How does one buy direct from wholesaler?

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Aquavaj

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Does it work just like with every other wholesalers in other industries or how does it work? Just curious as I know a local guy (no store) that goes and been getting quite a bit of livestock well below retail prices from him.
 
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CC13

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Does it work just like with every other wholesalers in other industries or how does it work? Just curious as I know a local guy (no store) that goes and been getting quite a bit of livestock well below retail prices from him.

You will find some wholesalers who will sell direct to the end user, but if the stores and distributors that buy from said wholesale find out they are cutting them out, will get upset for obvious reasons. Your better off to form a good relationship with a LFS, I would argue that you might pay a little more, but a
I believe you need a permit but some whole sellers don’t care if you have one or not

This.
 

Graffiti Spot

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Look at livestockusa.org, don't let a local store or wholesaler swindle you out of your hard earned money. If you can house transhipped corals or pickup at lax this is the best option. Good dude and always gives you all the information he has. Only problem is the indo shut down so I imagine there might be a wait list on the aussie stuff and maybe even the tonga corals.
 

jda

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Some want a business license. They will sell to "basement" stores. Business licenses can be as low as $20 and then you are all set - check your local municipality. That can save you a lot. Some will sell to anybody who can meet a minimum.

Just know that if you buy wholesale, expect to go to a major airport, pay freight and suffer any losses, substitutions and errors. These are all costs of doing business. Most also have a size able minimum and you might have to order 3-4 boxes of stuff at a time. If you can handle all of this, you can get some good deals, but just know that a $8 yellow tang sounds good, but that could double with shipping and losses and everything adds up.

There are a very few that only sell to storefronts - ORA is one of these.
 
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Squeaky McMurdo

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Some want a business license. They will sell to "basement" stores. Business licenses can be as low as $20 and then you are all set - check your local municipality. That can save you a lot. Some will sell to anybody who can meet a minimum.

Just know that if you buy wholesale, expect to go to a major airport, pay freight and suffer any losses, substitutions and errors. These are all costs of doing business. Most also have a size able minimum and you might have to order 3-4 boxes of stuff at a time. If you can handle all of this, you can get some good deals, but just know that a $8 yellow tang sounds good, but that could double with shipping and losses and everything adds up.

There are a very few that only sell to storefronts - ORA is one of these.

Does the business license have to be fish related? Haha
 

reefwiser

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Need to have a store front to get a into a fish wholesaler like Quality Marine or Sea Dwelling Creatures. It’s not an easy task and you need to buy a certain amount of stock a month. Not really something a hobbyist would be prepared to do. Best to buy from Live Aquaria
 

Dr. Dendrostein

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most wholesalers want:

* a contractual agreement you are reselling

* a minimum once a month order

* a minimum of $1k - $2k AN ORDER

I worked part time at a LFS fir 3 years

.
You can get around minium, by mentioning that, if they don't have 1k-2k of what you need, can they charge a fee, being under minium. Not your fault they don't have everything you need.
If you talk to some wholesalers, some charge small fee if under minium. Try buying $100-$150 minium. If you get foot in door
 
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Gregg @ ADP

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Need to have a store front to get a into a fish wholesaler like Quality Marine or Sea Dwelling Creatures. It’s not an easy task and you need to buy a certain amount of stock a month. Not really something a hobbyist would be prepared to do. Best to buy from Live Aquaria
I have accounts with both w/o having an actual storefront at the time (was operating out of a flex-space in an office complex). IIRC, they both only wanted a copy of my resale license.

To the poster who said, ‘Go get a business license and save a ton of money’, it’s not that simple.

Most wholesalers such as QM, SDC, ORA, et al want a resale license. In most states, to get a resale license, you have to get an FEIN, register your business with the state, etc etc. You’re going to spend $350-600 by the time it’s all said and done.
 

Dr. Dendrostein

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I have accounts with both w/o having an actual storefront at the time (was operating out of a flex-space in an office complex). IIRC, they both only wanted a copy of my resale license.

To the poster who said, ‘Go get a business license and save a ton of money’, it’s not that simple.

Most wholesalers such as QM, SDC, ORA, et al want a resale license. In most states, to get a resale license, you have to get an FEIN, register your business with the state, etc etc. You’re going to spend $350-600 by the time it’s all said and done.
Then need DBA, to look professional. With business checking account
 

Instigate

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I have accounts with both w/o having an actual storefront at the time (was operating out of a flex-space in an office complex). IIRC, they both only wanted a copy of my resale license.

To the poster who said, ‘Go get a business license and save a ton of money’, it’s not that simple.

Most wholesalers such as QM, SDC, ORA, et al want a resale license. In most states, to get a resale license, you have to get an FEIN, register your business with the state, etc etc. You’re going to spend $350-600 by the time it’s all said and done.
Or even more if you're in CA, I pay $800 a year for my LLC.
 

Gregg @ ADP

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Then need DBA, to look professional. With business checking account
Yep.

ORA was probably the most rigorous application for an account. They wanted copies of biz and resale licenses, pics of the store, trade references, copies of invoices from other aquarium suppliers, etc.

That was like getting security clearance with the CIA.

Anybody who thinks they’re just going to drop a few bucks on a business license and start getting wholesale is in for a bit of a rude awakening.
 

jda

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I can get fish from Hawaii or Indo/red sea shipped to Denver without any of that... but I have to buy at least four full large boxes and take all of the risks and suffer any deaths from delays or ANYTHING else. This is not always great when they sub in a 10 inch imperator instead of a 2 inch one, or sub in a Lunare Wrasse when one of your Fairys was no longer available. On the good side is that these fish were usually VERY healthy with a few less hops in the chain of custody. I have only done it a few times in the last decade since this is a lot of fish for one guy and his few friends who don't kill much.

Again, nearly anybody can buy from the same places that the US based wholesalers buy from, but there are some serious risks and there is no parachute. One storm delay and you could be out 100%. One aircraft issue and you are out 100%. This is risk that middle-men take. Also, you have to buy a lot to get the good stuff... if you want a nice rainbow chalice or aussie shortcake, then you need to buy a bunch of boxes of coral which will contain some duds and then you have to deal with a brown torch or grey zoas. Nobody is going to ship you the deepwater/rare fish or best corals - these get reserved for the people who spend a bunch. If you want a safety net or to cherry pick a bit, then QA, Sea Dwelling or ORA is probably your best bet.

ORA has always been more stringent. I used to get it when they were the only game in town, but now there are several other clownfish and captive bred fish sellers that will sell to nearly anybody who can meet a minimum. We used to have to be near the top in purchases to have a chance at their nicer corals, and most of the time they would not even send them - we bought a LOT from them a few times to get Blue Goni and never got it... after that we just gave up.
 
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I understand LFS has overhead bills, staff and rent etc.. but the price they get Corals and Fish for is soo much less than what they sell it for. They pay $9 for a naso tang and resell for $60.... just an example.
 

Dr. Dendrostein

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Look at livestockusa.org, don't let a local store or wholesaler swindle you out of your hard earned money. If you can house transhipped corals or pickup at lax this is the best option. Good dude and always gives you all the information he has. Only problem is the indo shut down so I imagine there might be a wait list on the aussie stuff and maybe even the tonga corals.
Just remember, with ban, going to take longer for your shippment, sometimes 4-10 weeks. Patience. If you ever ordered fast food within the islands, you know what im talking about.
 

Gregg @ ADP

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I understand LFS has overhead bills, staff and rent etc.. but the price they get Corals and Fish for is soo much less than what they sell it for. They pay $9 for a naso tang and resell for $60.... just an example.
I don’t know any dealers in the business who are trying to run 666% margins. Well, maybe Old Town in Chicago (kidding....sorta)

As a ‘dealer’, I deliver livestock to clients with both explicit and implicit guarantees. The margins aren’t just for overhead/expenses. I take risks. Given my biz model, I can’t just sell to people with flimsy, or even no, guarantees. So, I often have to eat any profits (and sometimes take a loss) in order to maintain good standing and trust with the customer.

And that’s for the stuff that actually gets in their tank and I get paid for.

Forget about losses on DOAs, or livestock you get in that you just know doesn’t have a chance of making it so it never comes close to being sold.

The best is this kind of stuff:

A client wanted a male Rhomboid wrasse. I think I paid $135 wholesale (plus freight), but got a gorgeous, healthy guy in. Rock star fish. Ate like a champ and looked better than the pics. Added it to the client’s tank, it scooched down into the rocks, a pseudochromis or something spooked it out of the spot it was in, the wrasse shot out of the rocks and straight into a huge green carpet anemone...never to be seen again. His total time in the tank? Maybe 30 seconds.

Think I could charge the client for that? Nope. I just bought a $140 lunch for a stupid anemone.
 

michael giordano

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Yeah but that $10-$15 tang, has a hefty price tag on it from the store before it is even delivered. The stores have so much overhead involved it’s not even funny. If you believe your local store is making a killing your completely wrong, these guys and girls don’t make much with the fish and coral loss, plus staff, rent, utilities, water parts maintenance. they have to charge you that much to make a living. Trust me buy from your local stores and support local business, local these guys are not getting rich off of you, well except for WWC those guys are killling it. also places like bulk reef supply are raking in the cash, because there overhead is a lot less you should be complaining about your dry good vendors.
 
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