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Hold Policy

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Jan 14, 2004
Kirkland, WA
I'm writing this policy with mixed feelings. On one hand I'm thrilled its so busy and that people like buying corals and fish from us so much they watch our lists closely. On the other, the requests to put things on hold, sight and price unseen, and the resulting issues have become a problem. Many are requesting holds and then changing their minds when they get to the store because the animal is not exactly what they envisioned. This is fine, except that in the meantime, others see the hold requests in our threads and don't stop by to see said animal because they think its sold. We also have customers in the store wanting to purchase these items and they are upset because of the holds. In many cases we are losing out on the sale. The on hold, off hold, on the list, off the list is causing a lot off extra work and upsetting many. Anyone with ideas on how we can better deal with this issue please PM me. I'm open to other perspectives.

For now here's our new hold policy.

When you are in the store you may place something on hold for 24 hours to allow you to pick it up at a more convenient time or to observe it. This can be done without a deposit. If there is something you want us to order for you please let us know and we will continue to maintain our special order sheets. When your special order arrives we will hold it for up to 5 days until you can come pick it up. For most things you will not be obligated to purchase the special order if it does not meet your expectations. There are some exceptions to this which would be discussed prior to any order being placed. Special ordered items will not be listed on our new arrival lists so as not to disappoint other customers. You will be contacted directly. I really enjoy the challenge of finding rare or obscure items and I don't mind maintaining the special order sheets at all. Just please let us know if you find your item somewhere else or decide you no longer want us to find/order it.

I know this system isn't perfect but I'm struggling to find a way to keep as many people happy as possible. Thank you for understanding.


Sep 9, 2003
That sounds more than generous. I would expect to leave at least some deposit, refundable in store credit if the original item isn't purchased.

spongebob lover

flea whisperer
Oct 5, 2004
I agree with dnjan dood, you guys are being to nice to all of us :).
i think the idea of some deposit is a good one because that way people would be a little bit more serious on the livestock item they wanna get and if they don't like it...there's always awesome stuff at your store.


Jul 17, 2005
Poulsbo, WA
I would say no holds unless an item is special ordered. You buy it or you lose it. And special orders are not returnable. You have a good web site which allows people to make purchases and then either pick them up or have them shipped. Even your new policy will leave the door open for issues and quite frankly, you guys don't have the time to deal with it.

I got really ticked off one time I was in there because there were items I wanted with no "sold" or "hold" on them and I wasn't allowed to purchase them. Perhaps moving sold items to a "sold" tank would work out?

I deal with 60,000+ customers a year and believe me, this can be tough. We do a lot of special ordering and our policy is much like what I have described. If the purchase is to be shipped, it must be paid for up front. If it is to be picked up, I allow the customer to pay when they pick up, but any time an item is purchased, it is pulled from the shelves so other customers don't try to buy it.

Putting items on hold does not work well. We lost sales during the holiday season because customers were calling us in a panic and putting items on hold. Then they would come into the store, buy from shelf stock, and we got left with the "hold" items because they never informed us that they had been in and gotten their order.

No holds! Buy it or lose it. We are not in the business of storing stuff for some possible future sale. We are in the business of selling what we have on the shelf and getting more in. I'd sell you the stool I am sitting on right now, but there's no way I'll put it on hold! :D


Well-known member
Apr 26, 2007
Seattle-ish, WA
When you are in the store you may place something on hold for 24 hours to allow you to pick it up at a more convenient time or to observe it. This can be done without a deposit.
I'd require a deposit. If you don't, you'll be back in the same boat you were in before... although only for 24 hours. Deposits to be refunded in store credit if the person doesn't want it when they come back. If they don't come back within 24 hours, then they lose the deposit. Something along that line seems more than fair to me...


Well-known member
Jan 2, 2007
Edmonds, WA
Personally I've never requested something to be on-hold and I get irritated when I go to fish stores and want to buy something only to find out it's on-hold. It should be first come first serve. I never go to a fish store if it's not a convenient time to take livestock home with me. I don't understand why anyone would.


Nov 6, 2008
Tacoma wa.
The only thing that should be able to be put on hold is a fish (not coral) that costs more than , um lets say 100$ and up... Just to make sure a person can observe it..
the rest .."you buy now" or you dont"
thats what
I would do, unless special order.


Jan 29, 2009
Federal Way,wa
Generally we do not do holds at our store its just easier for everyone who works there.

On occation we make special exceptions for out of towners and things like that, and then to avoid confusion we include this information regarding the hold for everyone to see.

1.)Name of Customer
2.)name of item being held
3.)Date the hold expires

that way if there is a slip up and a certain hold isn't erased from a tank like it should be, both employee and the potential customer knows exactly how long the hold is in effect for. Its not perfect but its not open ended either.


Active member
Jan 13, 2008
it is the real hassle either way around:lol::doubt:,,just my .02cent


Well-known member
Dec 6, 2004
I agree with the no holds unless it is a special ordered item. You all are in the business of making money and you cannot make money if you have to place stuff on hold to have the person not swing by and purchase it.

Like Wallace mentioned, when we all go to the store we all have a fairly good assumtion that we may be bringing something home with us. Even my wife knows that if we are going to stop by the fish store to not make plans after that as I am going to probably buy something alive.

No holds = no worries about losing out on any sale. If someone really wants the item they will have you special order it.