For All Members Who Work In A Shop.

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ranga97

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Need details,
Do you give sincere and correct advise when people ask?
Do you give discounts when you can?
Do you try to get people to but something from you (making them feel under pressure)
Do you try to make customers buy something unnecessary?

What other things do you do that aren't good and what else that is good.
 
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ryanr

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Why do you 'need details' ?

I could go into all the details of retail (there's not enough time), but the principles of running a business remain the same, in answers to your question [whilst not all will apply to live animals]:

1) Yes, that's the job of a sales person. To ask probing questions that indicate the needs of the customer, and then to try and recommend the most appropriate (and most profitable) product.

2) NO. Sometimes you might give a loyalty discount, but the bills don't pay themselves The higher you sell, the more profit, the more profit, the easier the bills are to pay. And you also need to allow for 'when things go wrong' and it might cost the business.
Customers are not entitled to a discount. They are entitled to ask.
You can't negotiate a McDonalds meal, you don't negotiate postage, you can't negotiate most services. And before someone says "that's different", it's not, it's all about running a business, and running a business requires making money, otherwise you go out of business.

3) Sort of. Generally a customer has walked in the door to buy something. You just need to find out what it is.
This all depends on the purchase, somethings take time (like kitchens ~4mths planning), new fish tank setups could take a while, so looking after the customer is more important in order to get the eventual purchase.

4) No. Business relies on repeat customers and good-will (word of mouth), not just a once off buyer. If you burn a customer once, you burn them for life, they'll never return, they'll never recommend your business, and you lose out in the long run.

Hope that helps. It's only the basics, and generalisations, but to publish more than that on the internet for everyone to read (including competitors) is probably not appropriate.

FYI - I have worked in retail for 10+ yrs, and run my own business for 2.
 
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ranga97

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O cool.
 

platy ben

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I don't work yet (I'm 16) but I'm just wondering, why do you need these details?
 
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ranga97

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I'm wondering how many people in fishlore that work in shops are actually good at giving advice.
 
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ryanr

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ranga97 said:
I'm wondering how many people in fishlore that work in shops are actually good at giving advice.
Interesting.... wouldn't our voluntary involvement and quality of our advice on fishlore be testament to our abilities... irrespective of our jobs. ???

Being good at your job, and being good at giving advice are two very separate topics. (unless your job is giving advice, e.g. financial advisor)

I can give great advice, but when it comes to paying my bills, that's different. Whilst one should always try and give appropriate advice, you should also respect that it's your job that pays your wage, which pays your bills.

If you wanna keep your job, you have to sell (if that's your job) products and make money for the business, otherwise, the business fails, and you lose your job. So sometimes, despite a persons ethics/morals/beliefs, you just gotta do what's right for the business that is paying you to do a job.

In the business world, you have a choice, if you really don't like the job, you quit, or you bite your tongue and do the job you're paid to do.

Most businesses are not charities, and we can't afford to 'be nice to everyone'. I don't want to sound condescending or patronising, but it's a fact of life. (The bank/phone company/utilities don't care if I was nice and honest, they want money!)

For those of us that care enough, we join a forum where we offer our honest advice, free of charge, no obligation, for the betterment of the aquarist/hobby etc. When we are getting paid, we do the job we are paid to do.
 

blkdeath75

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Maybe Ranga is asking advice because he is going into the shop business and would like a few pointers. I'm only taking the hint from his signature "I wanna work at an aquarium shop". It is possible, but apparently he doesn't want to say why he needs advice.

Sorry if you're a she Ranga....I go by the little icons under everyone's name and you don't seem to have one.
 

Meenu

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This thread made me smile... as if anyone on fishlore is going to get on here and say, "I know all about cycling, but I want my customers to kill more fish because that equals bigger profits for me." You'll have to come up with methods of fishy water torture to get those admissions, Ranga!
 
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ranga97

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Oh, I wouldn't do that!!!
What about ryanrs signature Never trusty the LFS, Best lesson I've learned?
 
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ryanr

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Because you can't trust the LFS, thanks largely to 'old theories' about fishkeeping, that haven't been 'upgraded' with new knowledge.

Here's a few that come to mind:
OLD: Take your tank home, set it up, let it run for two days, add two hardy fish (danios) and some aquarium salt, wait a week, then add two more....
NEW: [preferred] Fishless cycle your tank, then gradually add your fish, or if cycling fish-in, here's a bottle of TSS and some Prime and a test kit, some directions etc.

OLD: Those fish will be fine in your tank, they only grow to the size of the tank
NEW: Putting those fish in a tank that size will stunt their growth, you're better off looking at .....

OLD: Yes you can keep two or three of those Male Dwarf Gourami, they'll be fine
NEW: Dwarf GouramI can be aggressive and shouldn't be kept together

OLD: Yes you can keep other fish with a betta
NEW: Bettas are best kept alone.

OLD: They make great community fish
NEW: They are great community fish, but can be fin-nippers, what else do you have?

OLD: Yes you can keep 1 of those in your tank
NEW: That species are social fish, and should really be kept in a group.

Most of the issues from the LFS is that a lot of employees aren't trained properly, and lack the experience that a forum such as FL can offer. More important is that most don't know how to qualify their customer before recommending. A true qualification would involve asking the customer the same questions we ask members here:

- What size tank?
- What temperature is the tank?
- What are the parameters of the tank?
- What other fish do you already have?
- How old is your tank/is it cycled?
- [in the case of plants], what type of lights do you have?

With the ever increasing access to the internet, thankfully more hobbyists are doing their research first.

When it comes to selling products (e.g. medications) it is in the shop's best interests to sell a medication for ICH rather than recommend the FL method of increased temperature and water changes.
When it comes to treating algae, a LFS is more likely to recommend an algae chemical treatment rather than addressing the cause.

This is why I don't trust most LFS I visit, my favourite LFS is honest with me because they care about their fish, and they know I've researched it anyway. They will tell me "Look I've done it before, but I encountered these issues..."
 

CHoffman

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I think shops are like any other kind of business. Some are good some are bad. Best way to find out is to ask around your area.
 

claudicles

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I find it interesting that there are those who view the ethics of working in pet shops to be totally divorced from the ethics of working in retail generally. If I go shopping for clothes I don't expect the third degree about whether I really need another pair of jeans or whether that shirt will go with anything in my wardrobe from the sale assistant. In fact I expect the salesperson to try to sell me a bunch of other things that go with the shirt. Why should it not be that when I go to a pet shop the sales staff try to sell me things other than what I went in there for, whether I need them or not? It is up to me to say yes or no in either situation. No one forces me to hand over the cash and lack of education resulting in me forking out money I did not need to spend is my own fault. The ethical debate becomes a little more complicated as live fish are a product and sales people are paid to sell the product but as far as anything non living is concerned I see the ethics as being equivalent.
 

Jaysee

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I run a dining room and am told to push certain items from time to time. I push what's good and what's expensive, because I want them to come back and I want to make money. If the chef wants to put out a $25 entree special because he wants to get rid of something (something we shouldn't have had in the first place ), I'm not going to push it because I'd rather sell $50 steaks.

My personal sales philosophy is to provide my guests with the information that will allow them to make the best possible choices. I ask questions and make recomendations. Elk chops are my best selling dish (filet, strip steak and veal chop is also on the menu).
 
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