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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sometimes I buy cichlids at my local Petsmart when they have good stock. Tonight they had good stock. So, when I asked to buy them the girl told me no and that I needed to be 18. What the ****? 18? I've bought fish there many times before and nobody said **** about that. I was pretty angry and just went to my LFS and found some good fish. Did this girl not like me or something, or is that really a true Petsmart policy?
 

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It's not the first completely retarded thing I've heard a "Large Chain Pet Store" employee say either. And not even the most retarded thing either.

"Sure you can keep 3 Oscars in a 20 gallon tank!"
 

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haha...

Sorry that is not funny. But I too have had a problem at pet smart that was pretty much on the same basis.

I went in there and grabbed a gold fish bowl. I wanted it for some coins, just a coin jar that it would look cool next to the tank.

Well at the time I was there I wanted to get some feeder gold fish for my turtles. They told me since I was buying a "goldfish bowl" they were not able to sell me feeders because the goldfish bowl would not have proper filtration and they would die.

I thought it was kinda crazy, haven't went back since.
 

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I bought firebelly toads once. The 18 yr thing was told to me too. The lady also looked disappointed when I pulled out an ID. In her eyes, the kid with unnatural hair and piercings are just teenagers. But I got my toads. And will never buy anymore from there again. They didn't even make it 4 months.
 

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redstallion02 said:
haha...
They told me since I was buying a "goldfish bowl" they were not able to sell me feeders because the goldfish bowl would not have proper filtration and they would die.
I'm sorry, I don't see how that's a problem? Goldfish bowls are one of the worst and most common fish-hobby item out there, so I say good on them for refusing to sell you goldfish to keep in it. Yes, I realize that you didn't actually intend to keep the goldfish in it, but how were they supposed to know that? You're holding a goldfish bowl and then ask to buy goldfish. Logical deduction. They may all be a bunch of idiots, but at least they're sort of showing that they sort of care about the well-being of their fish.
 

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Yeah it's good they care (concerning the goldfish & bowl) but if redstallion02 explained the goldfish weren't for the bowl and they still wouldn't sell them to him to because they didn't believe him, that's different.

I saw someone post once that they tried to buy fish and the employee ask what kind of fish he already had. He said something like pirannah of some real mean fish and they wouldn't sell to him even after he explained they wouldn't be in the same tank. They didn't believe him. I think it was because of his looks or way of dress. Anyway it's wrong. It's good they are concerned but they need to believe their customers (or at least pretend to believe them lol).

I dunno how I feel about the being 18yrs old to buy fish thing. Might be a good policy. Kids might buy fish they don't have permission from their parents to get or the means to keep them at home once they got them. On the other hand there are many young people really into fish. They've kept fish alot longer than I have and know alot more about them then I do or than store employees do so should they be denied buying fish because they don't have an adult with them? That don't seem right either.

It really does my heart good to see kids and teens so into fish. As bad as it's got out there in the world, I think it's GREAT when younger people find fish for a hobby.
 

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Yeah, I agree...not sure that they should refuse to sell fish to someone who isn't 18. By the time I hit that age, I had already been keeping fish for 10 years, and cichlids for about 5. Most of the pet store employees around here know not to question me at this point though, lol.
 

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I would talk with a manager of that department or better yet the store manager and ask if this is a new policy. I know for a fact that Petsmart will not sell hamsters, birds etc. to anyone under the age of 18 because that person must sign a legal contract and to do so that person must be an adult. That is a national law. As far as fish I have never had to sign anything to buy so I would assume that you would not need to be 18 years old to purchase a fish from Petsmart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What really bothers me, is that I was talking to my friend about fish while I was waiting for the employee to finish helping a customer. He'd tell me, "Why not this one?" and I'd explain why I couldn't get it and things like that. I thought maybe from that she'd see I was caring but whatever.
 

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18+ ...first tobacco, then spray paint.. now fishes.. :eek: what is this world coming to..

the sad thing is they'll sell an oscar to some idiot whose gonna put it in a 10g. but its okay cuz he's 18+
 

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I think it may have to do with some of the fish fighting that has been going on. I heard from a few sources that college students were buying betas to fight each other and taking bets as well. This hit the news and I believe the people involved were brought up on charges.

Just my thoughts on the topic, thanks for reading.
 

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If your old enough to drive (16 or 17) then you should be able to buy a freakin fish. Last time I checked this is America. I would put the blame of this on pissed off parents of kids who bring home unwanted fish. A phone call gets placed to petsmart management saying "why did you sell this fish to my 15 yr old son, blah blah" So multiply that by all of the petsmarts across the country and hence, a new policy.

I use to be a manager for Dick's Sporting Goods. I actually had a mom call me and complain that I sold her 13 yr old son a $149.99 baseball bat. She said that the cashier should of known that a 13 yr old boy couldn't afford a bat that expensive. I politely told her that its not our job to determine what kids can and cannot afford. Anyway, my point is some parents are willing to put the blame on everyone else except their own child.
 

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I remember when I was 8 I purcashed my first tank I use to ride my bike to the LFS and put money on the 29 gallon setup that I had in layaway. When it was paid off my mom drove me up there and picked it up for me. I still have that tank, 32yrs later and its still running.

I personly think its BS that they would refuse to sell up and comming hobbyist fish. Yes some people have gone the wrong way by buying fish for fighting them for profit. If the young people can't buy from petsmarts what makes them think their stopping them from buying fish, they can just go to a LFS who will most likely be willing to sell fish to them.

Thats the problem with the world today. Its ok for a 12yr old to sit in the wood with a gun and shoot a deer but they can't buy a fish unless their 18.

PS... Petsmart sucks anyway
 

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Yes i agree that it's a shame kids can't buy fish at some stores. I know I have been buying fish and supplies since I was 13 and I spent about $1000 of my own 14 year old money to buy a big tank and complete setup. I can't imagine how dissapointed I would have been to have them tell me that I can't spend my own money on something I love.
 

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I had that happen to me when I was 14 at Petco... So instead in the past 5 years, I've spent over $12,000 at a different store. But what do they care? They're a national corporation that can afford to lose a customer here and there. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FISH STORES! They are a dying breed, and we can't live without them. They are a source of knowledge and really cool stuff!! Infinitely better than petco or petsmart can ever be. That day when I was 14 was the day I stopped even going to those places to look at fish, and looking back, I'm happy about it, because I probably would have had a lot of tank crashes in the past few years from buying from them... Is it worth to pay a few extra pennies to go to an lfs and get some good advice along with your purchase?? You bet it is.
 

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Some local fish stores are the same way though. I know at the pet store I worked at starting at age 15, we didn't sell any land pets to people under 18. This was back in 93-98. Huge fish like oscars, arrowanas, ect and such were at our discression (sp.?). Mostly becuase the manager was tired of parents bring pets back including fish and yelling at us for selling to underage kiddies. Even though some of us knew what we were doing at that age, the majority don't.
 

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Hmmm.

I work at PetSmart and we don't have any policy, or talk of any policy, about having to be 18 to buy fish. But state-by-state rules vary quite a bit, I'd imagine.

Even with the small animals like hamsters and such, the "minor" age is only 14.

That is strange. I do put my fish customers through a rigorous line of questions (and I will refuse service to them if they don't have the proper set-up/attitude), but never banned them based on age.

Chain stores are a drag, I know. It's very easy to lose sight of the health of the animal for the sake of the store, but my individual store is full of people who are genuine animal lovers and quite knowledgeable about the kiddos we keep. I would definitely prefer to score a job at a LFS, but this is good for now. Sorry you got jipped!
 

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fishoverlivingspace said:
I had that happen to me when I was 14 at Petco... So instead in the past 5 years, I've spent over $12,000 at a different store. But what do they care? They're a national corporation that can afford to lose a customer here and there.
That's not the way they think. They (corporate) think they're covering themselves from loss with these policies but not necessarily true. They want to act like they care long enough to let people think they care but not so long that they lose money cause of it.
I don't think you've ever seen a training video of what they think the average petsmart shopper is but believe me it's not a pretty picture. They're selling to and appeasing the "average petsmart shopper". While you and me think, they'll sell to a 25 year old idiot who wants to cram an oscar into a 20 gallon tank they won't sell to a 17 year old with a properly cycled 55 (not the magical 3 day cycling process pestmart recommends) who wants some yellow labs and red zebras - their "average shopper" thinks, they're trying to stop irresponsible kids from buying fish and possibly torturing and killing them.
It's been 3 years since I first heard PetSmart had a 18+ policy on buying fish and i don't know how old the policy actually is but I remember buying my first mbuna there when I was 14.
When I asked an employee about the policy at one particular store they said they were enforcing it because some local highschool kids had been buying feeders and letting them out into the shopping center fountains and the fish were dying.
I thought, "well that sucks", on both accounts.
 

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Obviously I realize what the purpose for their policies is. However, in my situation, it turned out to be a major loss on their part. No one seems to be able to realize that age is rarely a measure of responsibility, but rather how long we've been in this world. On an average, maybe there is a correlation between age and responsibility, but this is just one of those things in which there are individuals that are very far away from the average, whether it be above or below. Also, its not only a question of responsibility, but knowledge, and there's plenty of smart, knowledgeable kids out there.

As one who really hates to see fish in an inhospitable environment, I can somewhat understand the reasons for this policy, and for me, it had never been too difficult just to come into the store with my mom or dad and get the fish with them, and it tended to work out just fine, since I needed them to give me a ride there anyway. However, the fact that all they go by is age is ridiculous. Many times at PetSmart, they won't question someone about the pet they are purchasing just because they are 18+, and therefore must have the "wisdom" to accommodate these fish. As an employee at an lfs, I tend to simply ask questions about their home aquariums in a non-accusatory manner regardless of age. If they speak with some know-how, then I don't see a need for quite so much questioning, and if they appear clueless, I avoid selling them anything live. That's how it should be.
 
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