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How could this happen?


NoobtoSalt
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So I shop at most of the local shops around town. I know some of you are probably sick of seeing me all the [language filter] time and but I'm a little dissapointed that Ryan's shop has been attacked in-directly by some of the local shops just because he decided to do a group buy to help out the members on here. He's a great guy and he didn't mean any harm when he did this and his good deed for us has now caused some other shops to force him to loose a vendor contact. This vendor of course is a vendor on this site (although I have yet to see any communication from them on here). I personally own some of this particular vendors product and it's quite dissapointing to see that a shop decides to do a sale and they decide to pull his account. For those of you that don't know me, I don't work or know Ryan personally I just think he's a nice guy that got the shaft on this group buy he was trying to round up. Based on this negative issue I plan on spending my money with his shop regardless of how much these bulbs are due to what happened to him. I will say that im sure it wasn't all the local shops but it wouldn't suprise me if some played this game so he couldn't do this group buy. He was basically matching web prices which to my understanding is what most of the shops here do anyways. Either way enough of my rant I just wanted to see how everyone else feels about this issue. I'm not looking to blast any specific shops as I do frequent many of the shops on here and who knows who it was but it's just dissapointing that because of a few bad seeds everyone looses out..(rock2)

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I can see the suppliers point a view and some other shops.. but on the other side' date=' they could of just gave him a warning instead of taking away is account.[/quote']

 

I've been offered some of those prices at other shops as well and they still have their accounts. I just don't see why they take it away from the newer shop because he's trying to generate business. If they are looking to price fix the product then it needs to be clearly stated but to my understanding most of those products don't have MAP prices since they sell for those prices online as well. I could be wrong but that was my understanding.

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I know group buys make some of the local shops break into a cold sweat. I get it I understand...times are tough. I agree the vendor should have given him a warning before pulling his account and would love to here the other side of the story.

 

In all honesty it is stupid to freak out and pull his account because people will just go online to shop for lights and supplies if they can get them cheaper there.

 

It's not a matter of loyalty. This is an expensive hobby. How many people have we seen have to get out of it because they could no longer afford it. People are looking to save money where they can.

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That is very frustraiting! I may or may not know the whole story here and I definately know that there are likely other opinions out there and I respect that fully and can even understand and may even agree in part or in full. However, I don't feel that a supplier should ever bully a retailer in this manner. Warning that pricing may be to low for a given market is one thing and certainly can be done, but closing an account over a free capital system of business and product line is not good business IMO.

 

I mean no disrespect to SLS as they are a good outfit with some top notch products and top notch service but I would encourage some discussion before instant account closer. Sometimes it is better to enjoy the business that you are receiving or would recieve rather than denying that business and forcing it to go to one of your competitors. Beleive me, there are pleanty of other good suppliers out there that also would welcome more business.

 

Price protected products are price protected for a reason. On a similar note, some non price protected products are non price protected for a reason ;) I do think it is always a good business practice to keep pricing similar to what the general market, especially locally has on goods like these as to not totally undercut and destroy the market for your competition and for the future of your own business but there is at times a good reason to run a sale, or give loyal customers a great deal to both keep them coming back and to show them that you value them as much as they value you and your store!

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As always folks there is more to the story, however a public discussion is not appropriate.

 

Also no other stores "complained" about the group buy, it was brought to my attention as it was a violation to MAP pricing. I request to be informed from all of our dealers of MAP violations. MAP pricing is in place to keep margins healthy for all stores so LFS can survive. This hobby would be gone without them. There are no stores in town to be "blamed" for the situation.

 

-joel

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I agree but instead of pulling the product from him it could have been requested to adjust the prices. The prices posted couldn't have been more than a couple bucks off MAP. Its your business decision but to me if its just about MAP then other retailers online and local should be watched. my opinion it just appears that you didn't want to have a small shop grow his business. Just doesn't make sense.. I was in on the group buy but I didn't once mention any companies in this thread other than ryans shop.

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I agree pulling a product for a single violation without giving him a chance to correct the pricing is just plain bulls!!t. The vendor just ends up looking like anti-competitive jerkwads.

 

Why don't stores just use something like an instant rebate in-store to get around MAP pricing?

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If you try to undercut the competition what are you trying to do? Are you trying to get everyone to cut there already awesome prices? Sounds great until no one can pay there bills and we have no LFSs left. If an online store sells something for one price and they have no overhead (like all the amazing tanks we get to admire everytime we visit the LFS) then why on earth would we expect an LFS to sell them for the same price. LFS owners provide us the opportunity to SEE what we are buying and to learn from their experience. If we want their services we have to spend money with them or they simply wont be there anymore. If your paying cost then your really not helping the LFS and you might as well shop online. IMO you should shop at the store you want to be around next time you need advise or just want to kill some time at on a Saturday. These are tough times for everyone and we should rally around the stores that really matter and not just take pity on the ones who in my opinion engage in somewhat questionable business practices.

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If you try to undercut the competition what are you trying to do? Are you trying to get everyone to cut there already awesome prices? Sounds great until no one can pay there bills and we have no LFSs left. If an online store sells something for one price and they have no overhead (like all the amazing tanks we get to admire everytime we visit the LFS) then why on earth would we expect an LFS to sell them for the same price. LFS owners provide us the opportunity to SEE what we are buying and to learn from their experience. If we want their services we have to spend money with them or they simply wont be there anymore. If your paying cost then your really not helping the LFS and you might as well shop online. IMO you should shop at the store you want to be around next time you need advise or just want to kill some time at on a Saturday. These are tough times for everyone and we should rally around the stores that really matter and not just take pity on the ones who in my opinion engage in somewhat questionable business practices.

 

I agree in principle with you Blake, but reality is that if most people, notice I say most people, find it online cheaper, then it has been my experience that they will buy the product online. Even if all they are saving is a buck or two. The days of going to the lfs and buying what they sell are gone. so LFS needs to adapt to this. If that means moving their store to a less expensive strip mall or into their house, then it is something that they have to decide.

 

I think the best way for the stores to survive is for them to join together in a co-operative type of format. Pooling their resources, and then they can drive their wholesale costs down and be able to compete with the online people and still make money. I know this is never going to happen here, but it is something to consider. I think MAP pricing is a joke if everyone is not held to the policy and every is not charged the same price. I know wholesalers who sell to stores based on volume. So, if a wholesaler uses that type of tactic, then they should not make them use the MAP. But again that is not reality.

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I think there is an underlying issue here. When a new store pops up in an already saturated market and then undercuts everyone below any reasonable price (in what is already an impossible business due to competition with the internet) I guess I just don't think it serves to benefit anyone. If a shop wants to make it they have to offer something that the others don't. You can't just give everything away in a hope to win everyone over and in the process hurt all the other stores.

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I think there is an underlying issue here. When a new store pops up in an already saturated market and then undercuts everyone below any reasonable price (in what is already an impossible business due to competition with the internet) I guess I just don't think it serves to benefit anyone. If a shop wants to make it they have to offer something that the others don't. You can't just give everything away in a hope to win everyone over and in the process hurt all the other stores.

 

I would agree if this were the case but his prices were very comperable to most of the LFS here. Sure they were good deals but nothing that said OMG I have to buy 10 of them. The bulbs I was looking at were the Phoenix 14k 250w de and he had them for 55 and most of the shops in town will sell them all day long without a group buy at $60.

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If you try to undercut the competition what are you trying to do? Are you trying to get everyone to cut there already awesome prices? Sounds great until no one can pay there bills and we have no LFSs left. If an online store sells something for one price and they have no overhead (like all the amazing tanks we get to admire everytime we visit the LFS) then why on earth would we expect an LFS to sell them for the same price. LFS owners provide us the opportunity to SEE what we are buying and to learn from their experience. If we want their services we have to spend money with them or they simply wont be there anymore. If your paying cost then your really not helping the LFS and you might as well shop online. IMO you should shop at the store you want to be around next time you need advise or just want to kill some time at on a Saturday. These are tough times for everyone and we should rally around the stores that really matter and not just take pity on the ones who in my opinion engage in somewhat questionable business practices.

 

Those who run a smart business will know what i am doing. I choose the items to make a profit margin on and the items i price low to bring in old and new customers. Now some shops get complacent and happy because they have little actual competition because everyone is charging in the same range.

 

now how is a new shop going to get customers from a group like that? if i charge the same price what is the hook? the customers might come in and look around but they are going to buy from the other guys first since they have been around longer.

 

I came into this market from a multibillion dollar marketing division. I dont play stupid games with my customers or my competition (or my suppliers). I am going to give you a reason to come into my shop and then you will see i am trying to work out pricing that makes us all happy.

 

In all honesty I have not sold much at cost since the beginning and i am certainly not selling the bulbs for cost. I did use that as a beginning hook with the salt (no problem from my supplier then???) to bring customers in but in the end i price items at a level i can make enough money to work with in my shop. EVEN THE BULBS IN THE GROUP BUY

 

I have no need to undercut the other shops. I just have much lower overhead and less of a need to make as much on the product i am selling.

 

This whole ordeal has shown me who of the other shops is a friend and willing to work together and who is not. I promise my partner friendly shops that they will get word before i drop any major bombs in sales and some of them will join me. the other shops have not so i guess they can just keep on with their current strategy.

 

I do what i do because i know it will work and i can afford it. This economy is hard and it is not easy to start a shop especially with as slow as the summer has been. but in the end it is also hard on my customers and i am trying to help some of you stock up and get the supplies you need. I hold no ill will to anyone except those who have tried to push me around. and in the end i am a forgiving person and would be happy to come to a compromise if it was offered.

 

Feel free to come buy from me. I have strengthened some bonds with shops and made some new friends both close and far. I can probably get more now than i ever could have gotten before. I will still give you a deal almost every time. and if you buy a lot i will give you even more of a reason to come back! and if i dont have what you need i will still call around to the other shops and find it for you while you wait in my shop!

 

Come in during the week and say hi to my wife. she is taking over the weekday shifts so i can work my other jobs. She is not experienced like me but she will do her best to get you what you want and she will call me if there is anything she cant figure out.

 

thanks, peace, im out

ok, off my soapbox

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I think there is an underlying issue here. When a new store pops up in an already saturated market and then undercuts everyone below any reasonable price (in what is already an impossible business due to competition with the internet) I guess I just don't think it serves to benefit anyone. If a shop wants to make it they have to offer something that the others don't. You can't just give everything away in a hope to win everyone over and in the process hurt all the other stores.

 

So a few questions.

 

1. who says the other shops are offering things at a reasonable price? they do? who is to say what a reasonable price is?

 

2. how is a new shop with few suppliers and inlets in the market going to offer something the other shops cant get their hands on? if you tried to open a shop you will see that price is the only hope right now in this economy.

 

 

you talk about hurting the other stores. we all choose where to set up shop. my buddy and i took our time to find a shop that was really cheap to avoid the overhead some of the other shops endure. I see no reason to pay more just because they have more rent to pay. it all comes down to the business decisions we make and the cost we decide to pay. we choose our own risk.

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We don't need people "who run a smart business" we need people with knowledge and experience. Why don't you go be the CEO of PETCO if your really from a "multibillion dollar marketing division". Keeping fish is about a lot more than trying to "make a profit". "now how is a new shop going to get customers from a group like that?" Heres a novel idea why didn't you open your shop where there wasn't already a store that offers the same service. If your such a keen business man surely you would have foreseen the conflict of interest, unless of course you intended to steal business away with lower prices.

 

IMO Let the best LFS win, and let me go out on a ledge hear by saying it's definitely NOT the nano reef

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We don't need people "who run a smart business" we need people with knowledge and experience. Why don't you go be the CEO of PETCO if your really from a "multibillion dollar marketing division". Keeping fish is about a lot more than trying to "make a profit". "now how is a new shop going to get customers from a group like that?" Heres a novel idea why didn't you open your shop where there wasn't already a store that offers the same service. If your such a keen business man surely you would have foreseen the conflict of interest, unless of course you intended to steal business away with lower prices.

 

IMO Let the best LFS win, and let me go out on a ledge hear by saying it's definitely NOT the nano reef

 

Ok not sure what happened here but this has gone off the main issue.

 

Not looking to bash any LFS as he is a sponsor on here as well as the other shops. If you have issues with him please take it to PM.

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Ok folks, I've brought this thread back. But, on a condition.

 

Keep it clean, keep foul language out of the thread and I can promise that I myself will not edit it. As long as it doesn't get out of hand, it will stay out of it.

 

If anyone feels they have something to say that they can't say here, I ask that as the Vendor Relations officer, you PM me with your concerns or thoughts and we can go from there if it is something you do not feel comfortable saying here for fear of retaliation from any of our sponsors or other officers.

 

And I hope that doesn't offend any of our officers or sponsors, but, the people do deserve a voice.

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We don't need people "who run a smart business" we need people with knowledge and experience. Why don't you go be the CEO of PETCO if your really from a "multibillion dollar marketing division". Keeping fish is about a lot more than trying to "make a profit". "now how is a new shop going to get customers from a group like that?" Heres a novel idea why didn't you open your shop where there wasn't already a store that offers the same service. If your such a keen business man surely you would have foreseen the conflict of interest, unless of course you intended to steal business away with lower prices.

 

IMO Let the best LFS win, and let me go out on a ledge hear by saying it's definitely NOT the nano reef

 

I don't have to explain myself to you Gill. it is clear that for some reason i don't know, you don't like me, fine. Don't support my shop. Those who come to me know they will get experience and assistance without a condescending attitude and with flexibility to help with any type of reef or freshwater setup.

 

if anyone ELSE has a question i will gladly answer it. i have nothing to fear from free exchange of information. I just choose not to deal with web "trolls" who just want to pick a fight to make me look bad. if you support another shop, thats fine. i wont cry or lose any sleep over it. just dont try to start a fight with me because you like another shop so much.

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