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Old 10-06-2004, 02:35 PM   #11
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Excellent Advice

Thanks to everyone for excellent advice. It's reassuring to see that most people have the same ideas I do. I noticed that quality seems to be of higher importance than price, too.

I am considering specializing in what I know best - planted freshwater aquariums, viquariums, ponds. Since I am not experienced with saltwater, I was considering not selling saltwater fish or equipment.

Is that too limiting, or do you think people would still shop there?
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Old 10-06-2004, 02:41 PM   #12
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I would.
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Old 10-06-2004, 02:49 PM   #13
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There is a LFS I love--he sells cichlids and FW supplies. There was some pond stuff for a while and in part of the store, there is reptiles and their supplies.
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Old 10-06-2004, 02:50 PM   #14
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Maybe as you get the finances up and going, you could hire a person to start your sw section, run it, and teach you. Someone who knows what they are doing. I think you need sw though. It would sure help with the cash in the long run.
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Old 10-06-2004, 03:13 PM   #15
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Not stocking SW fish, doesn't mean you can't carry SW supplies. And from a business point of view, I suspect the margin on SW supplies are higher than on FW supplies. I am also quite sure that your average SW guy spends more than his FW friend. Jeff
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Old 10-06-2004, 03:33 PM   #16
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like cafe jeff said, you don't have to sell saltwater fish, but having the supplies would most likely help a lot and if you decide to start selling saltwater fish You will have built up clients who bought equipment from you (which might be easier than starting in FW and then having to advertise you have SW ifyou decide to do it later on down the road.)
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Old 10-06-2004, 03:37 PM   #17
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Saltwater

Excellent advice. Who wants to move to Orlando and run the SW dept?

There are actually a few stores in the area that either sell SW exclusively or primarily. I'm thinking that it would be difficult to compete.
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Old 10-06-2004, 03:39 PM   #18
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Not if you open a store with the suggestions here. That would be a dream store!!
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Old 10-06-2004, 03:50 PM   #19
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LFS Summary

Here is what I've heard so far:

Store Appearance
· Clean
· Well-organized
· Display tanks
· No wet floors
· Clean glass
· Clean floors
· Dust-free counters
· Good selection of books
· Identify fish, characteristics (size, minimum tank size, grouping, compatibility, water temp, pH, swimming location, price
· Enough aisle space

Customer Service
· Friendly
· Helpful
· Knowledgeable
· Adequate
· Ability and willingness to special order livestock and dry goods
· Guidance and good advice
· Attentive staff – not ignoring customers and talking to each other
· Staff that are not snobby
· Honesty
· Provide basic education
· Personalized service – get to know customers by name
· Hold or reserve a fish for a customer
· Free seminars

Livestock
· Healthy stock tanks
· Variety of fish and plants
· Well-stocked tanks
· No dead fish
· Unusual fish
· Quarantine tanks
· Separate filtration
· Small variety of equipment – not overwhelming.
· Sell only the right fish for the customer’s tank
· Fish guarantee

Dry Goods
· Equipment parts
· Fair prices
· No gimmicky equipment.
· Don’t promote the most expensive equipment
· Maintain list of sources for supplies not carried
· Only display what is stocked

Anything to add?
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Old 10-06-2004, 03:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hisc1ay
but it would be good if customers could special order stuff that you don't have in stock. Not necessarily a separate shipment from your regularly scheduled stocking, but be willing to make a special order for a customer.
Used to do that all the time for customers at my shop...it was quite a popular service.
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