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What are YOUR experiences on selling fish to your LFS?


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Hi everyone!

Essentially, what it says on the tin. I'm interested in hearing other people's experiences. I've watched the breeding fish for profit series, and I'd like to hear what breeders and hobbyists encountered when selling their fish. Currently I'm saving up to get some ricefish to breed.

Did you have a prior relationship with store employees/managers prior to selling them? Do you sell to multiple stores? How did you approach them? Did you ever end up not selling to a LFS and went to craigslist, aquabid, or getgills?

Thanks!

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Currently experiencing the selling of my tiger oscars fry. I found a lot of customers online social media platforms etc. most pet stores around me have private wholesalers they go through but there is one in Dayton willing to give store credit so it’s my last option. I did not intentionally breed these it just happened if I was to intentionally breed a fish it be a smaller one. @Cory has videos on the best fish to breed for profit on YouTube not sure if you checked them out. https://youtu.be/NpW8tHGy6T4 But as you asked in our experience I found it so rewarding just being able to say hey I done that I took care of them properly enough to be able to sale them cause oscars have to be 1-2inches At least for my lfs to consider them.

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I recently sold fish to the one of the higher quality local fish stores. I didn't have any prior relationship with the manager or employees as they are an hour away and I rarely go there.

My initial contact was through email, then telephone as a result of the email.

The key was I had something that would sell quickly and was not available from their normal suppliers. And that is basically the key to the whole thing, that is having something their customers want, but they have a hard time getting. In my case I had 4 dozen adult Leopoldi angelfish, and they thought these would sell quickly (and they did).

 

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10 hours ago, Daniel said:

I recently sold fish to the one of the higher quality local fish stores. I didn't have any prior relationship with the manager or employees as they are an hour away and I rarely go there.

My initial contact was through email, then telephone as a result of the email.

The key was I had something that would sell quickly and was not available from their normal suppliers. And that is basically the key to the whole thing, that is having something their customers want, but they have a hard time getting. In my case I had 4 dozen adult Leopoldi angelfish, and they thought these would sell quickly (and they did).

 

Thanks Daniel! That's so awesome; I'm really glad you had a good experience. When the time comes, I'm thinking about reaching out to a LFS via email as well, because of social distancing (plus, the one I'd like to sell to most only allows two customers in the store at once, and I don't want to cost them customers unnecessarily).

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I have sold mine at one of my LFS and to my aquarium club. The LFS gives me store credit, so that’s nice if I want to get some new fish for basically no money. The club takes away 30% of the selling price, which is relatively low. I get cash from them. I have not had any hiccups in my selling of fish so far 🤞🏻.

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I picked a local fish store to sell to based on my experience in the stores talking to the owners (before Covid). One owner seemed friendlier than the other and it was clear his customers were loyal to him. Unfortunately that’s the store that’s 1.25 hours away across two state lines. But he’s having trouble sourcing good fish right now because of the pandemic and the wholesalers running out of their best fish. I’m planning on dropping off my first fish to him in the next few weeks. He says he’ll give me a few bucks for them.

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I have two LFS in town. The one that I've sold to approached me with an offer because they knew I had fish that were spawning and they're very limited on what they can currently bring in from their wholesalers. I've "known" the owner since 2012 (purely as a customer) back when I was in high school and that definitely gave me an edge.

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26 minutes ago, ange said:

I have two LFS in town. The one that I've sold to approached me with an offer because they knew I had fish that were spawning and they're very limited on what they can currently bring in from their wholesalers. I've "known" the owner since 2012 (purely as a customer) back when I was in high school and that definitely gave me an edge.

That's fantastic, maybe an ideal situation since they were the ones to approach you, and I'm sure the prior relationship helped 😄

1 hour ago, Hobbit said:

I picked a local fish store to sell to based on my experience in the stores talking to the owners (before Covid). One owner seemed friendlier than the other and it was clear his customers were loyal to him. Unfortunately that’s the store that’s 1.25 hours away across two state lines. But he’s having trouble sourcing good fish right now because of the pandemic and the wholesalers running out of their best fish. I’m planning on dropping off my first fish to him in the next few weeks. He says he’ll give me a few bucks for them.

Yeah, I've had problems both talking to an owner/manager, much less one that's friendly (I'm not sure what it's like in other parts of the world, but over here the LFS are very much a boys club).

3 hours ago, teenage fish said:

I have sold mine at one of my LFS and to my aquarium club. The LFS gives me store credit, so that’s nice if I want to get some new fish for basically no money. The club takes away 30% of the selling price, which is relatively low. I get cash from them. I have not had any hiccups in my selling of fish so far 🤞🏻.

Nice! I'm glad it's going pretty smoothly for you.

18 hours ago, Wisnasky-tank said:

Currently experiencing the selling of my tiger oscars fry. I found a lot of customers online social media platforms etc. most pet stores around me have private wholesalers they go through but there is one in Dayton willing to give store credit so it’s my last option. I did not intentionally breed these it just happened if I was to intentionally breed a fish it be a smaller one. @Cory has videos on the best fish to breed for profit on YouTube not sure if you checked them out. https://youtu.be/NpW8tHGy6T4 But as you asked in our experience I found it so rewarding just being able to say hey I done that I took care of them properly enough to be able to sale them cause oscars have to be 1-2inches At least for my lfs to consider them.

Yeah, like I said I watched that series. That's awesome it was rewarding!

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I'm definitely lucky! There's another LFS in town that I ruled out because their primary business is installations in businesses and I (for better or for worse) ignored them as an option for selling fish because hobbyists aren't their target demographic.

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2 minutes ago, wendypizza said:

Yeah, I've had problems both talking to an owner/manager, much less one that's friendly (I'm not sure what it's like in other parts of the world, but over here the LFS are very much a boys club).

That’s such a shame. If you don’t mind me asking, where are you located? I’m in the US and my guess is that it varies by store, but the handful of places I’ve been have all been friendly and willing to chat with me (a random petite woman). The less friendly owner was still personable, just kind of intense XD

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7 minutes ago, Hobbit said:

That’s such a shame. If you don’t mind me asking, where are you located? I’m in the US and my guess is that it varies by store, but the handful of places I’ve been have all been friendly and willing to chat with me (a random petite woman). The less friendly owner was still personable, just kind of intense XD

I'm in Hawaii! A friend of mine jokingly called fishkeeping here 'an old Japanese man's hobby', and the store owners/managers tend not to treat her as a serious hobbyist either, despite her being older than me and having more experience with fishkeeping, especially internationally (she is from Japan and into ADA). I'm sure I've just gotta frequent my top two stores more often and they might warm up to me eventually.

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My nearest LFS is an hour away but I have a Petco and Petsmart just minutes away. I've asked them both if they purchase fish from local breeders. Petsmart flat out said "No." and Petco said they'll take them off my hands but won't pay for them. They don't sell the fish either, they list them as "Free".

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I have an odd arrangement with my LFS. I shopped there as a kid and since returning back after being out of town for ~30 years. I am friendly with the siblings that run the shop these days since their father has mostly retired from the day to day.

I tend to drop off a bag of guppies or endlers about one to two times a month, plecos when I raise up a batch, and then multies about 1-2 times a year (not a terribly popular fish locally for some reason). I never have asked for any money nor store credit. But, every time I buy anything (I drop in almost every week) I get a discount. Occasionally fish at cost, sometimes a percentage off of my purchase of dry goods, etc. I have joked with my wife that I have no idea how much anything at the LFS costs as I don't think I have ever paid the same price for anything twice.

We are a small town (~40K population) and I'd hate to lose my access to "my" LFS so I am very happy with my relationship with them. My hope is they only give me the deal they can afford and anything I get back is just gravy and an outlet for my fry that will hopefully end up making some other local fish keeper happy with some quality fish.

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My local fish store will take the swordtails I raise. However, unless I ask for store credit, or a trade for a product similar in price (food, dechlorinator, etc.) the owner won't give me anything. He's a friendly, nice man, but will also take fish off your hands without giving you anything in return. Which just goes to show have some confidence and ask for store credit. I know that profit margins are razor thin so I don't ask for much, but I want a little something in return. 

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