Work At Petstore. Need Your Help

  1. Caleb Smith

    Caleb Smith Valued Member Member

    In the past month, I have started working at a chain petstore( that sells fish). Although I was pleasantly suprised by the quality of care they provide for all their animals, I have been disappointed by the customers and the decisions I have to talk them out of. Just today, I had to tell a lady that she cant put 10 feeder goldfish and a pleco in her 2.5 gallon tank. Almost every person that buys our fish is an absolute beginner and, although I try to help, even those who are receptive to suggestions seem overwhelmed by the amount of info needed to successfully start a tank. I have to attempt to explain acclimation, the nitrogen cycle, water changes and everything in between in a few minutes because most of them have no idea what to do. In light of this, I need your help. I am asking you to drop links to websites that explain these things ( mainly the nitrogen cycle) in a throuogh but simplistic manner. It should ideally be a single page and at beginner comprehension level. I feel that if I can print these out and hand them to some of our customers, they will not only be better informed, but will also be more willing to listen to the employees suggestions and will save alot of fish.
     
  2. Iverg1

    Iverg1 Well Known Member Member

    You just made your own link with the simple words nitrogen cycle here it is. Hope that helps I'll keep digging this is just one for now
    Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
     
  3. Raizinhell

    Raizinhell Valued Member Member

    Keep up the good battle.
     
  4. DuaneV

    DuaneV Well Known Member Member

    You can only educate people so much. Theyre going to do what they want to anyway regardless of what you tell them. We were in Petco tonight and a mom was buying her 2 teen daughters each a betta and they both have a softball-sized glass bowl for it. I mean, are you kidding me?! So I chatted with them, gave them some helpful info, showed them some of the 2.5 gallon tanks, cheap filters, heaters, etc. I spent a good 30 minutes with them. They were FLOORED and couldnt believe how clueless they were, they didnt want to hurt the fish, etc. And guess what? After talking to them for that long they kept the tiny glass bowls in hand and went to check out. I wanted to smack them all in the face.
     
  5. Raizinhell

    Raizinhell Valued Member Member

    Thats the reality of many bettas. Fish are treated more like toys than living creatures.
     
  6. DuaneV

    DuaneV Well Known Member Member

    They are marketed as a throwaway fish. Im certain its done on purpose as its a constant cash flow. And as it gets people more interested in fish keeping, theyll keep going back for more.
     
  7. RainBetta

    RainBetta Valued Member Member

    You should print out a pamphlet on all the basics and include a small section for care of some of the common(er) fish like bettas and goldfish. If you manager allows it, that is!
     
  8. Fashooga

    Fashooga Fishlore VIP Member

    Unfortunately people today want instant results. When it comes to fish it’s not different. This is normal to everybody you, me, the person who posted the 4th time here we all want instant results.

    You tell them and if they follow your advice at least you had one person listen.
     
  9. FishGirl38

    FishGirl38 Valued Member Member

    So, I work at an LFS, and I've actually thought about doing exactly that for my store except....You realllly do have to be careful where you print your materials from that you're using at work. Like....If you take any reference off the internet, and use it while you have your uniform on. Than your giving the customer the impression that whatever store you're working for endorses that site or w/e too. Just be careful...for copyright purposes. Ask a manager before you go handing them out...

    I had written my own guide for the nitrite cycle and am looking to brand it under my store eventually. So...maybe try that? I have the same problem at my LFS. You just have to explain to them, everytime, over and over. xD.

    I don't mean to vent...But dont you HATE the customers who are impulsive and impatient and who don't listen to you when you tell them not to get a specific fish or number of fish, and they do it anyway. And then 2 days later come back with half their fish in a baggy complaining that you sold them sick fish........UGH. Okay, venting over.
     
  10. Lagertha

    Lagertha Valued Member Member

    Pets At Home gave me a ton of FALSE information! Literally everything they said was just wrong. I’m glad there are some people like yourself who do actually know what they’re talking about and want to put the fish first instead of how much money you can make for the store.

    Well done you!
     
  11. Mcasella

    Mcasella Fishlore VIP Member

    You likely aren't going to get much head way, the way i approach people is by what would be safe and what they could do with this tank instead of this bowl (I have convinced several people to upgrade to a larger tank, several even for a betta, i talk to them about cycling and point them in the direction of bacteria starters to help the fish they are wanting to get right away as well as directing them to products that will prevent their fish from dying of ammonia - i maintain the weekly water changes and what sizes the fish can attain with good care and space to grow into that size).
    People will listen, however you need to approach them in a reasonable manner (each person's reasonable is different of course). Stores have a set guideline they have to follow by company policy, otherwise they can get into trouble. You would have to convince the people at the top that this information would make them more money (I mean, a betta in a bowl, sure you make 15-30$ right off, but some of those fish survive in those bowls longer than the month they are expecting - having someone get a 3 gallon tank, the betta, and all the amenities the betta requires goes up over 60$, the betta might live longer than the one in the bowl, but with the messed up genetics and people wanting the fanciest betta you are lucky to get 1-3 years from them, plus while they have the one fish they may get bored and want more, so they get into the hobby or they start reading about their pet and see they need a tank upgrade).
    If the person just wants a pet they don't have to really care for (pulease), they are going to get "the fish that lives in dirty mud puddles" despite these being domestic fish that have never seen a mud puddle in their life, they are going to buy it regardless of what you say.
     
  12. NYFishGuy

    NYFishGuy Valued Member Member

    I wonder if it would be better to lead off with " If you can't spend extra 50-100$ on a tank and gear it will probably be dead in 2 weeks"

    I was at petco staring at the bettas when a mother and young son were picking through them and i saw her pick up a tiny bowl and mentioned that 5 gallon is better / easier and also pretty cheap.
    She did pick up one of those plastic temp tanks im guessing around 2 gallon, i said it was better than the bowl and left it at that.... 30 seconds later i hear what sounds like a betta fish cup hitting the floor(small child was holding) ... I couldn't even turn around, i didn't want to know/see :eek:
     
  13. Iverg1

    Iverg1 Well Known Member Member

    Oh no!!!!! that's my worst fears when I'm getting a new betta
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Caleb Smith

    Caleb Smith Valued Member Member

    I appreciate all the help guys! I have got pre approval from my manager and everything. Alot of these people are very very receptive to my suggestions and I can tell they really care. However, I think they are having trouble visualizing/remembering alot of my suggestions and thats why I wanted this information in a physical form. I think, Im going to write my own manual, pulling pieces from other places, so I can customize it for my own purposes and make sure to avoid anything against company policy. Thx again for the help!
     
  15. Awaken_Riceball_

    Awaken_Riceball_ Valued Member Member

    One of the phrases I like to use when I help new aquarist is, "Create an environment for the Fish to thrive and not survive." It will puzzle them with the opposite word, "Not survive?" and feel free to explain the rest. It is difficult to break down what you know into understandable terms for others and as much as I hate to say it, failure is a motivational factor to become successful. In addition, you as an employee will need to also battle against customer "impatience."
    The Nitrogen Cycle is an in-depth topic that is essential and modestly difficult for beginners to understand, and it needs to be a brochure on its own; however, in break down form, it is invisible to the naked eye but microscopic bacteria converts natural toxins into non-toxic form for the fish to thrive.

    This website is beginner friendly to understand the Nitrogen Cycle, and it is quite the read but loads of good information and easy to understand.
    https://modestfish.com/how-to-cycle-your-aquarium/

    I wish you all the best!