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Old 08-05-2012, 02:17 PM   #11
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As mentioned, overhead. Online warehouses and drop shippers have far less overhead than our neighborhood fish stores. The main competitive standard that other LFS go by is other area LFS. In some instances they share a (or a few) mutual product suppliers, so it gives them a rough estimate to go by. Many try to price match with area stores, but otherwise they are going to charge whatever people are willing to pay.

Have you seen the markup on fish? It averages around 300%.

Does this mean we should knowingly pay 2-3x as much locally as we would online? I say no, personally. I like supporting local business and all, but they've got to make an effort to be competitive. It's not my problem that online suppliers can offer rock bottom prices, and LFS have to find a way to adapt or go extinct.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by aqua_chem View Post
There's actually a lot more to this story. My sister works in a fish store, and has complained to me before about how cheap things are online. They're taking a beating in a lot of cases because they can't compete with online prices on everyday things like heaters, test kits, and bulbs. Simply put, that's the price they have to sell at to stay profitable. The issue is further confounded on more expensive items like lights. They might pay $200 for something and sell for $300-400, but there's a realistic chance with some niche hardware that it will be sitting on the shelves for weeks to months, tieing up a good chunk of the stores money.

Don't be so quick to hate on the store. They're the victims in some of this too, and flaming them isn't going to help anyone.

Good point. I also agree with HUKIT. The way I look at it is, if one place has it way cheaper, that doesn't mean everybody else is too expensive, it just means that one place is cheaper. I certainly understand budget restraints, and they frustrate me a lot too. However, when I like an lfs (or other business for that matter) I will pay a bit more to them to keep in business. The lfs in my last hometown was a bit more expensive than some other places, but they always helped me, and really put a lot of effort into the care of the fish and giving people good advice. In that way, they are more helpful to the hobby than the random sites online who will wantonly sell me cheap goods. JMO.

EDIT: Jeta ninja posted a good point. I should add that I do see a difference between, "a bit higher" and "crazy high."
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:49 PM   #13
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Yeah you guys make a lot of good points. Guess I just let it get to me that's all. We all have our moments right?




Thanks for cooler heads to prevail. Guess its just the way things go...
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:51 PM   #14
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Good point. I also agree with HUKIT. The way I look at it is, if one place has it way cheaper, that doesn't mean everybody else is too expensive, it just means that one place is cheaper. I certainly understand budget restraints, and they frustrate me a lot too. However, when I like an lfs (or other business for that matter) I will pay a bit more to them to keep in business. The lfs in my last hometown was a bit more expensive than some other places, but they always helped me, and really put a lot of effort into the care of the fish and giving people good advice. In that way, they are more helpful to the hobby than the random sites online who will wantonly sell me cheap goods. JMO.

EDIT: Jeta ninja posted a good point. I should add that I do see a difference between, "a bit higher" and "crazy high."
Totally agree.

When I see a bit of a difference between places, like $15 compared to $10, I'll buy local if the store is a good store. I want to see them stay in business.

When I see a local place selling a filter for $75 in a faded-out dust covered half smashed box and online has the new model with updates for $23, no way I'm paying for that difference just to pay his kid's college fund.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:44 PM   #15
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Isn't there a rule on here about bashing pet stores and other places that you've named specifically?
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:54 PM   #16
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Isn't there a rule on here about bashing pet stores and other places that you've named specifically?
Yea there is, we've established that a few post back, but thanks for your concern and adding to the thread.

Also the original post has been edited.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:18 AM   #17
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I too do not like to overpay. Sometimes I will however, when my LFS has an item in stock and I don't want to wait for shipping coupled with the fact I like to support my LFS so they can continue to be around. However, there is a limit to what I feel we as consumers should be subjected to concerning overpaying. $200 more for the same item is IMHO unethical. I know mom & pop, brick & mortar stores have many operating expenses online stores do not have. For that reason a markup is expected and deserved so they can survive. Unreasonable markup causes me to look elsewhere. Sometimes it's amazing how cheap online stores can actually sell stuff. In that case we as consumers get to reap the benefits. When I am looking to buy a big dollar item (such as a chiller, controller, calcium reactor,etc) I may choose an online store so as to save the extra markup money charged at my LFS. In return I will eventually spend that saved money at my LFS on something not quite so pricey (return pump, powerhead, frozen food, etc). So by me shopping competitively, I still do in a sense support my LFS. If I get a light for $200 less online it's easier to justify buying that $300 Scoly from my LFS
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:19 AM   #18
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Totally agree.

When I see a bit of a difference between places, like $15 compared to $10, I'll buy local if the store is a good store. I want to see them stay in business.

When I see a local place selling a filter for $75 in a faded-out dust covered half smashed box and online has the new model with updates for $23, no way I'm paying for that difference just to pay his kid's college fund.
My thoughts exactly... particularly faded-out, dust covered stock!
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:22 PM   #19
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That's how they make the big bucks...but some places are just plain ridiculous. One lfs was selling a fake rock with fake plants/ moss on it, and they wanted $90.00..... It was all fake!!
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:09 PM   #20
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That's how they make the big bucks...but some places are just plain ridiculous. One lfs was selling a fake rock with fake plants/ moss on it, and they wanted $90.00..... It was all fake!!
I actually think fake decor is more expensive than live plants. I saw the same thing at my lfs, a fake rock with a fake plant on it, probally no bigger than a soda can was 30$
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