By Ev Bogue - December 10th 2014
Good news! Business lessons with fish is back and ready for more action.
So today I jumped on the subway with wheels in Mexico City and headed the [redacted] or so stops to the pez mercado. I had cien pesos in hand, saved up from the generous digital souls who purchased one of my products last week. My intention: to learn more business lessons from fish.
On arrival I can tell the pez mercado seems to have somewhat recovered from the latest frente frio, and they have begun stocking quality pez again. Or at least they have temporarily stopped dying off because of the cold. Or they read my last piece and started getting rid of their dead guppies faster. Or perhaps I went on the day after fish replen day. Who's to say?
One of the reasons I go to the pez mercado is that it's a big mystery to me about how it functions. All of these people who own tanks with swimming things in them that they are trying to get money for! It's a miracle that the whole thing is still there this week.
For those of you who haven't asked yet, I have a couple of objectives at the pez mercado.
Of course, I want more fish. But I also only have a 35 liter tank, so I can't fit too many fish in the tank. So I tend to be very hesitent to commit to just buying fish left and right, even if those my first urge might be to buy an entire fishstore. What would I do with the fish when I get home?
It also breaks my bitter heart when one of the little buggers kicks. And they have been kicking a lot lately, as far as I can tell because of the colder temps.
So I had five fish at home. 3 bettas (don't worry, they live in padre kino bottles inside the tank you fish nerds!) 2 angels. I know I need more fish, that is for certain. yes, I know, I'm nowhere near having enough stock for my own pez store.
I have a couple fish I'm looking out for. I have this idea that kissing gouramis would be fun to have. Other gouramis might be cool too, but not the kinds that get really big. Also I want some little catfish because my tank has a lot of plant rubbish on the bottom and the angels do a terrible job of cleaning up after themselves.
What I'm not looking for is goldfish, and there are always plenty of those.
Okay, stick with me, I'm getting to my business lessons from fish lesson of the day.
One of the things that bugs me about the pez mercado is around half of the shopkeepers don't have prices on their pez. Or they have some sort of esoteric price such as "10/mayoreo", which I gather means I have to buy a whole bunch of them to get them for 10 pesos each.
Now even though my espanolages has gotten better over the past year, I still don't want to have a conversation with every damn buddy in the pez mercado about how much different pez cost.
But there's this one lady just outside the pez mercado who does two things of note.
So I wander by her shop and see a bag of 10 corydoras. They are labeled "gatos paliatos 10x50" which I gather means I get all ten pez gatos for a cincuenta peso bill. So I break the third wall and ask her if it's true that these gatos are only 50 pesos for 10 gatos, and she says 'si!'. I hand her one of those pink cincuenta bills, she bags my new gatos, and I'm off on my way. Facil.
Business lessons with fish: put your price on your fish bags.