I've been thinking about what you said.Having started a club in the 90s ,I know what it takes to keep a club healthy and running.Participation,only if members reach out and help, can a club survive.But this does not include paying your dues sitting back and watching everybody else do the work.It takes a lot of work and money to keep a club alive.As far back as I can remember all clubs held auctions,its one of the best ways to raise money to pay a clubs expenses.There is nothing wrong with a club holding an auction or a fancier trying to sell some of their extra fish to defer some of the expenses of keeping their hobby.One of my faverite clubs that I had the privilege to be a member of, was the Fish Breeders Guild.To be a member of this club you had to list fish for sale at least one time each year,in their trader.This club forced you to get off your butt and raise some fish and trade them with fellow fanciers.I learned how to ship fish in this club Fast!!Clubs are the backbone of this hobby.Their is nothing that will put you on that fast track to becomming a advanced aquarist faster then by joining a club.As far as making money ,I don't know anybody who's getting rich selling Tropical Fish.I've giving away or traded fish far more then i've ever sold.My best fish have come to me through trades with fellow aquarist.Do you know what keeps a person in a hobby for 50 years! Camaraderie
Haveing spent most of my adult life working in LFS along with transhippers/wholesalers I can tell you that from the stores stand point it is very hard to get in new and exciting colorations or species of fish that most people want to pay for. In flagstaff there is now two mom and pop store and two chains and the majority of the time the customers that came in were interested in something new right up till the found out the price. Everyone wanted Zebra plecos or discus till they found out how much the total was going to be. When people did bring us in fish many of the times they were just a mixed up group. Two of these, three of that, which make it hard to place them into tanks of there own and show off the nice fish. Very few customers would bring in a dozen platys or mollies at a time which works the best for the store. I do understand both sides of the fence on this on as I paid for my fish room selling fish to my LFS and on Aquabid. It sucks when you sell the LFS killies for 2.50 a pair and they are going for 6-8 bucks a pair on aquabid. When I do have surplus fish I do offer them to my LFS as I could get 50% of retail value in store credit. So that does make it nice when I need more cories or some shrimp for my plant tank.