QUESTION OF THE DAY Friendships, Fair Pricing or Fire: Why do you shop with certain aquarium vendors?

Why do you choose to shop with the companies you shop with it?

  • Relationships with Employees or Owners

    Votes: 142 34.1%
  • Fair Pricing of Goods

    Votes: 274 65.7%
  • Quality of Goods (FIRE corals or good product)

    Votes: 209 50.1%
  • Quality of Customer Service

    Votes: 239 57.3%
  • Ease of ordering or access to store

    Votes: 185 44.4%
  • Other (please exlain in the thread)

    Votes: 26 6.2%

  • Total voters
    417

revhtree

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Today I'm thinking about why we shop with certain vendors whether it be local or online.

Obviously in life we favor things, relationships etc. over other things and other relationships for various reasons. But when it comes to spending your money with saltwater aquarium businesses why is that? Does it have to do with relationships you've made with employees or owners? Maybe it's that their pricing for goods is fair? Maybe it's all about the quality of product or service? That's what I would like to hear about today from you.

Why do you choose to shop with the companies you shop with when it comes to your aquarium needs and wants?

takemymoney.jpg
 

ajhudson15

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companies that actually listen and don't try and sell you stuff just because they want to get rid of it. its like buying a car. you say your payment needs to be 300 but they say well this si 350. if I want this coral don't try and tell me to go with this one just so you can make more money. I also like the ones that actually know there stuff and don't feed crap to people just to make a sale and then have the animal die.
 

andrewkw

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All of the above. I've really only had a couple of small bad experiences in 15 years of shopping for reef stuff be it live goods, dry goods or anything else related.
 

tautog83

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for me personally , it has to do a lot about value and customer service . ive formed a relationship with one owner and they'll take the time to send me a wsiwyg pic of the coral i want. i always want to see what im getting. In fact just this black friday I did an order and typically i get pics of the the corals that i order. However this time i didnt, and honestly if i did i wouldnt have bought half of them .So for me , going that extra step in customer service is what gets me to come back time and time again. Even though this wasnt the question, ill twist it around and say what makes me not buy from certain vendors, deception. i looked on black friday and saw a milka stylo frag that was 3/4 " that said "regular price 64.99 , on sale 23.99 . hey , $24 isnt bad for that coral, i mean its not great thats for sure but for an introductory coral for a beginner sure its not bad. However every other day of the week its free shipping at 199 but now that we discounted corals you have to pay full price shipping . that kind of stuff is "dirty" to me . as they say on shark tank, "and for those reasons im out ".
 

Mical

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Customer Service is Numero Uno! Price has some significance, but if they (vendor) takes care of me when there's an issue - I'm a devoted repeat buyer. Amazon, B&H Photo & BRS are first to come to mind. They may not be the cheapest on alot of items but they stand behind what the sell. They don't tell me " you need to contact the mgfr" - as some Reef/Aquarium supply stores do.

I had this happen by an "unnamed vendor" who I bought an ATO from - bad out of the box, "call the mfgr" for warranty. Whoa, wait a second - if I buy a lawnmower at HD and it's bad out of the box, they exchange it. Same w/Best Buy and others. Needless to say I've passed over this "unnamed vendor" spending my $$$ with those who appreciate my business.
 

Jose Esteves

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For me its customer service all the way. Price is usually the same across the board on a majority of equipment I've seen through out all vendors that sell the same hardware.

I deal with computer all day long and I take the same view in that as well. A computer IS going to break, but for me its who is going to care of the issue without going through hoops and hurdles to get the problem resolved.
 

Morris276

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One of the major online vendors has a distribution center/warehouse here in Atlanta....which means orders get to me incredibly fast. Makes it hard to justify ordering from anybody else.
 

Greybeard

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BRS spends a good deal of time, effort, and money in 'How To' videos, researching various reefing topics, testing equipment, etc. I value that material, and try to make them my first choice in dry goods.

That said, they don't carry every brand... and their prices on some items can be out of line.

I don't buy livestock online, so dry goods is about as far as I can take this. Livestock, I'd rather deal with a LFS that I know, and trust. Actually see the critter before I take it home.
 

lynncgo

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For LFS, I really value the ones that take the time to explain and educate. When I first started it was very intimidating and sometimes people would make me feel bad about something they thought that I should have already known.

For online - most pricing is the same for product. So I order from the the ones that have the best rewards programs. Recently I've bought from brs because they have spent a lot of time on their educational videos and I appreciate that.
 

italquam

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I try to shop at online retailers who are supportive in forums, online videos and emails. I try to split up my business between some of my favorite websites......Aquarium Specialty (Scott Groseclose is great to work with), Bulk Reef Supply ( You tube videos are the best), Saltwater Aquarium (Mr Saltwater tank was great addition to the company), Marine Depot( One of the first online retailers i have used) and Champion Lighting as well.
 

Zoajohn

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Fair pricing, communication, DOA guarantees. If I see a vendor with $40+ shipping charges, I instantly close out of their website. I’m not paying $100 for a 1/2” stick and $50 shipping on top of that.
 

Quietman

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It's the whole value proposition for me. Product, Customer Service, Price, Ease, and within the limits of marketing...Honesty. I don't necessarily have a formula but based on a consistency of reports from reviewers I trust, I'll engage them for what I need. For example, I'm willing to take less customer service, if the product quality is high and it's a unique item I want. Or I'll demand excellent customer service is the product is new and untested. If it's a new vendor, then I'm very likely to either wait until reputation builds up or make small test purchases.

Above all that is honesty and a good faith vendor. Do not to pretend to be something you're not. If your smal and starting out, say so. If your customer support is just one guy and no weekends, let me know. I'm very likely to give vendor repeat business who's open and honest even if less than ideal results...as long as there's value for me as a customer.
 
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exasperatus2002

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Today I'm thinking about why we shop with certain vendors whether it be local or online.

Obviously in life we favor things, relationships etc. over other things and other relationships for various reasons. But when it comes to spending your money with saltwater aquarium businesses why is that? Does it have to do with relationships you've made with employees or owners? Maybe it's that their pricing for goods is fair? Maybe it's all about the quality of product or service? That's what I would like to hear about today from you.

Why do you choose to shop with the companies you shop with when it comes to your aquarium needs and wants?

takemymoney.jpg
Customer service is important but Money talks more. Im on a tight budget and a less then sympathetic spouse to the hobby. Her view to aquariums is if it needs more then just flake food it's a waste of time not to mention actual purchase costs. So I go where I can pinch a penny. But relish the shops that actually know what they are talking about.
 

RP709

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Who gets my $ is mostly history and recommendations from friends and colleagues I trust. 100 positive reviews means less to me than the personal experience one friend that actually bought livestock. History is good and bad, everyone wants that one thing that one place has in stock and gambles at some point that begins the positive or negative history ie; Live Aquaria lol!
 
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Scurvy

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All of the above to a degree however for me it boils down what i consider reasonable pricing and quality. If I have to spend 20 minutes on a site looking for 1 piece under a $100 that isn't GSP or Xenia then I'm gone. I send that mailing list to the junk folder and unsubscribe.

Equipment/Drygoods wise BRS gets 95% of my business as I beleive they give the most back to the community.
 

rtn

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For me, it's all of the above. The "other" is about supporting my LFS, sometimes even at a slightly higher markup. That is of the single highest importance to me, because they support me when I need their help. Could I save 5% by shopping elsewhere? Maybe. Is it worth it? Not to me.
 

fatbabyy

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I live in LA where there is an abundance of LFS to choose from. The one we keep going back to has great quality of corals, clean tanks, and super good customer service. I think the main reason we keep going back though, would be their knowledge. I know I can trust their opinions on what works with what, how to solve a problem, etc.
 

gotmesalty77

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For me and my budget I usually have to find the best possible deal while also finding the highest quality. Often that means chasing whatever the lower number is. I am lucky enough that I don't have to consider paying shipping for the most fire livestock because of where I live so that really helps with livestock. If this wasnt my situation customer service would be paramount for me.
 

Jimmy Lee

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Personally I like to shop with @FraghouseCorals and @WWC . I've bought plenty of corals with them and I know they are pest free. There are a couple others I like to buy corals from but I do not yet have the confidence in them as I do with the 2 mentioned above.

Quality is king in my book. I like a good deal like anyone else but that's not my main concern....at least at this stage in my reefing adventure.
 
https://www.omegasea.net/

Do you reef more, less or the same on the weekends?

  • MORE

    Votes: 208 65.4%
  • LESS

    Votes: 22 6.9%
  • SAME

    Votes: 88 27.7%

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