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Old 11-04-2002, 05:40 PM   #21
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LFS

Just wanted to share a story I thought was funny. I went to the popular pet superstore chain to buy antibiotics for my gourami with tail rot. So I'm standing there reading a box and this girl who works there walks up and asks if I need any help. I say "Well, I'm looking for something to cure tail rot. I was thinking about getting this one." Thinking she'll give some input or at least pretend to know what she's talking about, I pause. She says "Okay...", stands there for a second and just walk off. I'm glad I at least had an idea of what I was looking for or I would have been lost. It just makes me wonder why they hire people like that who have no clue of how to assist people.

This topic was merged with it's current topic.

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Old 11-04-2002, 05:44 PM   #22
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I had one LFS tell me that condylactis anemone was non photosynthetic and you could keep them in the dark :-p



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Old 11-04-2002, 07:32 PM   #23
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Logan, what's the name of the place where you work? Just wondering if i'd ever heard of it since I live in georgia...
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Old 11-05-2002, 02:17 PM   #24
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APC

It's in Dalton, Ga and is called Aquatic Pet Connection. We have a website (not finished, but up) at www.aquaticpetconnection.com . We're in sort of a transitional phase now...getting out of small animals and trying to concentrate on fish and reptiles. Hope to have the "Reef Room" up and running this winter sometime. We don't do any online sales at this time, but...maybe someday?
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Old 11-05-2002, 02:25 PM   #25
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Hey Logan, tell the web guy Brandon Parker, you should get a mention in the staff section. Might wanna tell him also to check his spelling, I noticed a couple of errors and I can't spell that well either But it was a nice web site, if I were in that area and found the site, I think I'd want some more pics of the inside of the store posted, just a few ideas.
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Old 11-05-2002, 07:53 PM   #26
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web page

Yeah, it's a brand new page and we're still working on it. I don't know about being on the page. Not a big deal to me. I don't deal with people well so I try to stay in the back behind the tanks and work on them. I have found the fish to be better company I tend to get really frustrated at the people who come in and want to buy a tank, filter, and fish all at once. Then, when you try to explain why that's not a good idea, their eyes glaze over and you know they're headed for Wal Mart to do it anyway. I'll pass on the suggestions (they are good ones) and will go over the page to check spelling myself. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 11-10-2002, 02:04 AM   #27
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I have to speak on loganj's behalf here. I am not the Brandon that created the site, but the Brandon that owns the store. We just got the site up about the time Logan came back to help out. Any LFS would consider him a valuable asset to their business, I assure you. Logan is the man who can engineer anything. I mean from building things to wiring things to plumbing things, you name it. He also has a plether of knowledge and experience when it comes to keeping fish and keeping up with the latest info. and new products in the industry. Anything I miss, Logan catches. I'm just glad he is so enthusiastic about it, otherwise he wouldn't do it for the pay he receives and I can't afford to pay him what he is worth.

If you think you don't benefit in any way from the LFS in your area, so be it, don't give them your business. Just be prepared for the day when most LFS's are gone and you have to depend on the mass market chainstores and internet based stores. We pride ourselves on personalized service with a smile, and equiping the customer with the knowledge and tools to be successful for the long term. We value our customers comments and suggestions and try our best to accomodate their needs. We are in business to make a profit, but that does not mean we want to take you for as much as we can get out of you. If you consistently have problems with your LFS, talk to the owner. If that doesn't work, try a different place

Just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions......
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Old 11-10-2002, 06:58 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon
I have to speak on loganj's behalf here. I am not the Brandon that created the site, but the Brandon that owns the store. We just got the site up about the time Logan came back to help out. Any LFS would consider him a valuable asset to their business, I assure you. Logan is the man who can engineer anything. I mean from building things to wiring things to plumbing things, you name it. He also has a plethora of knowledge and experience when it comes to keeping fish and keeping up with the latest info. and new products in the industry. Anything I miss, Logan catches. I'm just glad he is so enthusiastic about it, otherwise he wouldn't do it for the pay he receives and I can't afford to pay him what he is worth.
I don't think you need to speak on Logan's behalf, he has done an excellent job on this site, and I have no doubts that he exhibits the same degree of excellence in everything he does. That was exactly my point with the website, I can't imagine there being too many people in your employ that would have earned a mention in the staff section. I can see from your response, that you agree and consider Logan a great asset to your store.

Quote:
If you think you don't benefit in any way from the LFS in your area, so be it, don't give them your business. Just be prepared for the day when most LFS's are gone and you have to depend on the mass market chainstores and internet based stores. We pride ourselves on personalized service with a smile, and equiping the customer with the knowledge and tools to be successful for the long term. We value our customers comments and suggestions and try our best to accomodate their needs. We are in business to make a profit, but that does not mean we want to take you for as much as we can get out of you. If you consistently have problems with your LFS, talk to the owner. If that doesn't work, try a different place

Just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions......
I don't think that anyone is doubting the worth of the LFS, most are just expressing a dissatisfaction with the knowledge (and honesty) of quite a few LFS. As the owner of a LFS, I'm sure you can understand, I'm sure you have employed people that were less than expert in the aquarium husbandry field. I certainly understand the restrictions placed on you, to get what you want for employees, you have to pay about triple (or more) what you do now, to do that, you have to raise the price of everything in the store...etc...The customers don't help either, they want everything for the mail order price, they want phd's working behind the counter, etc...I can certainly understand the problems associated with running a LFS, I'm sure you can understand the feelings in this thread. LFS are very important to this hobby, I support mine, I buy from them, even when I can get it online cheaper. But I am selective about which LFS get's my money, there are some good ones (as has already been mentioned in this thread), but there are many more bad ones. The fact that you are a member of this site and an advisor on another member site in the Pet Advice Network, shows that I would give your store my business, and that you do not support the practices employed by some of the unscroupulous LFS out there.
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Old 11-10-2002, 09:28 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon
If you think you don't benefit in any way from the LFS in your area, so be it, don't give them your business. Just be prepared for the day when most LFS's are gone and you have to depend on the mass market chainstores and internet based stores. We pride ourselves on personalized service with a smile, and equiping the customer with the knowledge and tools to be successful for the long term. We value our customers comments and suggestions and try our best to accomodate their needs. We are in business to make a profit, but that does not mean we want to take you for as much as we can get out of you. If you consistently have problems with your LFS, talk to the owner. If that doesn't work, try a different place

Just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions......
Tell me about it.

There are 2 LFS's in the town I live in. Both carry freshwater only, there are 3 LFS's about 30min drive from here and 1 carries saltwater fish but nothing other than fish for the most part. There are some LFS's about 45-50min away but last time I was there they had Aspasia (sp?) all over their LR's or their coral tanks looked like a coral grave yard or some kind of place where corals go to die!!

There is a place about 90min drive that is 3/4 decent but I dont go there much given the distance.

What am I left with? Mailorder everything!!!

The problem around here is I dont think there are that many salty hobbiests. Mostly fresh and mostly the kind that live by the LFS's word.
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Old 11-11-2002, 08:54 PM   #30
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i am a avid supporter of the good lfs in my area. i always contact the owner before i make a online purchase. although he cant always beat the price, he can usually come close. and not to mention, he will almost always quarintine a fish for me before i purchase it and just tell people it is sold. hes went as far as to put angels in his coral tank to see if they nip at corals. this service is worth ten times any amount i would save on the internet. so i recommend developing a relationship with a store owner. if possible the benifits are endless.
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Old 11-11-2002, 11:07 PM   #31
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lfs

Well...I guess I have to add my 2 cents in here again. Everyone is right to a degree here. It's not just pet stores. You can get shafted at any retail business if you're not an informed consumer. I know there are plenty of places that will try to sell you equip and supplies you don't need just to increase sales. What we have found at APC is that by taking good care of out customers, we are ensured their repeat business. It's much better to sell someone what they really need at a good price and know they will be back. One thing I think a lot of people don't realize is the amount of work that goes in to running a pet store. Think about how it would be if you had 50 tanks to maintain at your house...many with different water requirements. Throw in 25-30 reptiles, some birds, feeder animals (rats, mice), and a crowd of hamsters. After you've cleaned up after all these...fed and watered them, there is stock to put up. It has to be priced. Shelves often have to be rearranged to accomodate a new product. Shelves have to be cleaned. Orders have to be compiled and called/faxed in to warehouses. Saltwater shipments have to be picked up at the airport. There are bank deposits to do, payroll to meet, taxes to fill out, ect... It is an endless job. You can go into a pet store at any given time, lock the doors, and bust your but all day and still not get it all done. BUT, there are customers to deal with too for without them, you have no business. APC is open 7 days a week and it's a 7 day a week job. Brandon and I have both been there until 2-3:00 am many times just getting caught up. Lots of people ask why are the prices so high? One word: Overhead. The bills are staggering. Like I pointed out in an earlier post, you have to sell a lot of fish food to pay a $1200.00 power bill. I know there are lots of stores out there that are ripping people off. BUT, there are lots of them that are not. Lots of them that will give you good advice and spend time helping you when you need it. When you find a store like this, stand by them by giving them your business. Everybody orders stuff online and there is nothing wrong with this. But, will the online company stop by your house to look at your tank when it has problems? Not likely. Will they spend an hour helping you put that new filter system together? I doubt it. I guess my point here is that when you do find a good LFS, and get a relationship established with them, stand by them. The guy who owns the lfs has to make mortgage payments, buy groceries, and live just like you do. I would much rather you walk into APC with a broken filter and leave with it fixed at little or no charge than to sell you something you didn't need to start with. Why? Cause I know you'll be back when you need something else . Remember folks, it's a hard business to be in. You have to love it to do it. One last thing...when you run into an employee who won't help you or doesn't treat you right, tell the owner about it. He needs to know and often the only way to find out these things is customer feedback. Sorry for the length of this post.
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Old 11-15-2002, 10:33 PM   #32
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For the most part I prefer the local fish store over the chain pet stores. One reason for this is that the ones near me (there are two) have a much wider selection of species to choose from as well as generally having higher quality fish. Yes, their fish usually cost a little more, but I am willing to pay 50 cents to a dollar or two more to get the fish I want and to get them with the best colors I can.

As for the knowledge of the employees, the LFS and the chain pet stores near me all seem to have some knowledgeable and unknowledgeable people. I have read enough books and spoken to enough employees at this stores that I can ask the right questions to get a feel for if the employee knows what they are talking about or not, often I go to the store knowing what I want and so just need someone to put the fish I choose in a bag so I can pay and get them into my tank.
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Old 12-28-2002, 02:28 PM   #33
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I just began reading through this thread as I'm looking for good, quality LFS in my area -- Central NJ. As aside to SleeplessLWD What LFS do you like--I think were in the same general area.

A few points that seem to have bubbled up the top of this discussion. 1) While a minor point, let's be fair and stop complaining about stores that want to make money. They all do, and they should. While they may also love the hobby, they are not in it to advance fish keeping they are in it to make a living (doing something they love(hopefully)). What we hate are the ones that we feel are ripping us off. We hate that in any industry. And as many have said before me, we should acknowledge it by not shopping there. And recommending LFS that we like and deliver the kind of service we expect. --This also plug for my question seeking advice on good LFS in NJ.

2) I have gotten alot of good advice from kids. Then again, I may consider some of you kids -- not that I'm all that old -- It's just that the age of a kid gets older as I do. The best advice is to talk with them a bit and gauge for your self if they know what they are talking about. The bit about asking them a question you know the answer to is great suggestion.

3) One bad experience is not the end all of a store. People have bad days; stores have bad employees. But people's moods improve; stores get rid of bad employees.

My biggest pet peave is LFS that treat newbies with contempt. (Again, happens in all hobbies IMO). I had an experience with a LFS when I knew less than I know now (which is still not alot) that was just horrible. Sure I may have not talked the talk but I was new to the hobby. What this LFS didn't seem to get was that at some point I was going to learn more and need a place to buy things! So, the smarter behavior is to give me a bit of time -- or if the store is very busy (which this one wasn't) ask me to come back when the store isn't busy -- and give me some advice or at least answer my question in a language I can understand.
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Old 12-28-2002, 03:01 PM   #34
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Hi Sleeplesslwd and myself frequent the same two LFS and only these two.
As we have been in this hobby for awhile FW & SW. These stores are Fish Tails in Bricktown, NJ and Tropiaquarium in Ocean Twsp, NJ both stores are in the process of relocating to bigger stores. Both are very knowlegable and friendly stores. I would recomend both of these stores to anyone in the central NJ area. If you would like directions PM or E-mail me @ EMS503@aol.com I will be glad to assist you.
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Old 12-28-2002, 06:40 PM   #35
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Thanks. PM'd you.
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Old 12-30-2002, 11:15 AM   #36
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I agree about there being good and bad stores and that one employee does not a bad store make, so I won't rehash too much of what's been said.

I will say that I'm still very new to keeping aquariums, and after reading this site (before setting my 55 gal. up) I checked out about 5 LFS's. 3 were very bad - dirty tanks, dead fish, abysmal conditions. I won't buy anything from any of them.

One store, that is very near my house, is good and bad. There is one guy who works there (maybe the owner? I don't know for sure) who is very condescending and constantly wants to oversell stuff. When asked why, he will answer "there's a reason I'm behind the counter". That kind of thing really bugs me. There's another guy there though, part time, who's maybe 20-22 years old and he's a fountain of knowledge! Always very willing to help! Because of him, I go back for small purchases.

The 5th store though is a jackpot! They're 20 minutes from my house at least, but oh my lord they are good! They know everything (not everyone does, but they tap each other for knowledge). It's a fairly large store, FW and SW, many planted tanks - they're a little expensive but it's worth the time and the care!

I don't mind paying a little extra for kick butt service!
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