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Re: Loyalty vs being robbed

Hopkins, Samuel said:

> I used to be loyal to my local LFS and stayed away from the big
> chains. Then
> I realized I was getting robbed. Now I only buy my fish from the
> local LFS
> and anything else (medication, plant stuff, etc) I buy from the
> national
> chains. 

I'm not sure if "national chains" you mean Petco and PetSmart or
mail-order (and now web-order) outfits like ThatPetPlace,
BigAl'sOnline, and http://www.drsfostersmith.com.  In either case, they
have access to a much larger market and can move a much higher volume
of goods.  The high volume makes discounting more of a business
possibility than it is for a single owner, one-shop, local business. 
The larger outfit can also develop a wider supply network and take
advantage of large special purchases (slightly irregular but fully
functional goods).

So you have to be willing to pay an extra 30-50% or so over the
discount price if you want to be loyal to the mom-and-pop lfs.  That's
a lot of loyalty!

But, in general, I wouldn't say that they were robbing anyone.  In
fact, their marketing might be less slick and smarmy than big chain
outfits with large advertising/marketing budgets.  And they can give
you attention that you mind find lacking at the other outfits.  I don't
know if these things apply to your particular lfs.  But they might be
perfectly honest folk, offering an honest and perfectly straightforward
business deal to their customers, and in fact, the best they can
arrange.  That doesn't necessarily mean that the deal has the value to
you that they are asking -- you get to decide if you want the deal --
thank goodness for competition and open markets.  

I've accused vendors of, or criticized them for, a number of things,
but theft is a harsher stain than I have ever found reason to apply.

Scott H.

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