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Re: What to look for in a LFS (for example, price tags?)

Scott (zerelli at yahoo.com) said:
> I certainly understand that people want to save money,
> but unless you want to order all your plants and fish
> mail order too, you really should support the LFS.
> They do not make much of their money on stock and I
> don't know any rich shop owners. Prices are high
> because they have to be. To say they are trying to
> take advantage of people is grossly unfair. THey are
> trying to make a living.

Did someone say they are trying to take advantage?  That would be true
only if they were deceptive -- and lfss don't have any corner on that
vis-a-vis on-line stores.  But the choices given here seem extreme. I
don't think anyone has to make such draconian decisons as not
supporting the (really good lfs) at all versus paying $350 for
something they can easily get for $175.  Both extremes are probably
personally imprudent (except for the very wealthy) and they make little
economic sense within the hobby.  Successful deep discounting requires
a large market in which to move a lot of merchandise -- a single-owner,
single store lfs is unlikely to have that kind of market.  And the
chain stores (even though they have local shops) have much better
margins on dog/cat food and other items with very low spoilage rates
and which require very little real expertise from the part-time,
minimum wage, understandably short-tenured clerks.

Support the nice lfs (if you're lucky enough to have a nice one)? 
Sure, but support them where they have strengths.  I'll buy whatever I
can at the good lfs because of all the things it has, which I think was
Scott's (zerelli at yahoo.com) basic point, between the extreme
choices.  And I'll pay higher prices than deep discount.  But I'm not
pay nearly double for an Eheim!  Are you?  By the same token, I'm not
going to tie up their stafftime making them provide me with all the
info I need to decide what Eheim (or whatever) to buy from another
source.  That would be as smarmy as, well, I'm sure you know someone
that's very smarmy.

And what does one do if one lives in Lancaster, PA?  Do you loyally
shop at the lfs instead of the on-line discount house -- in both cases,
the store can be ThatPetPlace.  Although, as an lfs, its leaves a few
things to be desired.  ;-)

Very glad to have so many choices,
Scott H. (shieber at yahoo.com)

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