Petsmart Basics

wolfdog01
  • #1
So a few weeks ago I applied to every pet store in town. PetSmart had open interviews after that, which my friend and I joined and we got hired. She got pet care (she's really good with reptiles), and I got janitor because I cleaned an office a couple of times a month. Needless to say it is very tiring and overwhelming for a first job. But after a week and a half I decided to step up and suggest the job that I really came here for.
Pet care. More specifically...fish.
I am happy to say that now I am being cross-trained to work in other areas so when I start college it will be an easier shift. Today I worked about five hours in fish care and I loved it. I think I know enough to get people started on the right path and then they can research more, plus I also have to work within their budget and ideas and stuff. Out of those five hours I only had one odd customer.
My dream is to really educate people and help them, plus keep the tanks as well maintained as I can. I know pet stores get a bad rap online for their animal care and advice but I am hoping I can help change that a little with the knowledge I have.
If anyone has any advice (tank size, numbers, community, species only, temp, etc.) on the basic fish found in pet stores, post it here! I'm talking barbs, danios, goldfish, loaches, tetras, cichlids, etc.
 
emmysjj
  • #2
FishGirl38

I can’t help you much with fish but I have experience if you are going to be working in the rodent or reptile section
 
bizaliz3
  • #3
Try and subtly encourage folks not to get common plecos and ghost knifes and other monster fish. (Unless they happen to be a petsmart customer who has humongous tank)

I don't want you to lose your job.... So obviously you can't refuse them! But try and subtly enourage other fish if you see new people going that direction who don't have huge tanks I bet there will be a lot of newbies looking for common plecos to solve their algae issues in their 10 gallons. Encourage nerite snails when you see that.

I just know that petsmart sells a handful of species that require enormous tanks that the average pet smart customer does not have. If I were an employee there, my goal would be to steer them away from those fish without losing my job. Lol
 
Galathiel
  • #4
I would try to steer away from bowls and other small tanks that are less than 2 gallons. Goldfish need large tanks so I would let them know that if they are interested in them.

Stress the importance of water changes. So many problems ould be averted .. and solved .. with regular water changes of at least 30 %.
 
alliemac
  • #5
I think the biggest thing I've seen in the fish department, other than the non-filtered fish bowls that are "so great" for bettas, is people buying a SINGLE schooling fish. No one reads the signs about the minimum tank size or minimum group size. I watched a woman buy a single fish from three different types of schools all because they looked pretty and would make her tank "pop". The Petsmart associate said absolutely nothing to give her a bit of information on the fish.
 
bizaliz3
  • #6
YES!! That's a good one alliemac Let them know when a fish needs a school!
 
Lynn78too
  • #7
I think the biggest thing I've seen in the fish department, other than the non-filtered fish bowls that are "so great" for bettas, is people buying a SINGLE schooling fish. No one reads the signs about the minimum tank size or minimum group size. I watched a woman buy a single fish from three different types of schools all because they looked pretty and would make her tank "pop". The Petsmart associate said absolutely nothing to give her a bit of information on the fish.
Our Petsmart won't sell schooling fish unless you buy a school or are adding to an existing school.
 
alliemac
  • #8
Our Petsmart won't sell schooling fish unless you buy a school or are adding to an existing school.
I absolutely love that they do that. I wish more stores were strict on that. No fish should be forced to live constantly stressed and afraid without a school because people aren't informed.
 
Bryangar
  • #9
most schooling fish have the same requirements, they don't need anything special so you’ll catch on fast with their needs. Advice for the job, try to keep calm, make friends with your usual customer and get info from them. Customers expect you to know everything, if you don't know say you don't know.

I worked at a petco a while ago. You get a lot of misinformed people who buy fish one day and come back next day with it dead and think everything is your fault. It got pretty boring too, a lot of facing and dusting to pass the time.
 
Zoomo
  • #10
When my son bought me my fish about 2 months ago, he and his GF picked out GloFish. The store made them buy 6.

They are pretty, but are so uninteresting to me, wish I could rehome them but I know nobody with fish and really not into shipping. All my other fish come to the top of the tank when I feed and what not, they do not. They are oblivious to me.
 
Lynn78too
  • #11
It's funny you say that because when I first got back into fish I got a 10 gallon Glofish tank kit. They wanted me to buy 6 of them minimum but then when I said I had a 10 gallon tank they said I needed a larger tank or not get the tetras which didn't make sense at the time, I had just bought a 10 gallon Glofish tank that showed the tetras swimming in there!
 
Fashooga
  • #12
I think some of the major chains are starting to turn a little. Perhaps they’re educating employees about fish keeping. Though I do wish they drop anything below ten gallons to encourage healthy tanks and whatnot.

I do think maybe the flip was due to customers thinking they got sold a bad batch when it was uneducated employees who didn’t know a lick about fish.
 
NLindsey921
  • #13
I have a petsmart right next to where I work so I go in there routinely. There is a guy that's come in there to complain a couple times that his fish died the first day or two he got it. The first time I asked what the fish was them employee told me the guy bought a common pleco even though they told him it wouldn't survive in his 5 gallon tank. The second time the employee didn't know what he had bought but said he's always blaming them when a fish dies even though he goes against what they tell him. I thought it was funny but sad at the same time.
 
wolfdog01
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Thank ya'll for all of the feedback! I got back in tomorrow but I'm not sure what I'll be doing.
One thing I did really enjoy though while I was scooping out dead fish, was finding dead snails and keeping their shells. It's mostly mysteries and horned nerites. They're still beautiful and I want them to be kind of remembered.
 
NLindsey921
  • #15
My petsmart used to keep the mystery snails in the back for the reason that the water in the sell tanks kill them. Of course they got a new manager so they don't do that any more unfortunately. But maybe you could convince your manager to start that.
 
MommaWilde
  • #16
I’m sorry if I missed it but I don’t think anyone has mentioned the nitrogen cycle yet. Every fish keeper should know it.

Also when I worked at Petsmart I would often give first timers or people struggling the websites to fishlore, seriouslyfish, planetcatfish etc. sometimes people don’t want to hear what you have to say but they’ll go look it up on their own if they know where to go. I would write it on their receipt at the register because I knew they’d keep it Incase they needed to return something

* I thought of something else: knowing how to “hot-rod” filters. As in not using cartridges and using bio media and sponge instead. Technically you’re up-selling because it cost more up front but really you are saving the fish keeper money because they don’t have to replace it, like almost ever again. And it’s better for the fish because they don’t loose their cycle every month.
 
david1978
  • #17
Or you get customers like me who tell the employees what they want to hear so I don't have to argue with them so they will let me buy fish.
 
goldface
  • #18
Or you get customers like me who tell the employees what they want to hear so I don't have to argue with them so they will let me buy fish.
Same here. Happens quite often I imagine.

My advice is not to take it too seriously, and keep it simple. Educating customers doesn’t hurt, but don’t make their eyes glaze over either. You can’t explain the nitrogen cycle in 5 easy steps. Suggesting a weekly water change may be a better idea in place of that. You’re working for a large, probably publicly traded corporation. Don’t get too bummed out, if things aren’t going as you imagined it to.
 
FishGirl38
  • #19
So, I've been cc'd on this thread and feel obligated to post my 2cents. I could give you a major run down of all the fish that we carry at our (I am one of ~25 employees at an LFS) LFS. BUT, its long, and can be confusing. Take a walk through your stock and try to remember names, come home and google the out of them. Is my BEST advice short of leaving a book on this thread. I take a pad of paper and a pen, and write down names of species that are new to me so I can look them up later.

Your goal is my goal as well, but I will tell you (and in a chain store these situations will probably be more frequent for you) most customers don't know the first thing about fish, but think they know all they need to know. So they'll plan their tank based on assumptions, then get to the store, and are a pain in the when they're asking you for the (this has actually happened to me) smallest, but easiest to take care of tank that doesn't require a filter or water changes (lol, doesn't exist and never will). If you want more info from me, say so and I'll post w/e I think is most relevant, but the biggest issues I see with customers that you should watch out for and try your best to explain are:

1.) the nitrite cycle: ALOT of people have no clue about the nitrite cycle and how important it is. Oftentimes, when customers bring dead fish back to us for returns, it's usually because they're adding too many fish at once early on into the cycle, OR their tank isn't cycled at all. In short, when a new fish dies in a customers tank, it's most likely a problem with their water, NOT our fish (but instead we are blamed for selling 'sick fish'...lol). I've made customers eyes glaze over before trying to explain the nitrite cycle, and those customers are usually the ones who have trouble with their tanks....I've also had customers who're new but actually listen to me (instead of getting caught up on the fact that I mentioned a chemical compound) and are able to go home and learn more about the nitrite cycle because they actually care about the health of their tank. There are 2 types of fish keepers, those who strive to care for their fish, and those who want a fish tank because they look nice-the latter is definitely harder to deal with because they want a beautiful fish tank without the maintenance and care.

1.5: How to cycle: there are 3 methods, fish in, fishless, and transfer. Transfer cycling happens when seeded media from another tank is put into the new tank's filter-boom, ready made cycle. Fishless cycling is the safest route to go, but it will also take the longest, and many customers opt otherwise. Most customers go with fish-in cycling because they're eager to add fish to the aquarium, however, if done incorrectly (too many fish added). The ammonia will spike and all the fish will die (hence, 'we sell sick fish'...lol). It's up to you to introduce these methods to them, let them pick which they're going to do, and guide them through safe cycling.

2: Acclimation: Some people know to 'float the bag' before releasing the fish, I always explain this process to new fish keepers. However, "floating" the bag only acclimates to water temp, SO, If a customer takes our fish (that are kept at a PH of ~7.4) home to his tank with a PH of 6.0 OR 8.0 (VERY hard or VERY soft) and only temperature acclimates them before release, they're likely to get PH shock, PH shock in itself isn't 100% fatal, but it does put un-necessary stress on the fish and can lead to death. I tell customers to float the bag, and then (after 15-20 min) to add a cup of their tank water to the bag, let sit for 5-10 min, add another cup, let sit, etc. until the bag is about half store water and half home tank water. Then the fish can be added to the tank. This acclimates to water temp AND water chemistry/quality. (for saltwater fish, drip acclimation is usually used-never done it, so I can't speak on how to start a drip acclimation)

3: Adding too many fish at once: I mentioned this with the nitrite cycle, but even established tanks can be overwhelmed. My red alarm starts going off after a customer has ~15 fish picked out and is still telling me they have more to add. Usually, I don't ask about the tank until I notice them buying TONS of fish (this is bad practice though-ask about the tank first if you remember too) I'm not sure what you're policy is, I know some places can refuse sales, we do not. However, usually when I tell my customer that a fish type will likely die in their aquarium, or that they're buying too many at once, that's enough to deter them from purchasing w/e it is that they're looking at.

Quick note: I started out approaching every customer like they were a newbie and explaining things ect. Well, a lot of customers would get irate/annoyed with me OR I'd get a smart remark like "yeah, I know all that, I've kept (insert delicate species) for the past 5 years" or something. It's impossible for you to catch all the newbies unless they tell you they are new. I'll admit I've accidentally set people up for failure because I didn't realize they had a new tank until after the sale was made-some newbies will tell you outright, others will bring their children in and let them pick out fish and have you bag them before you even realize they don't have a fish tank at home. (this isn't your fault-they think they know what they're doing and show no inclination otherwise, that is their fault for not doing proper research). ANYWAY, the best question to ask is "how big is the tank and how long has it been set up". That one statement will help you make the best decisions for your customers. It's easier for those looking for recommendations and harder for those who 'seem like they know what they're looking for' though.

4: Algae: So, you will have TONS of customers coming in looking for a pleco to 'take care of the algae problem'. WELL, algae is caused by excess nutrients and too much light, SO, if a customer only adds a pleco and does nothing else to remedy what is actually causing the algae, it will actually get WORSE. The pleco will add more excess nutrients, and algae will continue to grow (faster than before). Also, pleco are marketed as algae eaters because they are 'sucker' fish, however, the majority of species only eat detritus (the brown algae that is super easy to wipe off-typically occurs in new aquariums) and are actually not herbavors but omnivores, and will eat fish food more then they will algae. If a customer absolutely needs an algae eater, recommend otocinclus or nerite snails. Otherwise, tell them to turn of their light for a few days and do some small water changes. (this will take care of the algae over time, and is the 'right' way to go about stopping it's growth). Pleco are good 'cleaners' for cichlid tanks, otherwise, the common species do not belong in community aquariums (BN and clown plecos are fine, just not the commons-they just get too big for most community tank sizes)

5: water changes: Just yesterday, I overheard a customer telling one of our associates that he doesn't do water changes on his tank, and only tops it off when needed...He continued to swear on the health and happiness of his fish. Maybe it is working just fine for him...but I'm betting sooner or later, his tank may crash....*fingers crossed that it doesn't* Customers need to understand that when you top off with water in a tank that hasn't had a water change in awhile, you're not diluting anything, and are actually making waste ratios higher each time the tank is topped off. Essentially, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are not evaporating out, only the water is, SO, even if a 55G tank is missing 5 gallons of water due to evaporation, there is still 55G worth of waste in the tank. So the customer tops it off, during the next evaporation cycle, the tank will have 60G worth of waste in the tank and only 50G of water. idk if that makes sense but, look up 'old tank syndrome' and it may make more sense. Water changes are a must, and there is no alternative to them like how some customers believe.

6: Stocking to largest size: I cannot stand when a customer comes up to me and tells me they have a tank for their child and are looking to stock goldfish. I cry. Usually the tank is under 10G, and when I tell them how big comet goldfish will get, they laugh and swear they don't believe me. I bought 3 comets 2 years ago to cycle a tank expecting they'd pass away. I recently lost one, but the other 2 are still alive, 8inch long, in a 45G tank that is now too small for them. Guppy are the best option for child tanks, and male guppy ONLY. lol...or female, just not both.

That was alot, but that was my 2 cents. I've probably got other examples but, if you need anything from a fellow fish dept. associate, maybe I could help.
 
wolfdog01
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Ahhhh! Thank you everyone again for all of the help!
So far I've worked the fish section twice, cashier a few times, and today was my first day as a stocker. I heard over the radio about a few dead fish that came to be exchanged and one of my friend's there said I should be in the fish section permanently lol
I would have LOVED to diagnose the fish! Then I could really help them.
I just have to wait until college, then I will be working on the floor in the afternoon instead of mostly cleaning right at dawn lol
 
PubliusVA
  • #21
Essentially, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are not evaporating out, only the water is, SO, even if a 55G tank is missing 5 gallons of water due to evaporation, there is still 55G worth of waste in the tank. So the customer tops it off, during the next evaporation cycle, the tank will have 60G worth of waste in the tank and only 50G of water.
True, but some of that waste may now be in the form of plant matter. When I trim back my water sprite or scoop excess duckweed out of my tank, I'm removing nitrates from the tank just as if I had performed a water change. Because my tank is very understocked while I have a lot of plants, I've never seen more than a hint of nitrates in my test results even when going weeks without a water change. I don't expect that to last as I add to my stocking, but it is possible to run a tank that only very rarely needs water changes.
 
david1978
  • #22
I'm way understand aswell but there is more to water chemistry then just what our test kits tests for. I can push mine to monthly until I notice a change in my dissolved solids and dissolved oxygen levels. Now if I topped off with rodI water and a touch of replenish I probably could go longer but a water change is easier and cheaper. Now keep in mind our tanks are the exception and most newer hobbyists want as many fish as they can so newer people will do their needed water changes and experienced hobbyists will ignore you.
 
Culprit
  • #23
True, but some of that waste may now be in the form of plant matter. When I trim back my water sprite or scoop excess duckweed out of my tank, I'm removing nitrates from the tank just as if I had performed a water change. Because my tank is very understocked while I have a lot of plants, I've never seen more than a hint of nitrates in my test results even when going weeks without a water change. I don't expect that to last as I add to my stocking, but it is possible to run a tank that only very rarely needs water changes.

This doesn't account for all the micro and even macro nutrients the plants and fish need. If you don't do water changes your KH, GH, and all the micro nutrients that are absolutely needed for healthy fish will be depleted and boom, tank crash. Our test kits are hobby grade, and unless your sending in Triton ICP tests for your freshwater aquarium I think its best to stick with easy, quick water changes.
 
PubliusVA
  • #24
True, I was only addressing the statements about waste/nitrates in the post that I replied to. If you take the "top off only" approach you'd still need worry about accumulation/depletion of minerals and nutrients.
 
FishGirl38
  • #25
I mentioned that with beginners in mind though. Usually beginners know nothing (and very sparsely understand) how their water chemistry works. And a lot of times at my LFS, customers not doing water changes on their tanks are the biggest issues we face. OR customers looking for 'quick fixes' so they don't have to do water changes...

typically, a beginners aquarium is over stocked and under cycled. So water changes are usually a must...I understand and agree with what you're saying, you can get away with not doing water changes when stocking and tank conditions are correct, but for the average beginner, water changes are a must.
 
Iverg1
  • #26
Tell people that betta stuff isn't for bettas. Like those betta cubes or that betta falls. And that bettas NEED HEATERS AND FILTERS. THEIR NOT GOLDFISH AND THRY DON'T LIVE IN :bangheadUDDLES SO STOP TRYING TO SHOVE THEM INTO ONE!!!!!! unch:


ead:
 
FishGirl38
  • #27
lol, ^^^^ this though...

goldfish and betta do require much more than what the market advertises to consumers. Betta do best in 10G or larger. Goldfish should not be put into a tank that is -40G long term. (a 40G tank is really too small for them but...) Goldfish bowls are a waste of money, and ANY parent looking to set up their childs 'first little tank' SHOULD NOT buy a bowl with no filter or heater and expect it to be dandy. Recommend a 10G kit (or everything with a 10G tank) instead for their childs first. It'll be easier to maintain and start up....

my one example with the "smallest but easiest to clean aquarium that's the cheapest, minimalist set up"...were parents looking for a childs tank for a 3yr old...so they didn't want to spend alot. They bought beneficial bb, a goldfish bowl, was going to buy a 6.99 air pump for the filter but decided it was too much (ugh). and that was that. I gave them prime for water conditioner but didn't ring it out for them so, I assumed they put it back (or stole it which....I don't think they did-as they purchased everything else...) Either way, they set themselves up for failure and their child up for heartbreak, but....it is what it is...
 
midna
  • #28
my petco is hiring a fish specialist and i'm wondering if I should try applying. I feel like i'd just get super frustrated and overwhelmed lol. but i'd love to learn more about the fish and take better care of them.

the problem with petco is that they sell both freshwater AND saltwater fish, so it's a lot more learning. i'm clueless about saltwater lol
 
Bryangar
  • #29
Does petsmart actually special order fish? Has anyone done it before?
 
Iverg1
  • #30
my petco is hiring a fish specialist and i'm wondering if I should try applying. I feel like i'd just get super frustrated and overwhelmed lol. but i'd love to learn more about the fish and take better care of them.

the problem with petco is that they sell both freshwater AND saltwater fish, so it's a lot more learning. i'm clueless about saltwater lol
Same!
 
wolfdog01
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
Wow I am surprised that this thread is still getting replies! Thank you everyone!
As far as I know I don't think we do special orders. We get new fish every Friday and from what I was told they don't choose the fish, so whatever is in the box is a mystery.
I also applied for Petco but it took a LONG time because the application is so detailed. Saltwater also scared me lol.

I finally did water changes today! Been slowly shifting back into petcare after doing a few other positions. By the 10th of this month I should be full petcare. College is making it so I can't work as a janitor anymore because of the hours. I've made a few friends and I'm getting to know a lot of people so that's fun.
 
midna
  • #32
As far as I know I don't think we do special orders. We get new fish every Friday and from what I was told they don't choose the fish, so whatever is in the box is a mystery.
I also applied for Petco but it took a LONG time because the application is so detailed. Saltwater also scared me lol.

yeah, I asked an employee at petsmart and they said the same thing. no special orders for livestock or products, and no idea what's in each shipment lol.

the petco application is AWFUL. i've done it before and my brother just did it yesterday. it's absolutely ridiculous lol. iirc petsmart's application was very similar though. but that was like 4+ years ago.

fish specialist at petco needs at least a year's experience with both freshwater and saltwater, so that's already out for me lol. might try starting off as a sales associate and work my way up to something. i'm glad you're enjoying it so far!
 
Bryangar
  • #33
yeah, I asked an employee at petsmart and they said the same thing. no special orders for livestock or products, and no idea what's in each shipment lol.

the petco application is AWFUL. i've done it before and my brother just did it yesterday. it's absolutely ridiculous lol. iirc petsmart's application was very similar though. but that was like 4+ years ago.

fish specialist at petco needs at least a year's experience with both freshwater and saltwater, so that's already out for me lol. might try starting off as a sales associate and work my way up to something. i'm glad you're enjoying it so far!
You can be a sales associate and still help with fish or reptiles
 
midna
  • #34
You can be a sales associate and still help with fish or reptiles

true. I love all animals. I also have experience with rodents. it's the birds that make me go ???????
 
IHaveADogToo
  • #35
Hi! Congratulations on the job! I’m glad you’re not stuck as a janitor and you get to work in the fish department! I’m glad it’s someone who actually gives a hoot about fish. I have a few suggestions on things I would like to see more pet store employees do. Please remove the inappropriately small “betta tanks” from the endcap the bettas are on. Having those on the same endcap as the bettas encourages people to buy a betta and an inappropriately small tank at the same time. This sadly sends many bettas to their death. If you see a customer buying a tank and a betta at the same time, stop them and try to encourage them to get the tank now, so they can get a bigger one, and come back for the betta later after it cycles. Customers will do what they’re going to do but if you can advise them to put the betta back and cycle the tank first you will be my favorite pet store employee. Also tell customers that just because TopFin put this or that fish on the box of a tank doesn’t mean the tank is the appropriate size for those fish or that the combination of fish on the box is compatible. Whoever designs the boxes for TopFin is encouraging people to make poor stocking decisions. So encourage customers to buy the tank and go set it up and refer them to fishlore so they can research the fish they want while the tank cycles.
 
wolfdog01
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
Ya'll today was hectic! Unboxed fish and had to bag a lot of them! Good news though is that a woman came in looking at bettas and I talked to her. Apparently she had two of them in a .5 gallon container and was using that bottled betta water. She was also going to get those vacation feeders. I was able to talk her into a 5 gallon divided and Prime conditioner, plus she put the vacation feeders back. So happy!
Also, one of the managers at the store apparently also has fish, and she knows a lot about cichlids! So it makes me happy to know someone with years of fish keeping and experience is working there. But I'm also a little jealous cause I only have a few years into the hobby lol
 
FishGirl38
  • #37
I just wanna say, Although I agree with IHaveADogToo, what you're asking may not be appropriate for her to do...:/. I could be fired if I went moving stock around without anyones permission, and unfortunately, those tanks are strategically placed by the store for that reason (so people buy them for bettas) ....:/. What I like to do....

Our goldfish bowls are around 9, 12, or 16$. I like to show my customers (interested in a tank but with a goldfish bowl in their hand) our 10G, that are priced at 14$ and give them the "more space for your dollar" shpeal....this usually works..."why spend 16$ for a Liter of space when you could get 10G for 14$"

Also, most customers don't listen, and again I agree with IHaveADogToo, be careful trying to get people to put their fish down, you don't want to offend or wrongly assume. Ask why their buying the tank, If they say they're planning on adding the new betta to the new tank, explain to them why that's a horrible idea...It's harder than not sometimes to make people do the right thing.

And lastly, be very careful recommending other sources to customers. It's the right thing to do, but it may be frowned upon by your store, and where I work...recommending other stores, or sources for info is actually grounds for terminiation. We're supposed to advertise for our store, not other stores/places of interest. So, I will still recommend fishlore and things to my customers, but I make sure no managers are around me...Just be careful with that.
 
IHaveADogToo
  • #38
I understand everything you just said. Thank you for confirming to me what I already suspected : That the promotion and practice of bad petkeeping practices in these stores is actually ENFORCED by corporate. That employees can't fix these little things that cause customers to make poor choices, because corporate actually wants the customer to make the bad choice. If you're afraid that you'll get fired for doing what's right, that says everything I need to know about your employer.
 
FishGirl38
  • #39
I understand everything you just said. Thank you for confirming to me what I already suspected : That the promotion and practice of bad petkeeping practices in these stores is actually ENFORCED by corporate. That employees can't fix these little things that cause customers to make poor choices, because corporate actually wants the customer to make the bad choice. If you're afraid that you'll get fired for doing what's right, that says everything I need to know about your employer.
Whoa whoa whoa now, of coarse corporate doesn't care...they're a corporation. Their only concern is the money they make through sales of aquarium equipment, If they didn't operate in this way, pet stores wouldn't be a thing because they'd all go out of business. in many cases....the fish store actually considers the fish the accessories and the set up as the sale....did you really believe the people at the top cared about the health and happiness of the fish if they're selling products that aren't suitable for the fish they sell too? (the goldfish bowls, that're basically useless in my eyes, best vase ever) what you suspected should be already understood considering the amount of un-informed pet store sales associates that ARE out there and the marketing ploys you've viewed yourself that're used in advertising. NOW, you're right, but just because our corporations are like this, doesn't mean that our sales associates are too. Generally, new sales associates enjoy animals, that's why they sign up to 'give them homes'. and We can operate ethically and knowledgeably even under these conditions...but....yeah...that's just the way it is. Just like at any other corporation, the buck is what matters at the top....

I'll admit on here, our reptile department could use some work, I mean, the tanks we keep them in ARE NOT at all suited for the needs of our reptiles...they come in looking great, and after a week...look horrible...I've had customers point out sick reptiles in our enclosures...and I hate it...not because our reptiles are sick...but because there is quite literally nothing I can do about it as an employee....Like, don't sit there believing all sales associates stand with corporate, there are many things I would change if I had the opportunity, but...there is literally nothing I/we can do about it to improve the conditions.

Honestly, one type of customer that I hate, absolutely hate, dealing with...are the 'animal advocate' types....who say "why don't your sugar gliders have a cave? you know they're nocturnal right?, why don't your puppies have toys to play with, they should have toys to teeth on. Your mice are fighting, you know you shouldn't keep that many in a 10G tank right?....like, yes, we know all of these things, but we will be reprimanded if we were to add any of these things to the enclosures...OR, there is literally nothing we can do to change the enclosures, and honestly, these kinds of customers make my job 10x harder. Believe me, I want to do what they're telling me, but this isn't my store, and I have 0 pull. So...them telling me how bad it is makes me hate my job, but I love my job. You see? Like...We're not bad people. lol. We just have certain rules we have to abide by...
 
FishGirl38
  • #40
But yeah, actually, generally, if a customer doesn't talk with a sales associate before making their purchase, they almost always 'participate in bad aquarium practice'.

But like. the other day, I had a customer come in and bought 2 medium sized comets and a 5.5G tank for them....I talked him into a 10G kit and told him even that would be a little small but...we were literally closed and I had my manager do an exchanged on his 5G (for the comets) to a 10G. (I couldn't get him to go any larger)...but like, at least at our store, we really do our best to educate our customers. Granted as I've mentioned, we have some not so great practices going on, but we, as sales associates, do our best to set people up with healthy aquariums and the rest we cannot control..
 

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