05-22-2011, 10:09 AM
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happy birthday christople!
Zof, you may be right, my lfs and petco and petsmart in my area all seem to use the same supplier so the supply of fish here may be cheap because of competition, but bear in mind that most fish stores buy cheap and spike their margin when supply is low. You should talk with your lfs and ask them which fish are more difficult for them to bring in, those would be the fish the lfs would be more willing to buy at higher prices. Bolivian rams, blue rams, are both already fairly common fish in the trade now. A uncle of mine lives in Australia breeding guppies for sale and they only go for around ~0.25usd per fish and the stores there sell them for around ~2.00-3.00USD. so think of the store's margin like that. the stores generally need to spike their markup because of loss, store overhead, employees, expected turnover, etc. Unless your selling a fish thats difficult for the LFS to find, its likely that a big supplier will be able to undercut you in pricing.
The advantage for you is that bigger suppliers sometimes shy away from the harder to breed fishes since they have difficulty maintaining higher quality control for those fishes when trying to breed in volume. For a setup like yours where you're personally monitoring the 4 tanks, your success will be higher and probably get more money for the fish.