Curious....if the LFS were to price match bulk reef supply on a skimmer you don't desperately need today. Would you still buy it from your LFS and pay your sales tax or would you order from bulk reef supply, wait 3-5 days and not pay sales tax? Because on a $300 skimmer, were talking about ~$27 in sales tax.
48x30x24 150g LeeMar: 48" ATI LED Powermodule, 2 MP40's, Bubble King Double Cone 200, Korallin C1502 Calcium Reactor, 3 NextReef Reactors, Apex
Bobs was a great example. In fact I'm about to head there now.
Good customer service, knowledgeable staff, a clean looking store, a good selection of dry good and live stock - all of those get me into your LFS.
I prefer to give my business to a LFS as opposed to online. I do still shop online but I try my best to support several different LFS as much as I can. There are many good stores in Southern California to do this at.
Here in long beach i don't keep a lot of high end product. Long beach is a lot of apartments with a lot of blue collar people, lets face it its not Palos Verdes. Now with LFS some have to many employees a large sqr footage and alot of equipment which means high mark up to cover high overhead those do well in places like tongs location where theres more money in the area. Now look at Jeff's exotic fish when it was around it was in the industrial area of Gardena in a warehouse with a couple of employees, and a chasier. Prices were low constant selection of corals very little equipment and dry goods mostly livestock. I remember paying $30 dollars there for a whole colony of zoas that were considered high end and frags were going for $100. If I were to open a store thats what it would be like high efficiency equipment to keep costs low, a streamline display systems. so that i wouldnt have 1000 power strips pluged in like i have seen, and in a commercial zone where rent is less expensive than a strip mall. "If you build it they will come" look at Ellis i have been buying all my stuff from him small selection but reasonable priced.
I totally understand making a buck but some places its like come on man thats just crazy, and thats where online has them beat. Low overhead, cheep rent mostly out of state, no customer walk ins so insurance is less, and then they also make a buck on shipping.
Someone should try a foodtruck setup, but instead be a mobile reef store. Cover all of so cal with nice stuff. I wonder if that would work?
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