Online Selling Is Killing the Aquatic Hobby and Industry
Is Online Selling Killing the Aquatic Industry and Fishkeeping Hobby?
Is online selling of aquarium goods killing the industry? This is a question that is coming up more and more frequently within aquatic community and I don’t mean people selling online corals. I am talking about the dry goods such as filters, aquariums things like that. Obviously everything is going to be going online.
These days you can buy almost anything off Amazon or Ebay. It’s not something we should be afraid of but at the same time it is making the aquatic industry a lot less competitive. When you take a normal aquatic shop most of the running cost is going to be through keeping the animals alive, the fish of course and although it’s the fish that costs the most to keep alive it’s normally the fish which make the least money for the shop. Where the money is for the aquatic retailer is actually in the dry goods and it’s through selling high volume of dry goods they can actually afford to keep the fish alive and sell those to the consumer. The problem of this model is when people start shopping online for their aquatics goods they actually take away the money from the aquatic store which allows them to keep the fish alive. It’s pretty obvious to me when this happens it’s going to cause shops to close because it means that the shop isn’t profitable and can’t stay afloat.
The reason the online stores can sell so cheaply is because they just don’t have the overhead of having to keep the fish alive so they can sell aT rock-bottom prices store all the stuff in their bedroom, garage, warehouse whatever and that doesn’t really cost anything so they’re not really trying to work on the high margin that fish shop would . They just try to make profit which is pretty easy once you deduct postage and packaging. Clearly this is going to have a very negative impact on the aquatic industry because there’s more and more shops closed. There’s going to be less fish available and especially less variety because the only stores are going to be able to survive are the large ones like Pets at Home. I guess the American equivalent would be Petco because they’re subsidized by everything else that they sell and also they can stay competitive with their prices because they’ll buy in large volume from their suppliers at really high margins.
Now some companies have cottoned on to this like Hagen and I applaud them because they have said to many of the online retailers they have to sell at the normal RRP and they have to be a registered supplier with them otherwise they won’t be given any Hagan products to sell. This is something more suppliers need to do. They need to realize that by keeping the prices at a reasonable level the independent fish shops will be able to compete in this market which is a good thing for everyone.
So I would say that yes online shopping is definitely killing the industry. Unless we as consumers wake up to the fact that we need to support our local fish shops. This is something I really believe in so if you’re going to be making an aquatic purchase do go into your local shop. It might be a little bit more expensive but think of it as an investment in the future of the aquatic industry. So thanks for listening and I hope this has been helpful and happy fish keeping.