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Old 08-31-2010, 10:56 AM   #11
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If its stocked in the inventory thats whats for sale LOL.

Layout is a prime factor as well, I know the easiest way is tank walls then use the center for equipment as well as the front windows.

Knowledge is power and well that saying speaks for itself, around these chicago parts knowledge is gained from whichever activists has the hot fight. It will be an LFS to see when its done, we are in the planning stages still since I am opening the maintenance aspect of the LFS first before the store I am getting my van plus the interior racking and shelving, ordering water tanks and a new 100gpd RO unit. I can safely say that we will have the store a good 6-8 months before we can open the doors.

Ive already got my EIN and have a few wholesalers for dry goods I am dealing with(typing a letter to ken menard now on stocking his flakes in the store.) but Id rather on livestock stay private breeder stock. After buying LFS fish for years and making the switch to privately bred stock is amazing in health and overall quality of the fish.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:58 AM   #12
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5g buckets even 6g buckets will be staple, POS sales or impulse buys. either way a dozen will be on hand at any given time.

RO water will be sold as well, .50/gal, our water out here is around 300ppm TDS loaded with chlorine and flouride ect.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:31 PM   #13
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Have you ever talked to an LFS employee about fishless cycling? All of the employees I've talked about fishless cycling with give me a few "good reasons" why NOT to fishless cycle. They advocate using Bio-Spira or SafeStart. There are a couple reasons for this...

1: They make more money on bacterial supplements than pure ammonia
2: Very few people already know about fishless cycling before coming into an LFS
3: If your LFS tells people to add this chemical and wait 6-ish weeks, buy a test kit, learn the nitrogen cycle, etc, before adding fish... Then the customers will go to the nearest Petco or other LFS, where they will hear that they can start a fish tank immediately, you don't need to "cycle", zebra danios are perfect to "break in" an aquarium, by the way if you add this bacterial supplement everything will be fine. Have you heard about this great product called pH down? It would really work wonders for you.

At the end of the day the most important thing to note, is that the best customers for an LFS are the poorly informed ones. These are the customers that will buy the snake oils, buy the bala sharks and upgrade tanks and equipment later on down the line, and trust anything an LFS employee says. Really, educating your customers is a bad LFS business model, unless you are catering to hardcore hobbyists.
While I certainly agree with some of your statements I don't agree that it's the right approach for a small, individual LFS. Perhaps I should have made it clearer that's who I was talking about, not big national chains.
I work at a small local garden center, and before I worked here I worked at a home depot, and it's the same in this business. My old job was just to sell stuff, and if a customer wanted a plant you sold it to them, whether it would work or not. The place I'm at now, cuastomers expect you to tell them if they are making a wrong decision, and because we have built up that trust with them, they come back to us.
So yes, I fully expect national chains to not give a crap about this stuff, but small, individually owned places that people go to because they know they won't be BS'd, these are the types of places I meant would probably benefit from carrying these items.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:10 PM   #14
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Since we are now in the "giving advice" mode, I'll add another thing: LIVE FOOD! I've lived in a few different cities the last 5 years or so, and in every one I try to find a LFS that carries (at least) live bloodworms. One of my favorites in a previous city also kept a pretty constant supply of live brine shrimp; in fact they had the tank of them sitting right at the end of the checkout counter and had a big sign on it with the price. (I forget what they charged, I want to say something like 99 cents for a 1/4 cup scoop of the bring shrimp water). It generated a lot of interest and of course since most people don't have a brine shrimp net, the store was able to sell a LOT of those as well.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:32 PM   #15
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You should have a SW section
They say to diversify your investments... :p
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:38 PM   #16
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One of the most useful things an LFS could sell but they don't: those 5 gallon plastic Home Depot-style buckets. I mean, virtually every aquarist needs at least one (and often several) of those. Water changes, temporary holding bins for plants, you name it.
I actually found out that Pet Land sells these buckets. But for $10 bucks each. I had to buy one on the weekend because i was buying some tahitian moon sand from someone.
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:17 AM   #17
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While I certainly agree with some of your statements I don't agree that it's the right approach for a small, individual LFS. Perhaps I should have made it clearer that's who I was talking about, not big national chains.
...
So yes, I fully expect national chains to not give a crap about this stuff, but small, individually owned places that people go to because they know they won't be BS'd, these are the types of places I meant would probably benefit from carrying these items.
I agree, as a hobbyist I would buy these items (pure ammonia, buckets, etc) from an LFS if stocked and reasonably priced. However, the bad advice about cycling, stocking, and use of chemicals in the tank is my experience even with homegrown LFS. If a store like WhiteDevil's opened here, I'd go just to know I was talking to somebody with experience who is well-informed and understands things from a hobbyist's point of view.

But, I just haven't experienced these kinds of business practices, and I guess I assumed that it was because more "real" LFS couldn't pull a profit. But I wish the best of luck to WhiteDevil, because I feel a tank maintenance branch could be very profitable, and that sounds like a winning idea
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