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Clarification w/ online ordering please


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Specifically livestock...


I understand ordering livestock online that is rare and hard to find is a good thing, but is there any reason why someone should purchase any other perishable good online? I mean, if its something that the average LFS carries, why would you want to order it online? There are plenty of drawbacks, including:


1. You don't actually see the fish/coral in person

2. You risk it being dead/diseased by the time it reaches you

3. Shipping costs are ridiculous



For instance, I saw a skunk cleaner shrimp online for $17, plus something like $25 for shipping. I bought one of these a couple weeks ago at a LFS for $12 and it was in my tank within an hour. These shrimps are everywhere. Same thing with clowns, polyps, mushrooms, hermits, snails, crabs, etc etc


Sorry if this post seems retarded, but it just boggles me. Again, I understand that ordering rare things online is a good thing (I will probably do this myself sometime). But I just don't see any other reasonable explanation for ordering anything else.



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You have 3 main type of shopping venues in the aquarium hobby.


1. Mom n' pop LFS.


2. Chain LFS or retail warehouse


3. Online vendor.



>> Each has drawbacks, each has beneficial facets.



1. Mom n' Pop LFS.

Good: Experience, knowledge, better than average livestock selection, DIY knowledge

Bad: Extremely high prices on equipment, slow inventory turnover


2. Chain LFS or retail warehouse

Good: Extremely low prices on equipment, dry goods. Excellent returns policies.

Bad: Horrid service, poor knowledge, inferior livestock


3. Internet retailer

Good: High quality rare or non standard equipment. Rock bottom prices on equipment. Massive inventory and selection. Able to locate and acquire really rare specimens.

Bad: Shipping cost negates item price break. Poor return policy. Receiving livestock is "tricky" at best.



So, it really boils down to this:


Shop where the situation calls for. Don't buy an aquarium online. Do buy a Yashe Hashe Goby online. Don't buy your CSL retrofit kit at the lfs for $110. Do buy fish food from petco.


Hunt for the best deal, they've all got something to offer you.

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Some people may live in an area without an LFS, or without one that is worth a crap so online vendors may be their only choice. Also, some people just love shopping online and don't want to fool with going out to get stuff (of course, like you, I don't see how this could be the case on livestock). If you live 2 and a half hours from the nearest lfs that carries Marine livestock then 25 bucks for shipping may not be so bad considering time and gas prices...

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