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Old 02-16-2005, 06:31 PM   #1
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Save money!!! shop at these online sources...

www.bigalsonline.com

www.marinedepot.com

These 2 wholesalers have saved me bundles of money rather than buying retail at the lfs...

So since i saved, i figured i would share so the rest of our community can save too!

Everyone loves to save!
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Old 02-16-2005, 07:01 PM   #2
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I have saved quite a bit over my LFS with some stuff. I still like to buy some stuff from the LFS to show my support and to pay for their knowledge. My rule of thumb is if i can save more than $10 buying online, i will.
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Old 02-16-2005, 07:43 PM   #3
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good rule of thumb! Yea if the diference is chump change ill go to my lfs! i like it there, but Powerheads, filtration, chemicals etc... way over priced!

Example:

Aquaclear 300 @ LFS = 59.99
Aquaclear 300 @ marinedepot.com=32.99

Ridiculous!!

Someone should open a store that only makes profit off the llivestock, ad wholesale all other goods.
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Old 02-16-2005, 07:52 PM   #4
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I just ordered some stuff from BigAl's

SeaClone Skimmer Big Als 59.99 LFS 99.99
MaxiJet 1200 Big Als 20ish LFS 34.99
Ebo-Jager 50w Heater Big Als 13.99ish LFS Comparable 24.99


I hate to take my business elsewhere, but with price differences like that what am i supposed to do?

As for fish, i don't trust online livestock purchases, so i'll go to the lfs no matter what.
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:32 AM   #5
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Dont forget about the site sponsers here. I just made another order with www.captivereefs.com I am very happy with the service there
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:37 AM   #6
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I"m lucky enough to work at a great LFS(not just saying that because I work there ) I travel on a regular basis to other stores in the area and have seen some insane markups....

Maxijet 1200: local store $41
my work $20

Marineland heaters local $35-45
my work $15-20

Poly pads: local $11
my work $6

I realize we get great quanitiy discount when dealing direct from manufactors but I just don't understand when local stores charge twice what we do.....just greed I guess?


Luckly I don't have to pay shipping and I even get a discount Too bad I spend much more $$ working here becasue I get to check out all the fish/inverts/corals before customers get there hands on them!!
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:45 AM   #7
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some LFS have overheads that go over 10K a month. Most charge what they have to to survive. Also what the local market will bear.
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:50 AM   #8
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I do understand that overhead and locatoin etc... have a lot to do with pricing....but I know what we pay for items and I know we get it a lot cheaper than most little stores but I just can't see twice the price.

I do know that some places mark stuff up because of location espically some in the big cities if no other stores are around forcing customers to either pay a premium or not buy the item.

I"m not saying this is wrong or right, everybody has their own opinon. I'm just glad I live in a area with a good deal of local fish stores and have a wide selection of places to shop at.
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Old 02-19-2005, 01:38 PM   #9
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If I remember correctly, you work at TFP, one of the largest on-line/catalog stores. What they sell items for is often less than a small lfs can buy the item for through a distributor. Your company deals directly with the manufacturer for many items while the smaller lfs must buy through a distributor. That adds additonal shipping and a middleman to the picture.

Your employer is located in an area of low property taxes and low rents vs. the city store where the rent is high, the taxes are high, the basic cost of doing business is high. Twice the price at a NCY store? That's just the economics of retail.

I have a lfs that deals in livestock for 90+% of it's business. They have great variety and I've never experienced a loss from them. The other lfs's are typical of retail locations. They try to sell you more than you need, the prices are high and the livestock is, well, I have not anything survive qt from these places.

So I go online for dry goods and buy livestock locally (95% of the time).
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Old 02-19-2005, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d
If I remember correctly, you work at TFP, one of the largest on-line/catalog stores. What they sell items for is often less than a small lfs can buy the item for through a distributor. Your company deals directly with the manufacturer for many items while the smaller lfs must buy through a distributor. That adds additonal shipping and a middleman to the picture.

Your employer is located in an area of low property taxes and low rents vs. the city store where the rent is high, the taxes are high, the basic cost of doing business is high. Twice the price at a NCY store? That's just the economics of retail.
I do understand all of this. I know what we pay for most items and I also know what other smaller stores pay for items. I'm comparing stores nearby not those in NYC where taxes, rent etc... are much much higher. For example there are two stores in allentown, less than 10 minutes apart neather being actually in the city. One sells maxijet ph's for $40+ the other sells them for $19(comparable to the prices we sell them for). Most of the items are priced like this...... Now maybe the one store takes a wash on dry goods and jus makes money on live stock...but their live stock is priced very reasonalby as well.

I do agree that some stores can, will and/or have to charge more due to many circumstances that the average person does not realize...I just don't understand when certain stores need to charge 2x the price of surronding stores. I would think they would be a bit smarter and try to shop around making prices at least close so they don't loose all their business to surronding stores or online sales.
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Old 02-19-2005, 05:24 PM   #11
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it is easy to armchair debate business costs and everything but until you actually own and run one and are responsible for making payroll and other bills you cannot fully understand the stress and headaches involved. Bottom line is 99% of business's charge a standard mark up in order to survive and turn a liveable profit. By comparison the fish hobby has a small mark up when compared to say automobiles or clothing. You gotta put it all in perspective.
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Old 02-19-2005, 08:14 PM   #12
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I"m sure you know better than any of use Darin

I"m sure I don't understand all the in's and out's....I'm just glad I have such a selection of local shops as well as knowing about all the great onlines places too!!
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Old 02-19-2005, 08:34 PM   #13
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I agree with the difficulties in being a buisiness owner. I was one for 7 years....I decided to go back to work for someone else and let them worry about making the decisions and pay the bills.

As far as online buying goes...the only way I can see myself saving any money is if I dont have to pay shipping. I haven't found a single product online that I couldnt get locally for around the same price. By the time I pay shipping, I may as well just go get it down the street! Especially fish and plants! Holy cats..I dont know how some people do it. If I had a huge tank and regularly spent a hundred bucks on fish or plants, I could see making a large order online, but other than that, there is no way I can afford it. Now I have seen some good deals on some hard goods that I could afford, but mostly thats only if it isnt available locally. I think the major advantage of buying online is the diversity of products available. If I want anything at all, I may not be able to find it in town, but I can be sure I can get it online.

Keep in mind that my opinion, here, on buying online is only regarding aquarium equipment and livestock. I have purchased online, but I doubt I will be buying livestock anytime soon unless there are some great specials or low shipping costs invloved.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:25 AM   #14
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I just about HAVE to shop online. Here in Wichita Falls, TX there are only two marine fish stores: a local pet store 11 miles out of town called Natures Half Acre, and PetCo. The selections at both are limited (about 10 different types of fish at each place), which I can understand from the LFS, but I would expect the "big box" chain to be better stocked.

The metal building, bare cement floor and poor lighting (one should never light the display area with old actinic bulbs) of the LFS scared my wife. The reeeeeeally young man working the register was friendly enough, and said they could order "whatever I wanted" from their supplier (who I assume to be liveaquaria.com) but not very knowledgeable.

The chain store was clean, well lit, and had a knowledgeable person working the fish department. At least that is what the other employees of the store told me. Unfortunately, she decided I was unworthy of her expertise, and wouldn't answer my questions about their water parameters (I wanted to match them to reduce the stress on the fish) or their livestock.

Neither place has refractometers, power compact lighting retrofit kits, or anything by AquaC or CPR Aquatics. I ended up getting sand, salt, a hydrometer, test kit, and tank decorations from the chain store. :|

It's Captivereefs and Premiumaquatics for my business from now on.
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Old 02-23-2005, 10:10 PM   #15
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I find that when shopping for larger ticket items like a PS, lighting fixture, etc. I can save a bundle over my LFS. However, I always check with them first. If they are a little bit more expensive I will buy from the LFS and support them.
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