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Old 02-10-2004, 06:49 PM   #11
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why is that they're so much cheaper at big al? the other day i stopped into a lfs and saw they have an emperor 400 on display in a 75 gallon tank. i asked the guy at the counter how much it was and he said, "they retail for about $79.99. it's a great filter."
8O
"80 bucks?!?!" i said, "they sell for 40 online..."

same thing with the cannisters. i've check around for prices on the filstars and big al is at least $30 cheaper than everybody else! i'm going to order most of my stuff through the family shop, but if i didn't have that connection i would definitely buy from big al.

go figure.
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Old 02-10-2004, 06:58 PM   #12
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Check www.drsfostersmith.com. Prices are only a couple of bucks higher and I haven't heard one complaint about customer service, which I cannot say for big als There are some items that one will have that the other does not, shop around a little.

LFS prices on equipment are out of hand, it is pretty amazing what people will pay if they don't do a little research/shopping.
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Old 02-10-2004, 07:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Enki
LFS prices on equipment are out of hand, it is pretty amazing what people will pay if they don't do a little research/shopping.
That's for sure! I have to think they'd sell a higher volume of product if they lowered their prices. Sales would increase and they'd still be making a buck...
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Old 02-10-2004, 07:07 PM   #14
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"why is that they're so much cheaper at big al? the other day i stopped into a lfs and saw they have an emperor 400 on display in a 75 gallon tank. i asked the guy at the counter how much it was and he said, "they retail for about $79.99. it's a great filter.""

Retail mark up. Filters, food, stands, and other accessories are high mark up items. Even with high markup on some items, a lot of LFSs still have trouble staying in business due to other operating cost.

Big Als/Dr Foster Smith/etc are primarily warehouses that can sell items for a few dollars above wholesale and still make a profit. Not only do they have the advantage of a huge turnover which gives them even better wholesale prices, their overhead is very low. It is grea that Big Als has stores, but most of their business is mail order.

"LFS prices on equipment are out of hand, it is pretty amazing what people will pay if they don't do a little research/shopping."

LFSs would not stay around for long if they began selling big ticket items for $3 and $4 above wholesale. Many good filters last for years and that $4 would not go far.

"I have to think they'd sell a higher volume of product if they lowered their prices. Sales would increase and they'd still be making a buck..."

Well, people who need a filter usually end up buying one The market for items like filters would not increase hugely with reduced cost. Even if they sell twice as many, they would still be profitting $8, compared to making $60+ for a cansiter at standard retail pricing.

For the time being, enough people get their goods at the LFSs to keep them happy. If the current trend of internet ordering keeps up and people keep buying more and more good online, LFSs will have to adapt or get run out of business by mail order. The first thing that would likely happen, is the cost of the fish themselves would go up.

Also, this can be applied to almost anything. Anyone here paid $20+ for a shirt? That shirt was probably $2 wholesale. When you spend $300 to get a car fixed at the dealership, you probably could have got the same parts online for $75 and did it yourself with little effort.
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Old 02-10-2004, 07:11 PM   #15
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I guess you're right, Grim. We keep buying fish and food, but the tank setups don't have to be replaced that often.
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Old 02-10-2004, 08:29 PM   #16
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As are their cannisters.
Right! That is what I meant, because that same XP3 was almost double the price at the chain store here, compared to Big Als. I want to support my LFS, but for hardware like filters you just cannot beat Big Al's.
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:52 PM   #17
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Yea I really like Big Als, and its only a 20 minute drive. I buy pretty much everything from there cause its so cheap. I can get an 8oz bag of food for like 5 bucks where as everywhere else its those little containers for 4 bucks. Thanks for all the info guys!
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:44 PM   #18
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I agree with ya grimlock. The LFS has to have those mark ups to cover over head. Also, they can never have the purchasing power a bigals does. I'm sure bigals buys there stock for a hell of a lot less than an lfs.

Fortunately for the lfs, most sales of aquariums and related products are made to the uninformed.
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:01 AM   #19
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Plus there are so many people who are not comfortable with online puchases, and need to put their hands on a product before they buy it. I keep my LFS in business with fish and live food puchases, as well as plants.

I have wondered if the brick and mortar Big Al's has the same deals as they do online.
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