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Get Pumped Saltwater

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I came across a thread on another forum. It had todo with some reviews of a LFS of that area.

The customer was mad that they wanted to buy a rock with some recordias on it, but the sales guy refused to sell the rock to the customer because of the recordias didn't look good.

A) Is this good?

B) Should it matter?

C) Discount the item and sell it anyways.

D) The LFS was just looking out for the customer?

What is your view on this situation as a consumer in the Reef addiction hobby?

And if other company's want to pipe up and say there views is great too.

Me personally. We would love to be able to offer healthy livestock all the time. But, there are items that just don't look good. I've had clams that just didn't look good to sell, so we pulled them. I could've sold them at a discount rate. But chose not to (Our customers thanked us for doing so)..

For the record the LFS was not us.. This happened to a customer in the Chicago area. Actually, it was a Wholesaler that I guess opens there doors to the public. I know of the Wholesaler, we still get there price sheets and needless to say they are full, if not over retail prices and we have never bought from them because of this.

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Normally I would say that it is a good thing the LFS was looking out for a customer, especially with fish. But with corals, I think there can be exceptions. I personally have bought corals-on-the-brink from LFS in an attempt to nurse them back to health. One example is an orange brain coral I got from a local LFS for like $5 or $8 because it was not looking that good. It has done great in my tank and grown quite a bit.

I think the only responsibility a LFS has in a case like this is to ensure the customer knows that they think the item in question does not seem 100% healthy. It is then up to the customer to decide if they want to risk their money on it (of course a 100% healthy "looking" item is still a risk in this hobby).

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One question, if it looked so bad why was on display?

I aprreciate the LFS looking out for me. but, if I make the purchase I am responsible not the LFS. Again, I revert to my question stated above. . .

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I'm with James on this one. I know most people have some coral in their tank that is the pride and joy not because it cost the most but because they brought it back from the brink. I also think as a business owner you need to be able to read the situations that come up in your store. I would have let the person know that I didn't want to sell the ricrock because it wasn't up to my standards but if the person was that adamant about it I'd discount it a bit and let him know that he was assuming the risk and wish him well. The customer walks out knowing he was looked after but was still able to try and rescue the rics. win/win.

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If I have something you want, it's up to me to decide whether I'm going to sell it to you, and for how much. Of course the theory of business is that you're trying to sell stuff, but in a wholesale/warehouse situation, the business may care more about recouping what they paid for the item than they do about keeping one individual customer happy. Many of our LFS owners know their customers, their tanks and ability levels in reef keeping, and are willing to make deals partly to save the coral and partly to keep customers coming back. A wholesaler may not have those priorities to the same degree. It's up to us as customers to decide if we want to continue patronizing large businesses that lack the personal touch.

Then again, maybe the sales guy did know this patron didn't have the skills to bring this coral back if it was already on the way out, and was just trying to protect the coral. We have no way of knowing.

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I think it is totally up to the Business if they want to sell something or not. Maybe they would rather not take a loss if they are trying to nurse it back to health and they want to be able to get the most money out of it. I don't think people should get so mad. The LFS always have things in their show tanks they won't sell regardless of price.

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I agree with the majority of what has already been said. In addition, if the customer was so upset about not being allowed to purchase a single ricrock, then I think this same person would also have been pissed if he purchased the ricrock and something happened to it or his/her other tank inhabitants. I think most reasonable people can appreciate when a seller says, "Hey, you know what, this item isn't up to our standards." It could do the business more harm than good to sell subpar items. I image this same individual would rant about how horrible the store was for selling him/her a damaged/dying coral. I bet it was a lose/lose from the start.

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BTW - I love that you posted this question and asked us, the consumers, our opinions. This shows that you both care and are constantly striving to improve your business model - kudos!

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BTW - I love that you posted this question and asked us, the consumers, our opinions. This shows that you both care and are constantly striving to improve your business model - kudos!

I agree 100% with this statement. Definitely a good thing to do.

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I admire a retailer that prevents their customers from taking something home that's not in great condition. I do agree that if the person trying to purchase knows what they are getting and the condition it's in and they're not just someone setting up a tank that wants something cheap, then I wouldn't think less of a business that sold it. Under circumstances like that, I don't see any problem with selling something (coral, sponge, other non mobile inverts) that aren't in perfect condition.

Also, looking at it from a retailers perspective it may not be in the best interest financially to sell it at a discount. If it wont take a lot of work to get it back into good condition, it may simply be a matter of not losing money when you don't have to.

Realistically, I think there's valid reasons for every side. What I personally care about is that they aren't selling it to someone that doesn't know what they're getting into, and not selling it to someone deceptively, such as if they know it has a specific disease, parasite, hitchhiker, etc., that's causing the problems.

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These points are great to hear.. Thank you all for pointing out what you expect and your views.

Ok, so lets throw in a curve to this.. Some of our Hawaii customers pointed out a good point. This situation in particular, the issue was the Ricordia's didn't look good. One of our customers said "They can look pretty bad off and still recover with very little help.. They are almost like Xenia coral/weeds, so why not sell the Ricordea rock to the customer?"

This made me think, The customer does have a point. There not as hard to keep and why not just tell the customer, "They don't look good, but they could very well come back with no problem." ?

We really enjoy to hear the consumer side of things... That’s maybe why we call every new/reoccurring customer after their order has been delivered.. Just our way of hearing feedback, good, bad, how was your day, and to put a voice to a name. :)

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hmm,without knowing how knowledgeable that customer was i can't say what i really think about that situation definitively. I'm glad the seller was honest about the ric rock. rics aren't hard to care for so if the customer has basic knowledge and a set up that would house rics, i don't think there's anything wrong with making sure they know there's a chance they night not make it since they aren't looking so good, and discounting the rock. of course I'd make sure the reason for the discount and the status of the rics were noted in the receipt in case that customer tried to make the seller look bad, they could pull it up and prove the customer about it.

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