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Update :First experience selling to LFS


ChefConfit
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Tried selling online a few time only to have posts removed for not using punctuation the way they wanted or having buyers fall off the face of the earth. So I called up my LFS today just to check if they bought fish from hobbyists.

They asked a few questions (species size and whatnot) then told me a price range they usually offer. Brought them right over and got more than I was initially expecting in cash with no negotiation. It was a pretty awesome experience. 

Update: stopped in today to check how the fish I sold them were doing and there were only 3 left! They sold 14 since Monday! The owner was extremely happy with them and said they will take any fish I have in the future. I asked if there's anything they have trouble getting that they'd like me to try breeding and they are having trouble getting small angelfish. Apparently only larger ones are getting imported. So I might be setting up the 20 high sitting in my basement soon. 

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3 hours ago, ChefConfit said:

They asked a few questions (species size and whatnot) then told me a price range they usually offer. Brought them right over and got more than I was initially expecting in cash with no negotiation. It was a pretty awesome experience. 

Very exciting! Is this LFS a store that you normally buy from? 

If it's Ok to ask, what did you manage to sell? 

You may want to call back in a week and just inquire how the fish settled in. Ask "Did they all make it for you?" . . . and "Did any of them move?" 

We sold 100x guppies to our fish store, and they were gone -- all sold -- in a week. But of the 40x blue platys, 12x Rams, 6x Electric Blue Acaras, and 3x Angelfish we also sold . . . only a small handful had moved for them after 3 weeks. 

We have 2x LFS: One will deal strictly in store credit, and another that will pay us cash outright. The one tends to have problems with keeping certain fish we bring in healthy. Their temperature may be a bit of a low-shock for some species we raise at a higher temp . . . and other water parameters / chemistry seems to lead to a struggle. In the other store, our fish do splendidly. That affects the willingness of an LFS to buy from you. If either _your_ fish are not healthy, or _their_ conditions are unfavorable to the fish you bring in, the end result is a bad deal because the fish may die there and the small investment the business has made in your fish turns out to be a waste. For that reason, we _always_ include extra fish for the store. If we sell them 10x of some species, we always try to leave them with 12x, just to be understanding. 

Also (and this is a tip Cory has brought up more than once) . . . we always spend money at the stores we sell to. Even if all we care to buy is dechlorinator, it says something to a LFS staff when we make it clear that we want to keep them in business rather than simply be using them for our own benefit. It is hard to make any money running a LFS, so a lot of what they're doing for us when we bring fish in to sell is encouraging the hobby rather than making really savvy business deals. 

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I sold 17 juvenile corydoras paleatus. On the phone I told them I had at least 12, but it was very difficult to get an accurate count in the grow out tank since they were very energetic. 

I go in for food or chemicals at least once a month and have purchased shrimp a few times, but I haven't bought fish there in over 15 years(it is where all my fish came from as a kid). They just never seem to have what I'm looking for.

I'm planning on stopping in on my next day off to see how they did. And hopefully will be dropping of another 12+ in a month or so. 

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Right now I receive store credit but I have brought four separate orders to this LFS about three weeks apart.  Mostly fancy guppies but they have all sold by the Sunday.  Last trip the store gave me sailfin mollies to breed for them at no cost.  I hope this relationship will become cash someday but if it doesn't I will use it to reach out to another LFS out of their market.  (Another Cory recommendation) I started growing up Angels to breed they really wanted those.  With covid they can't get the types of fish and the numbers they need from their wholesalers .  I asked them what they needed and they told me what they really wanted to see.

Here is something I learned from the mgr he said tons of people ask to sell fish but few do so regularly, on time, and consistently.  So that is why I focused on Nano fish - Fancy Guppies, Endlers, and Rice fish.  Nothing fancy but stuff sells and those are tough little fish.

Best of luck,

Tedrock

 

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5 hours ago, ChefConfit said:

I go in for food or chemicals at least once a month and have purchased shrimp a few times, but I haven't bought fish there in over 15 years(it is where all my fish came from as a kid). They just never seem to have what I'm looking for. 

Congratulations on selling your fish to the LFS!! I am thinking they also appreciate your purchases and make at least as much profit from non-live-fish items. My LFS would only accept a "donation" of about 15 good-sized water sprites, even though I spent a whole lot of money there buying my first tank, stand, equipment, plants, many miscellaneous items, and 26 small fish (so far) - I bought 12 rasboras on the day I brought the sprite and was hoping maybe they'd put Lucky 13 in the bag at least, but, no. They are only $2.99 for goodness sake! If the day ever comes that I have excess baby fish (not likely), I would probably have to donate them as well. This is what scares me about guppies - too many babies and no place for them. More tanks are out of the question.

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I love selling fish to my LFS!  They’ll take them if they are running short and pay me cash or let me hold it on layaway.  One tip, stores tend to order on the same day every week, and receive fish a couple days later.  I like to take my fish in the day before they order.  That way their stock is getting low, but they have not made the next order.  
 

 

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On 12/29/2020 at 11:05 PM, JettsPapa said:

Congratulations.  I'm delivering about $150.00 worth of plants and shrimp to two stores tomorrow, but it's just store credit.  I haven't found one that will pay cash.

There’s nothing wrong with store credit, IMO.  It’s not like most of us are trying to run this as a business.  I like to breed fish and they need to go somewhere.   It’s not hard for me to spend store credit, even if I just end up buying water conditioner and frozen foods.

 

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It is great reading others experience selling fish to their LFS and I am glad @ChefConfit you had a good experience. I have sold to a few local fish stores and has discussions with others. Of those 5/6 stores, each is very different in what they are open to, willing to do, and expect. Some have offered really low prices, others have had strict size requirements, and my preferred store is super laid back about it. I typically receive around a 3rd of what they sell for, sometimes less for some more common fish.

I hope you can continue to have success.

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2 hours ago, Paul_Obermiller said:

I brought assorted endlers to my LFS. They gave me 50 cents for each endler when they were all adults. I was wondering how I could negotiate to increase the price. Or should I try giving them juveniles instead of growing them up. 

 

If 50 cents was their first offer, then I don't see anything wrong with asking for more next time.  Many people will initially make a low offer but are willing to pay more.  It's a pretty standard technique when buying or selling, and there's nothing wrong with it.  I was initially offered $1.30 each for some blue shrimp at a store a few days ago, but when I said I thought they were worth $1.50 the guy said okay, and that's what they paid me.  If you do decide to do that I'd advise having a plan for what to do if they say no.  Either say okay and take the 50 cents, or have a backup plan.

I absolutely wouldn't try giving them juveniles instead without at least telling them, but that's probably not what you intended anyway.  If they aren't willing to pay more than 50 cents each for adults, and if you aren't willing to sell for that in the future, offer them juveniles as an alternative.

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2 minutes ago, JettsPapa said:

 

If 50 cents was their first offer, then I don't see anything wrong with asking for more next time.  Many people will initially make a low offer but are willing to pay more.  It's a pretty standard technique when buying or selling, and there's nothing wrong with it.  I was initially offered $1.30 each for some blue shrimp at a store a few days ago, but when I said I thought they were worth $1.50 the guy said okay, and that's what they paid me.  If you do decide to do that I'd advise having a plan for what to do if they say no.  Either say okay and take the 50 cents, or have a backup plan.

I absolutely wouldn't try giving them juveniles instead without at least telling them, but that's probably not what you intended anyway.  If they aren't willing to pay more than 50 cents each for adults, and if you aren't willing to sell for that in the future, offer them juveniles as an alternative.

So I should slowly make an relationship with the owners and ask for what I think they are worth and if they don't agree I should give them the alternative of juveniles for the same price. And if they don't agree should I try another store? This store is pretty much the closest to me and I don't want to ruin anything. Also I am 16 so they may view me as a kid that should not be taken seriously as a breeder. Is there any way I could make them take me more seriously?

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50 minutes ago, Hobbit said:

I would just add that it’s okay to decide you’re not willing to walk away if he says no. If you ask for 75c and he says no, it’s okay to still sell them to him at 50c if that’s your best option. Like @JettsPapa said, just think about what you want and have a plan for whatever he says.

Thank you Hobbit.

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2 hours ago, Paul_Obermiller said:

Thank you for that piece of wisdom, I thought that was the way it would it be but I have never really negotiated prices before.

Negotiation is like most things in life.  You shouldn't expect to be good at it the first time you try, but you'll get better with practice.

2 hours ago, Paul_Obermiller said:

So I should slowly make an relationship with the owners and ask for what I think they are worth and if they don't agree I should give them the alternative of juveniles for the same price. And if they don't agree should I try another store? This store is pretty much the closest to me and I don't want to ruin anything. Also I am 16 so they may view me as a kid that should not be taken seriously as a breeder. Is there any way I could make them take me more seriously?

In negotiating it's generally a good idea to get the other person to make the first offer, but of course someone has to be first, and sometimes it will be you.  I don't know that immediately offering juveniles for the same price would be the best idea, but it's not necessarily a bad one.  When they make the first offer, if you don't think it's high enough make a counter offer.  They may accept it, make a new offer somewhere between their first one and your asking price, or just say no, my first offer is the best I can do.  At that point you will need to make a decision based on what reply you get.  If they say they can't go higher than the first offer, and if you aren't willing to accept that, then offering juveniles for that price is certainly one option.

One of my more memorable negotiations was some years ago when I had a group of heifers for sale.  A guy came and looked at them, and asked how much I wanted for them.  After I told him he pointed out one of the best ones and said "I wish they all looked like that one."  I replied "Me too, because then the price would be higher."  He agreed to pay my asking price after that.

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2 minutes ago, JettsPapa said:

Negotiation is like most things in life.  You shouldn't expect to be good at it the first time you try, but you'll get better with practice.

In negotiating it's generally a good idea to get the other person to make the first offer, but of course someone has to be first, and sometimes it will be you.  I don't know that immediately offering juveniles for the same price would be the best idea, but it's not necessarily a bad one.  When they make the first offer, if you don't think it's high enough make a counter offer.  They may accept it, make a new offer somewhere between their first one and your asking price, or just say no, my first offer is the best I can do.  At that point you will need to make a decision based on what reply you get.  If they say they can't go higher than the first offer, and if you aren't willing to accept that, then offering juveniles for that price is certainly one option.

One of my more memorable negotiations was some years ago when I had a group of heifers for sale.  A guy came and looked at them, and asked how much I wanted for them.  After I told him he pointed out one of the best ones and said "I wish they all looked like that one."  I replied "Me too, because then the price would be higher."  He agreed to pay my asking price after that.

Thank you for the advice. Hopefully my experience will be good as your experience with the heifers.

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Posted (edited)

Also check what they are selling them for, and how long they take to sell. For most fish I'd assume 25-30% of the price they sell it for is as fair a price as the can give. Don't forget they are taking on the cost of caring for and keeping the fish until it sells in addition to the overhead for the store, labor and any other expenses that they need to build into the price of everything they sell. 

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22 hours ago, ChefConfit said:

Also check what they are selling them for, and how long they take to sell. For most fish I'd assume 25-30% of the price they sell it for is as fair a price as the can give. Don't forget they are taking on the cost of caring for and keeping the fish until it sells in addition to the overhead for the store, labor and any other expenses that they need to build into the price of everything they sell. 

Right,  I always think about those cost. If they sell fast like 2-3 days, should I increase the price or keep it at that price. My thoughts are that if they sell fast at that price I should keep them at that price.

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