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Old 06-15-2015, 11:38 AM   #131
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The betta in the bag is dead!
Seemed to work out just fine!
I know all about this and may have been the first to mention lately these fish wouldn't be here without us and they create jobs.......BUT
Maybe just a little care/concern or even an attempt to get it right?
Careful what you defend.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:56 AM   #132
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The betta in the bag is dead!
Seemed to work out just fine!
I know all about this and may have been the first to mention lately these fish wouldn't be here without us and they create jobs.......BUT
Maybe just a little care/concern or even an attempt to get it right?
Careful what you defend.
that is one dead fish.
If the majority of them died in transit, I doubt they would continue to ship them that way.

actually they are generally safer in those little bags in transit than they are in the cups because in the cups they can get banged all around and injured, but not so with the bags.

also bear in mind that if it were not for the hobby we all enjoy, these fish would not be subjected to these conditions, so we also have to accept some of the blame and responsibility for how the industry is run.

simple supply and demand is what killed your betta in the bag.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:00 PM   #133
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simple truth of the matter is unless we want to spend 5x the $$$$ on these critters, we need to accept/tolerate some of the industry practices otherwise the hobby would be too expensive for a lot of people.


I'm not defending it or anything, just recognizing the reality of it.
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Old 06-15-2015, 01:22 PM   #134
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Too expensive? Not going to stores is the way to save money. The mark up is ridiculous. 30 cents a guppy for them, sometimes cheaper. 3-5$ for us. 5$ peacock cichlid for them, 40-50$ for us. BN Plecos 1$ for them, 10-15$ for us. The sad fact is hobbyist breeders have much higher quality fish. Much better prices. I understand the need for a store. But when you say we drive the market, its a lil wrong. Only a lil. Like you said PB one fish. If the majority died they wouldnt continue to ship that way is very wrong. They dont care, because if they get 10 out of 100 bettas to live and sell 5 that shipment is paid for. If they sell 10 out of 200 guppies, shipment paid for. There are many hobbyist breeders out there. Many on this site. The quality they put forth is usually head and shoulders above the stores. I myself breed high end discus, angels, rams, guppies, peacock cichlids, and plecos. But find it hard sometimes to not get backed up. My prices are better, quality is much better, customer service is through the roof. And all i wanna do is offer quality fish to all. Now where your right is most people would rather get a puppymill style fish today, instead of wait a few days for a much better version of same fish and some shipping time. The have it right danged now attitude drives these stores problems. I also understand that habing fish shipped is intimidating. But if you talk to the shipper you can make sure all bases are covered. As myself will always try to rectify any shipping error at all. So in conclusion, we hobbyists didnt cause this. It was exploited in us by money mongers. We just need to be conscious enough to keep our hobby ours. All true hobbyists will support eachother.

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Old 06-15-2015, 01:33 PM   #135
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I applaud the op for the effort. Work hard, do extra, and sidework thats not expected are all good bits of advice. For this will help your voice be noticed. When someone doesnt like what your saying in the workplace, use your hard extra work show them what your saying. Both combined are better than one or the other. If your gonna be loud about it, be about it. All the way down to the dirty, hard working, no one sees side.

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Old 06-15-2015, 01:35 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by PB_Smith View Post
simple truth of the matter is unless we want to spend 5x the $$$$ on these critters, we need to accept/tolerate some of the industry practices otherwise the hobby would be too expensive for a lot of people.


I'm not defending it or anything, just recognizing the reality of it.
Sadly, this is the difference in perception between the consumers and those who are in the business.
First off, regarding the bettas in bags, as previously stated, they are actually better off shipped in the bags than before ( as I explained) and the acceptable DOA (Dead On Arrival) rate on livestock is usually 10% of a shipment. What people need to realize is that fish die from natural causes as well during shipping. This is a living organism and as such, react differently to the experience. In the case of bettas, I've had boxes and boxes of Bettas packed 200 per box and not had any dead ones arrived even with bags having almost no water left in them from a leak in the bag. Conversely, I've also had boxes where the death rate was 20% - 25%, from the same shipper. Neither is the "norm". The "norm" is somewhere in between. But the problem wasn't the bag or else the DOA rate would consistently be higher. Whether you like it or not, the only way to get fish from point A to point B in an affordable manor is to pack as many as you can in the box respecting that overpacking will kill the fish which makes the shipper lose money as well as the shop or wholesaler getting the fish lose money. We are not in this business to lose money so there is careful planning involved in how fish are shipped. Amounts per bag changes depending on distance to be traveled. Costs change because of that.
Have you ever thought about, back in the day, how many cows made the journey from their pastures to the marketplace? Some would die along the way. Some would get lost, get attacked by other animals, etc. Who lost in those situations? The cattle owner did. He put all that time and effort into raising that cow to sell at a good price and wound up with nothing to show for it. You can't sell a dead cow at market. Fish are no different. The object isn't to just sell them by any means but to transport them where they will have the highest chance of live arrival at the cheapest price possible.

Regarding this comment: "But if big box doesnt have a postal deal in place with any company then thats their fault and maybe a quiet employee could have helped them figure that out. I breed and ship many different types of fish and i have a flat deal with my usps. , the USPS is great for small shipments but most of these fish originate outside the US and are shipped via airplanes as cargo and that has become extremely expensive. Most of these box stores I assume, have a central warehouse where they receive the fish from the country of origin then reship them to the individual stores. So its a Point A to point B to point C situation where there are multiple costs in shipping. Airlines do give discounts ( or used to at least ) for frequent shippers but even with that, it's not cheap. Case in point, back in the 1980s, I had a competitor selling the same fish as I was. No matter what rate I could get for shipping, their prices per fish to the stores were less than the shipping cost alone of the fish to me. Meaning, even if the fish were free, I still couldn't land them in the U.S. cheap enough to be competitive. They got a better freight rate because they shipped in more fish as I'm sure the box stores do too.

One of the things PB Smith and I have in common is an insider's knowledge of how the pet industry works. What John & Jane Q public will never see if they don't work in the areas we've worked in. We are offering behind the scenes wisdom to show you that it's not all that it appears and what happens in a store is not necessarily wrong in a store situation whereas it is wrong in a long term one. This is truly an "Apples and Oranges" comparison which should not be made.
Having said all that, to the OP, yes, it sucks when change doesn't happen quickly but positive change takes time and perseverance. Today's customer base has had years of bad advice and influences guiding them so it's going to take time to change all that. You can just as easily tell a customer that the picture on that 5 gal tank is the same one on a 10 or 15 or 20+ gal tank so what is on the pictures does not apply to all the tanks. It's just there to show fish in a tank. That's where your guidance is most needed. Be the educator and make returning customers. THAT will get you where you want to go a lot sooner.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-15-2015, 01:46 PM   #137
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Livestock talk aside. The other thing i notice is no one seems to mention how appreciative they are that these stores exist. I mean, if your having an issue with somethin or other in your tank and you need a chem, filter part, meds, etc..... And you need it now, online isnt always an option. So these stores are good as well. I say this because here in kansas, our amazing LFS(AMAZING, I MEAN IT) burned down 3wks ago. I would be a screwed pooch without a big box to get the few things i actually need for my hobby from a store. Theyve even gone out of their wy to order things for me they dont carry to help me because they know oyr LFS was amazing abt having the hardcore hobbyist stuff. It was started by a hardcore hobbyist. It was also very nice to have the aquatic specialist come and ask me what i thought would be good for them to carry for the hobby that they may not usuly carry. He understands the communities need for higher quality product in the time of need, circumstance. So bright slots are there. And not 1 single store in the corporation runs, acts totally like another. So we will all have varying stories.

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Old 06-15-2015, 01:47 PM   #138
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That was my soap box. Its old and creeky, but holds my weight. Lol. Thanks for listening.

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Old 06-15-2015, 02:05 PM   #139
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[QUOTE=Andy Sager;3235034]Sadly, this is the difference in perception between the consumers and those who are in the business.
First off, regarding the bettas in bags, as previously stated, they are actually better off shipped in the bags than before ( as I explained) and the acceptable DOA (Dead On Arrival) rate on livestock is usually 10% of a shipment. What people need to realize is that fish die from natural causes as well during shipping. This is a living organism and as such, react differently to the experience. In the case of bettas, I've had boxes and boxes of Bettas packed 200 per box and not had any dead ones arrived even with bags having almost no water left in them from a leak in the bag. Conversely, I've also had boxes where the death rate was 20% - 25%, from the same shipper. Neither is the "norm". The "norm" is somewhere in between. But the problem wasn't the bag or else the DOA rate would consistently be higher. Whether you like it or not, the only way to get fish from point A to point B in an affordable manor is to pack as many as you can in the box respecting that overpacking will kill the fish which makes the shipper lose money as well as the shop or wholesaler getting the fish lose money. We are not in this business to lose money so there is careful planning involved in how fish are shipped. Amounts per bag changes depending on distance to be traveled. Costs change because of that.
Have you ever thought about, back in the day, how many cows made the journey from their pastures to the marketplace? Some would die along the way. Some would get lost, get attacked by other animals, etc. Who lost in those situations? The cattle owner did. He put all that time and effort into raising that cow to sell at a good price and wound up with nothing to show for it. You can't sell a dead cow at market. Fish are no different. The object isn't to just sell them by any means but to transport them where they will have the highest chance of live arrival at the cheapest price possible.

Regarding this comment: "But if big box doesnt have a postal deal in place with any company then thats their fault and maybe a quiet employee could have helped them figure that out. I breed and ship many different types of fish and i have a flat deal with my usps. , the USPS is great for small shipments but most of these fish originate outside the US and are shipped via airplanes as cargo and that has become extremely expensive. Most of these box stores I assume, have a central warehouse where they receive the fish from the country of origin then reship them to the individual stores. So its a Point A to point B to point C situation where there are multiple costs in shipping. Airlines do give discounts ( or used to at least ) for frequent shippers but even with that, it's not cheap. Case in point, back in the 1980s, I had a competitor selling the same fish as I was. No matter what rate I could get for shipping, their prices per fish to the stores were less than the shipping cost alone of the fish to me. Meaning, even if the fish were free, I still couldn't land them in the U.S. cheap enough to be competitive. They got a better freight rate because they shipped in more fish as I'm sure the box stores do too.

One of the things PB Smith and I have in common is an insider's knowledge of how the pet industry works. What John & Jane Q public will never see if they don't work in the areas we've worked in. We are offering behind the scenes wisdom to show you that it's not all that it appears and what happens in a store is not necessarily wrong in a store situation whereas it is wrong in a long term one. This is truly an "Apples and Oranges" comparison which should not be made.
Having said all that, to the OP, yes, it sucks when change doesn't happen quickly but positive change takes time and perseverance. Today's customer base has had years of bad advice and influences guiding them so it's going to take time to change all that. You can just as easily tell a customer that the picture on that 5 gal tank is the same one on a 10 or 15 or 20+ gal tank so what is on the pictures does not apply to all the tanks. It's just there to show fish in a tank. That's where your guidance is most needed. Be the educator and make returning customers. THAT will get you where you want to go a lot sooner.

Hope this helps [/QUOTE I only used usps shipping deal as an example. I do have insider knowledge. Not near as much as you andy (respect). But were not all outsiders. Fedex has amazing rates as well. I agree shipping is/can be expensive. I also agree with your cattle analogy. But as times and methods change, business models should be as well. I dont concider myself a smart person, but changes can be made. Even if small.

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Old 06-15-2015, 02:19 PM   #140
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Too expensive? Not going to stores is the way to save money. The mark up is ridiculous. 30 cents a guppy for them, sometimes cheaper. 3-5$ for us. 5$ peacock cichlid for them, 40-50$ for us. BN Plecos 1$ for them, 10-15$ for us. The sad fact is hobbyist breeders have much higher quality fish. Much better prices. I understand the need for a store. But when you say we drive the market, its a lil wrong. Only a lil. Like you said PB one fish. If the majority died they wouldnt continue to ship that way is very wrong. They dont care, because if they get 10 out of 100 bettas to live and sell 5 that shipment is paid for. If they sell 10 out of 200 guppies, shipment paid for. There are many hobbyist breeders out there. Many on this site. The quality they put forth is usually head and shoulders above the stores. I myself breed high end discus, angels, rams, guppies, peacock cichlids, and plecos. But find it hard sometimes to not get backed up. My prices are better, quality is much better, customer service is through the roof. And all i wanna do is offer quality fish to all. Now where your right is most people would rather get a puppymill style fish today, instead of wait a few days for a much better version of same fish and some shipping time. The have it right danged now attitude drives these stores problems. I also understand that habing fish shipped is intimidating. But if you talk to the shipper you can make sure all bases are covered. As myself will always try to rectify any shipping error at all. So in conclusion, we hobbyists didnt cause this. It was exploited in us by money mongers. We just need to be conscious enough to keep our hobby ours. All true hobbyists will support eachother.

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You are missing a couple of ingredients here. The markups also cover the expense of feeding the fish, maintaining the fish, the employees paycheck for doing the work, medications if necessary, etc. The only way the markup is huge is if the fish are sold before they ever hit the tanks in the store. People in the business, and any business actually, are not in it to break even, they need to make money on a shipment. As I said in my previous comment, even dead fish cost money. Look how many people offer free replacement for shipped fish that arrive DOA but they don't include the shipping costs. Why not? In a number of cases, me being one of them, I want to see what I am buying before I buy so paying a shop a little more for a fish doesn't bother me. Many hobbyists feel the same I'm sure. But when a consumer is only concerned about the price of the fish, it says a lot about the buyer. No?
You also need to realize that the average aquarist today is NOT a hobbyist. They just have some fish as pets. I'm not saying this is a bad thing but that how do they know about the difference in fish if no one is there to teach them. There is a reason why there are fewer Mom & Pop pet shops these days. Box stores didn't change the dynamics of the business. They just gave the people what they wanted at a cheaper price. Look at where that's brought us? Tropical fish keeping went from being a kid's hobby to an adult's hobby because the costs for keeping fish became out of a kid's price range. Go into any Mom & Pop shop that has been around more than 30 years and ask them how their customer base has changed. It all started back when kids stopped going to pet stores and started going to video arcades. I was there for it and saw it with my own 2 eyes. The customers changed so the atmosphere was ripe for box stores to take hold. Buying power comes when you can buy a lot and smaller mom & pops just couldn't match the prices..
Re your comment :"So in conclusion, we hobbyists didnt cause this. It was exploited in us by money mongers." in a way, yes we did. By not supporting the stores who were trying to serve us in order to save a dollar, we helped open the ability for the box stores to exist. No, we were not alone but we are not without fault.
Yes, hobbyists will support other hobbyists but they also need to be the ones who turn fish keepers into hobbyists as well. That will help to grow the hobby not just keep it as is. I think of it in these terms, When the last true hobbyist dies, who is going to be keeping the fish? I don't want that to happen.
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