You are at The Krib ->Organizations [E-mail]

Selling to Pet Shops


  1. Selling to Pet Stores (how about buying?)
    by (Lynsey Gedye) (13 Feb 94)

Selling to Pet Stores (how about buying?)

by (Lynsey Gedye)
Date: 13 Feb 94

  I cringe at the thought of being drawn into this, but, ...
  warning fish fans - little or nothing of a scientific nature
  contained here, hit the kill button...

In article <2520079-at-hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM> booth-at-hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM (George
Booth) writes:
>In sci.aquaria, (Todd O'Brien) writes:
TO>    Of the two local stores in the area, one refuses to buy fish, the 
TO>   other rips me off big time.

TO>    Those bastards paid me "book price" ... $4.00 a piece for 
TO>    "large pike cichlids" ...   I DIDN'T EVEN GET WHAT I PAID FOR

  Bit of a shocker alright Todd.  I've never owned a pet shop. 
  I have owned a plant store and it's not dissimilar in the
  problems - i.e. keeping delicate living things alive, while
  staying in business yourself.

  I used to buy house plants for $4.00 which I would resell at
  $8.00.  A customer could've easily bought a $6.00, grown it up to
  the $8.00 size, and then expect me to buy it for more than I
  could buy it for wholesale.  I say easily because it happened.
  Some people forgot that I was in business to make enough money
  to stay in business.  I always found it especially inspirational
  when the people either hadn't bought the original plant off me,
  or had spent at least 50 cents over the previous year.

TO>   (2)  Feeders were the only reason I visited this store

  Then there was the other problem that I'd spend say $5000 with
  one of the wholesalers who produced superb plants.  Private
  sellers with a couple of plants couldn't understand why it was
  simply easier to deal with one big company that gave 60 days
  credit than it was to deal on a one off, who, again, had 
  originally bought the (inferior) stock elsewhere.

  Another pain was when private sellers who'd managed a few
  plants that were just sellable, but not a promotable quantity
  or worse, were obscure varieties the only collectors of the
  rare and exotic would want.  Generally, collecters of the
  rare and exotic are, er, rare and exotic.  So we'd end up with
  our dollars tied up in living (and dying) vegetation that two
  years later still no-one wanted to know about.

TO>   Back to selling fish.  I would say you are doomed to losing money, 
TO>   or at least to making pennies (if you're breeding).  If they are a
TO>   good store with good advice and intelligent staff, then consider it 
TO>   a contribution to their establishment (and make your money back by
TO>   using mail-order for all your other supplies!).

GB>The mark up on fish is due to the massive losses the shop keeper incurs 
GB>in keeping them.  How do you think they make up for shipping losses, 
GB>diseased fish contaminating other stock, the food it takes to maintain
GB>the fish until you decide to buy one, not selling the misfits and gimps
GB>that part of every shipment, etc.  This is a tough businees and you only
GB>make it tougher by buying mailorder.  If a local store carries what I 
GB>need, I useually buy through them; otherwise I buy mailorder. But then,
GB>I'm rich, aren't I?  

  What George said.  The mark up has something also to do with
  wanting to eat, say, any 5 days out of 7, maybe even get a
  living - you know, luxuries. Food, clothing, accomodation.  =;)
  I must say that mailorder pet supplies is not an option here,
  but IMHO, the only way pet store could become good with good
  advice and intelligent staff is to have enough sales/profit to
  be able to hire the best.

  My nephew worked in one of the local pet stores here.  The work
  is hard - as in how much puppy shit can anyone deal with, unrewarding 
  (financially), and very demanding - as in he knows quite a lot about
  fish (thanks to you all in netland) but he'd still have to deal
  "intelligently" with good advice for the elderly matron whose
  rabbit was off its food.

TO>    If you really want to make money, open your own petstore.  

GB>Oh, please Todd, open your own pet store.  You deserve the rich rewards. 
GB>    :)     :)     :)

  There's this neat chinese saying about how you must have a smiling 
  face if you want to open a store.  I'd have to say that until you've
  run your own small retail outlet handling living (and therefore
  dying) product you can't fully imagine the experience.  The experience
  of smiling for the customers while on the other side of the room
  your dollars are dying before your eyes.

  Rich rewards.  That's a new one, George.  We got told, "It's
  character building."

  Todd, if you'd like to sell to pet stores, this is what I do.
  It works for me to the extent that I can't visit the two local
  stores involved if I haven't got stock to sell - they nag and
  get stroppy and threaten to visit and steal stuff.

  I asked them what they sell a lot of and they'd like to
  sell more of and would they be interested in another supplier
  and what quantities, qualities... basic market research.

  I was amazed at what fish they actually did want - I would never
  have guessed. (Just as well I asked.  Two ears, one mouth.)

  I set up the appropriate tank facilities, minimising my costs
  as far as was possible.  (Low overheads = maximises profit) 

  I bought my stock fish from the petshop concerned.  Well, not 
  true, actually I traded plants for stock but you get the idea.

  I produced good fish and plants, better quality than whatever
  else was being supplied.  I asked what markup the shop needed
  and I worked until I could ensure they made a profit.  When they
  do, I do.  An order of one dozen fish means I count 14-15 into
  the bag.  50 plants means 53-54.  The plants are clean and snail
  free.  The fish are regularly fed on live food.

  The petshop owners and I barbeque and drink wine together a couple
  of times a year.  And yes, we were total strangers at the start.
  Am I rich?  Yeah, sure.  It would be well possible to earn
  thousands nett before tax if I got serious, meanwhile a couple
  grand a year is enough to pay the land tax - shoot, it's only
  a hobby.

Up to Organizations <- The Krib This page was last updated 29 October 1998