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5:18 PM   April 17, 2014
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Learn a Little, Profit Big
Choosing the right pond product for your store can be a delicate process, particularly if you are just breaking into this growing hobby.

Choose products that are too high-end and you’ll turn off potential customers. Go too far into the bargain basement and you’ll be muscled out by larger chains who can offer better savings.

The best advice for a starting lineup is to educate yourself on the finer points of the hobby first. Learning all you can about outdoor fish keeping will help you see how unique the category is and help you chart a successful course.

“There are a lot of the same principles that you carry over from aquarium keeping, but there are still some huge differences when you’re talking about an outdoor pond and how to get a balance in an outdoor pond,” said Brenda Albrecht, owner of Dolphin Pet Village in Campbell, Calif. “I would definitely educate [yourself].”

Dedicating yourself to learning the finer points of the hobby ensures everyone enjoys the experience. Selling the wrong formula of products and services could lead to disaster when a customer fails.

“I think that’s the biggest mistake,” Albrecht said. “Some stores sell people a 12- or 15-inch deep pond and koi. That’s not going to work.”

Consider installing a pond in your own backyard or as part of the storefront. Use the opportunity to try out products. Through your own trial and error, you’ll end up with the best of the best products on your shelves.

“We’ll order something that’s new and try it, but if I don’t like it, I’m not going to put it on the shelf,” Albrecht said. “If I don’t have faith in it, I’m not going to sell it. What I do choose to put on the shelf, are there because they’re good products.” <HOME>

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