PDA

View Full Version : Hats off to the LFS worker



waylon101
01-28-2017, 11:47 PM
Hats off to my local LFS worker who took 5 minutes to explain to a couple that buying a Pleco for their cichlid tank would not result in clean glass. This is the second store in the past 2 months that I have seen put their foot down about the health of the fish instead of making a few bucks. Its a change I'm very happy to be seeing. :)

Slaphppy7
01-29-2017, 12:14 AM
Refreshing, I've never witnessed that.

mac
01-29-2017, 01:33 AM
Its incredible news that is for sure.
I have done it when I use to help out in the LPS many years ago. this customer wanted to set up a tank and all that. So talked them through it and explained what they needed and how to go about it.
The next day they turned up to buy fish. And I said no the cycle is not complete as per the instruction to be able to do it properly with no affect on the fish.
Got my head bitten of for it saying that they are the customer and that fish are only fish and live in water which is what they needed.
In the end I refused to sell to them. Short story the owner backed me up saying that animal birds or fish lives do matter and if they do not want to look after animal welfare then the local SPCA will need to be contacted and informed of cruelty to pets.
In the end we did call up the spca who explained to them that what they were doing wasn't right and should not be done.

waylon101
01-29-2017, 03:58 AM
They kept saying"We want something to clean the glass" and the worker was very professional in explaining that buying a pleco was no solution to manually cleaning of the glass. I was also in Ohio whenever an owner told a couple that they could not buy one cory at a time. Its pretty cool.

mac
01-29-2017, 06:06 AM
Very refreshing to hear that some LFS staff know what they are doing and care about 1 the fish and 2 the hobby.
Nothing better than selling cory's in a school. Even if you for example proved that your adding a few more to your original school, I have found a 2-3 more added at once is better than just one.

Fish & Bird Kid
01-29-2017, 11:15 AM
We really like our LFS for this reason. The employees spend a lot of time educating their customers.

Shootemz
04-21-2017, 03:02 AM
Yeah i work as the ONLY aquatics specialist at the local petco, and i tell people this on a daily basis, the problem is that it's not what they want to hear. If they want it so badly, which a few of them will do they will just go somewhere else and ask for it, most people wont and are genuinely interested in learning as to why they shouldn't say put a pleco with aggressive fish or put those three goldfish in a 5g. Cory from aquarium co-op has a good quote about it, it goes something like, "If i tell a customer that they can't get something, they will just go to my competitors down the street and get it from them, but if i sell them the wrong fish for their situation, and something bad happens, they'll come back and I'll show them what they did wrong and show them what they should do, it'll be a learning lesson." Now that is not to say we should let that lady get 10 comets for her 5g or the one that wants oscars for their 10g, but try to steer them into something else and explain why that not a great idea, or even in the case of large quantities try to get that quantity down, or even up for schools, It sounds insensitive for the fish but we don't live in an idealistic world.
/ramble

OnTheFly
04-21-2017, 12:19 PM
Yeah i work as the ONLY aquatics specialist at the local petco, and i tell people this on a daily basis, the problem is that it's not what they want to hear. If they want it so badly, which a few of them will do they will just go somewhere else and ask for it, most people wont and are genuinely interested in learning as to why they shouldn't say put a pleco with aggressive fish or put those three goldfish in a 5g. Cory from aquarium co-op has a good quote about it, it goes something like, "If i tell a customer that they can't get something, they will just go to my competitors down the street and get it from them, but if i sell them the wrong fish for their situation, and something bad happens, they'll come back and I'll show them what they did wrong and show them what they should do, it'll be a learning lesson." Now that is not to say we should let that lady get 10 comets for her 5g or the one that wants oscars for their 10g, but try to steer them into something else and explain why that not a great idea, or even in the case of large quantities try to get that quantity down, or even up for schools, It sounds insensitive for the fish but we don't live in an idealistic world.
/ramble

You are in a tough spot and it sounds like you are doing the best you can. You are being paid to sell fish and accessories. It's good that you try to educate and make the situation less likely to fail for the customer. We only have one local LFS will knowledgeable staff. He does exactly as you say. Just a few days ago my wife was insistent she wanted a Pleco for her 5.5G to clean the glass. I knew that wouldn't work and knew where to take her. I stood back as he asked her questions. He sold her a one inch long dwarf species pleco and told her it would need to be re-homed when it grew up. Then he explained to her it really wouldn't eat much algae and would starve to death if she didn't feed it. She bought some algae wafers. She was thrilled, he sold some stuff so he can pay the rent and not turn her into a Petco customer for life. Our chains don't care what you buy. They have new clueless sales help every month.

Boundava
04-21-2017, 12:50 PM
I was recently in a Petsmart and looking at their fish when I overheard an older gentleman explaining to a teenage associate his issues with his newly set up and fully stocked tank. He brought his water in for testing and the conditions had high ammonia and nitrites, so fish were gasping for air, dying and now had white dots. The associate was clueless and was trying to tell him to get some all in one medicine, but it was all :blah: I stepped up and asked him what size tank, the stock, the filter and if the fish had little spots that looked like grains of salt? He just bought a 55 gallon "kit" with a Tetra filter for 55 gallons and was told after treating the water and running the filter for 24 hours he could stock it. I explained to him why his fish were suffering and did a basic run down of the nitrogen cycle (man didn't have access to computer so I couldn't tell him to Google it). I tried to explain how to modify the tetra filter to make it more efficient, and then was happy to learn he had purchased Prime as a conditioner. I told him to do a large water change when he got home and to get a test kit when he could-but to bring the water in to be tested daily until he got the kit. Also told him the best way to treat the ich is to crank the temperature up, that he should see less dots on the fish, but to keep the temperature high-86 for 10-12 days overall, then to slowly lower the temperature to normal and do a good cleaning of the gravel and a big water change to get as much of the now dead parasite out. I checked to make sure he had air stones (he did, a whole bubble wall) and told him that was good since the temperature will lower the oxygen levels, the bubbles will help re-oxygenate the waters. He was in awe at all of the knowledge I had, and when another woman was asking an associate questions which she had no real answer to, he said "you should ask her (pointing to me) she is a fountain of information!" The associate huffed and rolled her eyes and said-whatever. The customer just gave him a look and walked away with ammonia lock the associate recommended instead of water conditioner she needed.

Thinking back, I hope that guy was able to help his tank out, I wanted to refer him here-but with no computer or cell phone to use it would have been hard.

Boundava
04-21-2017, 02:03 PM
Oh and the associate that was trying to help him but didn't know how; was so grateful when I helped the guy out and said she wished they would teach them stuff like that so they could help more people correctly instead of guessing as to the answers.

OnTheFly
04-21-2017, 02:09 PM
Oh and the associate that was trying to help him but didn't know how; was so grateful when I helped the guy out and said she wished they would teach them stuff like that so they could help more people correctly instead of guessing as to the answers.

It's 100% about the delivery. You can be helpful and appreciated, or just an arrogant jerk intentionally shaming an inexperienced low paid salesman in front of his customer. I've seen both happen in my first month or so back in the hobby.

Slaphppy7
04-21-2017, 02:11 PM
I never encounter these situations where I live, because there's no LFS around me worth visiting...

Shootemz
04-21-2017, 02:48 PM
Yeah I completely understand My petco is failing they needed a body, but i haven't even been trained, Everything i do and know here was from my previous experience, I regularly have to google questions for customers. There is another problem though, sometimes other customers like you want to help newer people, who are just straight up wrong, I had a customer tell another Immediately after I told them they shouldn't get rainbow sharks for their already heavily stocked 10g, because they had them, in their 20g and they did GREAT! Or the old ladies who come every few months to buy our feeder goldfish around 10 a time for their tiny tanks, and when i suggested that she should get something else like a small tropical fish or a small school, she assumed all i wanted was her money because feeders a .35$ and tetras are like 3$, then she aid that they would be fine, because and i quote, "they lasted for a long time." Turns out her fish that are capable of living up to 20 years only lived 2-4 months.

Slaphppy7
04-21-2017, 02:54 PM
I could not do that job, knowing what I know....the store would fire me for refusing to sacrifice fish to make a profit

OnTheFly
04-21-2017, 02:59 PM
If I browse almost any LFS for 10 minutes when they are busy, one of these conversations is going on. Even some of our locally owned stores have a scam going on because they are afraid to send a new hobbyist away. Sell some fish and bacteria starter. 48HR warranty on the fish. They are back in a week describing fish that are obviously ammonia smoked. Rather than give them the bad news they need to be working hard doing WCs since they have fish, they sell them some more chemicals and tell them to bring in a water sample if the fish don't improve. Pretty soon the tank will cycle itself anyway and they can sell them some more fish that might actually live with a few WCs. I've overheard this conversation a half dozen times this month. It's hard to listen to.

The one good LFS will be out of business if they insist everyone do things completely correctly. We can all preach and be idealist here, but you can't send away every new customer. Anybody that thinks you can should never open a business. As I said earlier I have one good LFS. He will try to get you to go very slow. He knows you will likely kill $5 worth of cheap fish but it's better than making you mad by sending you away. In the meantime your cycle proceeds, even if it's ugly. He could just burn you for $200 up front in fish and chemicals like most everyone else is very effectively doing.

Shootemz
04-21-2017, 02:59 PM
I could not do that job, knowing what I know....the store would fire me for refusing to sacrifice fish to make a profit

yeah man, it's tiring, but we're closing down in less than a year, and i get to at least attempt to make it alright for there fish while i am here, because the other people wont. Like i said people are going to do what they want no matter what we do the best thing we can do is to attempt to educate.

waylon101
04-21-2017, 07:47 PM
Yeah i work as the ONLY aquatics specialist at the local petco, and i tell people this on a daily basis, the problem is that it's not what they want to hear. If they want it so badly, which a few of them will do they will just go somewhere else and ask for it, most people wont and are genuinely interested in learning as to why they shouldn't say put a pleco with aggressive fish or put those three goldfish in a 5g. Cory from aquarium co-op has a good quote about it, it goes something like, "If i tell a customer that they can't get something, they will just go to my competitors down the street and get it from them, but if i sell them the wrong fish for their situation, and something bad happens, they'll come back and I'll show them what they did wrong and show them what they should do, it'll be a learning lesson." Now that is not to say we should let that lady get 10 comets for her 5g or the one that wants oscars for their 10g, but try to steer them into something else and explain why that not a great idea, or even in the case of large quantities try to get that quantity down, or even up for schools, It sounds insensitive for the fish but we don't live in an idealistic world.
/ramble

Cory is a good friend of mine. I wrote an article on Diana Walstad's Ecology of The Planted Aquarium for his website. You should check it out. https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/book-review-ecology-of-the-planted-aquarium

angelcraze2
04-26-2017, 08:05 PM
I have heard the same conversations over and over at these chain fish stores. It's really a shame the staff is so uneducated. But what I don't get is those that have tanks themselves and still have no knowledge. How do you not learn or at least research things when you are working with them all day? I believe a store can make just as much money stearing customers in the right direction. Personally, I just tend to buy pricier, harder to keep fish as my knowledge grew, I needed a challenge that I knew I could do if I put the effort into it. But not everyone is the same, that's for sure.

I'm fortunate to have a good LFS, where there is one main fish guy (Jason) and he is very knowledgeable and will not sell say an angelfish to someone unless their tank is big enough with compatible fish. The store is geared more toward nano aquarists, shrimp and small fish, special plants that are hard to keep or find, small cichlids and technical/pricier equipment like fancy co2 systems and LED lights. Although it might cost more to buy some blue bolt shrimp as an example, I appreciate that I know the fish and inverts are well taken care of and healthy when I buy them. So many times I've bought tetras from the chain fish stores, and I end up with ich. That's why I will always QT, unless I buy them from Jason, then I'm not so concerned. It's a nice piece of mind to know where your fish are coming from and how they've been kept before purchasing.

*big ramble, but the forum is slow today lol

Shootemz
04-27-2017, 02:19 AM
Big problem is most people who work there just need to know how to net a fish, and to scrub the glass, there is usually one person who knows what needs to happen, or they are all just following protocol with their cleaning and never end up looking to far into it. It happened a lot, even at my store, when i hear another associate or a customer tell me what some associates tell the customers i do go and try to educate them a bit better and show them what they need to tell customers. I have alot of my fancies that came in with ich, and got all the fish on the sump sick, I do however have a separate system where ive been keeping some older fancies and my koi, ive told people that these guys have been sick and to look at the older ones on a regular basis. What it really comes down to is how big companies force their employees to do and say for what little money they do. The employees are not incentivized to learn more, unlike me where i had 99% of my knowledge before i even thought about applying.

Slaphppy7
04-27-2017, 02:26 AM
Big problem is most people who work there just need to know how to net a fish, and to scrub the glass, there is usually one person who knows what needs to happen, or they are all just following protocol with their cleaning and never end up looking to far into it. It happened a lot, even at my store, when i hear another associate or a customer tell me what some associates tell the customers i do go and try to educate them a bit better and show them what they need to tell customers. I have alot of my fancies that came in with ich, and got all the fish on the sump sick, I do however have a separate system where ive been keeping some older fancies and my koi, ive told people that these guys have been sick and to look at the older ones on a regular basis. What it really comes down to is how big companies force their employees to do and say for what little money they do. The employees are not incentivized to learn more, unlike me where i had 99% of my knowledge before i even thought about applying.

Agree 100%...it's all about the $

I try to remember to thank God every day for getting me out of "retail"...26 years was more than enough