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Old 05-21-2015, 08:13 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by thing fish View Post
Thanks, Caleb. I was assured that I will have authority to refuse sales and to override sales of other employees. Still, it would be naive to think they are going to let me have full control...but ****, if I am not going to do things my way. I have zero worries about telling them to go kick rocks.
Good luck to you. Big box retail chain stores are managed by amateurs. By that I mean the shots are called from a central office and the store "managers" are employees who do what they are told, and all the major decisions are made from head office. This includes what to sell and how to sell it. Unfortunately, the individuals that make the big decisions are often so far removed from the sales floor they really have no idea.

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Old 05-21-2015, 08:40 PM   #32
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Clearly refusing to sell someone a fish is not the way to go, but explaining to that person why that fish is not a good idea is the way to go. If they still insist on that fish, I suppose you would have to sell it to them. Many people have to learn the hard way, and unfortunately that means fish will die. It cannot be helped, but you are doing the best you can, or at least planning to, so I wish you good luck. You are doing a good thing.

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Old 05-21-2015, 08:42 PM   #33
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I envision an attitude of denying sales and restructuring a chain stores protocol in getting canned. I hope you have the opportunity to do these things but I see it not rolling over well with corporate or head managers.
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:02 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by thing fish View Post
The first order of business will be to put a stop to sales from one group of 12 tanks. The way they are set up, the tanks share water in groups of 12. This one group of 12 had ich as well as a fish with a fungal infection. I checked their water test results, and they showed zero across the board, which is very unlikely. They are still selling fish from these 12 tanks and not treating!!
This is what happens when the 19 year-old dummy employees want to hang around the puppies and kitties sections and not the boring and tedious ol' fish section... It takes a motivated employee to correct this.

Originally Posted by thing fish View Post
A couple things I am planning to do so far are: refuse sales of fish that are not appropriate for the customer's tank
Pretty sure you'll be fired quite quickly for that... You as the lowly new-hire are expendable, and if your boss sees you turning away possible sales, he's going to have you out the door ASAP... You CAN highly recommend fishless cycles and bigger tanks and try to educate the impatient newbies, but all-out refusing to sell to someone because their three dollars' worth of fish will eventually outgrow their small tank is probably going to get you FIRED quickly. Sorry, but it's the business world, and the business world can be uglier than the real one sometimes. But, if you're a good salesman, convincing people to buy the $250 29g starter kit versus the $13.00 10g standard aquarium and parts is less of a problem, and your boss may love you for that.

Originally Posted by thing fish View Post
I also have a couple other ideas. I want to keep a tank for seeded media. This would likely entail a perpetual fishless cycle and running a lot of ammonia through an empty tank and maintaining a huge bacteria colony. Then squeezing out media into bags for people starting off.
I'd trust a person with this, I'd not trust a pet store with this (i.e. 12 tanks all sharing water, dunno what shape the fish are in, exactly)... Also, I'd wonder if your boss would allow you to sell this (or even give it away) on store property, since you'd basically be competition for Pet Store Inc at that point. That, or at the very least a legal liability (i.e. unsolicited unlicensed third-party stuff, etc). This is why our local Pet Store Inc will happily and swiftly refer a customer to LFS for certain things (live rock being the biggest one)...

Originally Posted by thing fish View Post
Another idea I have is to try to improve the quality of life for the Bettas. They have a large display of them, all in tiny plastic bowls. Some of them have been there for a long time. I would like to reduce the number of Bettas they keep in the store. I also would like to set up a couple of tanks as displays, examples of happy-Betta setups.
This is actually a good idea, if your boss allows it!

Originally Posted by thing fish View Post
I am not really sure how much I will be allowed to do. I was only offered the job today and have not begun working there, yet...but I am hopeful that they will give me some freedom to do good work. If they don't, then I will just quit. That is the beauty of a job that I do not really need.
Couldn't hurt to ask your higher-up, but I'd probably wait a few months and build good ground with your boss(es) before trying to completely redesign a whole section to your standards at their expense.

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Old 05-21-2015, 09:10 PM   #35
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Looks like I missed a few posts. Sorry for not replying sooner.

Fish mark ups vary from store to store. I do know that my friend's store's markups have diminished a lot since I was selling fish. In some cases, Bettas for example, the price for commons is the same as it was back in the 70s and 80s. The first price change I saw was recently when Far East breeders raised the price on their multicolored fish opposed to the standard Red, Blue or Green fish. Tail selections have redone what prices shops pay for the fish as well. How much do I sell my fish to the stores? Less than I would to a retail customer but that's because they will buy volume over a retail customer. I would sell to a wholesaler for less than a shop because they will buy more than a single shop would. You can call it a quantity discount program. There has to be room for the stores or wholesalers to make a profit or else they go out of business and then who do I sell my fish to? Retail customers? Only if you buy 12-25 fish at a time and more than once a month.

This next info might P.O. some stores but it should make you all aware just how far off you are in your thoughts on pricing. I can't tell you what those $.99 fish wholesale for today but I can give a price I used to charge stores back in the 80s for common swordtails ( for example). I charged stores $.39-$.42 for a red swordtail. That's about how common you can get. Back then, this was that $.99 fish. Zebra Danios, can it get any cheaper? I charged $.09 for them then and the stores sold them for anywhere from 5/$1.00 to 10/ $1.00 in some cases. They are not money makers. Many stores back then sold fish tanks for exactly what it cost the store. The reason? What good is a tank without a filter, stand, hood, gravel, fish food, etc? So is the store making a killing when you buy a tank? NO. They make something when you buy the other things. What if you are like me and don't buy anything else? Well, I would get charged a fee for using a credit card to buy the tank because the store was losing money if I didn't buy anything else. So fair is fair. I gladly paid the fee.

Hopefully, corporate will get the message if the OP keeps the section profitable and the management recognizes the reason why and they implement it in other stores. It will not be easy. Case in point, there is a chain store here in FL ( I won't name names for personal reasons) whose fish buyer was my customer in a retail store I worked at and the owner was my wholesale customer when he only had 1 store. Even today, when I mention to the employees my relationship to their boss or bosses, they tell me they have either never met them or even know how to contact them and I can't sell the store my fish unless I get their approval. Talk about a corporate chain of command! I don't have the patience for that so Mom & Pop shops are going to be getting my fish.

So hopefully the OP succeeds. I'm pulling for it to happen. Nothing but good can come from a successful outcome. There's been a number of good ideas given here. Some are realistic, some, IMO, are not possible or just unlikely at best. But any move forward is a step in the right direction. Look at it this way, Edison didn't invent the light bulb on his first try. But he learned something to use on each next step.

Hope this helps
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:28 AM   #36
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At a local, big box store the management firmly allowed the employees to decide if a fish could be sold to a customer, though some times the customer would just leave and go somewhere else or come back when the next employee is on duty. they were also known as Aquatic Specialists...

Soetimes there isn't enough time to do as much as meeds to get done.

Watch employees over feeding the Bettas.

Education kind caring sharing about all the needed care for tanks and new fish. It will lead to customers buying more things that they WANT for their tanks because they have good advice and caring employees to help them and care about their success for their tanks and their fish.

Good times to you for the extra effort you will be providing to the employees and the customers! I wish you well and successful efforts in your new job!

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Old 05-23-2015, 09:25 PM   #37
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I'd sure love to see that bettas aren't left in cups with the same water for days..... every day each betta should have its water changed.... that isn't even enough.

When we floated our female betta in a cup for a few days in our big tank before we bought a heater for our little 2gtank (temporary home for her at the time, she now has a 5g), I changed her water in the cup twice a day 2 days and once a day the other 2 days (leaving just enough water for her to be in in the cup before adding the fresh water), and the ammonia got up to 2ppm after 4-5 days.... we felt HORRIBLE. I can't imagine what kind of disgustingness the state of the water in most betta cups are in at the stores...
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:07 AM   #38
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How'd it go?

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Old 05-25-2015, 01:12 PM   #39
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ha, it didn't. they had some sort of computer issue and were not able to officially hire me yet. they need to wait until after the holiday to straighten it out, so they had to push back my start date.
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Old 05-25-2015, 01:25 PM   #40
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Wow. Keep us updated!


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