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I feel bad for newbies when this happens..


Queen Angel
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Of course I feel like a newbie most of the time myself. The more I learn the more I know I dont know.

 

Anyways, I checked out a LFS for the first time today. I heard this guy asking for cured live rock, the girl behind the counter pointed to a piece of bleached coral in shrink wrap and said that it was cured live rock. I had just walked past the spot she was pointing to and thought I must of missed the live rock. I went back and saw what they were looking at and said you are calling this cured live rock? She got a little miffed and said YES. You could tell she didnt like me questioning her, so I just walked off.

 

Ran into the guy around the corner, and told him he should check out this forum. He asked where he could find some live rock, and I named off all the places I know of. Couldnt say a whole lot seeing how I was in a LFS I know I wont be going back to. You know first impressions.

 

Tam

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Happens all the time, this is why you research before you buy. Store owners half the time don't know alot about what they are getting into, imagine how an employee feels. Of course this is not a true (blanket) statement for alot of places on the boards but I could tell you horror stories about some places I have been. Its one thing to not know but its another to misslead your customer and loose them as a customer down the road after they gain knowledge of what happened. To bad.

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yep...

 

Vulnerable: adj.(vul-ner-able); An uneducated reef hobbyist with wide eyes and a full wallet.

 

I always wonder why you never see any internet resources posted or mentioned in the LFS. Imo, The first thing that new hobbyists should be told is to check out the online forums. Anyone have an idea why the business side of the trade does not point new hobbyists towards the internet for education and advice?

 

LFS's everywhere should have a flyer posted behind the counter on the wall pointing hobbyists towards the major online boards, and maybe even put a flyer in the bag with the stuff customers buy...to recommend that they take advantage of the resources on the internet. That way they see it when they get home with their new critters.

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I think most of the stores on this board probably have a flyer in their store telling people about this website. As far as pointing them toward major message boards it is pretty common sense why they don't do that, all of those sites have sponsors that often sell things cheaper than the store.

 

Here is the big problem. People walk into stores knowing nothing and most stores are there to load them down with a bunch of things that they don't really need. I personally think that is foolish because as a store if you give someone a bunch of bad advice and then end up killing lots of things they give up and in the long run you don't make as much money. That being said people have to be responsible for their own actions. Before making a major jump into something they should do some research. I don't go into a store to buy a major electronic item without doing my research on the brands and I am not going to let some salesperson try to steer me toward the item that they have the most mark up on. Businesses are there to make money if you want good advice get it from someone who has no stake in the sale. Too much blame is being placed on people selling stuff when if you are spending the money you should dang well know what you are doing.

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i couldnt agree with you more sean. If the store gives the customer a bunch of crap they dont need to boost the sale and then the hobbyist gets overwhelmed and quits or his system crashes because of poor advice then the store loses out on all the future sales of salt, light bulbs, crags, fish, etc. makes more sense to get people off on the right foot as muc has possible.

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I think our local shops have really gotten more involved over the past couple years which is great. A sign behind the counter or a flyer would be a great 'automated' way to point people in the right direction.

 

There's a very cyclical nature to the trade too. The vast majority of people who enter the hobby i'd guess only do so temporarily and are not in it for the long haul(under 5 yrs?). Businesses see it all the time. People enter the hobby, spend a lot of money on hard goods and reef life, become obsessed for a while, then priorities shift and so does their focus and they eventually leave the hobby behind. Long term hobbyists are few and far between I think, and I'd guess a similar retention ratio exists for commercial and maintenance customers, which for obvious reasons tend to be much more lucrative than hobbyists.

 

its unfortunate but no different than with anything else I guess...consumers have to educate themselves and be responsible and careful about how they do so.

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Vulnerable: adj.(vul-ner-able); An uneducated reef hobbyist with wide eyes and a full wallet.

 

I always wonder why you never see any internet resources posted or mentioned in the LFS. Imo, The first thing that new hobbyists should be told is to check out the online forums. Anyone have an idea why the business side of the trade does not point new hobbyists towards the internet for education and advice?

 

LFS's everywhere should have a flyer posted behind the counter on the wall pointing hobbyists towards the major online boards, and maybe even put a flyer in the bag with the stuff customers buy...to recommend that they take advantage of the resources on the internet. That way they see it when they get home with their new critters.

 

LFS' are not in business to educate consumers, they're in the business of making money.

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Education is what a good LFS sells for cost and makes up for on the margin they make selling animals and drygoods. When you get down to it, you can buy the animals and products I sell from anyone; but it is the customer service and experience I offer that makes a customer buy from me. R2R2

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There is a large well-know pet chain store that sells freshwater and saltwater fish were the employees have been told NOT to mention any online forums or local aquarium societies to customers. Their excuse for this was so the store could not be held responsible for "misinformation" from the forums, aquarium societies, etc.(laugh)

 

"Ignorance is bliss, but only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer from it's consequences."

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Another issue is that many people (even employees) are intimidated by saltwater. I have been in stores who hire newbies to handle frshwater and they have an "expert" on saltwater. If the expert is not on the floor you might be out of luck. At 7.00 an hour or whatever the rate is now, you know that newbie is not going to help you a lot.

 

The other thing is that it seems that freshwater dominant stores don't spend a bunch of time in their sw section. They just have more work to be done in all their FW tanks. Remember they have to serve all types of customers, many of whom are happy to just bring home a white cloud or zebra danio. I think it is a not fair to be harsh on all these folks. They have a job to pay the rent. Maybe they like FW fish and just don't know all the ins and outs of reefkeeping. You don't need a college degree to work at a petstore.

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