Thoughts On This? Big Fish Can Be Returned?

sheenalee

Member
Hello,
Was recently at my lfs and found out they have a policy where if you buy a fish from them and it outgrows your tank all you have to do is return it and they'll give you a small one of the same species.

Good? Bad? What are your thoughts?
 

Michael Cocce

Member
I would rather they give me a bigger tank but I guess that's not a bad idea, they certainly have the fishes' quality of life in mind!
 

Mbross325

Member
I love that policy, my little brother has an strawberry arowana and it eats worms, crickets, and carnivore pellets. He will return it when it gets too big and get something else. He's got an 55 and I have an 40. Wish I could get one too but my tank is still cycling. But a bigger tank is definitely better.
 

kimberlyKeidron

Member
I feel like that's their way of making more money as bigger fish sell for more.

I.e. They sell you a small fish, you basically grow it out for them to a larger size. You bring it in and they sell you another small one to grow out while they sell the larger one for a higher price
 

bizaliz3

Member
I think it works out well. Because there are some people who have huge tanks and they want to buy a big fish when it is already big. But the fish store can't necessarily raise them to adult size. So they send them home with someone to grow them out. Then that person gives it back, and then the fish store customers that want big fish can come in and buy it all grown up. It makes sense to me!! I would do that if I owned a fish store!

If I had a 180 gallon tank for instance, I would rather buy a black ghost knife when it is bigger, like maybe 8 inches. But so often they are sold when they are only 2 inches big. And someone with a 180 gallon tank most likely have fish in it that could eat, or hurt, a 2 inch fish. The only way to usually buy a large fish when it is full grown, or at least almost full grown, (especially with the odd ball fish) are when people give them to the fish store when they outgrow their tank. I have never seen a fish store with a giant fish that THEY raised. It is typically a fish that was given up due to space constraints.

I personally think it is smart! But I am open to debate if I am missing something that makes this a bad idea.........I mean obviously the fish store has to have an element of trust in their customers that they will take care of the fish properly....
 
  • Thread Starter

sheenalee

Member
kimberlyKeidron said:
I feel like that's their way of making more money as bigger fish sell for more.

I.e. They sell you a small fish, you basically grow it out for them to a larger size. You bring it in and they sell you another small one to grow out while they sell the larger one for a higher price
If you bring in a grown fish, they give you a new smaller fish at no extra charge.
 
  • Thread Starter

sheenalee

Member
A little more info about the store:
It's the only pet store in a town of 15000 (that sells animals)
It sells, kittens, birds, reptiles, fish.
Family owned
The closest fish store other then it is about 1 hour away.
They have another policy where if your fish dies within a WEEK, you bring in the fish and a sample of your water and they will replace it.
 

Robs

Every LFS that I worked at had similar policies. In fact, if the large fish was worth a lot more than the smaller ones, we would give the customer fair wholesale value in store credit for whatever they wanted to use it on.
 

Dave125g

Member
Good policy you grow the fish they sell it for more money.
 

cjborgman

Member
Not to sure about this one, it kind of encourages people to buy fish that are to large for the tank they have.
Which in turn means things like stunted growth etc could have already occurred before they get it out of there tank and rehomed so the poor fish has already suffered.
I believe you should only ever buy a particular type of fish only if you have the correct size tank.
What's the point otherwise ?
The poor fish suffers from health issues of being in a tank for a little to long before it gets handed back to store.

The idea seems as though it's so the store makes more sales and they won't ever have to say to people "oh no that fish will get to bug for that tank".
They just do it so they can sell anything regardless and then when it comes back into store they give you a small fish worth nothing and they sell your large fish for 5 x the price.

Sorry to be negative but I don't agree.
 

clk89

Member
I feel like it's a bit of a double edge sword. On one hand it's great for people who truly make a mistake and suddenly realize the fish is going to be way too big for their tank. Then they can return it. Many are given bad advice from others about common goldfish, knifefish, common pleco, angelfish and so forth when it comes to tank size.

On the other hand, I don't really like the ideal of constantly trading in a fish after you grow it out in your tank then back to the pet store then get another rinse and repeat. I've heard and seen people do this over and over again. I have a brother who does this with puppies. He will buy a puppy, then as soon as it gets big he will give it back to the shelter.

It could be giving the fish you give back diseases from the store, that fish could never be bought again due to it's size, hence it may die in that pet store. It makes me feel bad for the living fish.
 

Mifuluhu

Member
In general I wish stores would take a few minutes to try to home fish appropriately. I have a good non corporate FS about 30 mins away.....very knowledgable staff with excellent stock for sale. However they still sold me a pair of RTBS's even while I was trying to research on my phone and asked if they thought it was a good idea. I know I can return one to them, without any refund, but still!
 

Dave125g

Member
Good policy for the store, good policy for ignorant people, unfortunately bad policy for the fish.
 

clk89

Member
Dave75g said:
Good policy for the store, good policy for ignorant people, unfortunately bad policy for the fish.
That's a good way of summarizing it.
 

Junne

Member
I think its a good policy. I think any store that will take a fish back has a + in my book. Too many people will flush them down the toilet, let them loose in a river, etc. if they don't have a way to return unwanted fish.

Saying to educate customers before they buy is a downhill effort it seems. So many times I have heard store workers try and inform new customers of what they want to buy/conditions needed, etc and it usually goes on deaf ears........And the sad truth is, its usually parents who have kids ( yes I was one of those at one time )
 

Dave125g

Member
A better policy is educating the employees
 

Mifuluhu

Member
You are likely correct Junne, I am a teacher so it's my habit to try to educate people.....even the ones who don't want to learn...lol.
 

cjborgman

Member
But does the store ask the next buyer of the big fish what size tank it's going in ? Or does the cycle continue and you have a fish continually being put into and removed from tanks because each owner of the fish doesn't have a tank big enough for the fish's next growth spurt ?
Cycle continues ?
But yes I know what you are saying Junne with deaf ears though.
It is a problem now and always will be.
 

Wraithen

Member
If the cycle goes on long enough, the lfs could end up turning a .25 fish into a 100 dollar fish. Seems like a great business model. Zero overhead for raising the fish!
 

cjborgman

Member
Yeh as Dave75g said good policy for store, bad for the fish.
 

Dave125g

Member
cjborgman said:
But does the store ask the next buyer of the big fish what size tank it's going in ? Or does the cycle continue and you have a fish continually being put into and removed from tanks because each owner of the fish doesn't have a tank big enough for the fish's next growth spurt ?
Cycle continues ?
But yes I know what you are saying Junne with deaf ears though.
It is a problem now and always will be.
That is an excellent point. I didn't think about that. That revolving door at the LFS has got to be very profitable for them. I couldn't own a business like that. Thanks a lot there go's my dream of opening a pet store! Ha Ha
 

cjborgman

Member
Haha sorry to put an end to your dreams mate haha.
You could always do it and do it the right way though.
 

clk89

Member
Dave75g said:
That is an excellent point. I didn't think about that. That revolving door at the LFS has got to be very profitable for them. I couldn't own a business like that. Thanks a lot there go's my dream of opening a pet store! Ha Ha 
Well you could always opt out of that policy or make some sort of incentive to keep the animal instead of dumping it off.
 

Dave125g

Member
clk89 said:
Well you could always opt out of that policy or make some sort of incentive to keep the animal instead of dumping it off.
What like a slap on the back of the costumers head. Most people don't care about the fish they put in there tanks.
 

clk89

Member
Dave75g said:
What like a slap on the back of the costumers head. Most people don't care about the fish they put in there tanks.
Honestly money talks. I would offer deals on tank that is appropriate for fish if someone was buying a fish that get bigger.

Also marketing helps. Instead of advertising those 1 gallon bowls for bettas and goldfish, I would advertise them as shrimp bowls and include deals when bundled with a sponge filter setup. Make those five gallon tanks advertised as Betta Havens, or Betta Paradise. Actually if I had a pet store there probably would be a certain things that I wouldn't sell in store, but only on special order.
 

Wraithen

Member
As a way to keep customers what about offering discounts on tank upgrades. A lot of people will slowly keep upgrading tanks which could be very profitable.
 

chromedome52

Member
Most species that get very large are more difficult to sell at larger sizes, and often will sit in the store for much longer than youngsters. Large Oscars, Silver Dollars, Jaguar Cichlids, all are very difficult to move when large, and often end up spending the rest of their lives in a store display tank. So taking back a large fish and giving away a small one is not a guaranteed profit, contrary to what most here seem to think.
 

Dave125g

Member
chromedome52 said:
Most species that get very large are more difficult to sell at larger sizes, and often will sit in the store for much longer than youngsters. Large Oscars, Silver Dollars, Jaguar Cichlids, all are very difficult to move when large, and often end up spending the rest of their lives in a store display tank. So taking back a large fish and giving away a small one is not a guaranteed profit, contrary to what most here seem to think.
That's a good point I didn't think of it that way. And the store has to feed it and house it.
 

KittyFish62

Member
kimberlyKeidron said:
I feel like that's their way of making more money as bigger fish sell for more.

I.e. They sell you a small fish, you basically grow it out for them to a larger size. You bring it in and they sell you another small one to grow out while they sell the larger one for a higher price
Wow that's really smart it's like mutualism except with people.
 

fissh

Member
People with big tanks want big fish. And a lot of people with small tanks that can't afford a big tank like to grow the fish up. It's win- win Kind of thing, even for the fish. These stores should get an A+. And hopefully can take that to the bank, so they can afford to stay in business, so you still have a LFS.( Hopefully a good one) Take my word for it, the LFS owners do it for love, and aren't going to get rich on your trade-ins.
 

AtreyusMom

Member
This is a pretty cool concept, op said it's kind of a mom and pop joint so I doubt they are raking in the cash on it. And it may have been for the love of the animals that they decided to do this..not wanting fish to be released into lakes and streams or flushed when the folks couldn't handle them anymore. I personally couldn't raise any animal and at some random point say "you're not as small as I would like you to be anymore, I'm trading you in for a younger model" It kind of defeats the purpose of having it as a pet, it's more like an accessory or decoration and I think that's gross..
 

fissh

Member
AtreyusMom said:
This is a pretty cool concept, op said it's kind of a mom and pop joint so I doubt they are raking in the cash on it. And it may have been for the love of the animals that they decided to do this..not wanting fish to be released into lakes and streams or flushed when the folks couldn't handle them anymore. I personally couldn't raise any animal and at some random point say "you're not as small as I would like you to be anymore, I'm trading you in for a younger model" It kind of defeats the purpose of having it as a pet, it's more like an accessory or decoration and I think that's gross..
I lot if people want to grow fish, even if you tell them the fish will out grow the tank, they still think growing them is the fun part. Most people think of a fish tank as a living picture, that you can change when you want to. Instead of taking the picture off the wall, you can redo it. I'm not saying this is wright or wrong, I' just saying that's the way it is.
Harry
 

Dave125g

Member
I like watching my fish grow too, but I make sure they can live there whole life in an appropriate size tank. Sometimes, however I do like changing my stock around a bit. I think it's nice to have the option to rehome them.
 

AtreyusMom

Member
Harry, I get that, and what I was attempting to say was that if people choose to do that and this store is helping rehome the bigger/older fish I think that's wonderful! I think earlier in this thread I saw someone say their brother adopts puppies and when the get too big drops them off at the shelter and then adopts another puppy..which is what I think is disgusting, to that to any animal is terrible. Totaly different than growing a fish out and rehoming to someone with a bigger tank to let the fish live out a happy life. Everyone values animals lives differently, it stinks but it's true.
 

fissh

Member
AtreyusMom said:
Harry, I get that, and what I was attempting to say was that if people choose to do that and this store is helping rehome the bigger/older fish I think that's wonderful! I think earlier in this thread I saw someone say their brother adopts puppies and when the get too big drops them off at the shelter and then adopts another puppy..which is what I think is disgusting, to that to any animal is terrible. Totaly different than growing a fish out and rehoming to someone with a bigger tank to let the fish live out a happy life. Everyone values animals lives differently, it stinks but it's true.
Dogs and cats are not fish. I think it stinks if someone gets rid of a dog or a cat just because it got to big. What I'm saying is most people think of fish as an ornaments. I'm not judging right or wrong, I'm saying it's really good to have a place to rehome your fish, that might be a better home than you gave them. No killing them, flushing them, or releasing them into the wild. This comes from over 30 years as a professional dealing with a lot of people that kept a lot of fish. I cringe to think of how many snakeheads and piranha that I know of that got released into the wild because they're illegal in Cal. and couldn't be rehomed.
Harry
 

Plecomaker

Member
yeah, you might want to talk to some more people. I have a big tank and I don't want big fish.
also I happen to know that my lfs will not take back large fish, especially oscars.

its too expensive for them to dedicate a whole tank to a single fish that may or may not sell.
 

fissh

Member
Plecomaker said:
yeah, you might want to talk to some more people. I have a big tank and I don't want big fish.
also I happen to know that my lfs will not take back large fish, especially oscars.

its too expensive for them to dedicate a whole tank to a single fish that may or may not sell.
Well that's your lfs, I used to sell adults trade on Oscars for $9.99 and had trouble keeping them in stock, I thought of it as room and board to feed and rehome them. As far as talking to more people my store had over 300 sales a day for 28 years, I think I've talked to enough people. And yes all people that have big fish tanks don't have big fish! That I do agree with you on!
Harry
 

Plecomaker

Member
its just more profitable to keep a big sales tank with loads of t barbs, guppies or neons then 1 big oscar.
they sell faster and since people buy them in bulk, often for a higher price.
 

fissh

Member
There is more profit in 20 small fish, than I big Oscar. But I always had a heart for the fish more than my profit, I think the fish didn't chose to be in a glass box, and the least I could do is my best for them. I even used to rehome 2 foot Pacu. It did help having 235 tanks that were mostly custom built 60 gallon breeder flats.
Harry
 

Plecomaker

Member
fissh said:
There is more profit in 20 small fish, than I big Oscar. But I always had a heart for the fish more than my profit, I think the fish didn't chose to be in a glass box, and the least I could do is my best for them. I even used to rehome 2 foot Pacu. It did help having 235 tanks that were mostly custom built 60 gallon breeder flats.
Harry
I'm not necessarily disagreeing, just explaining why some small businesses can't afford to do it.
 

fissh

Member
Plecomaker said:
I'm not necessarily disagreeing, just explaining why some small businesses can't afford to do it.
Cool dude
 

Plecomaker

Member
I learned this from one of the smaller lfs near me based on their own ownership trauma.
I walked literally walked in on him panicing. He had a tank with a full size clown loach, a tank with a HUGE Oscar and adult common plec stuffed in it and another devoted to a large pacu. He was telling me he was trying to figure out how to move fish because he had ordered a bunch of neons and guppies and had nowhere to put them. I know he had 2 big blue crabs on his register because some guy said he was moving and needed to get rid of them. (yes I know this sounds ridiculous)

After that I myself had later asked if he could take a cichlid off my hands, I'm sure you can find that story in this forum somewhere (its the blue acara that people debated might be a terror) and he had a hand written list of the fish that he won't take.
Oscar and Pacu were at the top
 

fissh

Member
he had a hand written list of the fish that he won't take.
Oscar and Pacu were at the top. And that's a concept why ?
I think LFS should post a sign
on pacu and Oscar tanks that they get REALLY LARGE, and the store won't trade them back in ! My solution was to not sell fish I didn't want to take back. The only reason I ever took pacu and Oscars is for the animal's sake.
 

Plecomaker

Member
actually he's really knowledgeable, but very quirky
 

Aquaphobia

Member
Plecomaker said:
actually he's really knowledgeable, but very quirky
Is he single? I dig quirky guys
 

Amanzimtoti01

Member
It has its pros and cons, but if I buy a fish, I buy it for a reason. Why would I raise and watch my fish grow just to give it back? LFS should tell people about the full size the fish will get and if you can't home it for life then don't bother. My LFS has given me bad advice with regards to stock levels, meaning that my fish will outgrow their home, (I found this out from the good people on here). The answer is simple for me.......... I have started to look for a 7-8 foot tank to home my fish in, my 4 ft I will keep to adopt others and give me a rotating stock should anything happen to my others. I will adopt only a few so that neither large tanks will be over stocked, and my smaller two will be used as a qt for new and the other as a hospital tank (both 100 litre).
 

Most photos, videos and links are disabled if you are not logged in.

Log in or register to view



Top Bottom