Re: NANFA-- Black Hets./Black Mollies

Mysteryman (
Sat, 15 May 2004 16:01:47 -0700

> One can't blame the chain stores, - it's the people who shop there who are
> responsible. There IS a viable niche for the LFS: marines and oddballs. The
> big boxes won't touch 'em. The problem then is this: Most LFS's just about
> break even on their fish, when all is said and done. So where they make money
> is on supplies. And guess where people buy their supplies?
> There are certain manufacturers which cater to independent shops. I'm not
> familiar with any within the pet industry (I think even Bil-Jac sells to the big
> guys now), but they will not sell to chains, or sometimes even to distributors.
> What the pet industry needs is for some enterprising soul to come up with a
> product line that aquarists love, and then distribute it only through
> independent shops.
> So put your thinking caps on, guys. What features do you want to see in a
> filter that nobody is offering? Or an air pump? Or a simple net?

I couldn't agree more.
I can't count the many hundreds of times people would come into my shop
in their search for information and quality fish, only to buy pretty
much everything else somewhere else.
GINGER is a company that sells only to small shops directly, or-in-least
they did when I was in business, but most of their stuff was pretty
lame. They did have a few very popular items that flew right off of my
shelves, but as you might guess, these items were also quite cheap and
didn't help much with my rent.

Marines and oddballs are nice, but the industry that brings them to the
market is the same one being destroyed by the big chain stores. The one
notable exception is ERI, which provides shops with import-direct
marines by skipping the wholesalers. This is fine for stores big enough
to buy enough to fill an ERI order, but the really little guys are
Did ya'll know that many of the big fish distributors WON"T SELL
saltwater to a petshop without that shop buying a minimum large amount
of freshwater first? Segrest Farms is bad about that. That's their way
of using shipping costs against their customers. If it costs too much to
order from separate places, everyone will just order everything from
them. If a shop gets saddled with too much freshwater stuff as a result,
then that shop can't buy more stuff from somewhere else. The other
places can't sell fish, because the shops can't afford the shipping
costs on extra orders.
Fish is a dirty business.
To make matters worse, Petco gets most of Segrest's supply right off the
top, leaving only the scraps for the independent shops. Once Petco
decides it doesn't want to carry a species, Segrest will stop carrying
it as well, leaving it unavailable for the little guys enslaved by them.
Something needs to be done. I don't know what.

I have an idea for a product to be sold only in independent shops, and
frankly, I think I can make a bundle.
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