I try to get what I need, equipment, fish, etc locally, but I will go online when I have to.
I do not recommend online pet depot. That place is actually relatively local to me, but I got lazy and ordered online. This was on a monday. They never acknowledged my order, I sent an email twice to ask when it was going to ship. (The place I found the item was actually out of stock and was going to be for a while). Local, I figured they would have shipped it within a day or two and i would have had it within the week. Well, I had to send a second email, not as complimentary. They responded Thursday that they were shipping it that evening via UPS. That is a joke: I have checked Friday and unless it hasn't updated, it is still 'pending'. Dr Foster & Smith would have had it to me by now if the item had been in stock. They can ship cross country ups ground faster than someone 15 miles away can. I doubt they will ever get my business again.
Dr. Foster & Smith have been good. They are prompt and ship within a day or two. Aquariumfishnet sent some freshwater clams promptly (they had to.. I think all live aquaria ships ups red or equivelent.)
Aquariumguys were prompt, but kept shipping stuff FedEx Residential rather than the requested commercial. Residential service seems unable to find business's so I had to drive down to their warehouse and pick stuff up there. So, they are down the list a tad if I am really looking for something. I got some plants from a place in South Dakota. They try to do and make things right. The service dept is maybe not spot on, but they do try to help.
So, for the most part local, then internet, and online pet depot, never again.