Fosters and Smith Drama on RC

Discussion in 'The Sump' started by oimate842005, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. oimate842005

    oimate842005 Gem Tang LARC Supporter

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    Just browsing through old threads on RC and .org and saw the infamous Foster/Smith thread. what do youll think about Race Foster and his "business model" :?: I guess its just another wal-mart of society in the aquaria industry..go ahead post your opinions...
     
  2. Got a link? Don't think I saw that thread. You know how well the search feature works on there.
     
  3. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    Haven't seen it...post the link please, Ian.

    Thanks,

    Kirk
     
  4. oimate842005

    oimate842005 Gem Tang LARC Supporter

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    here goes:
    I beleive this thread (The link below) stirred up somethings with Fosters business practices. From that thread things got out of hand, and Foster got with RC and started booting ppl off the forum. Now everytime someone has a complaint with Foster, RC is quick to boot them off their site, so most of the "Exiled" went over to reefs.org...their youll find tons of threads on Foster in the "Industry behind the hobby section".

    http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthrea ... genumber=1
     
  5. Coyle

    Coyle Ko-Ko Worm

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    very interesting..i myself never did business with liveaquaria, as i always found them too impersonal, and a little inflated in their prices..i like to know who im getting stuff from, and be able to talk to that person if something goes wrong.
     
  6. oimate842005

    oimate842005 Gem Tang LARC Supporter

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    I just find it very dishonest of Foster&Smith to have all those claims on their website that their fish and corals are vetinary approved and healthy, when they in fact do not even see the livestock they are selling. All they do is make a call to the wholesaler and get them to ship out their "in stock" goods to the customer.
     
  7. I only see one person booted ("moved on") and he was a retailer obviously looking to pick a fight. Edit: having followed him around a bit, he quite obviously has an agenda has everything to gain by impuning an online retailer. Comparing his posts to Race Fosters, I'll take RF any day of the week.

    It's the typical let's take on the big guy culture.

    Nothing personal, I think you are wrong with your Wal Mart analogy given Foster's participation in that thread. What exactly is wrong with the Foster's "business model"? Get the product from collection to the customer as quickly and directly as possible - what's wrong with that?

    I don't see many of the reports from my office that have my name on them. I have faith and confidence in a subordinate through whom they are vetted. If that sub screws up or continually puts out inferior product, what happens? They get replaced with someone who will meet my standards and do the job right.
     
  8. Well said Pito. The argument my LFS gives me about online ordering of livestock is that you don't know what you are getting. Does he see what he is getting before he purchases? My LFS also does not stock very many fish, so I get to choose which type of fish I want and get a 14 day guarantee when ordering online. On top of all that, I have skipped the process of a fish going to the LFS and being stressed out while there. Makes for healthier fish in the end. I think Drs. F&S have proved to many that they are a very reputable online e-tailer. I still shop my LFS and if he has something I like and at a reasonable price I get it from him. If not, I can always go online and have what it is I am looking for the next day.
     
  9. oimate842005

    oimate842005 Gem Tang LARC Supporter

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    Lets just say, the small Brick and Mortar (B&M) stores are being royally screwed by the wholesalers on 104th...How can a wholesaler look out for LFS store A, while they are exclusively droppshipping to customers for F&S? F&S will get the better product and the "rest" will go out to the B&M's. I dont doubt that F&S are reputable, which they are, but personally after reading that thread and seeing Race Fosters arrogance against the "Little guys", I was deterred from ordering anything from them in the future.

    Pito:
    There wasnt just 1 person, the Mods on RC have deleted a lot of threads and booted out quite a number of ppl, check RDO and youll see them.
     
  10. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    The gist of it is, that F&S claim that "each and every fish sold through liveaquaria.com are personally selected by the Drs. and then shipped ot the customer. We always have the best fish." This can't possibly be true, and, I would like to see someone offer definitive truth that it is. Foster or Smith cannot possibly be there TO CHECK EACH AND EVERY FISH they ship. And you can bet that they don't have veterinarians or marine biologists working for them picking stuff out from the wholesalers in their stead.

    The other problem I see is that the reason LFS doesn't get the prime, rare stuff is because large etailers like F&S get to cherry pick from the wholesalers, BEFORE the stock is ever released to the general LFS community. The wholesalers CLAIM that they do not allow it, but, it has been well documented that they DO indeed allow large, big money corps like F&S to do so. That's not F&S fault -- it's the wholesalers being dishonest here. To allow one to get the prime material while lying to the other saying "we don't allow anyone to cherry pick livestock" is just dishonest.

    The other thing that LFS types are mad about is that F&S is allowed to drop ship these cherry picks and even regular fish/corals etc. directly from the wholesaler to the consumer. Their argument is one of trying to be altruistic: that they are stressing the fish less, and the customer wins in the end. Less handling may indeed equate to less stress on the fish, but anyone with more than 2 brain cells can tell you though, it's not REALLY the reason. The e-tailer doesn't actually have to BUY the fish from the wholesaler, he doesn't have to pay to house them until sold -- so, there are NO COSTS INVOLVED TO THE ETAILER at all in the sale of the fish -- yet the etailer marks up the price for him to make a profit, even though it cost him absolutely nothing. The consumer paid for ALL of it. That's WALMART through and through. There's NO MIDDLE MAN, and no costs whatsoever to an operation like F&S. People ***** about the LFS being more expensive. There's a good reason for it. It's called OVERHEAD expense. In F&S setup as above, there's NO OVERHEAD INVOLVED with drop-shipping. The LFS does indeed have overhead, and I can bet it's quite substantial.

    How can a LFS compete with this kind of operation. They can't. Just like all locally owned retail businesses that sell the same items as WALMART cannot compete with Walmart. In the end, the locally owned businesses go under, and, there's a big-box eyesore of sprawl planted in the middle of the community, and the previous small businessman/woman has to go work there to make ends meet. Walton's philosophy was to crush his competition, and, he has succeeded in every way, as, in the end, PRICE IS ALWAYS KING, and determines where the consumer spends his money.

    Now, don't anyone take this the wrong way, I've got no beef with F&S or any online retailer at all. I'm just simply stating that it's not a case of "let's go get the big guy and take him out," but rather a case of there being an unlevel playing field that was created in favor of the big-time operator by his distributors, over the smaller, mom-and-pop type operations.
     
  11. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    Of course he doesn't know what he's getting when he orders it. BUT, he's assuming ALL THE RISK for you, so YOU can see what you're getting when you buy it. You can go in there, ask where it's from, how long they've had it, have them show you if it's eating frozen or any other prepared foods yet, etc. F&S does indeed have a 14 day guarantee to make up for your risk, but, I can tell you from personal experience, fish that have died on me after purchase often occur after 14 days -- they don't eat and at about week three, they starve to death.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing anyone for deciding to purchase online because what they want is often not available locally. It's your right to buy when and from whom you want. I just believe in supporting my local economy whenever it's plausible, rather than that of some city & state on the other side of the country.
     
  12. oimate842005

    oimate842005 Gem Tang LARC Supporter

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    well said Kirk....also, If it wasnt for the LFS, Foster and Smith would not exist to begin with, ppl fail to realize that new ppl drive the hobby when they go into a store and say "thats what I want for myself". New hobbyists dont just decide to order a catalog from Fosters/pet solutions/etc.. and start buying everything from them...its the B&M's that eventually make money for Race Foster and crew, he should realize this before putting them down.
     
  13. I don't believe that purchasing through F&S or another online retailer equates to not supporting the LFS. I'm a reef virgin but there seems to be PLENTY of hobby to go around.

    Personally, I'm in my LFS one or two times a week, and have been since 1989. I didn't see anybody putting B&M's down. But on that note, as B&M's go, for every one that is decent there are probably one or two that don't deserve to be in business. Even the only LFS that I will go into in Slidell tick's me off when they have Alligator Gars or Green Anacondas for sale.

    As for cherry picking from the wholesalers... isn't that the same thing that happens to those unfortunates who can't intercept a shipment at the LFS store ;)
     
  14. FWIW, I'd have to guess that F&S are in a far less favorable position to "cherry pick" corals than the other online retailers that have the advantage of being on the west coast. Rhinelander, Wisconsin is definitely not the pipeline to the south pacific.

    F&S's wild stuff appears to be a notch down from what the guys at Atlantis and RM get IMO and IME. I'd be willing to bet that they hold their merchandise longer than some of the others also. They seem to bring out a few items each day rather than having a big number of outstanding wild/colorfull stuff coming out one day each week that is snatched up the second it hits their pages.
     
  15. Travis

    Travis Toadstool Leather Coral

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    Just remember, "Money Talks" and F&S have tons of it.

    I have ordered from them twice, both arrived alive and healthy. Custermer Service is A++ IMHO/E, they seem to be very knowledgeable of the hobby and their stock.

    I belive in supporting local bussiness and I do when possible. I'd have to say that 85% of all of my hobby purchases (represented in $s) was spent through the LFS.
     
  16. SLUSamson

    SLUSamson CrossHatch Trigger

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    WOW! NICE stuff there! I'll be placing an order soon, thats for sure!
     
  17. I agree completely and I spread my purchases around as well. My point was that anyone outside of Cal is more than likely not going to get first crack at shipments. As for volumn of business ... I'd bet the other two I listed do more volumn than liveaquaria (just watch how often new stuff and sold signs go up) so their $ (sales) would talk much louder. This smells like another RC whine session that stands to hurt one vendor in favor of others.

    Don't get me wrong. I don't think there's any doubt that some national retailers get some degree of preferential treatment. I just think they are barking up the wrong tree with F&S as far as livestock is concerned.

    Dry goods on the other hand is a totally different story. I could definitely see the potential for F&S and Marine Depot using Walmart type methods to take over the market. That having been said, I still tend to 'shop' my dry good purchases like many reefers. This hobby is very exclusive due to cost IMO.

    I think the best way for LFS's to compete is by producing their own goods and growing their own stuff. (that sounded kind of funny didn't it?) I know of one apparently successful N.O. shop that does quite a bit of that.
     

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