Now that the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals have come and gone, those of
us you with a bit more spending cash can take our time to consider more luxurious things in life for our loved ones. If that someone special loves diving, the Florida Keys, and marine aquariums, then what finer gift could you offer than a well-established, turnkey marine aquarium collecting business? Or heck, you don’t need your loved ones to buy it for you…treat yourself! Tom Scatturo’s Florida-Keys-based DiverTom.com is officially on the market, and may represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for someone to make a big life change while still living on American soil!
Indeed, this isn’t an every day opportunity, as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission does not offer Marinelife Endorsements to any new applicants. The rules are designed in a manner that these days, the only way you can become a commercial marine aquarium life collector is to get your license from someone who is selling their endorsement (see http://myfwc.com/media/1284673/sw_spl_app_instrx11-12.pdf, page 2, look for Marine Life in the right column). Even more important to note – you actually have to derive a certain level of income as a collector in order to maintain your status as a collector. The reasoning behind all of this is to ensure that only serious parties enter the collecting trade in the state of Florida.
If you’re serious and ready for a new life’s work, this may be a golden opportunity. Of course, you always find yourself asking “why is this business for sale”? Tom Scatturo, of DiverTom.com, has reached the point where retirement is looking pretty inviting. As he puts it, “Diving is a very physical sport. When you do it 2-5 days a week for over 25 years it begins to wear on you. Its been a very good business and we have thought about selling it for years but couldn’t do it because the money was so good. Now that we are getting older our bodes can’t handle it like we used to.”
So what do you get for $250,000, beyond the nearly unobtainable transferable marinelife endorsement from the state of Florida?
- SPL License (with the ML endorsement)
- Boat, motor and trailer – 99, 25′ Dusky (with small tower), 09, two axel trailer, 05, 225 Yahama 4 stroke outboard.
- Experience – “[Tom] will teach it in just a couple short months”
- Dive compressor and gear (I’ve personally dove with this hookah rig and loved it)
- Collecting training
- Collecting gear
- Holding System
- Packing Materials
- Web Site
- GPS Waypoints
- Wholesale and retail license
- Corporation paperwork
- Quickbooks Program
- Established Fedex account
- Help Collecting
- Perfect Credit
- Truck – 2003 4×4 Avalanch in perfect running condition
Earlier this year I had the rare opportunity to stay with Tom and his wife Carol in one of their vacation rentals which I shared here on ReefBuilders. While I’m not in a position to make any sort of qualified “buy it” recommendation or endorsement, I can say that I was very impressed with the professionalism of Tom’s operation. Getting to see him collect firsthand was eye opening and really hit home that you can do it with nets in a sustainable, low impact fashion.
Certainly, this is an opportunity worth investigating if you’re truly, seriously interested. Heck, if I could convince my family we should move to the Keys, and I could somehow come up with remotely the capital required, and I was a bit more comfortable in the water and not worried about getting munched by sharks , I might actually be inquiring more myself. So, for more detailed information, we invite you to check out the “Business For Sale” page on DiverTom.com.
In the spirit of understanding what you’re getting into, you might also want to check out some good classic books by Robert P.L. Straughan, arguably one of the founding fathers of marinelife collection in the Keys. His works “The Marine Collector’s Guide” and “Adventures In Marine Collecting” might make excellent educational material, or at the very least, if a $250,000 business investment is out of reach, a $10 rare used book might make a suitable alternative gift to the real thing!
In the meantime, one look at Tom’s in-stock list suggests that he’s not slowing down one bit while waiting on a buyer – it appears to be business as usual! If you’re in the “buy local” mode this holiday season, I can’t think of better livestock than our own Florida natives.