Re: NANFA-- Petco Sucks

Todd Crail (
Thu, 10 Jul 2003 00:23:10 -0400

Yeah, I think that's a pretty even keeled response Bill :)

Funny this should pop up on the very day I took over a sizeable lump sum of
cash to completely _pay off_ my financial obligations for my intimate
involvement with the Aquarium Industry... ;)

Quite frankly, I think an ignorant customer is just as bad as an ignorant
salesperson (note: the definition of "ignorant" is quite different than the
definition for "stupid" :). Ignorant customers who nearly _demand_ to
remain ignorant are twice as bad. Perhaps I live in a different demographic
than some folks, but pretty much everyone I know has some way of getting to
the Internet from home or work. Heck... My MOM even knows how to find info
she wants now ;)

At a minimum... _Everyone_ has access to a library, and probably in that
library, should decent aquaria books be lacking... There's Internet access.
So there's no real excuse for anyone to just up and decide "ohh I want a
fish tank and the people at the store will help me with kind and accurate
advice" and _then_ it's completely the fault of the seller... Do you really
think the produce manager at the grocery knows how to grow bananas?

And that leads me to my second point... Any type of chain store is _not_
there to sell animals. Animals are a pain. They're dirty, they need fed,
they die. A horrible thing to base a business on. However, they create a
great market for dry goods (a tangible commodity in a business model). Even
better, they are inexpensive enough to bring in as an investment to sell dry
goods and completely kill every week. A sort of "operating expense".
Anyone who's had a wholesale fish list in their hands knows you can stock a
typical "Petco-ish" entire live inventory for less than $200. If they sell
some of them, even better. The fish are only there to generate traffic to
buy their dry goods.

Don't be fooled the 15 day warranty is any type of generosity or integrity
on the part of the business. They planned on them being dead anyway. And
when you return, they just got you in the store one more time, and with
that... The opportunity to sell some more of their dry goods to "treat" the
problems that arise.

Their markup ratios are, as best as I can gather... So no one gets
suspicious. If it came down to it, and handing out free fish was a better
way to sell dry goods... I think they'd do it.

I have no explanation for the guy who didn't sell the filters... He was
failing his employer's business mission. But I'll give him the benefit of
the doubt, and guess he'd been reading some marine technique, and just
missed the point that there isn't a reliable "live rock" in freshwater
systems. Either that, or he just assumed it worked because his only
experience with aquaria was that deplorable "Feeder" system they had him
clean out on his first day that had "more living than dead, and look how
many fish are in there.... So it must be okay huh?"

Back to our produce manager... Do they really _need_ to know how to grow
bananas? Nope. Do they even have to like to eat them? Nope. The company
chain that hired that person who sells you your fish didn't expect their
employee to know how to grow or enjoy fish either.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Flowers" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2003 8:12 PM
Subject: Re: NANFA-- Petco Sucks

> Not all Petco's are the same. The one near me is actually very helpful
> and care for the welfare of the fish. I was actually in the store when
> the attendant running the fish department actually rrefused to sell a
> small Oscar to a person that only had a 10 gallon tank. She told them
> that the fish would outgrow the tank in a few weeks and they really
> should think about getting a bigger tank for the fish. Naturally they
> didn't want to get a bigger tank and left. I know not all of them are
> that way, but i will do most of my shopping there now because the lady
> cared about the fish as well as the sale.
> Bill Flowers
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