I thought perhaps the last word had been written on this thread, but then I walked into a shop this weekend on my drive home and I was sucker punched in the gut by the most insane price I've ever seen.
Black Saddleback Clownfish Pair $450.
Yes, that was $450, or $225 per fish plus tax.
I think I cracked a rib and spit out a couple teeth. There's not a clownfish on the planet called "Black Saddleback" that anyone should be paying $450 for a pair of (unless they're spawning or something)...so I can only assume that yes, in fact, the "Black Saddlebacks" in question where the pair of brown-snouted juvenile misbarred Black Ocellaris swimming in the tank on the front counter.
I'm going to forego naming the shop...I'll just say that yes, this shop is a high-end shop, but as a point of reference, I believe I've seen Black Ocellaris in their tanks for $50 in
I'm trying to convey my thoughts on this yet still be nice and I just can't. How can a shop ask that kind of premium for a run of the mill fish and expect that it won't come back to bite 'em in the butt later? I see things like this, and I have to wonder if it's really such a mystery that "hobbyists" are chosing swaps and online vendors over stores? And by "hobbyists", I mean the person who's made it through the first year or two..the person who may see that pair of fish and must have them, but a year or two later realizes that the $450 clownfish pair they bought could've been had most other places for $80-100.
Of course, it doesn't stop there...I'm guilty of wondering why the same refractometor at the Drs. for $45 runs $100 at the LFS
? Why is super selcon $11 online and $20+ at the LFS
? Salt for $35 a bucket instead of $60? I understand the concept of buying in bulk, warehouse vs. retail space costs, but I'm starting to wonder if the difference has gotten out of hand.
It's not really a new discrepency, but hobbyists who are pinched by the current worldwide economic downturn are gonna be harder and harder pressed to continue to "do the right thing and support the LFS
" when facing such an extreme premium to do so. I just wonder if again, some shops are going to price themselves right out of the market, or if not, it'll simply come back to bite 'em later on?
Still picking up my teeth after seeing Black Ocellaris being offered for $225 a shot....