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Old 03-27-2011, 02:08 PM   #1
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Equipment pricing ripoffs

Maybe it is just me,but I feel the prices that we in the Saltwater aquarium hobby are charged for protein skimmers and especially lighting is way out of line.The profit margin must be huge.Think about it.I can buy a terrific laptop or desktop computer for the same or less price than most reef lighting systems and some protein skimmers.I would love to see a breakdown of the actual parts cost and labor from the manufactures.
I think we are being ripped off big time.
Just my opinion.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:12 PM   #2
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It's not just the reef side... it's the aquarium hobby as a whole. Lighting I can understand. You can't get the same lighting off the shelf. Filters, skimmers, stuff like that I agree. Also substrate. In the fw world, a lot of us use pool filter sand. It's just plain old silica sand. If you get silica sand with the word 'aquarium' on it, the price is raised at least triple.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:37 PM   #3
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totally agree, the markup on most things in this hobby is way out of line.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dropin View Post
totally agree, the markup on most things in this hobby is way out of line.
I don't know how you can say that without knowing the production costs. Fish keeping isn't a big enough to have the same economies of scale as other industries. However, with some patience and luck you can keep fish pretty cheaply.
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:28 PM   #5
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I don't know how you can say that without knowing the production costs. Fish keeping isn't a big enough to have the same economies of scale as other industries....
Bingo. I've had this same discussion about aquarium controller prices and everyone thinks people are making money hand-over-fist with the prices. You have to remember that saltwater is a really small niche market. Not a lot of volume there. Not only are production costs higher than mass marketed consumer goods, the volume is way way less.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:29 PM   #6
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Agreed. Other industries are larger and this leads to mass production which greatly lowers cost.

Many people don't realize how much design raises the price. Research and development (design) costs a lot of money. If you look at how meticulously we analyze every component of a piece of equipement you will see how hard it is to please a picky reefkeeper. For them to get to the point where we will actually pay our hard earned money on it costs a lot. Quality control is another huge cost. Making sure that every single piece of equipment that makes it to our tanks is of the highest quality costs a lot. This is one reason why the pieces of junk out there cost so much less.

Even with all this considered it is hard to understand how one skimmer can cost $500 and the next is $2,500.
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