Fish Store Service

Tropical Fish Store, Tropical Fish ShopWould you think that Tropical Fish Store Service is vital for you success in this hobby?

There is nothing worse than going into a tropical fish store and receive no help what so ever. It has happened to me and will probably happen to you. As customers, no matter whether we are in restaurants, clothing stores, automobile dealers, or tropical fish stores, we want excellent customer service.

In this hobby, customer service is going to be a huge part of your success with tropical fish. When you go into your local tropical fish shops and find a fish you really like, you should have a store employee ask you questions about your setup.

You should hear questions such as:

These are just a few of the questions the store employees should ask before they bag your fish up for you. Will do they do this every time, probably not. But an excellent fish store looks out for their fish and their customers. Let’s face it, the large super-mega Fish or Pet stores could care less about your success. They want to see you again in a week or two coming back to buy another fish that has died.


Local Fish Store vs. “Big Box Mega Pet Store”

  • What size tank do you have?
  • How long has your tank been running?
  • What other fish do you have in aquarium tank?
  • What is the pH of your tropical fish tank?
  • Are you a beginner or have you had tropical fish before?

I have mentioned before that I will not buy fish from the Nationwide Pet Super Stores. I am not going to name any certain one, but I will go tell you that if you are looking for Excellent Customer Service, you are a lot less likely to find it here as compared to a locally owned pet store.

When you go into the nationwide pet stores and ask if they have a certain fish in stock, they will say yes or no. When you go into a locally owned fish store and ask the same exact question, you will get yes or no and then also “Let me see if I can order that for your, or No, I don’t have it now, but I can have it here Tuesday.”

A local store will go out of their way to help you. This means special ordering or calling local breeders to find you your fish. The nation wide chain orders from the same vendors and if they don’t commonly carry that fish, you will not get it from them. 
The nationwide chains usually also have a very high turnover rate in their employees. Most being part-time teenagers. A lot of these employees have no interest once so ever in fish or helping you.

Usually, locally owned tropical fish stores will have a steadier staff. Usually they have well trained employees that are in the hobby also. I have been in tropical fish stores that had employees that sounded like marine biologists speaking they were so well versed in their job. When you find a store where employees actually know what they are talking about, show a sincere interest in you, and try not to push fish on you that you know you don’t want or need, you will have an awesome chance of success with your tropical fish aquarium tank.

Now, even with your best locally owned fish store, you will have times when you may lose a fish shortly after bringing them home. Please remember that part of the responsibility of the fish’s life is on you. It’s not 100% on the store you purchased the fish from.

Please do not expect that the store will refund your money and exchange for other fish every time you have a fish die. Usually quality tropical fish shops will honor a 24-48 hour healthy fish return policy. If your fish dies within their stated time, they will often exchange your fish for you. There may be some requirements so make sure you ask about what is needed to get an exchange.

Signs of Excellent Fish Store Service:

  • Store employees greet you as you enter the store.
  • Store employees ask you if you need any help or if they can help you find a certain species of fish.
  • Store employees question you about what type of fish you own, the tank size, and how long your tank has been running.
  • Store employees go out of their way to get you the fish you want.
  • Store employees talk you out of purchasing certain fish. Yes this sounds strange, but you cannot raise an Oscar Fish in a 10-gallon aquarium tank.
  • Store employees show care in packaging your tropical fish.
  • Store employees ask if there is anything that you need that they do not currently stock in the store.
  • Store employees aid in finding answers to your aquarium problems. This may be in giving advice, testing water, or referring you to another source.

Locally owned stores with excellent customer service will have some kind of guarantee on their fish. They may require water samples and they may only guarantee them for 24 hours, but that is average in the hobby today.

Signs of Poor Fish Store service:

  • The store employee has to ask you what exactly is the species you want. (I’ve asked for 4 Silver Dollars and the kid looks at me and asked me to show him what they looked like.)
  • Store employees are gathered together talking as customers constantly ask for service.
  • Store employees do not know the price of the fish they are bagging.
  • Store employees drop your fish on the floor, grab it with bare hand, and put it in your bag for you to take home! (Tip: Refuse to take this fish!)
  • Store employees do not put enough oxygen and water in the bag for your drive home.
  • Store employees put too many fish in the bag.
  • Store employees bag multiple fish from different tanks into one bag.
  • Store employees that cause damage to your fish during netting.


**Please note that the above-mentioned information is based on the average tropical fish store service. There will be times you go into some of the best stores in your area and you may receive poor fish store service. If this happens, kindly share your concern with the owner or manager and let them have an opportunity to correct the problem.

Your excellent stores will receive a lot of business, so therefore they should be busy. But, they should also be well staffed to help meet your needs. Always let someone in management know of poor fish store service, many will go out of their way to help you.

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