What happened to the hobby?

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MnFish1

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Totally agree here. To blame the Indo ban is to say every single pre-ban coral has died. The ban is just used as an excuse to raise prices. Those $800 torches are still just torches. They aren't rare. They are just a different color.

It amazes me that anyone thinks supply and demand has anything at all to do with coral prices.
It amazes me that you think it doesn't. How could it not? To use a fish example -Why does a Peppermint Angel sell for thousands of dollars -when a lemon peel angel (which I think is 'prettier' sells for $35?

It seems to me that its 'supply and demand'.

If you're saying that 'some sellers have corals that are priced 'too high' - my question - are you sure those vendors are actualy selling those corals for those prices(I dont think you can be sure).

The ban definitely had an effect on price - because it affected supply of coral - and it also increased the 'perceived' demand - i.e. people saying - wow I better buy one now - or they will be gone - or as is the case at a couple stores here - they want to keep them for fragging but they will sell them at a huge markup.
By way - the way - bans decrease supply (at least temporarily) is -lets say there are 50 of coral x coming the US daily from Indonesia-and 50 of the same coral coming from Australia.When the market is in 'balance' lets say there are 100 buyers for the 100 corals coming in each day. Then one day - Indo ban -now there are still 100 people each day wanting coral x - but now only 50 are coming in - so- the supply has dropped by 50 percent - the demand is the same - and prices go up.

Its all supply and demand IMO
 

BeejReef

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I fell short of reading all seven pages.

One factor I think gets overlooked is that it is now relatively much easier to keep a successful reef system.
An improved understanding of the chemistry, biology, and the real-time knowledge sharing (like R2R) make it doable for the budget reefer.

At the same time, the big-dollar reefer can automate, automate, automate. Not bashing them, but if you've spent $15k on a sysem, what's $300 for a frag?

Point being, it's not simply that bans have shrunken supply. It's an accessible enough hobby now that demand is also running away from supply.

I'm surprised there isn't more love for the basement aquaculturist. If I go deep into my savings to grow coral in my basement, it's not to break even. Even if I LOVE doing it, it has to return more on my capital and time investment than if I chose to mow lawns on the weekend.
 

sde1500

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Totally agree here. To blame the Indo ban is to say every single pre-ban coral has died. The ban is just used as an excuse to raise prices. Those $800 torches are still just torches. They aren't rare. They are just a different color.
I don't get this line of thinking. The ocean is growing millions of corals. Coral mariculture and wild harvest in Indo and Fiji is estimated to have supplied up to 90% of all corals in the trade. So, take away 90% of the means of growing ANY Euphyillia, and your thought is that nothing should change? That magically corals already in captivity can support the same level of demand that was originally supplied by the ocean? Please, elaborate. Explain further. I'd love to hear those details.

It amazes me that anyone thinks supply and demand has anything at all to do with coral prices.
Yep, $800 torches are crazy. Its all a giant collusion. A marketing scheme. What you don't know is that behind the scenes there is this cartel of coral growers that meet quarterly. They decide how many corals to release to the public and at what price. Hobbyists are banned from selling. No one is allowed to undercut prices. This proves that supply and demand unequivocally is not at play here. Because it is easy to see, we look site by site no matter what online vendor we use, the prices are the same. Or, no it actually is supply and demand. hmm
 
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sde1500

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I'm surprised there isn't more love for the basement aquaculturist. If I go deep into my savings to grow coral in my basement, it's not to break even. Even if I LOVE doing it, it has to return more on my capital and time investment than if I chose to mow lawns on the weekend.
And therein lies the challenge. I've considered launching a few frag tanks in my basement. But to get it running, plus buying a significant amount of colonies to support growout and sales is pretty darn expensive. Starting a business is a risk. Not sure I'd want to risk 10's of thousands.
 

Thales

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The basement aquaculturist can hurt local fish stores, unless they are supplying the LFS and not selling direct to consumers.
 

BeejReef

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And therein lies the challenge. I've considered launching a few frag tanks in my basement. But to get it running, plus buying a significant amount of colonies to support growout and sales is pretty darn expensive. Starting a business is a risk. Not sure I'd want to risk 10's of thousands.
Exactly, and that's one of the points I think are so overlooked. Yeah, if a colony overgrows my DT and I have to take two frag's worth off of it, I'm not gonna try to charge a fellow enthusiast a ton for it. BUT, I haven't invested in it. I'm not running a skimmer the size of a hot water heater. I didn't have to buy a custom-built CalRX. Didn't build an addition or put solar panels on my house.

But, me being neighborly with DT frags isn't going to supply the market.
 

CyberGuy

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People complaining about high prices forget one big thing: the high price corals are the pretty ones. Sure, a torch may cost $300 a head, but you already know why. It is because it is prettier than a common green torch. If you want a green torch, there are ones that are $50 or less per head. Just get that green head and let another person have a prettier orange/gold one. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but I bet the majority of the eyes would agree on which one is better looking and more desirable.
Sure, corals were cheaper in the old days, but there are much less colorful corals then they are today. It is not that these pretty corals suddenly appeared on Earth recently, but it is because there are more collectors and more advanced collectors that bring us more colorful corals. Supply and demand folks. If everyone wants the prettiest corals, then we would not have any ordinary corals in our tank.
 
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If this were the case, wouldnt people be buying colonies? I dont understand how buying expensive 1/2" frags accelerates the process.
It is the willingness to buy expensive pieces that drives the prices up. I wouldn't pay more than $15 for any frag, no matter how rare it is.

In this market, it isn't about the demand in as much as it is how quickly you can meet it.
 

flsalty

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It amazes me that you think it doesn't. How could it not? To use a fish example -Why does a Peppermint Angel sell for thousands of dollars -when a lemon peel angel (which I think is 'prettier' sells for $35?

It seems to me that its 'supply and demand'.

If you're saying that 'some sellers have corals that are priced 'too high' - my question - are you sure those vendors are actualy selling those corals for those prices(I dont think you can be sure).

The ban definitely had an effect on price - because it affected supply of coral - and it also increased the 'perceived' demand - i.e. people saying - wow I better buy one now - or they will be gone - or as is the case at a couple stores here - they want to keep them for fragging but they will sell them at a huge markup.
By way - the way - bans decrease supply (at least temporarily) is -lets say there are 50 of coral x coming the US daily from Indonesia-and 50 of the same coral coming from Australia.When the market is in 'balance' lets say there are 100 buyers for the 100 corals coming in each day. Then one day - Indo ban -now there are still 100 people each day wanting coral x - but now only 50 are coming in - so- the supply has dropped by 50 percent - the demand is the same - and prices go up.

Its all supply and demand IMO
To me, there is a huge difference between perceived demand and actual demand. The demand is artificially created. The supply is the same. The supply and demand model is very basic, like elementary school level basic. As you move up you realize it's nonsense really, unless you are talking about basic commodities like corn or soybeans. In the world of corals it's all about marketing. Most of the high end corals aren't rare at all. There is plenty of supply. Even your example has to make a lot of assumptions in order to fit the model.

I'm not saying there are no rare animals in this hobby. Peppermint angels are only rare because they are small and deep and are good at hiding. They'd make a cute nano fish, but there is not a big hole in the hobby just because they are not available. I'd say most people don't even know what one is.
 

sde1500

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To me, there is a huge difference between perceived demand and actual demand. The demand is artificially created. The supply is the same. The supply and demand model is very basic, like elementary school level basic. As you move up you realize it's nonsense really, unless you are talking about basic commodities like corn or soybeans. In the world of corals it's all about marketing. Most of the high end corals aren't rare at all. There is plenty of supply. Even your example has to make a lot of assumptions in order to fit the model.

I'm not saying there are no rare animals in this hobby. Peppermint angels are only rare because they are small and deep and are good at hiding. They'd make a cute nano fish, but there is not a big hole in the hobby just because they are not available. I'd say most people don't even know what one is.
Yes the perceived rarity over some of these 3 color “rainbow” tenuis is attributable to marketing. But at the end of it all demand is demand, I’m not sure how it can be called “artificially created”. Really what demand isn’t then? Outside is basic needs our demand for things is based on what we want, this entire hobby is a luxury we’ve decided we want. But this thread isn’t just about high end. It’s about all corals. And saying it’s all attributed to marketing is ignoring some very basic facts.
 

MnFish1

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To me, there is a huge difference between perceived demand and actual demand. The demand is artificially created. The supply is the same. The supply and demand model is very basic, like elementary school level basic. As you move up you realize it's nonsense really, unless you are talking about basic commodities like corn or soybeans. In the world of corals it's all about marketing. Most of the high end corals aren't rare at all. There is plenty of supply. Even your example has to make a lot of assumptions in order to fit the model.

I'm not saying there are no rare animals in this hobby. Peppermint angels are only rare because they are small and deep and are good at hiding. They'd make a cute nano fish, but there is not a big hole in the hobby just because they are not available. I'd say most people don't even know what one is.
How is the demand created? Marketing? Nothing wrong with that -or are you implying that the 'coral cartel' is hoarding all sorts of corals in a warehouse to drive up the prices -for an example - google 'hunt brothers corner the silver market'
 

flsalty

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How is the demand created? Marketing? Nothing wrong with that -or are you implying that the 'coral cartel' is hoarding all sorts of corals in a warehouse to drive up the prices -for an example - google 'hunt brothers corner the silver market'
LOL, no. I'm saying there is no shortage. So, no hoarding or anything like that. Pure marketing and a public not savvy enough to see through it.
 

flsalty

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Yes the perceived rarity over some of these 3 color “rainbow” tenuis is attributable to marketing. But at the end of it all demand is demand, I’m not sure how it can be called “artificially created”. Really what demand isn’t then? Outside is basic needs our demand for things is based on what we want, this entire hobby is a luxury we’ve decided we want. But this thread isn’t just about high end. It’s about all corals. And saying it’s all attributed to marketing is ignoring some very basic facts.
Is it? Explain why my LFS can sell small frags of red monti cap for ten bucks, but online prices go anywhere from 10 to 35. Also, I think the high end stuff drives up the prices of the lower end stuff because even if you up the price of a common frag it is still lower than the artificially priced high stuff.

Anyways, you are now only looking at demand. Demand can only drive the price if supply is low. Supply is not low on something like a gold torch. Google gold torch for sale and you'll see everyone is offering it. It reminds me of when I used to be heavily into antiques on eBay. People would call something rare and put a high price on it even though there would be like 50 of them on there. I assume they were hoping someone would come along and think it was rare...lol.

None of this really matters though. Some people will pay too much and some won't. I'm just one of those that won't.
 

sde1500

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Is it? Explain why my LFS can sell small frags of red monti cap for ten bucks, but online prices go anywhere from 10 to 35.
I don’t see how this refuted anything I said. Your counter is that a coral priced similarly to what you could pay locally? Ignoring variances in size, shipping etc. Thing is, it’s clear nothing I say will change your mind. We can keep going round in circles with you arguing using current fad corals as examples though that’s not the point of the thread. Facts aren’t going to change your mind, details like bans closing 90% of supply are irrelevant in the face of feelings.
 

flsalty

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I don’t see how this refuted anything I said. Your counter is that a coral priced similarly to what you could pay locally? Ignoring variances in size, shipping etc. Thing is, it’s clear nothing I say will change your mind. We can keep going round in circles with you arguing using current fad corals as examples though that’s not the point of the thread. Facts aren’t going to change your mind, details like bans closing 90% of supply are irrelevant in the face of feelings.
Except the frags are all the same size and I wasn't including shipping. And how is a 300% increase similar? And where did you get your 90% number? The OP asked why corals are so over-priced and I am giving my take on it. I didn't realize you were trying to change my mind.
 
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