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Hey guys and girls,

Lately i've noticed Petbarn's prices and stock varieties of tropical fish have been quite good compared to fancy aquarium shops around Brisbane.

What are peoples thoughts on shopping and buying fish at a petbarn rather then their LFS?

They have a policy if the fish dies and your waters ok they will replace or give u a discount on your replace fish within a few weeks apparently.

I know you'd never go there for the advice but the fish stock seem 90% healthy not to many dead or sickies in there and pretty clean tanks.

Curious who shops there for fish or aquarium products bc of price or shorter travel times and their thoughts on how it compares to their LFS

cheers,

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I shop at petbarn. Fish, plants, equipments. When they have specials its competetive than private sales. Sometimes also they have unusual items coming in - not often but you maybe lucky. All fish i got from them are healthy.

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I won't buy anything from petbarn because of the affect they have had on small lfs and they don't support the hobby like the true lfs.

There has been at least 4 lfs that have closed in my local area since petbarn came to town which means an extra half hour or more of travel to get to a store that stocks the quality and variety of fish that used to be local.

Here's a question,

If petbarn either caused the forum sponsors to close down or they bought them out does anyone think that petbarn would sponsor or support the forum?

This place was built and is still free to members because of the small businesses that support it so I will keep spending my money at stores that give back, not only sponsors but shops that support the hobby and have supported hobbyists in the past.

Petbarn might have sales and lower prices on some things but building a relationship with a lfs will be alot more rewarding in the long run, it could be discounts, better advice or having the ability to source whatever fish you want.

Cheers mick

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Please, what about the amount of people on this here forum that buy and sell and cut out the need for lfs. Bit rich to put all the blame on pet barn if you have good prices good fish and good service you shouldn't have a problem with keeping customers coming back. Mostly service/quality is important for me personally

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Yes there is fish getting traded by hobbyists but most private sales are by people changing tank stocking or changing types of fish kept.

Very few people have large breeding setups and most of those that do would be lucky to cover costs, these breeders buy tanks, filtration, lights, heaters and food from lfs and in return most independent lfs will buy fish from the breeder and the breeder buys more supplies.

There is a huge difference between this sort of trading and company that buys out lfs just to close them down or take them over.

No matter how good the quality or service is a small shop run by hobbyists with 1-2 staff and limited budget can't compete, it's like Coles opening next to an independent corner store.

There is also the issue of untrained staff in the larger stores that care more about a sale than the welfare of the fish. If a newbie goes and buys a tank then follow the wrong advice and everything dies they probably won't be in the hobby long which doesn't effect a large chain store whereas smaller shops rely on repeat business so they will go out of there way to help and give the right advice.

Cheers mick

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As far as I am concerned PB is only good for buying large sacks of Dog food from. That's all I buy there. Everytime I go in one I look at the fish and the dry goods and always find them wanting. The closest PB to me is at Browns plains, why buy dry goods there when I can get better quality items at better value from the boys across the street at AOA.

As far as fish are concerned, the PB never fails to disappoint, over priced, unhealthy and ordinary. I would much rather support my Local LFS when it comes to buying fish. Infact if it wasn't for the fact that I have to buy a sack of kibble every 4 months I would boycott PB and infact that will start very soon as my dog is 1 month away from being a year old and we are weaning him off of Science diet puppy food and putting him onto home made raw food (BARF diet), so I won't have a need to shop with these guys anymore.

I think Louis CK has the right idea.

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Not everyone tries to make money as long as they cover costs they are happy. "George" selling Africans out of his garage runs it all as cash, no overheads, wages, super insurance, tax so sells his fish at $6. The lfs is double that because the have additional costs. Pet barn competes with the same issues but always sell a larger variety of items as not to limit themselves to a niche market. There is also shops that only focus on dry goods which affect lfs because again no tanks,fish,food so lower costs which makes them better prices to buy from. Just saying naive to blame everything on petbarn, I have been to one once and found them to be expensive so you can't say they are undercutting the competition n

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Every lfs is a different experience for a shopper. I imagine most shoppers would prefer to buy fish kmart style.

Last thing they want is some one checking their plan and making sure fish will be ok.

Slows down the whole going home with fish process.

Edited by Donny@ageofaquariums

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I have been to one once and found them to be expensive so you can't say they are undercutting the competition n

"Undercutting" part comes from buying power. They have negotiated 'exclusive' massive discounts - 30% - 40% plus from wholesalers. They get discount LFS do not get. Their margins therefore are far bigger and they can undercut when it suits them and still have a massive margin. LFS closes down prices goes up - game over.

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I try to not blame everything on petbarn but it's hard to argue the numbers, everywhere they open shops smaller shops close.

It's naive to think that when a company opens over 200 shops in 3-4 years that its not the major influence. But never fear they plan to open another 150+ in the next two years so there not going anywhere soon.

Greencross vets (owners of petbarn and city farmers) business plans talks about how they are aiming for a larger share of wallets, no mention of customers or animal welfare.

Maybe I'm overreacting, maybe not.

Cheers mick

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I have my opinion. I have always been into different fish. I have gone apistos, and then tangs and now marine.

I have found if you want quality in the more obscure fish you need a good store. The good store is a different store for each group. I have been visiting stores like crazy on my marine thing. I am asking questions and have my view on my favorite stores.

For all these groups I have not found bulk warehouse stores to be good, but good specialist stores are amazing.

For the next generation of hobbyists we need these good specialist stores. A warehouse style store will sell good general fish, but will not support the obsession that last a life time, and will change multiple times.

QLDAF is on side of all these stores. My rule is look at the sponsors of hobby generated boards, Look at sponsors of clubs, look at stores who are free with there advice, and hence we have changed rules to recognise them on this platform now. Talk to these guys.

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Note:

Fish trade is only worth 10-12% of the Business so the likes of PB don't care about fish ... Dogs and Cats is were the $ is

Support your local Aquarium or reality is we will not have choice in the near future ... It up-to us all

Yes they can do fish for $1 or less but that to put the local Aq out of business .. same thing happens coles wollies etc

How many can remember local Butcher or news-agency just to name a few

Keep breeding and supporting each other

Seb

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While almost everyone here says it's good to support your small specialist LFS, everyone continues to buy and sell all the exact same specialist fish from each other or forums, fish societies, club auctions, gumtree and facebook. It's quite astounding that we lament the decline of specialist LFS and continue to complain about big chain pet stores because they don't sell what we want at cheaper prices than back yard breeders.

If QLDAF truely supported small specialised LFS's the trader sections needs to close. If hobbyists really want to support LFS's then it's really quite easy...

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^^^ boom. I wouldn't go that far but it is a valid point. Because pb can buy fish cheaper doesn't mean a lot if they sell them at the same price as other shops because there overheads would be massive compared to your lfs. Think about the stores, everything in them, staff plus all the office people behind the scene. Bigger places need bigger margins because of costs (most of the times). The local pb stock is quite small honestly maybe 10/12 small tanks poked in a corner. Dogs,cats,birds takes up most of the store.

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pet barn is ok for some things but will never buy fish from them I go to breeders on here and sponsers and get great service but the last pet barn I went to waited 3 hours to get served there was only one other person to be served lots of staff on that day

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what a load of crap ;)

Pet Barn have a niche in the market and small pet shops have a niche in the market, 

 

there are some really funny posts on here that totally contradict the OP post, most people will buy from anywhere they can save a buck and then buy from places that specialize in areas that are topical to them.

Pet barn doesnt put small shops out of business, people put small shops out of business ;)

 

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I have worked for small specialist aquarium stores (around 15 different ones) as well as large chain pet stores that sell fish. They have completely different outlooks and targets. 

A big chain has huge overhead costs and needs to have higher margins. One way they can streamline is to only stock the more popular items or choose suppliers that favour them. Reducing the total number of live animals is one example. Reducing the range of fish/animal species is another example. Not only for less business risk but less overheads with fewer tanks, less maintenance and less shop space. Not to mention casual or junior staff can sell a reduced fish range with less training with more confidence. Big business are good at training their customers to expect less. Self service and self education is a great profit model. Our expectations aren't high when we shop there. That's just the way they like it. And I'm not criticising or blaming big chain shops as that's the way of the future. They wouldn't continue to grow and expand if they weren't profitable. Some of the chain stores do have excellent fish keeping skills. 

There is nothing quite like visiting a fascinating well run specialist aquarium store, seeing unusual species and getting informative advice from hard won personal experience. But if there aren't any left then I'm thankful for the bulging shelves of convenient chain stores as the other alternative is online aquarium dry goods.  The way our bio security goals are going, the specialist stores won't have anything interesting to show you. 

 

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On 17/07/2016 at 2:18 PM, fishfish said:

Please, what about the amount of people on this here forum that buy and sell and cut out the need for lfs. Bit rich to put all the blame on pet barn if you have good prices good fish and good service you shouldn't have a problem with keeping customers coming back. Mostly service/quality is important for me personally

Good for you

 

& I don't fall under that banner either.

 

There were discussions many years ago about what Chain stores did to the USA LFS. We were warned.

I refuse to shop at a Petbarn. Unless it is a locally owned like Bernies

 

look at the Gold Coast. Only a couple of specialist LFS left 

 

frenchy :)

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On 17/07/2016 at 7:24 PM, smicko said:

I try to not blame everything on petbarn but it's hard to argue the numbers, everywhere they open shops smaller shops close.

It's naive to think that when a company opens over 200 shops in 3-4 years that its not the major influence. But never fear they plan to open another 150+ in the next two years so there not going anywhere soon.

Greencross vets (owners of petbarn and city farmers) business plans talks about how they are aiming for a larger share of wallets, no mention of customers or animal welfare.

Maybe I'm overreacting, maybe not.

Cheers mick

fishfish raised valid points about others to blame.

breeders started making things harder, dry goods wholesalers threw some nails into the coffin & Petbarns helped bury them 

 

Frenchy :)

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