Why We Don't Keep a Waiting List For Fish

Each day we get numerous requests from customers to call them when we have what they're looking for. It would seem to be an easy solution to keep a waiting list and everyone would be happy. We tried this in the past and it was a miserable failure. We want to take this opportunity to explain why.

We get several requests on a daily basis for fish we do not have at that time. When we started keeping a waiting list, we found that it increased in size much faster than we could fill requests. In a very short time, it became unmanageable. People had to wait far too long, and were angry with us for not keeping them informed as to their position on the list. However, the list got so large, we would have had to hire a person just to call people on the list, in order to keep them up-to-date. This just wasn't feasible for us.

We also found that when we tried contacting someone on the list, the vast majority had quit waiting and had already found something else. In addition, the list got so large that the wait was many months on most fish. In the end, we not only didn't fill their request, but may have actually lost them as a future customer. So, not only were customers unhappy, but we were causing ourselves much more work in the process.

It would seem an easy solution to simply build a bigger hatchery to meet the demand, but that is not something that is easy to do. The raising of show quality angelfish requires more than simple knowledge. You must have a "feel" for what needs to be done and when. Most employees do not ever develop the knack to correctly feed, cull and care for the fish, even with lots of training and guidance. We have found that a majority of the critical work has to be done by a couple key people. Unfortunately, this greatly limits the number of tanks we can maintain. We made the decision to go to a "first come, first serve" basis, and it has worked fairly well. There are still a few people who get frustrated by pairs that sell before they get a chance to look at the "Pairs Available" page, but overall, it has been a vast improvement over the waiting list. With this system, you at least have a chance on every new offering.

Thanks for looking,