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Old 08-30-2010, 01:54 PM   #1
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LFS's missing the boat on add-on sales?

So I just read a thread by about silicone sealant, and have read more of those in the past.
I read A LOT of threads about pure ammonia.
That's just two examples I can think of off the top of my head. I would think it would do a LFS a world of good to carry stuff like this.
Granted, a lot of first timers are probably not going to use items like this, but those who decide it's a good hobby to keep pursuing certainly are, and would probably appreciate being able to get it all in their favorite fish store.
Is there something I'm missing here?
I know the LFS would have to charge more because they don't have buying power on large quantities and can't afford to have loss leaders, but wouldn't people be willing to pay a little more to buy all their supplies in the same place?
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:00 PM   #2
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Alot of LFS do carry silicone. It would be hard for an a store owner to sell that for the intended use in aquariums, when it says right on it that its not for aquariums. The 'aquarium grade' silicone would be fine, because if something happens, its on the manufacturer. Ammonia, well... I could see that as a good addition. I'd say the reason no lfs will carry pool filter sand is the reason they dont carry the cheaper silicone that is aquarium safe, but for legal reasons, they say othewise... JMO of course
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mfdrookie516 View Post
Alot of LFS do carry silicone. It would be hard for an a store owner to sell that for the intended use in aquariums, when it says right on it that its not for aquariums.
I guess that's the something I was missing then!!
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:06 PM   #4
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I guess I should have clarified though... Its the expensive silicone that is just 100% pure silicone. Having "aquarium safe" on it makes it worth a lot more money (or so they believe).
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I guess I should have clarified though... Its the expensive silicone that is just 100% pure silicone. Having "aquarium safe" on it makes it worth a lot more money (or so they believe).
any time i item is used for specialty use the price shoots up.

most lfs dont have no clue what fishless cycling is. most people also just want to toss fish in a tank and not wait at all. besides if the fish die because of the cycle they come back and get more.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:42 PM   #6
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Two additions to the inventory noted.

Its true if its labeled specialty expect to pay atleast double. GE warns not to use GE-1 below the water line or in aquariums. This is put on there due to them selling the silicone to companies such as AGA and marineland and a few others I am sure. They dont want you to know its the same stuff, if everyone knew it they would lose their aquarium and aquarium supply accounts which is bad for business in anyones book.

MG when we open the LFS here(strictly LFS if it dont live in water it aint in the livestock inventory) I will carry items for fishless cycling among other things ive learned off the forums. We will have WiFi and stations set up for customers to research before they leave the store so they atleast have the knowledge at their fingertips. I will be hard pressed to sell a live fish to someone just setting up, IF any fish it would be rosies or zebra danios to help them start if they dont understand/refuse to understand the concept and proven facts behind fishless cycling.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:12 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:30 PM   #8
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Hardcore or atleast active hobbyists are the focal customer, however the uneducated ones are welcome as well. Ive worked big box pet retailers and you are 100% correct, they actually train you to BS people out of $. Everyone who walks into any business is seen as a $ and not a person. I call around to other local LFS's and always get attitude especially once they realize that I am educated and keep fish they would never attempt to keep. I dont want that reputation in this line of business.

Just because I provide the info they need doesnt mean anything, all that says is here self educate and I know for a fact people out here refuse to self educate and jump head first into things rather then thinking them out.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:24 PM   #9
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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.

Another thing that would be useful would be to sell those screw-in spiral CF light bulbs of an appropriate size and proper Kelvin temperature to grow live plants. That way if someone buys a starter aquarium with an incandescent hood, you can explain that if they want to grow live plants (either now or down the road), all they need to do is replace the standard light bulb(s) in this hood with the spiral CF ones. (As someone who has 3 planted tanks, all 3 of which use incandescent hoods + spiral CF bulbs, I can testify that it is the easiest and--in the long run, cheapest--way to get enough light on a small/medium sized tank to be able to grow medium-light plants.)
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:36 AM   #10
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WhiteDevil, let me know when this store opens. I'd take a ride to check it out.

I think it takes an experienced hobbyist to truly appreciate an LFS. There's a ton of misinformation about fish keeping put out there, especially online. Unfortunately, experience is usually needed to sort out the myths from the facts. Only then will people understand that their LFS isn't trying to rip them off by telling them an oscar needs at least 55g when the big box told them you could put three in that 29g.

Space is another concern. My friend's cousin recently opened a pet shop. He stocks a few filters and heaters, but they're sky-high on the prices. He told me that he knows they're high, but he marks them high because that's not what he's trying to sell. He wants to focus on the livestock and carry minimal equipment. If he had a bigger store, he'd think about carrying more equipment.
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