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Old 04-13-2009, 06:23 PM   #1
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Question Selling to LFS

I was wondering if anyone had insight on dealing with selling to a LFS. I've been testing the waters (pun intended) on raising fish to sell to local chains. So far I've been getting the hang of breeding and raising Angelfish fry. One local chain has been willing to buy from me in small quantities, but at a steady pace.

Nothing to get rich on but to offset the costs and maybe someday figure out a way to make a profit.

So here's my issue. There are 2 locations close to me and I've been selling them the fish pretty cheap ($1) and they sell them for $4 to $5. Since I'm getting started it's more about establishing a business relationship than money.

The problem is that my fish are living a healty life in my 55 Gal grow out tanks with no fish loss at all. I sell them between 15 to 25 fish and everything seems fine. I check the next week and they say they lose several fish after a few days, but not always. In some cases the fish losses were at least 10 days after I delivered them.

I've worked with them on their water parameters (it's hard city with a pH of 8 or more) by conditioning my fish to live in that range, again with no fish loss of my own.

Since they are my customer, how should I approach this? I tossed in some free ones on one of the last orders to help them out. I'm just not sure if there is more I can do as they must not lose that many from their regular supplier.

Any insight from others who sell to LFS or LFS owners/managers would be appreciated. There is another local chain I can approach but these stores are real close to my house so I would like to get this worked out with them first before I expand. I hope to breed cories as well and maybe grow plants to make this someone profitable. But I need to decide if this is an issue I can address or is it just their inability to maintain their tanks?
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:04 PM   #2
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I work at a LFS and its really more of a guarantee that you are going to loose some. Some fish more than other obviously, but really sooner or later juvenile fish are going to die in fish store settings. The travel and acclimation will play a huge part in it. But just tonight, I pulled at least 3 juvenile angels. Unless somehow you have the exact same water parameters any change along with travel and overstocking is going to guarantee fish loss. Fish stores just can't give each fish the attention a personal owner can give. Have you questioned them about there other fish supplies and species? I would venture to say the ratio is likely the same if they are being honest.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:09 PM   #3
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I'd imagine the ratio would favor the angelfish, because they don't need to be shipped hundreds of miles, and are driven to the store. Also commercial breeders generally aren't known to have the best conditions.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:12 PM   #4
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typical once they have the fish in their hands thats all you have to worry about. also think unless you have some rather nice angels they prob wont pay more more then that.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:15 PM   #5
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We get our fish from 30 minutes away, the store owner also owns the farm. But I agree, farm fish are likely to fair worse than your fish because they are treated worse. I would just shrug it off honestly. And the money you are getting is probably about right I would think. Mark up on animals is high all across the board, especially fish. I can get a 75 dollar lionfish for like 10 bucks through the store. The same with everything else.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWerner13 View Post
I would just shrug it off honestly.
That seems to be their attitude for the most part so I guess there's not much I can do about it. The fact that the fish I sell them lasts over a week or more must be good for them. They just don't move them fast enough.

Thanks for all the replies. I'll just focus on producing better quality fish so they can move them and let them worry about keeping them alive.

Dennis
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:21 AM   #7
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It sounds like your doing a great job so far. I would consider selling your fish through a website or even on here once you feel comfortable. I have better experience with fish that never touched a LFS. Just a thought.
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