live without the dead fish that were obviously dump 'acclimated' into the tanks. I can't live with out completely biased advice of a sells turd that smells money caring only about moving the junk out that no one wants and doing so at the expense of some n00b who doesn't know better. I can't..well you get the point. Obviously factitious, however I hope if you really are putting together a new fish store you will treat your customers, no matter how much they may deserve otherwise, like they have a shred of sense about them. Honestly, if my LFS 'd00dz' were palatable, I would probably not mind paying the extra money locally. Personally I feel that I should help support local business. Its the low lifes out for a buck that drive folks like me to do all shopping nearly exclusively on the 'net. One should consider if they can compete with the www before entering into such a venture..Maybe a nice online store front would suite you better? A good business plan with all the proper analysis takes care of that I suppose...

Anyway..

GL.
This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. We've been open for only a couple of years and have to compete against other LFS in the city that already have the established name and location. But, EVERYTHING you just posted is EXACTLY how those LFS work...if they even consider themselves to be a decent LFS. All false and full of lies. Most don't even care about the fish and just want to get rich you know? We're far from that. I'm no genius, but I would never make up information about fish just to make a sale. We base ourselves off of having the best customer service and so far we seem to be doing a pretty good job. But, like I said, we're competing against already established LFS who have the overhead and capabilites to order whatever the hell they want. Minus the fact that our location isn't necessarily in the center of town. And as for the website, that's our new frontier. Going to be testing some online merchandising, and first starting off with our main focus of wet/dry filtration systems. But, like you said, if an LFS has decent prices, excellent customer service, knowledgeable employees, and a clean store...then paying the extra couple of dollars is worth it.
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Old 03-10-2005, 06:56 AM   #4
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well since you metions wet/dry's my lfs carries these, www.proclearaquatics.com, they are very well built and have a lifetime warranty. their skimmers are also quality products and their prices are very cheap. but as for my favorite skimmers i should say euroreefs or the aquac ev, maxi jets for power heads (stay in stock with the filter sponges and replacement suction cups), mag drive/quiet one/ and eheim for submersible pumps rio is also a good cheaper brand (dont know much about external), my lfs sells all-glass aquariums at a very low price with the stand included, won brothers titanum heaters are very very good, i dont know too much about sumps or fuges as i find that most people make their own, i hear that hagen and salifert are the best testing kits on the maket, kent marine makes good supplements and i use prime reef for fish food, coralife has good lighting u.its and great customer service, also bio spira by the creators of Istant ocean is good for setting a tank up and cycling it. the swcd is also a nice unit to have if you want the effect of waves and i like oceanic salt but IO makes good salt also. and if your gonna sell live rock that is cured do your customers a favor and at least keep damsels in there so that way the rock grows the right kind of bacteria for new tanks to establish with.

As for fish i just name my favorite... obviously all the clowns are on there, the achilles tang, chevron tang, blue tang, purple tang, powder blue tang, green/ spotted mandarin, lawnmower blenny, scooter blenny, rainfordss goby(court jester goby), yellow watchman goby, six line wrasse, coral beauty, flame angel, emperor angel, koran angel, majestic angel, yellow headed jawfish, pink spotted goby, lionfishes, niger trigger, picasso trigger, clown trigger, huma huma trigger, bursa trigger, blue jaw trigger, sea betta, purple and red firefish, neon blue goby, clown goby, pinnitus batfish, moorish idol, tassle filefish, most of the puffers, white cheek tang, black ribbon eel.... ill let ya know if i remember any more
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:05 AM   #5
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Nice live rock, as many tank raised fish as you can get, shrimp gobies (more than just watchmans), blue/green chromis, hardiest tangs - include bristle tooths (algae eaters), smaller sand sifting fish, neon blue goby - pairs if possible, blennies, wrasses, lionfishes, angels triggers, and goby varieties.

Good variety of vitamin enriched foods, garlic, better testing kits, coral fragging tools (bridal veils, snippers, small plug rocks, etc), QT tank ensembles (shows you care IMO), meds, neat tools for drip acclimating, vacuuming, those new non-sinkable algea clips, and other tools that folks could really use to make the hobby easier.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:40 AM   #6
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as far as making money goes......
clownfish
clownfish
clownfish
clownfish
clownfish

I'd get a bunch of nano cubes as well for people who want a cheap alternative to a big tank.

Kent products ROCK.

Really you can have any brand of skimmers or lights or whatever just make sure you have some.

and besides that, just make it like a regular store with normal stuff.

Oh and remember, you don't make as much money selling things to people who already have tanks as you do the people who are trying to set them up.

Basically this is how you make money off a fish store....... you make money off of people who make a huge impulse buy, don't do any research, then have something die, and realize they want the tank, but don't want the work. That's where you make money, servicing tanks....... The markup on stuff inn the store will more than likely be 100% on live goods (fish coral) and 50% on dry goods. that's usually how it works in everyones LFSs, I know because I get everything at wholesale.


Just remember these few things ...........
Nemo
Nemo
Nemo
Nemo
Nemo
Nemo

and

Servicing tanks

that's all you need to know.

That and you need a really nice showtank.


Now to stop playing business man and be a responsible reefer.......
Sell only the best dry goods possible,
Teach all your customers how to build their own sump,
Try to get everyone the best possible deal for everyone!!!!!

So don't spend a bunch of time on trying to make a good name for yourself with the local reefers, they already have tanks and don't spend much money anyways.
(can anyone tell I got into it with one of those nerds the other day?)


Oh, I wish my local fish store fragged stuff and sold little pieces of stuff instead of big clusters of the same thing...... they would make more money that way anyways.......
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:15 AM   #7
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The best way to get an edge over other shops is to offer unmatched customer service. That includes being honest and offering the best and most educated advice to the consumer. I will drive farther to a LFS if they treat me well, know what they are talking about and have nice looking tanks. As for livestock and dry goods...Know ALL of your products. Offer a good selection and nice variety. One more thing...did I mention how important good old customer service is?...
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:33 AM   #8
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You forgot about the MAG Float Glass cleaning magnets. LOL
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:35 AM   #9
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You forgot about the MAG Float Glass cleaning magnets. LOL
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:59 AM   #10
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I have to say that what I like is a lfs that can actually tell me the truth about my problems. Naturally, I do not really have this at my lfs.

I would suggest that you have people that work for you who are willing to do the research and learn about marine tanks, not just sell stuff. Keep the store tanks clean and make sure you never sell fish that are not eating or are sick.

I would suggest keeping a really strong varity of clean up crew crabs, snails and fish in one area. My lfs has a very limited selection on the clean up crews, thus I am having to order them online. Also I would like it if they would carry LR rubble!

I love my lfs, dont get me wrong. It is the only one in this area that I would dare to shop at. I just get frustrated because they do not know their stuff and do not have as much of a selection as I would like.

I could not live with out the following things that my lfs provides for me:
RO Water
Salt
Turbo Snails (they die so often, so I am always having to relpace them)
Frozen food
Mag-Floats
Mexican Red Legged Hermit Crabs (they eat cyno bacteria)
Uncured LR at a discounted rate!!! :P
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