Tips for buying from other hobbyists: What do you look for?

BRS

How often do you buy coral from other hobbyists?

  • Very Often

    Votes: 119 23.3%
  • Occasionally

    Votes: 177 34.6%
  • Very Rare

    Votes: 93 18.2%
  • Never

    Votes: 107 20.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 15 2.9%

  • Total voters
    511

revhtree

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Cool thing about coral is that it grows (hopefully), and then you can trade for more coral or sell some to buy more coral! I love it! As hobbyists we're presented with the opportunity to buy from other hobbyists and sometimes it can get tricky if you don't know what to do and what not to do! Today I thought it would be cool if we traded some tips on this topic!

When you're buying coral from other hobbyists what are some things to look for to protect yourself and to make sure your getting a good deal?

image via @Reefinometry
IMG_5056 copy.jpg
 

vetteguy53081

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Local purchase only where I can see the coral- not a doctored photo or acquainted with the person
 
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revhtree

revhtree

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revhtree

revhtree

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vetteguy53081

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Seeing is believing right? :)
Absolutely
The only time I assume risk is if I’m buying out someone’s tank livestock which has been a while
 

NowGlazeIT

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I feel like my town lacks a club or group for hobbyist to meet up and trade. Between Facebook, R2R and Craigslist it just feels like we’re spread too thin. There is hardly enough movement to gain momentum.
 

Maddlesrain

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If it's a local buy, I prefer meeting at a person's house so I can see the coral at its best (polyps open, undisturbed from transport, the environment it's coming from, etc.); this is also usually a great way to learn more about the other hobbyist and make possible future connections.

I do not mind meeting in public though, as this makes some people feel more comfortable. This is slightly more risky though because I'm forced to accept the coral in a less optimal state (stressed) and it's harder to view through a transport container or bag.

For online sellers, I look at how long they've been selling for, if they sell regularly, read any reviews I find, and also like to gauge how willing to answer questions they are. If someone seems uninterested in talking to me, sometimes I feel it's a bad sign—nothing excessive, but I'd like to know how long you've had the mother colony of the frag you're selling, and what conditions it has been kept in so I can have the best success possible.
 

Kayden Hutchings

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I buy most of my equipment used from fellow hobbiests. And coral either comes from LFS’s, hobbiest in the area, or sellers in the classifieds here so I can help the smaller parts of the hobby as much as I can. Mainly I look for trustworthiness and someone trimming corals/wanting to sell cheap to other hobbiest rather than those looking to make a quick buck from hot new coral #1768. Luckily there are a lot of good people in the hobby! Pay it forward guys!
 

brrdawg

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I am pretty selective on where I buy coral. I really like to look at peoples tanks and see the unkeep and maintenance. As well as the amount of algae or aptasia. If there is an excess of that then I am out. Make sure to dip anything and check your frags for hitchhikers.
 

Treefer32

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I would love to buy locally from local hobbiests. However, I find most local hobbiest have the same corals I have. Which, makes it difficult to trade or exchange. I find I'm buying online more than I should spend for coral to get free shipping. And I end up with tiny frags that I have to wait 2 years for them to become something.
 

Zaven D

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As of my most recent tank, I’ve mostly been buying from fellow hobbyists including on R2R and a few Facebook Groups.
It can be hit or miss because one person might charge way more for a Frag vs another hobbyist so pricing can be inconsistent at times. I usually like to see pics of mother colony and the frags. I also look to see if the seller has positive ratings.
Just be super transparent with the person whose selling to you, and if you are a seller and your buyers spending a lot of money a free Frag here and there always goes a long way.
 

Gio210a

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I buy most of my equipment used from fellow hobbiests. And coral either comes from LFS’s, hobbiest in the area, or sellers in the classifieds here so I can help the smaller parts of the hobby as much as I can. Mainly I look for trustworthiness and someone trimming corals/wanting to sell cheap to other hobbiest rather than those looking to make a quick buck from hot new coral #1768. Luckily there are a lot of good people in the hobby! Pay it forward guys!
The problem is that most hobbies want to sell you corals and used equipment at a retailer price, I have yet to find a deal on corals or used equipment here.
 

DIYreefer

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The problem is that most hobbies want to sell you corals and used equipment at a retailer price, I have yet to find a deal on corals or used equipment here.

There are definitely deals to be had here. I've stocked my tank with corals that I ha e bought from the classifieds here and feel like I got great deals on all of it.
 
BRS

How close to perfect, for you, is your reef aquarium?

  • IT'S PERFECT NOW

    Votes: 13 4.2%
  • It's getting close

    Votes: 47 15.3%
  • It's about half way there

    Votes: 54 17.6%
  • It's slow but progressing

    Votes: 96 31.3%
  • It's not even close

    Votes: 89 29.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 2.6%
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