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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a friendly discussion on what I perceive is ever increasing cost of corals. Before anyone gives me a lesson on economics, I understand that if people are buying a product for a given price, then the prices are fair and on target. While looking through the Lansing Coral Sell (why do we bother to call it a swap?) I noticed a lot of corals that are less than 1" for over $20, wow, gone are the days of great fragments 3" or bigger for $5. It seems like more people are into making money and less into the lets get together for some reef talk and by the way, my tank was over growing so, here are some frags for a good price. The word frag is from the parent word fragment it used to be that we had to trim our corals because they simply out grew our tanks. Now more and more people frag their corals for the sole purpose of sale. I have a frag tank that has a lot of frags on plugs, I have yet to sell one frag. I have given away some though to nice folks that are fun to talk with and are into the hobby like I am. They didn't ask for free corals, actually they wanted to pay, but I would rather some day when the trim their corals, to throw me a frag. One of the aspects of this hobby was the people were very nice and generous with both their corals and advice and really that is still true. Just these prices are unreal, there are online vendors that are selling .750"x.750" for over $50, so in ten years that coral will be um, maybe 4"x4". I saw colony's for $600! The sites I believe are doing well, so there are people that pay that. But it all goes down hill from there, because then when people that buy those corals, they want/need to sell them for a high price. Again I understand price economics, but I guess it makes me a little sad. When I see a sold out of a $600 dollar corals, how far are we from pricing the average person out of this wonderful hobby. Of course I have a choice, I do not have to purchase any coral that I feel cost too much, but I would hate to see this hobby squeeze the average guy/gal. What are your thoughts? Am I being too sensitive and if there are people willing to pay that much, then so be it? We went from frag swaps at people homes with cook outs, to renting giant halls and paying for tables to see our frags. Please give your thoughts and try to be considerate and constructive.

Dan
 
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I wasn't in this hobby when stuff was cheap...& It's taking me a very long time to get my tank stocked150 gal, but just like everything else in the world...Inflation....I'll buy frags for 20 for an inch..(would love the 3" for $5) but I think them days are gone...I see, but have never done a PIF. There you could get the frag for free and return the favor in the future....I give it to the people with $600 corals though...I'm sure it's worth it...I'm not gonna pay that, but whats $600 to some people with $100,000 tanks...the prices for things that cost that now will come down, product & demand. Then something rarer will come along & it now thats high....
 

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I agree!!!!!!!!

when i fell in love with coral, a family friend envited me to a swap in a church!! they were selling coral frags that only fit one per quart baggie for 5-15$. I just built my system and was hoping to finish up for a little more money, you know get coral and critters and fish....:eek: :eek: ....maybe next month. I would love to be involved in local trading and swaping I would even consider hosting a gathering once I have something to donate and trade. I also have found in the last couple of months your in the right place I'm sure there are many more anxious for the same thing.
 

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I built a network of friends through this site and the swaps and we trade with each other.
 

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We have alot of the high end corals and when we frag them we do sell them for their market value. When I say market value, this is always considerably less then what we paid for them originally. Does it make sense to buy a coral for say $50 and then when you frag it sell it for $5? I figure a $50 coral can be sold for $25-30 though without much issue. Also have to remember when I have corals shipped in not only am I buying frags at $50+ but also paying $50+ in shipping costs.

I think it all depends on how common the coral is. Like you said it is supply and demand.

As far as making money, not a chance. We have alot of high end corals but never see a profit. We do not add up what we spend on our tank for a reason. It is factored into our budget and left at that. If our fish fund has the funds and we want the coral/fish/equipment we consider it, if not we mvoe on. We use the money from coral to further buy more or trade for more.

Lastly, these types of threads ALWAYS pop up when frag swaps are occuring. There is no right answer or side to take. Some people like the rare items and are willing to spend the money. Others like those items but can not see spending that much money on them. I figure, to each their own. I figure no different then other hobbies, they cost money, some more, some less.

We also have a group of friends we swap corals with. Also the GRMAS always has auctions at the ends of their meetings where some very nice corals come through and go very reasonable. I have sold Blue Tort frags there for $10. It helps our club and helps fellow hobbyists that I consider friends.
 
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you talk about trading, but how would a newbie or someone with an unstocked tank trade with a well stocked tank...I don't too many people that would trade GSP for SPS... If there are...PM me ;)
 

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one of the best ways to meet fellow reefers and get into a network of trading is to join a reef club! I belong to the Grand Rapids and kalamazoo reef clubs and have gotten some awesome corals for unbeatable prices!
 

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Agreed you need corals to trade. This is where frag swaps and local clubs can really aid alot. MIreefers is awesome but being state wide has its limitations. Reef clubs like all the ones found in the clubs area on here and becoming part of one or more of those is a great way to meet and make friends in the hobby. Once you have a network of freinds alot more then just knowledge is shared. Plus people can be willing to help out friends by selling them nice corals at a lowered price so that if they ever loose it you will have it to hook them back up. Nothing worst then buying an expensive coral and loosing it....

We moved our tank this past summer and had some issues with cycling. I called up on people I met in my local club and sent most all of our corals to peoples houses to be watched until our tank was stable again.
 

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I look at it like this... It takes a little to get a little. If I buy a few larger expensive and "exotic", (rolls eyes... they are all exotic), animals, then I have some stuff to trade with my group.... Sometimes if you are good enough friends, they will just let you pillage their tank for frags. I just did that last week. I know I'll get even better stuff back once his tank is where mine is now.
 

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While I have only been in the hobby for about two years and these are really the only prices I know, I have seen other things go same way. I have only been to one frag swap and was disappointed to find out most of the frags were already spoken for and in most cases I couldn't even see what was being offered. I didn't have anything at the time to swap but it wouldn't have mattered any way as everything was spoken for or for sale only. I am guilty of buying some.;) I have bought colonies, but started going the way of frags because most have grown well for me and the cost is a lot better for my marriage. I have bought plenty on impulse, but I'm better now. If there's something I want I start looking. Sometimes you can find a bigger frag for a better price if you wait and do some searching. I have to thank Michigan Reefers for that, as many of you have given me nice stuff and haven't ask for my right arm in return. It amazes me to see $600 corals and the sizes that many of them are. I have often thought many people are trying to sell frags as colonies. But I guess in the end it is up to us as we drive up prices because we are will to pay them.
 
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tanglovers said:
Reef clubs like all the ones found in the clubs area on here and becoming part of one or more of those is a great way to meet and make friends in the hobby.
Where may I find them at? link please
 

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About a week before or after every swap some kinda conversation like this is posted. There was a time I tried to sell acros dirt cheap, and trading up is very hard to do. I have also tried the get together thing a few times, with minimal succes. BUt I tell you what the one at Choice a few weeks ago was sooo much fun.

And one thing I notice which maybe the increase in cost is that the more common stuff is more readly available in the LFS and if you are into this hobby in a certain way you can only get highend/more specialized piees fomr other reefers as of right now, just my 2 cents.

Actually MR compromises about 3-5% of any walkin customer to an LFS, (or so I was told by many a fish store when I was running mine) so you have to have 95-98% of stuff you can't get from an LFS and more than likely it is higher end more expensive corals that most LFS just don't keep in there tanks.

Again just a though off the top of my head, this time around? :rolleyes:

Jim any of the clubs at the bottom of our Fourms page, there are a ton. I seriously wish I had more time and can't wait till my boys are bit older than 4 and 2.5
 

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There's a lot of ways to look at it.

First off, the guys that sell "chips" of coral mounted on plugs for money need a kick between the legs.

Frags should be bigger than a quarter for a plating coral, and longer than a thumb for a stick. I think those are minimums.

Second, frags should sell for a cost to re-coup some of your tank money. Throw in salt, electric, water, bulbs, carbon, etc and I really think the frags should be selling for more than 30 bucks, provided they're good size.

Third, I am so sick of guys whining about how much the hobby costs. If you're looking to save money, you're in the wrong hobby. Try doillies or stamps, or something else. Maybe matchbooks from high end restaurants.

And if you're trying to make money by chopping your coral into a one polyp piece, you just need to go to work more, or find a better paying job.
 

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Dan, just to chime in, I really appreciate the gifts you gave me. They are doing well and growing. When I have something that you don't, I promise to return the favor. Very generous of you and I've got to get you over here. Things are starting to progress and I can use your advice.

I now have several reef buddies that I have given corals/equip/whatever to and they've returned favors. Very cool.

I tried once to sell some cheato, couldn't do it and gave it away. I did however end up with a great friendship. Worth much more than the $5.00/gal baggie I would've gotten.

This is not meant to judge anybody that sells his livestock or equipment (I plan on doing this myself soon). I've gotten many great deals from this forum that enabled me to enjoy my hobby without spending all of my budget. Thanks to those guys!
 

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I have really just begun utilizing this website and trying to meet with the local club. So far, when I found the PIF, I took full advantage to pass some things on. The only thing that worries me about that is if there are people in the PIF out to make a profit from others. That is immoral!!
I understand why things cost so much. I will not go into it. I don't like some of the pricing but find if I shop around and wait I find something better for less :) As long as there are people that enjoy this hobby cost with not be a deterant. I cant afford what I have or get more. I have had no income in over in almost 6 months and been living off my Fiance with constant money problems, we will probably break up due to my injury and money but I will never be without this hobby. Even if I have to leave it, I will be back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you everyone for your input. Personally I have never read a precursor thread that brings to light the rising cost for corals. I would like to get some dollars back to offset my hobby cost's. I have lot's of plugs with mounted corals, but they won't be ready until a spring frag sale. I will try my best to price each accordingly when I am ready to sell. I guess I am just dissipointed in the size and price, .750" to 1" are very small pieces and not worth the price to me. Yep, I do not have to buy them and if they all sell out, then more power to the people selling them. I am sorry because people perceive me of whining, by all means, sell your fragments and be happy that people bought them. Like most things in our great country, business has prevailed, sell the corals and if your conscience feels good than that is all that matters. Me I could knock off a piece of my Blue Tort in a 1" size and charge $20 + dollars, but that would make my sleep uneasy. So really we are back to price and demand and the people have spoken. Really that's just good business sense, make as much as you can, because people are willing to pay that amount. One last and very important point is, I was looking around the online coral stores and I compared their prices to the Lansing sell prices and in most case's the online store had a better deal and the frags were 3x-5x bigger. I still really enjoy this site and it's people, they are really great! I hope I didn't offend anyone and the people that buy the frag's at Lansing, I wish them good luck as well. I had always thought this wasn't a normal hobby and the people here are more altruistic, and I still feel that way. To those that are sick of post's like mine, the same applies, just like I do not have buy corals, people can choose to read or not read a thread.

My last word, peace, I still feel this is a great community of people, with altruistic ideals.

Dan
 

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You can turn any hobby into an expensive hobby. Plain and simple. It all depends on what you want to get enjoyment out of it.
People who do trains could have a small track and with a few locomotives others do an entire basement and get hard to get limited make locomotives.
Hunting you can use a cheap rifle or keep upgrading to better guns and gear.

People find different aspects of the hobby intriguing. I personally like having stuff you dont see everyday and know not everybody has it. Others like the simple fact of creating a biotype. Others like watching things grow. Unfortunately for me I picked the expensive option. :rolleyes:
 
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