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Re: Loyalty vs being robbed

> Should I be a loyal customer that supports Village 
> Tropics even though I can get the same product for 
> cheaper elsewhere?  Should I not worry about it and 
> just buy things wherever I find the cheapest price?

If you shop based on price, nobody can fault you
for that.  Retail aquarium shops with perishable
stock are hard to run, but they basically understand
they have to etch out a business model and value
proposition that makes sense for their customer

Methinks your best contribution might be that the
business probably has a really hard time getting
quality feedback on how they are doing, so they
can adjust their business model accordingly.  If
there is some little thing they could do that 
would give you a *big* boost in perceived value,
they surely would do it if they could figure it

I suppose it depends on how approachable they might
be.  If they don't care about the casual goldfish
hobbyist, they won't care about feedback like 
having twelve different desktop goldfish bowls
from which a customer might select.  However, you
could always go in, buy a $2 whatever, lean against
the counter, and then start a casual conversation
about stuff you like about the store and stuff you
don't like.  They might be very interested in your

It's possible they scream and yell and refuse to
let you buy your $2 whatever when you talk about
a similar product down the street for half the
price (I actually had that happen to me once, 
although they actually just yelled at me and still
took my money), but it's possible they just find
you to be an informed hobbyist that knows his 
options and realizes that they need to be clear
in their value proposition.

If you have specific ideas, like a purchase punch
card, store credit on bred fish, or other things,
you can always toss that out as an idea and they
can always accept or decline.  If I were the owner,
I'd really appreciate the offer, even if I didn't
accept, because I'd have a data point on something
I could have done differently to get a transaction.

Of course, you should always try to be honest about
the "LFS" idea that if that particular store with
the greater selection/quality were gone, would your
life be worse?  The over-charge is thus "subsidy
insurance" to avoid sadness if they go away.  (Only
you could say what that's worth.)

Just my $.02.


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