Do Chain Pet Stores Make Money On Fish.

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Oarngesi

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do pet smart and Petco make money selling fish? They’ll sale you a $3 fish give you a 30 day guarantee say nothing about the nitrogen cycle and it dies and they replace it. If you think about once the fish attendant cashier etc spends 15-20 min with you they probably have more in labor than the sale is worth. Do the lose on the fish and make there money on the chemicals equipment food etc..?
 

david1978

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The profit margin on the fish is slI'm to non existent.
 

TucanSam

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Generally, live animals are "loss-leaders" for large stores. It's the same as game consoles; you take a loss on the console and make that money back selling games and accessories.

A 3 dollar guppy can likely cost an owner 200$ or so a year in maintenance bills. A 30 dollar guinea pig may cost someone 700$.

Big chain stores are banking on you either buying stuff for the set-up for an animal there or coming back to do it later.
 

Burnout1620

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They aren’t really trying to sell you the fish so much as they’re trying to sell you all of the equipment that you need to keep them. The profit margins on aquariums, heaters, filters, and lights (not to mention decorations and food) are way higher than on the fish themselves. That said, every once and awhile you will find someone in the chain stores that know what they’re talking about. So don’t write them off completely.
 

DuaneV

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They don't make much money on most freshwater fish, no. Like others have pointed out, its EVVVVVVVVVVVERYTHING that goes with it that they make the money on.
 

CanadianFishFan

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I mean bettas... those can make money. I found the whole sale supplier to Petsmart for everything. *cough* (The website on the worm containers) The $32 bettas we buy are only $14 for them. Females are only $2 but we pay nearly $5. For guppies there is no way that a profit is made.
 

Awaken_Riceball_

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If Petsmarts or Petco carried better aquatic food, medicine, equipment, and speciality decorations like driftwood and aquascaping rocks, then their profit margin should rise in the aquatic department. The biggest source of income is their dog & cats. In order to obtain high quality equipment or supplies, then I have no choice but shop on Amazon or local fish specialty stores. Also, those stores usually stock common low cost fish, cheap to buy and profit lost is kept at a mininum.
 

Burnout1620

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CanadianFishFan said:
I mean bettas... those can make money. I found the whole sale supplier to Petsmart for everything. *cough* (The website on the worm containers) The $32 bettas we buy are only $14 for them. Females are only $2 but we pay nearly $5. For guppies there is no way that a profit is made.
How many of those bettas they buy for $14 actually survive the store conditions and their 30 day guarantee? Even if they only lose 25% of them that still hammers their overall profit margin by 50%. To this day I avoid looking at bettas in any store because I feel so sorry for them. Probably gonna set up a 15 gallon for one lucky betta one of these days. They’re great fish.

I would be interested to know what percentage of their revenue that the chains derive from fish related items. Given that at least 10% of every Petco and Petsmart’s square footage is filled with fish and fish related items, I would expect each store to have a roughly equal percentage of overall store revenue generated by those sales. Their (online) prices are also fairly competitive with the likes of Amazon and others, despite the additional overhead of a brick and mortar business model.

It would be great to see the chains start to carry more specialized products (never seen a Seachem product to this day in store) like the above poster mentioned, but stocking those things requires expertise that most of their associates just don’t have the knowledge to explain to the uneducated masses how to use.
 

david1978

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They lose money off people like me. I don't even but dechlorinator from them.
 

Burnout1620

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I got a fantastic deal on my Fluval plant 3.0 at Petco, and Petsmart has the FX4 and 6 for over $100 off right now. I’m fairly certain they’re still making money.
 

smee82

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I would expect them to at least break even on most fish and make a small profit on a few. I honestly can't see them paying too much for livebearer or other easy to breed fish.
 
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