Approach an LFS about selling them my fry?

  • #1
First off, if I have posted this in the wrong place, I apologize and please feel free to move it as needed

As some of you may know, a little over a month ago I bought some Blackbar Endler's Livebearers. Obviously, I now have fry I have no desire to keep them all and don't have many local friends that are fishkeepers. I'll probably sell some locally, but I'm actually more interested in trying to develop an arrangement with an LFS (or a couple) to sell them the fry/juveniles.

I guess my question basically boils down to: how do I politely approach them about this? From previous dealings with the LFS around here, I highly doubt they're even going to know what Endler's are. I was thinking about printing out the Endler info sheet from the forum and taking in pictures and videos of my Endlers. Is there anything else I should take with me?

Where would I even start as far as an asking price? According to the seller they are pure strain Endlers. Am I better off selling them as unsexed groups or sexed pairs/trios? I think I can get some interest simply for the fact that there are no LFS or chain stores anywhere near here that sell them.

I know there are also online options like AquaBid, Ebay, the sale section here, and such but I'd really prefer to not sell and ship at this point. I'd like to start off on a local level. So any advice is greatly appreciated!
  • #2
Good luck!

It is going to be more work than you realize.

Once you start selling, they will want a constant supply if they are good sellers.
Are you able to do that?

They are going to want young adult fish ( already starting to show adult color).
Do you have grow out room?

Most stores, if they have not dealt with a fish before, will not buy it.

Also, most stores pay about 20% of a fish's selling price.
So they pay 1$ for a fish they hope to sell for 5$.

This comes from working in 3 different stores over a 30 year period.
90% of the fish I have ever kept, most stores have never heard of.

BUT, every store is different.

Hope this helps, and do not become discouraged.
  • #3
There's a LFS here that offers 50% price of the fish as store credits, assuming they have room for the fish. They're also up front with that info, so you don't necessarily need to negotiate.
  • #4
That's a sweet deal.

A lot of stores are scared of hobbyist who breed fish, they see it as competition.
But even if someone buys fish from a hobbyist, most hobbyist don't sell tanks, stands, heaters, ect.
  • #5
It has been my experience that the big box chain stores will not take your fish, even for free! I go to my local mom and pop stores and work out trades. They do not pay me in cash, but I do get 50% value. With price markups, that would still give the store their profit margin.

I do agree that fry will not sell. They need to be pre-adult or adult, which requires many, many growout tanks.

If you are wanting to try to break even or make some money, then you will be better off figuring out how to ship or try craigslist.
  • #6
I think the fact sheet and pics would be a great way to educate them if need be. From my talks with the two LFSs, they don't buy fry. So, you might be stuck having to raise them to a certain size or age before they would be interested.

But hey, you never know so chat them up. I would simply ask if they are intersted in buying locally bred fish and go from there.
  • #7
I would try to talk to an owner or whoever is most in charge. Easy for me to say as the owner is always around at my local store. Endlers aren't really complicated, they're essentially just small guppies so if the person in charge doesn't know what they are, you could describe them as that. The females can probably be sold a little earlier. I would just set up separate grow tanks for young males and young females. That way you can move any that are ready without worrying about further breeding in grow tanks.
  • #8
The store I work at will give at most 25% of the price that we sell it for. We generally do not pay ANYTHING for livebearers tho. I also should give you a heads up if you want to set something up with a LFS if they are even a little change you will have to go through their coperate office.
  • #9
I sell my Molly juveniles all the time to the same LFS. He doesn’t normally want fry sized fish because he has to grow them out to sell but will always take my juveniles. He gives me a fair price (right at wholesale) for them but he also knows I will just turn around and spend most of it right back in his store for supplies. I normally sell to him in unsexed groups of around 50 fish which will fill his Molly tanks. He doesn’t mind buying from me because he knows he is getting good healthy fish and has never had a problem with selling them.

The first time I approached him he barely knew me and was a little bit hesitant to start buying my fish so I didn’t get as good of a deal for the fish but as time went on I developed a good reputation with him and now I get a good price for my fish. So don’t expect the LFS to welcome you with open arms and be willing to give you top dollar for the first few batches of fish you sell them.

Selling fish to my LFS is a great way to help subsidize the hobby and it also will help you develop a good reputation with them. They will be more willing to help you and give you deals once you have done some buying and selling in their shop. I can now text him if I need something and he will text me back when it comes in, which is great for me because he is 40 miles away and yes he is the closest LFS to me.
  • #10
I wish I had a decent store only 40 miles away.
My nearest decent store is a 4 hour drive.
  • #11
I wish I had a decent store only 40 miles away.
My nearest decent store is a 4 hour drive.

The store 40 miles away is just a real small shop and the owner is the only paid employee. Now if I wan't a large store like Petco or PetSmart I have to drive around 3 1/2 hours to Amarillo, Texas, Wichita, Kansas or Oklahoma City. There are a few small shops between here and the big stores but they really don't have much to offer.
  • #12
Nearest non chain is 60 miles away.
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
This is why I love this forum You guys are always so very helpful! I'm starting to think I may have to hold off on setting up an arrangement with an LFS until I have more room and can set up several growout tanks. I have to admit, I hadn't really thought about that aspect of it until it was pointed out here. I think for now I may grow out this batch of fry, keep a few of the males and sell the rest of them and the females.
  • #14
You might want to run an add on craigs list in your area??
  • #15
^ this, also you could try aquabid, you could start shipping after you get the hang of things. Unfortunetly if the store isn't able to sell the little buggers fast enough they may end up woth their own breeding supply XD.

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