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

doubleshot00

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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.
This. Im not paying LFS prices for your frag; i would rather support the LFS.
 

jfoahs04

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Just about all of my coral is from hobbyists. We have an awesome local club and a bunch of guys grow some great stuff. I personally like seeing the person’s system but it’s not a deal breaker if I can’t. I only do local pick up though, no shipping. I also look for guys who are selling at reasonable prices rather than dealing with the handful that are charging retail. In my experience, the guys who grow the healthiest stuff are not the people trying to turn a big profit. Most of the guys are super generous and have an established reputation in the club. My most recent pickup was a nice Maleficent (back left) and a 1.5 inch chunk of Orange Creamsicle (front right) - $50 total. Just can’t beat that.
22889B27-0F2B-49B2-8E23-169238ADA4BA.jpeg
 

Chrisv.

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Just about all of my coral is from hobbyists. We have an awesome local club and a bunch of guys grow some great stuff. I personally like seeing the person’s system but it’s not a deal breaker if I can’t. I only do local pick up though, no shipping. I also look for guys who are selling at reasonable prices rather than dealing with the handful that are charging retail. In my experience, the guys who grow the healthiest stuff are not the people trying to turn a big profit. Most of the guys are super generous and have an established reputation in the club. My most recent pickup was a nice Maleficent (back left) and a 1.5 inch chunk of Orange Creamsicle (front right) - $50 total. Just can’t beat that.
22889B27-0F2B-49B2-8E23-169238ADA4BA.jpeg

+1 for the Boston Reefers having an amazing community of folks who share awesome corals for fair prices. I have two tanks stocked exclusively with corals from local reefers.
 

Gary67

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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
 

Gary67

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i never bought from a hobbyist but i think i would do better about 2 months ago i bought 3 frags just around2 inches so when i got the box of coral they were at best fair with some bald spots so i took a couple of weeks that they were going to change the corals. they said pick 1 and they were going to pick the rest i said i'm dead well the frags came to me this morning. good great until the frags i put in my tank got to the last one and the coral was as white as snow i'm not going to name the company just fed up with them and one time from the same seller said he was sorry the plane forgot to put them on the plane well they did send them 2 days later all shot crappy ths seller is bad ju ju
 

Darksidereefer

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I tend to only buy from people in the hobby. I can see their tanks and have most of the time a good conversation. Prices are fair.LFS prices have gone crazy since covid hit. I understand shipping has gone up but the prices for a nub of a coral are ridiculous. I have also found hobbyists are more willing to replace a piece if you lose it.

Most important you gain another persons brain to pick. Hobbyists are willing to talk about their tanks and the steps it took to get to the success they are having. If the tank isn't nice don't take their advice, or corals.
 

adsf430

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I don't get the comments about lighting, retailers take far more deceptive photos than hobbyists. I hate paying $50 shipping when that money can be spent on more coral and don't have great local fish store options so I prefer to buy from local hobbyists, will even sometimes turn it into a roadtrip and make a day of it exploring the town. I think it isn't too hard to find local hobbyists other people are clearly happy customers of on the platforms and get specimens from them for much better deals. My favorite corals in my tank are all from hobbyists.
 

Gary67

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I tend to only buy from people in the hobby. I can see their tanks and have most of the time a good conversation. Prices are fair.LFS prices have gone crazy since covid hit. I understand shipping has gone up but the prices for a nub of a coral are ridiculous. I have also found hobbyists are more willing to replace a piece if you lose it.

Most important you gain another persons brain to pick. Hobbyists are willing to talk about their tanks and the steps it took to get to the success they are having. If the tank isn't nice don't take their advice, or corals.
can you give me some names here is my e-mail address if thats ok thanks again gary
 

Double monti 61

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I’ve never met anyone locally that keeps a marine tank or coral I live in an area with many boring people but if you like colorful coral you might like these succulents they are lithops they do not live in water and do not need that much.
 

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shakacuz

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i usually try and see how the DT or frag tank looks. too see if any pests are present. after, i see if the plug is new or not because chances are if the plug is old, it’ll carry in the pest. lastly i look for what light it was kept under. i try to buy LED grown frags
 

Gary67

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i'm still looking to buy corals mostly acropora 's but i will take some time i look on here with the classifieds or marketplace i have a few corals on my frag rack and thats about 8-10 frags some look great some look like crap i have to finish up cleaning m tank tomorrow take 1 off the frag rack and one off the rock i just don't get it why would my frags loose there out of there skin i would say i lost about 5k in corals since i started this venture i have a 75g tank i have changed my water the last 2 weeks at 27 gallons a week just finished 22 gallons have 5 more to go i go through 3 different kits for finding what im lacking or to much in that has to come out
 

Derrick0580

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This. Im not paying LFS prices for your frag; i would rather support the LFS.
I agree, the lfs here is a very small shop and I would hate to see them close up shop. As a hobbyist I have no overhead to cover so there is no reason to charge retail prices. Lfs has to pay charges based on collectors, shippers, gas prices, and most of the time they eat the cost of dead arrivals and anything that doesn’t make it due to other problems like aggression amongst tank mates once in their tanks. As far as used equipment goes…chances are if I have replaced it I won’t be using it again so why not pass it along to someone who can get some use out of it! If they could afford new they wouldn’t be buying your used equipment.
 

Wasabiroot

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I will if the price is fair, the distance isn't too far, and it's a coral i'm looking for. My main reason I don't usually is the ones local to me either sell so infrequently that I miss it, or are selling higher end stuff I can't really afford to acquire at the moment.
It also doesn't help that I'm within driving distance of a great LFS and Cherry Corals.

Buying local is great if it's a very obscure strain of zoanthid/acro/etc for example.
 

Solga

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I think this is kind of a 2 part Q&A. You have the poll question, and then the post questions. :p
The poll question, I answered 'other' to, and here is why. I mean absolutely no negativity, or discontent in this response, so please do not take it as such. Coming from a background that is rich in the field of law enforcement, attorneys, and the court/judicial system, questions like these are used quite often. They are called leading questions and can be used to shape or sway opinions or made to have things look like something they are not. In order to be, no so leading, if a person was to ask "When buying coral, how often is it from other hobbyist ?", that would appear to be more direct poll question. I can elaborate further, but I don't think anyone would be as interested in this stuff. Lol. Now, I very highly doubt this poll was created with something like that in mind, but it is still there none the less. Anyway, to answer the poll question, I will say that I don't buy coral very often at all. But in the times that I have purchased coral, a few of the times, have been from other hobbyist or at frag swaps, a few of the times have been from vendors online and frag swaps, and the other couple times were from actually buying something else and the coral either was attached or supplied as an additional 'thank you'.

As far as the question in the post goes, I am not REALLY experienced in the coral side of the hobby yet, and I am new enough that I do not have a set standard for which I look for when buying. I am a person that appreciates the live rock from the gulf (or wherever), and I understand that there will be anything and everything with it, so "pests" are really not much of a concern with me. I do not have any high dollar, prized corals or fish either, so there is that. Also, I have bought a couple coral that look ... not so good, just to see if I can nurse it back to health, and to see what it will look like later on. Not to mention, those coral come really cheap, so I'm not at much of a loss if it doesn't work out. I guess I am kinda different like that, but I enjoy not having the standard, picture perfect, glass box of water
As an example, here is a picture of my 10g...
 

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Forty-Two

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i usually try and see how the DT or frag tank looks. too see if any pests are present. after, i see if the plug is new or not because chances are if the plug is old, it’ll carry in the pest. lastly i look for what light it was kept under. i try to buy LED grown frags
I want to see the main tank as well. Look for pests/problems/overall health of the tank.
 
BRS

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

  • IT'S PERFECT NOW

    Votes: 10 4.2%
  • It's getting close

    Votes: 35 14.6%
  • It's about half way there

    Votes: 46 19.2%
  • It's slow but progressing

    Votes: 72 30.0%
  • It's not even close

    Votes: 70 29.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 7 2.9%
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