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Old 01-31-2012, 11:24 PM   #1
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Defending the LFS

I have a question for the numerous folks that have relayed bad experiences at the dreaded "LFS". Are your bad experiences really at Local Fish Stores or Local Pet Stores? I've been at the big pet stores and experienced the lack of knowledge similar to what has been described by so many people.The worst was when I once pointed out a floater to an employee I got the response, "That's why I don't keep fish. No matter how well you take care of them, they often die." Ugh. On the other hand, if I drive the 25 minutes to the true local fish store, I have found excellent help, service and advice. I'm sure every store is different but I've got to believe (or at least I'd like to believe) that most people who open a fish store do so because they love fish (there are lots of easier ways to make money). Are there others out there that have good things to say about their LFS? Just wondering...
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:38 PM   #2
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I have two LFS that I go too and both are a different experience. The one closer to me, has an incredible selection of healthy fish, both sw and fw. But the family is a little cold to talk too and their english is not the best to boot. Also, I have had an employee there tell me I could put 12 goldfish in my 29 gallon... But, it IS a 10 minute drive so thats my main one.

If I want to get lost in an LFS and have a great time talkin' shop to the owners, I'll then drive an hour (it's only 15 miles away, but LA traffic is a..) to an LFS where it beats any service Ive ever seen.

I agree with you wawgt, when people complain about the knowledgeable staff, its more likely not an LFS, but a Petco or PetPlus type store.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:57 PM   #3
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The worst, ignorant advice I've gotten was from chain mega-pet stores. However, the one locally owned place in my area has mostly knowledgeable people with a few exceptions. There is a semi-local place where I've gotten bad info also. These places seem to have a wide range of knowledge among their different employees, but no consistent knowledge base.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:17 AM   #4
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My local petsmart has SOME good advice depending on who you ask. My LFS has more good advice but the people are rude and will tell you whatever you want to hear to get a sale because they are partly on commission. I have heard them tell people 1 black kuhli loach would be fine in a tank, an adf could live in a 5x 3x 2x betta torture cage, and stuff like that. I was also told that apparently, I do not want duckweed. Apparantly I want to spend 60 dollars on a light fixture for a 5 gallon and have lots of plants! lol
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:14 AM   #5
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I think that people often expect too much out of LFS workers, especially the big box ones. It's like going to an auto parts store, the guys there may be able to help a bit, but I wouldn't trust them to diagnose a problem on a car like a trained mechanic would.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:18 AM   #6
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I think that people often expect too much out of LFS workers, especially the big box ones. It's like going to an auto parts store, the guys there may be able to help a bit, but I wouldn't trust them to diagnose a problem on a car like a trained mechanic would.
I understand where you are going with that but this is different. They should know how to care for fish. They should love them if they work in this field!
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:30 AM   #7
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Where I live I have the choice of driving to the next city to many different levels of "pet stores" there is the mom an pop shops, depending on whether "mom or pop" are there depends on the knowledge on hand. Then there's the big "box" stores if you get the manager on a good day alls well, but the majority of the employees are new to the hobby or have areas where their knowledge is impeccable. I think with most places it can be both a positive and negative experience based on your personal perception going in there. If you go in looking for answers and come out with none I'm sure you'd be upset. If you go in looking for an opportunity to exchange knowledge you may be surprised. I also know that while we have our opinions of these places, keep in mind they're people too and some of them have opinions of us too. Could you imagine for a moment working there? And having all kinds of people of various levels of fish keeping skills looking to you for advice? I know there's not a chance I'd be able to tell a salt water person anything. I always ask what the persons experience is with fish first and then carry my conversation based on that.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:57 AM   #8
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I have a lfs that has an amazing selection, I can get almost any fish, bulb, fixture, dw and plant, ordered no problem. They also have real aquatic plants. They are always very helpful except on the weekends when they are packed!! Lol
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:07 AM   #9
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I understand where you are going with that but this is different. They should know how to care for fish. They should love them if they work in this field!

You could say the same thing about anyone in any profession. Fast food workers should love customer service and love to cook burgers and fries but it's not often the case is it? That is just as, if not more important than caring for animals well, since its something that people are putting into their bodies.

Unfortunately many people, especially low paid unskilled workers, are in it just for a job, not because they like it, love it, or have some career goal in mind.

There are some good workers out there that do a good job and have good advice, and there are some that don't. There are some LFS that have gross tanks with dying fish and all that, but it doesn't make much money or business sense to do that.

One of the biggest gripes I hear on here is about stocking advice that a LFS worker gives. Big shocker, they are salespeople at the end of the day, so most of them are not going to try to talk you out of buying something.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:15 AM   #10
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One of the biggest gripes I hear on here is about stocking advice that a LFS worker gives. Big shocker, they are salespeople at the end of the day, so most of them are not going to try to talk you out of buying something.
So true! Just because 'the sales person said it was ok' doesn't mean it is. Pet and fish stores are a business trying to make a profit. The sale persons job is to sell as many fish and accessories as they can.
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