Do you support aquarium supply companies over places like Amazon and should you?

Do you think it's important to support aquarium specific businesses within our industry first?

  • YES

    Votes: 486 82.7%
  • NO

    Votes: 58 9.9%
  • Other

    Votes: 44 7.5%

  • Total voters
    588

revhtree

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Ran into a post on the BRS #AskBRSTV FB page where someone had stated that Amazon was showing aquarium supplies not delivering until April 23rd! Almost a month from now. Granted some people were saying that they were still getting items a couple days after they ordered. I thought about this and thought that it would make a great topic today.

Let me step on my soapbox for a moment if you will. (hmm also it just occurred to me that R2R is kinda in the same boat with competition like FB)

THIS is exactly the reason we need to support companies like Bulk Reef Supply, Aquarium Specialty, Marine Depot, Premium Aquatics, Champion Lighting Supply, SaltwaterAquarium (all R2R sponsors) and our local fish stores more than places like Amazon! I understand why Amazon is doing this but it doesn't mean that hobbyists still don't need their supplies quicker. Supporting companies within our industry will help ensure that we will always be able to get the aquarium supplies we need when we need them.

Do you think it's important to support (to be a customer of) aquarium specific businesses within our industry first? If not then why not?


SUPPORT INDUSTRY.jpg
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

Amado

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I personally buy as much as possible on amazon. Where I live we get some items same day. I have been a prime member for years. Amazon’s return policy is amazing
If I buy something and it doesn’t work out it can just send it back. I been able to buy salt/sand/rocks/power heads/lights/food very cheap and delivered to my home.

My local LFS only sells ecotech lights and eco tech pumps/ those lights and pumps are too expensive for my taste.
 

cvrle1

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I havent seen post that you speak of, and not sure of the details, but one thing about Amazon that people often forget is that not everything is sold and shipped by them. For a lot of items they are just middle man. If item is sold and shipped by someone else using Amazon platform, you cant blame amazon for slow shipping/delivery times. It clearly states who is item sold and fulfilled by for each item, so people really need to pay attention to that detail.

With that said, if item is cheaper on Amazon, and at least shipped by them, I will buy it. It is however rare that happens, so I usually go where cheapest price is. This includes eBay as well. On the other hand, if price difference is few $ on large cost item, I do purchase from smaller online shop. Sometimes it actually turns out to be cheaper as they may not charge tax, while Amazon always does. I also do check LFS as well, but unfortunately they are usually more expensive, and cant come close anywhere to price other places offer, and I dont want to pay 20%+ more for same item.
 

Reefs and Geeks

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I typically buy what I can from BRS or other aquarium specific suppliers. The exception, for me, would be if I need a cheaper item quick in which case I would use Amazon for quick free delivery or go to my LFS. I'd go to my LFS more often, but can't seem to leave without buying at least a frag so I try not to tempt myself too much.
 
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revhtree

revhtree

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I havent seen post that you speak of, and not sure of the details, but one thing about Amazon that people often forget is that not everything is sold and shipped by them. For a lot of items they are just middle man. If item is sold and shipped by someone else using Amazon platform, you cant blame amazon for slow shipping/delivery times. It clearly states who is item sold and fulfilled by for each item, so people really need to pay attention to that detail.

With that said, if item is cheaper on Amazon, and at least shipped by them, I will buy it. It is however rare that happens, so I sually go where cheapest price is. This includes eBay as well. On the other hand, if price difference is few $ on large cost item, I do purchase from smaller shop. Sometimes it actually turns out to be cheaper as they may not charge tax, while Amazon always does.
I see what you are saying but my whole point is that if Amazon shuts down shipping or delays shipping for "non-essential" items then we're out of luck if we don't have our industry supply stores. If we don't support them they could eventually go under then we are at the mercy of the powers that be!
 

Flame2hawk

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I voted other because i would like to support but here’s my story....

Its tough to walk away from 30% savings offered by Amazon as the hobby is expensive enough. And as previously stated, they are also easy to do business with (ie no questions asked return policy, good customer service, same day delivery etc.). Yes it is true that during these exceptional times they’ve had to prioritize shipping, however this is unlikely to happen again as the supply and delivery chain adapts to an evolving model. By the way I did go on an aquarium supply on line entity recently and went through the entire purchasing process, paid by credit card because it said I would have my products in 1-2 days. After I paid, I immediately received an auto email stating that due to mail challenges I would get my items in 10 days!! Again AFTER paying! At least Amazon is up front before you pay. SO in this case, the items were slightly higher in price and also deceitful adding to the poor service gap. Not a good experience if you’re trying to compete.....then had to go thru the hassle of cancelling my order....ugh....they have to do better if they want our business....
 
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Appaloosa1224

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I'm in the minority that I've never supported Amazon. I've probably ordered less than 10 things from them in the past 5 years. I'm a self employed artist and think that has made me more aware of the importance of supporting small business even if it costs a little more. I love Marine Depot because their East Coast warehouse is less than 10 miles from my house and everything always arrives next day.
 

Victor_C3

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Online shopping is a solid 75% the source of my dry goods. Of that, probably close to 100% is from Marine Depot. I’ve been buying equipment from them since 2005, before BRS even existed.

The other 25% I purchase from a store called “Fish Doctor” outside of Detroit that is a BRS reseller.

I’ve tried looking for a few things on Amazon, but they either don’t have what I’m looking for or it’s noticeably more expensive than either Marine Depot or BRS.
 

NowGlazeIT

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I think the some of those need to find ways to separate from Amazon. Sell things that amazon does not. Mainly because it is hard to pay more for the same item. I will support my LFS to a point, live stock mainly. I am not so worried about the big companies listed in revs post. For the most part I believe they have already adapted their business model to compete with amazon. LFS are different story. I have this LFS where I live that is only open 3 hours a day for a few days a week. When I asked him why? He said, he makes more money out doing maintenance then waiting for walk-ins
 

spyder813

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I always try to order from the original vendor instead of Amazon. But Amazon have some products that those vendors don't have or their price ( some vendors also sell thru Amazon) on Amazon is cheaper.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

drawman

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I do for several reasons. Aquarium supply companies are generally cheaper and their support is on the opposite side of the spectrum with amazon. Amazon is great but returns can be a PITA.

If it's something harder to find like pipettes for testing then I'll use amazon.
 

cvrle1

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I see what you are saying but my whole point is that if Amazon shuts down shipping or delays shipping for "non-essential" items then we're out of luck if we don't have our industry supply stores. If we don't support them they could eventually go under then we are at the mercy of the powers that be!
Thats fair enough, and makes sense. Only thing I will say is I really cant see a company like BRS shutting down because some people choose to buy through Amazon instead of them. They are massive, and I cant see them loosing sleep over this at all. If anything, I would say we shouldnt buy from BRS and instead support some smaller companies, as those are the ones that can go under in this time, BRS wont. And smaller would include non R2R sponsors and LFSs with online stores.
 

Badilac

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You cant beat the amazon return policy. I have purchased some items, then later decided I didn't need them and didnt even had to return it at all to receive my refund! During the return process it popped up stating return was not necessary and I could keep the item. who else does that??? NO ONE that I know. They recognize the labor required to process the return cost more than the item so its not worth getting it back sometimes.
 

FischAutoTechGarten

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My preference for purchases:

1. LFS. In Tucson AZ we are fortunate to have 4 very specialized LFS. One is Nature Aquariums, One is SaltWater/Reef, One is Herbtiles, the final is a bit of your old fashioned pet store (fish, birds, herbtiles, guinea pigs and lots of dog/cat food). I like nature aquarius, so I'm a big supporter of Arizona Nature Aquatics. I know I'm paying slightly more when I purchase from Ben (owner). However, I think it's important that we try to maintain a solid local retail infrastructure.
2. Fish Club. There's a nice club in the Tucson AZ area (Desert Aquarist Society), with great auctions/gifts at the monthly meetings.
3. Forum for sale sections. I enjoy trading with other hobbyist on SimplyDiscus, PlantedTank, etc... Promotes the hobby.
4. Craigslist/Ebay.. Again, here is an opportunity to re-use good slightly used equipment. Sometimes, on Ebay, I will buy new old stock (discontinued merchandise). I cling to a few old-school methods (hydor under gravel heating cables for instance) and it can be hard to locate some of that merchandise/equipment.
5. Finally Amazon/PetSmart/Petco. Last options. Only when I've exhausted the first 3 options.

So yeah, my purchase preferences don't 'grow the economy' in a meaningful way. Oh well.....
 

Greybeard

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Yes... I always go to BRS first. I value their presence in the market, the videos and product reviews they do, etc.

BUT

And this is a big 'but'... I also double check prices. I'm not paying a huge markup for something just to get it from a particular vendor. BRS has gotten much better, but a few years ago, their PVC parts, for instance, were several times higher than the same product from a plumbing supply. As I said, they've fixed that now... but you gotta double check prices.

Also, BRS has a limited selection. They carry some excellent lines of products, and they don't carry some excellent lines, as well. Bashsea, for instance. Aquamaxx, Bubble Magus... There are a good many brands that you have to go elsewhere for.
 

lilgrounchuck

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I see what you are saying but my whole point is that if Amazon shuts down shipping or delays shipping for "non-essential" items then we're out of luck if we don't have our industry supply stores. If we don't support them they could eventually go under then we are at the mercy of the powers that be!
"Shutting down" depends on where you live. Right now I'm living right by a massive distribution point. If it's in stock in the warehouse, it goes out. There is a lot of stuff I can order that gets here between a few hours and the next day. Even if the big carriers that other online vendors rely on for delivery (UPS, FedEx, etc) go down, the Amazon delivery vans running around here will keep going until that warehouse is empty or the sun explodes and we're all dead. Even then, one of the warehouse robots and some Twinkies might survive, so they could still possibly make a delivery.
 
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Are you still ordering livestock or are you going to wait it out?

  • I'm still ordering and not worried

    Votes: 312 33.7%
  • I'm ordering but being cautious about delivery

    Votes: 178 19.2%
  • No I am not ordering right now

    Votes: 396 42.7%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 41 4.4%

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