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schimmel
Aug. 24, 2009, 08:16 PM
Just wondering how the upper level dressage horse market is working now. Say you are interested in a horse listed at 40K. Assuming he is sound, etc., what is a fair offer (lower, but not insulting)? How about a 50K horse? Is there a percentage that most sellers expect to get, say 80% of the asking price? If you see a horse you like on the internet, but he is a bit out of your price range (say by 15-20%), do you tell seller up front and see if they still want to show you the horse?
This buying of $$$ horses is all new to me. Please inform!

poltroon
Aug. 24, 2009, 08:35 PM
The horse is worth what he's worth. Just as in real estate, the asking price may be appropriate. There's no rule like "90% of asking".

schimmel
Aug. 24, 2009, 09:04 PM
Do sellers price a horse like one might price a house, meaning "I'll start with price x and won't take less than price y"? That's what I am trying to figure out.

asb_own_me
Aug. 24, 2009, 09:09 PM
Some do and some don't. I know that's not the answer you're looking for, but everyone is selling for different reasons. Some don't "need" to sell, and will stick to their price....others do need to sell and will make a deal. I figure it never hurts to ask - but it also never hurts to be up front and tell the seller that you probably shouldn't look at the horse if the price isn't negotiable. The seller will appreciate your honesty and the fact that if the price is NOT negotiable, you won't have wasted their time.

shawneeAcres
Aug. 24, 2009, 09:17 PM
Generally speaking I think an offer of 10% - 20% less than asking price is not UNREASONABLE in this economy. All the person can do is say "NO" which for some of my horses I would say, some I might accept the offer. Just depends!

Kyzteke
Aug. 24, 2009, 09:19 PM
As a breeder I know what I want to get for a horse...what I HOPE to get for a horse....but alot depends.

I have had my time wasted more than I want to think about because the buyer was SO far off in terms of what they can pay.

It's a delicate subject, but as a buyer I've often asking -- "is there any wiggle room in the asking price? I really wasn't planning on going over $-----, but I really love your horse."

Then the seller will either say "never mind," or you both start to negotiate.

But please DON'T waste the owner's time if you can't afford the horse and you haven't asked if they are open to offers. Marketing horses takes a fair amount of time & effort, and it's a real hassle to waste it.

EiRide
Aug. 24, 2009, 09:21 PM
Some prices are firm, some are not. I think as long as it not more than 20% less than an asking price, no matter how high or low the ticket, you will not offend the seller (or shouldn't!).

I've made offers, I've ponied up the asking price, and I've walked away when an offer was not accepted. I've said, "this is what I feel ready to pay, I really like the horse, I will continue looking, call me if you decide you would like to negotiate the price in future."

I had one person call me with the perfect horse for my needs, told me the seller's asking price. I said 'thanks, but blood from a stone'. Person said "what would you pay" and I said 'the budget is half that, and that is what is in the bank and all I will go.' Person called the seller, made the pitch, and he took it. When I bought my ex husband a horse, we were the first people to look at him the day after he came on the market and I plonked down his asking price without a hint of bargaining. A family with three kids was due to look at him the next day and he would not still be available. That was in '96 and now, at age 22, he is being my god daughter's first and most excellent caretaking packer--they are doing 4H and Pony Club and he's a little frumpy bay saint.

So, also consider the specific horse. I *knew* that a 9 yr old sound QH with his papers, a show record, went English, Western, jumped, good on trails, AND quiet, cute and stout enough for a man but small enough for a child was NOT going to sit around the sale barn--he was fairly priced for what he was, and I had shopped enough to put down the deposit that day.

meupatdoes
Aug. 25, 2009, 02:23 AM
So, also consider the specific horse. I *knew* that a 9 yr old sound QH with his papers, a show record, went English, Western, jumped, good on trails, AND quiet, cute and stout enough for a man but small enough for a child was NOT going to sit around the sale barn

You're hilarious -I have *exactly* this horse sitting around with a for sale sign tacked to his butt (except it has turned 10 in the interim) and he seems to have grown roots!

However he is so adorable and so much fun to have around that it has been a pleasure being 'stuck' with him.

:)

TouchstoneAcres
Aug. 25, 2009, 10:05 AM
As a seller, there are some horses like that, really good guys or gals, I don't mind keeping. They are easy to care for, nice to have around, make a good spare horse for visitors. They are negotiable but not terribly. Others may not fit in as well, need a stall more, don't thrive in company (food gets stolen or the reverse), aren't beginner horses anyone can ride, or are the 2nd gelding or a colt I can't put in the mare field. Sometimes the facilty needs one less. That's when you luck out negotiating. It may not be a reflection of the horse's worth or rideability, just circumstances on the farm.

I don't think sellers price with a 20% reduction in mind. But the cost of upkeep and training usually allows some discount. Bird in the hand concept. The very best though will not likely be negotiable. My best movers, good conformation, should be appreciating with training. The more average ones, still nice but not superstars, will be more negotiable. Some too young to really evaluate will sell for less to get cash flow. There is something to be said for not bearing the raising and training cost myself.

In this economy go for it. I wouldn't bid half though unless the horse is way overpriced and has been on the market a while. That is somewhat insulting in most caes but might get a seller out of a bind if they are desperate to sell.

If the seller is negotiable then go see the horse before making a firm bid. The horse might knock your socks off in person. You might bid higher then. Or it could be so-so and you wouldn't.
Remember videos don't give a true picture like seeing the horse in 3-D does. They flatten to 2-D and the horse can look better or worse than in person. It is just a clue. Interacting is priceless. You want to handle the prospect.

Dalemma
Aug. 25, 2009, 11:23 AM
Just because someone has priced a horse at 40K does not mean it is worth 40K......we are in the real estate business and you would not believe how many people think that their house is worth a bundle........and yet when they put it on the market at that price it can't be sold.....it is the same with horses.

I think you need to do your research and see what is actually selling (not what is listed) in the price range you can afford and compare what the horse can do in comparison to the others.

Dalemma

Oakstable
Aug. 25, 2009, 12:16 PM
In real estate, you can find comps. With cars, you have Blue Book.

With horses, who knows.

If you price too low, buyer assumes problems. If you price too high, buyer assumes they can't afford it.

I think buying directly from a breeder (moi) is the way to get the best price. If trainers are tacking on commissions, that's a different pricing structure.

EiRide
Aug. 25, 2009, 12:20 PM
You're hilarious -I have *exactly* this horse sitting around with a for sale sign tacked to his butt (except it has turned 10 in the interim) and he seems to have grown roots!

However he is so adorable and so much fun to have around that it has been a pleasure being 'stuck' with him.

:)

Well, at that time in that market, he was not going to sit! Nowadays, well, it's a little different.

Coppers mom
Aug. 25, 2009, 12:52 PM
I wouldn't try to negotiate any more past 20% off.

Just ask early on, not once you've tried the horse and are ready to buy. We had someone vet a horse last week that was priced at $7,000. After the vet gives her the ok, she says to us "Well, I only have $5,000 to spend." :eek:

I wouldn't, however, e-mail and ask how negotiable it is. Our stock answer is "No", simply because we get so many tire kickers, people wanting trades, to pay 10k for a 20k horse, etc. But if someone comes out and really gets along with the horse, we might be a little more willing to negotiate. Not by half, like some people want, but a little.

Elegante E
Aug. 25, 2009, 03:00 PM
I was told by a local trainer that she's seeing the price of trained dressage horses go up because sellers think buyers will be looking for bargains and lowballing. It explains why prices of 1st, 2nd and 3rd level horses have risen since spring of 2008. She thought they were up by as much as 10%.

That doesn't mean every horse is over priced but I'd say most are and would discuss price on any horse I was serious about before having it vetted. Also, check out the different sales sites. I've found several horses listed at very different prices and I have a friend who saved $10,000 on a horse the trainer marked up (the owner had the horse listed for much less and the buyer found the ad after seeing the horse).

Movin Artfully
Aug. 25, 2009, 05:50 PM
I wouldn't try to negotiate any more past 20% off. Just ask early on, not once you've tried the horse and are ready to buy. We had someone vet a horse last week that was priced at $7,000. After the vet gives her the ok, she says to us "Well, I only have $5,000 to spend." :eek:

I wouldn't, however, e-mail and ask how negotiable it is. Our stock answer is "No", simply because we get so many tire kickers, people wanting trades, to pay 10k for a 20k horse, etc. But if someone comes out and really gets along with the horse, we might be a little more willing to negotiate. Not by half, like some people want, but a little.

Agree and disagree. Buyers should be courteous and not waste seller time if not serious. I prefer emails to phone calls.

I buy mostly young horses and am ready to walk away immediately. So much to choose from! I never ask if negotiable- I simply make a fair offer. "I would pay X. Please keep me in mind at any time if you decide that might work for you. As a seller myself I understand that you may need to hold out for more, but I also appreciate having a back up plan in the event I don't get what I am asking within a reasonable amount of time." I make most offers online after video/conformation photos- pending clean vet check and pending me liking the horse in person. I saved significant money by doing this on the last horse I bought...I got a call from the owner 9 months after my offer and drove 9 hours to pick her up the very next day before the owner changed her mind.

I am the only person I know who voluntarily paid a seller more than the asking price once. I was very impressed by the work that the woman had done and how kind/concerned she was with where her animals. I told her it was simply a tip for making such a nice horse. I am not rich and it wasn't a hand out- the horse was worth it and she deserved it. She cried.

That being said...we do not negotiate on the price of horses we sell. They are the quiet, child safe variety and are usually sold immediately.

Coppers mom
Aug. 25, 2009, 06:53 PM
Agree and disagree. Buyers should be courteous and not waste seller time if not serious. I prefer emails to phone calls.

I buy mostly young horses and am ready to walk away immediately. So much to choose from! I never ask if negotiable- I simply make a fair offer. "I would pay X. Please keep me in mind at any time if you decide that might work for you. As a seller myself I understand that you may need to hold out for more, but I also appreciate having a back up plan in the event I don't get what I am asking within a reasonable amount of time." I make most offers online after video/conformation photos- pending clean vet check and pending me liking the horse in person. I saved significant money by doing this on the last horse I bought...I got a call from the owner 9 months after my offer and drove 9 hours to pick her up the very next day before the owner changed her mind.

I am the only person I know who voluntarily paid a seller more than the asking price once. I was very impressed by the work that the woman had done and how kind/concerned she was with where her animals. I told her it was simply a tip for making such a nice horse. I am not rich and it wasn't a hand out- the horse was worth it and she deserved it. She cried.

That being said...we do not negotiate on the price of horses we sell. They are the quiet, child safe variety and are usually sold immediately.

I should have been more specific about the e-mail thing. We get a ton of e-mails simply saying "Is his/her price negotiable?", sometimes not even in complete sentences or even words. That's what will get a stock answer of "No". But someone who makes it clear that they're serious will be more likely to get a little leeway.

Rival
Aug. 25, 2009, 07:53 PM
What is it with people trying to talk the price down before even enquiring into or seeing the horse? It is completely rude in my opinion.

I think most sellers pretty much let you know how much negotiating room there is when they put a price tag on like $11,500 I would expect they would probably go as low as $10,000. I would guess that 10% to 20% is probably about right. Barterering is more of a people reading skill than anything though. If you don't have a problem offending people and don't care if you get the horse throw a low ball offer out there. You just never know!

Coppers mom
Aug. 25, 2009, 08:29 PM
What is it with people trying to talk the price down before even enquiring into or seeing the horse? It is completely rude in my opinion.


I completely agree. It's like they're already saying that they don't think the horse is worth the price. Why bother?

When I was selling my junior jumper, he was priced low, but accordingly. However, we put "All reasonable offers considered" because I was leaving for college in a couple months. This person e-mailed and said "Would you take $800 for him?" :eek: It was absolutely ridiculous, and when I told them that, they acted like they were trying to do me a favor because I sounded "Desperate". :rolleyes:

shawneeAcres
Aug. 25, 2009, 08:47 PM
I completely agree. It's like they're already saying that they don't think the horse is worth the price. Why bother?

When I was selling my junior jumper, he was priced low, but accordingly. However, we put "All reasonable offers considered" because I was leaving for college in a couple months. This person e-mailed and said "Would you take $800 for him?" :eek: It was absolutely ridiculous, and when I told them that, they acted like they were trying to do me a favor because I sounded "Desperate". :rolleyes:

I agree and I disagree! When I inquire about a horse, if I feel that the price is higher than I want to pay, or that the horse is probably worth $X but not $Y, I will sometimes explain that I am intersted in the horse and ask "Is the price at all negotiable?". Usually that is accompanied by some questions etc. However, I do not want to waste your time or mine if price is firm and I dont' plan to pay it! However, I don't "lowball" unless I begin to hear things that make the horse less worth the asking price (which often turns me off the horse anyways). I do not like email though that simply state "Will you take less?". Sometimes I jsut say "No". Sometimes I say "well tell me more about what you are looking for and your price range". Sometimes they respond, sometimes jsut asking that stops the whole thing in its tracks. I am jsut one who doesn't want to waste time either buying or selling. I tell people UP FRONT about issues, not going to sugar coat things, and usually people are very appreciate of that. But it is in my best interest. first why should I waste an hour or two to show you something I know you won't buy? Why should I waste your time as well? And my reputation is on the line when I tell you one thing and horse is something else. Of coruse then there are those days when the BEST HORSE acts like a loon when someone comes to see them!!!! Happened recently we STILL don't know what caused it, hrose never acted that way before and never since, and was subsequently sold to someone who says he is the BEST and EASIEST horse ever (which he always was, EXCEPT for that one day!!!) How EMBARASSING is that though?!

Movin Artfully
Aug. 26, 2009, 06:29 AM
Dunno, guys.

A very successful breeder I worked for in college consistently internet low balled show horses. This woman routinely sold babies she bred 2yo and under for upwards of 20k...but when buying- routinely offered $3500-5000 on horses priced between $12-15k with show records. Granted, few were in show condition at the time of purchase...but with 30 days riding/conditioning an ex-show vet is pretty easy to bring back.

You would be shocked at how many people took her up on this. No health or soundness issues, not dinosaurs. She bought them for lesson horses. It was the nicest lesson horse selection I've ever seen in my life- and as one of the head instructors of her program at the time, I can tell you that they were the real deal.

She found that if horses weren't moving and people needed to downsize, many sellers appreciated the fall back offer to a quality facility. This was 3-6 years ago. She pretty much shopped nationally and as long as something vetted and had a show record, we bought off of video.

The amateur owner/seller is clearly at a disadvantage already, so I don't think they should be "shamed" into paying full asking price without inquiring.

I agree that the "R U negocioble?!" emails are awful! :)

NoDQhere
Aug. 26, 2009, 10:24 AM
We try to be as fair as possible with people but also get tired of the " RU negtoble" emails :confused: :lol:.

What we do try to do is offset the buyers cost to buy a horse from us so will come down a bit on price to allow for transportation, for example. We are also more interested in getting horses into show homes so will negotiate some.

And it is MUCH better if the buyer is upfront with what they want to spend rather than trying the horse, having it vetted then offering half the asking price :eek:.

CatOnLap
Aug. 26, 2009, 11:07 AM
If you are willing to spend time looking at lots of horses and to walk away as if you don't care, go ahead and lowball. Eventually you will hit the right seller with the right horse at the right time.

It's BUSINESS. In buying and selling, especially horses, it is not "impolite" to offer a very low price. Sellers who take that personally need to buy a clue. Someone lowballs me on a horse I am not willing to let go cheap? I generally smile and say, "Not this horse, but I am sure you will find a horse in that price range". If they start trashing the horse in an effort to beat the price down? Then I "politely"show them the farm gate. Someone says the same to me when I am looking and I will say "Thanks, and if you change your mind, here's my number". I've had more than one seller come back at me a month or two later and meet my lowball. And yes, I am talking a 90% discount on the 5 figure asking price in one case, and in another case, a 100% discount (i.e. horse was offered to me for freeafter a few months) . I've only once paid full asking price but that horse was worth twice what they were asking.

FriesianX
Aug. 26, 2009, 11:29 AM
There is NOTHING wrong with asking a buyer up front if they are flexible on the price, or even saying "my budget is $X, would it be a waste of time to come try the horse"... As a seller, I appreciate it when people let me know up front. I just sold a youngster to someone who came to look at a less expensive one, but after talking to her, I knew the more pricey one was really what she wanted. It was a show home. She was experienced with young horses. I could be a little flexible.

Early this Spring, I had a bad experience with a low ball - person asked for video, more video, MORE video, pictures, more pictures, even more pictures. Set up a PPE. The NIGHT BEFORE the PPE, she emailed and said "oh, we didn't discuss price, I'm prepared to offer $X (which happened to be HALF my asking price)". Now, if she had said that up front - my budget is $X, I could have told her sorry, that is too low. Or sorry, but I am willing to talk about Y price range. We wouldn't have spent hours and hours doing video and pictures, AND the vet wouldn't have scheduled a big chunk of his day to do a PPE! And she didn't even call and cancel, I had to do it:no:

There is also nothing wrong with making a lower offer - there is no "hard and fast" rule - some sellers EXPECT to negotiate - I know one large breeder and agent who automatically adds a 20% cushion on to all their advertised prices. I think that is silly, reminds me of going to a used car dealer, but that is the way they do things. Some of us price our horses pretty fairly, but will be a bit flexible if we know the horse is going to a good show home, or we know there will be big transport costs, or the rider and horse just really click well.

Enjoy horse shopping - it is fun, exciting, heartbreaking, time consuming, a real up and down process!

TheHorseProblem
Aug. 26, 2009, 11:47 AM
When I bought my ex husband a horse, we were the first people to look at him the day after he came on the market and I plonked down his asking price without a hint of bargaining.

Wow--it was really nice of you to buy your ex a horse.

CatOnLap
Aug. 26, 2009, 11:52 AM
well, that's annoying I agree, FreisianX, but its the business isn't it?

But why send so many videos and set up the PPE yourself? Smells of tirekicking.

I will offer a buyer a couple of good names for a vet if they want, but as a buyer, I would always research my own vet and set it up myself. That part, where she canclled, was rude.

OH. I have to get this off my chest. Had a nice confirmed third level champion, non warmblood for sale, middle aged and totally sound. Someone came who was seriously overweight and not terribly fit and had never ridden over first level, horse was a saint and carried her around but didn't change clean for her. She offered me half the asking price too, after she'd done a PPE, I refused as the price was firm. She tried to beat me down, started with "unclean changes" went on to "off breed" and ended with "the vet says..." which was a bunch of lies, basically. She was hopping mad I wouldn't bargain. I didn't get why she was so mad, and I ended the conversation when she asked me to pay for the PPE since she felt she had "wasted" her money on the vet, who I am sure told her the horse was sound and suitable.

A few months later she called me back, and offered close to my asking. But I had already sold the horse. Even if I hadn't, I didn't want to deal with her again. So sometimes, if you really want the horse, its better not to try and bargain. Especially if you're a loud mouth know-it-all...

LittleblackMorgan
Aug. 26, 2009, 12:06 PM
So, also consider the specific horse. I *knew* that a 9 yr old sound QH with his papers, a show record, went English, Western, jumped, good on trails, AND quiet, cute and stout enough for a man but small enough for a child was NOT going to sit around the sale barn--he was fairly priced for what he was, and I had shopped enough to put down the deposit that day.

This is how I aquired my first horse. I snagged him up for a song, because he was teetering on the ho-ney line...dirty, wooly with half a mane. Come to find out he's a lifer, has everything listed above (sans show record so far).
I've been offered 5x what I paid for him. I may change his name to "Not for Sale":D

When I was shopping for #2, price was huge. I new my limit. I also knew not to email a seller asking 13k for an Andalusian X and ask for him for 5k...even though the horse appeared perfect for me. To me that would be an insult.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 26, 2009, 01:14 PM
There is NOTHING wrong with asking a buyer up front if they are flexible on the price, or even saying "my budget is $X, would it be a waste of time to come try the horse"... !

I would not say there is anything "wrong" with asking that upfront, but I think it is a very poor negotiating strategy. As a seller, I do care where the horse goes and what the buyer's plan is for the horse. I am more inclined to be flexible on price if the home offered is exceptional and is a show home, for example. But I have no way of evaluating what the prospective client might offer unless the individual gives me some information about themselves and their plans. Accordingly, if someone sends me an anonymous email asking if I will take a lowball offer, the answer is always going to be "No" (and I do get anonymous inquiries like that). Buyers really do themselves a disservice if they jump to discussion of price before making their best case as to why they would be a good match for the horse. I also don't see why I should be expected to negotiate price before the person has even had a chance to determine whether they like the horse.

Generally speaking, there is little or no wiggle room in my prices unless the circumstances are very exceptional. But I am always polite to buyers and try to help them find what they are looking for, even if I don't have it at my farm. I frequently suggest alternatives that might be within their budget and meet their needs (i.e., I provide names of other farms, contact info, and specific examples of horses that I know are available).

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 26, 2009, 01:21 PM
When I was shopping for #2, price was huge. I new my limit. I also knew not to email a seller asking 13k for an Andalusian X and ask for him for 5k...even though the horse appeared perfect for me. To me that would be an insult.

I don't think anyone should be made to feel as though their offer is insulting. I may very well turn down all lowball offers, but an offer is an offer and I really can't fault someone for asking (just don't freak out if the answer is no!). I recently received a lowball offer from someone who is a very good rider and who I know would provide a great home. Her offer is what her budget allows. I am not willing to go that low for mine, but I knew of some other good options for her and recommended them.

Beam Me Up
Aug. 26, 2009, 02:11 PM
I really don't understand the "insulted" reaction--it isn't personal.
As a seller, when lowballed, I always counter. Just as it didn't hurt the buyer to ask, it doesn't hurt me to offer back--when the ball is in my court I'm not just going to run away with it.

Agree with everyone, though, that there is not a set percentage.
I think sellers tend to price with the expectation of getting 80-90% of their price unless they note "firm."

But their expectation has nothing to do with pricing reasonably.
For me, if I like a horse that's vastly overpriced (say, a 10K horse where I think 5K is generous) I normally take a deep breath, ask myself if I really want to deal with the hassle, then make the offer. And if the owner gets angry or says she can't take less than 9K, I didn't want to pay that much for that horse anyway, so move on.

I never respond to the emails-in-advance of "would you take $50--my mom will drive me out if you say yes?" or "would you free lease him?" though I take all offers seriously and counter them. I agree it's irritating to get the "I love your horse but I don't have any money" business after someone's already come out to ride, but at the same time the alternative "your horse sucks and is not worth your price" is the same lowball, just framed differently. Deep breath and counter . . .

Camstock
Aug. 26, 2009, 02:21 PM
When I get contacts from interested buyers on horses I am marketing, during the first conversation, regardless of whether it is email or by phone, I will say, "The price of the horse is 'x', does this fit within your horse-buying budget?"

Home Again Farm
Aug. 26, 2009, 03:10 PM
I would not say there is anything "wrong" with asking that upfront, but I think it is a very poor negotiating strategy. As a seller, I do care where the horse goes and what the buyer's plan is for the horse. I am more inclined to be flexible on price if the home offered is exceptional and is a show home, for example. But I have no way of evaluating what the prospective client might offer unless the individual gives me some information about themselves and their plans. Accordingly, if someone sends me an anonymous email asking if I will take a lowball offer, the answer is always going to be "No" (and I do get anonymous inquiries like that). Buyers really do themselves a disservice if they jump to discussion of price before making their best case as to why they would be a good match for the horse. I also don't see why I should be expected to negotiate price before the person has even had a chance to determine whether they like the horse.

Generally speaking, there is little or no wiggle room in my prices unless the circumstances are very exceptional. But I am always polite to buyers and try to help them find what they are looking for, even if I don't have it at my farm. I frequently suggest alternatives that might be within their budget and meet their needs (i.e., I provide names of other farms, contact info, and specific examples of horses that I know are available).

Double ditto on all points. :yes:

EiRide
Aug. 26, 2009, 03:11 PM
Wow--it was really nice of you to buy your ex a horse.

Snort. I guess I needed to add a "my NOW ex husband" to that sentence. ;-)

Although I probably would buy him a cup of coffee.

alacrity
Aug. 26, 2009, 03:34 PM
When I get contacts from interested buyers on horses I am marketing, during the first conversation, regardless of whether it is email or by phone, I will say, "The price of the horse is 'x', does this fit within your horse-buying budget?"

:yes: I think this is a perfect, very direct way for a seller to approach the subject and avoid wasting anyone's time.

TheHorseProblem
Aug. 26, 2009, 03:55 PM
Snort. I guess I needed to add a "my NOW ex husband" to that sentence. ;-)

Although I probably would buy him a cup of coffee.


and a one-way bus ticket!;)

Phaxxton
Aug. 26, 2009, 04:12 PM
I agree with those who say this shouldn't be personal. Unfortunately, all too often in this business, people do take these deals personally. That shouldn't deter buyers from negotiating when appropriate, though.

I think how such negotiations are handled really depends on the circumstances. For example, I wouldn't ask a seller with a price advertised as "FIRM" if they'd be willing to negotiate. If they have any intention of negotiating, I think they'd be smart enough to take the "FIRM" out of their ad. I might consider it if I thought the horse was absolutely perfect and had been on the market for a while... but even then, I probably would respect what they advertise.

If a horse is within my price range, but I think I may want to pay less for it, then I would try it first before negotiating. I might find that the horse is in fact worth the asking price to me or isn't at all what I want for any price. If I am correct that I like the horse, but think it is worth less, then I will negotiate at that point -- before setting up a prepurchase exam or wasting any more of the seller's time.

If I find a horse I think is perfect, but is a bit above my price range (say 10 - 20% above), I would be upfront with the seller. I wouldn't waste anyone's time going to see a horse I could NEVER afford. I would send a polite and professional email, explaining that I am extremely interested in the horse, but my budget is X. I'd try to give some background (experience, care, great home, etc.), but basically I'm saying "My budget is unfortunately below asking price, but I am definitely interested in this horse. Would it still be worthwhile for me to come try him/her or is the price firm?" If the horse is being sold through a trainer, I'd probably have my trainer approach the sale horse's trainer, just to say, "I have a student who would be a perfect fit, but has a price range that is closer to X. Do you think this is a negotiable price, or should we just look elsewhere?" If the horse is considerably outside of my price range (more than 25 or 30% above my price range), then I personally probably wouldn't bother asking if the seller was willing to negotiate that much. Some people might, though, and it doesn't hurt to ask -- politely.

At the end of the day, this is a business transaction, so acting professionally and reasonably is the best tactic. Yes, some sellers will take things like this personally, but they really just have to say "no." Whenever I make an offer, I understand that the answer could very well be "no." That's not the end of the world. Sometimes, however, I am pleasantly surprised and wind up getting exactly what I want. :yes:

The last horse I bought wasn't even for sale. I just absolutely loved the horse and made the owner an offer. I not only got the horse, I got him for exactly what I offered (which was what I felt was fair and what I could afford). So sometimes you never know until you ask. The worst the seller can do is say no.

I got lucky with my other two. One came from a rescue, so I just paid the donation they asked for. Nearly 6 years later, I can say he was an absolute steal at that price. :D I ultimately paid asking price for my Arab, but it was a very fair price. I tried him twice, was all ready to purchase, and then was laid off from my job. A couple months later, as I was starting a new job, the seller emailed me to ask if I'd take him as a free lease. I agreed (was thrilled!), and she let me make payments on him during the lease. Seven years later, I still send the seller updates as often as I remember. I figured with this story, it was truly meant to be that I have this horse. :yes:

I do also agree with those who say there is no "standard" fair offer off of the asking price. Just as with real estate, some horses are underpriced, some are overpriced, and some are priced just right. If you're not too knowledgeable about realistic prices in your area, then enlist the help of a trainer or trusted friend who is. :)

EiRide
Aug. 26, 2009, 05:10 PM
and a one-way bus ticket!;)

But hey, I got to keep the horse! He had a better work ethic, anyhow. ;-)

ESG
Aug. 26, 2009, 05:55 PM
I don't mind if someone makes me an offer on a sale horse. Seriously lowball offer? Well, I wouldn't be insulted, unless I'd already spent a lot of time and effort with the prospective buyer (as in, if they'd been out two or three times to try the horse, loved it each time), and then offered me half of the asking price, along with some unreasonable terms (like a two week trial at their trainer's, who I don't know from Adam and is 500 miles from me :eek: ) After all, I can always say no, which is what I do. ;)

On the initial contact, I would much rather be up front with someone and ask what their budget is, so as not to waste anyone's time. I use that approach when looking for horses as well, since I know only too well how frustrating it is to prep and present a horse to someone who can't afford it. That's just pure rudeness on the buyer's part. :no:

After the last batch of prospective buyers I've encountered, the experience was enough to make me pull all the advertising on my horse and put him at a trainer's barn to be sold,............which is probably what I should have done in the first place. ;)

FriesianX
Aug. 26, 2009, 10:12 PM
well, that's annoying I agree, FreisianX, but its the business isn't it?

But why send so many videos and set up the PPE yourself? Smells of tirekicking.

I will offer a buyer a couple of good names for a vet if they want, but as a buyer, I would always research my own vet and set it up myself. That part, where she canclled, was rude.

...

Oh, I didn't set up the PPE - I provide a list of area vets. But I just had this feeling the next morning, and called the vet to make sure she'd cancelled. Nope... It is part of the business. And since I do sell some horses "long distance", it isn't unusual for requests for video, etc - with an out of state buyer, I actually expect to provide some pretty detailed videos. Yeah, generally, that is just part of the business. Figure for every serious buyer, there are 10 tire kickers. But tire kickers usually DON'T make a PPE appointment. That wastes the time of a whole 'nother person - a vet!

Valentina_32926
Aug. 27, 2009, 09:53 AM
...I have had my time wasted more than I want to think about because the buyer was SO far off in terms of what they can pay.

It's a delicate subject, but as a buyer I've often asking -- "is there any wiggle room in the asking price? I really wasn't planning on going over $-----, but I really love your horse."

Then the seller will either say "never mind," or you both start to negotiate.

But please DON'T waste the owner's time if you can't afford the horse and you haven't asked if they are open to offers. Marketing horses takes a fair amount of time & effort, and it's a real hassle to waste it.

Agreed. Had one person offer me 50% of asking price - I was insulted! Decided not to sell horse shortly after that - and still have her. Beautiful, well trained, sweet as pie SWB mare who is currently teaching people how to ride better!

Carnelian
Aug. 27, 2009, 10:18 AM
I think my situation was something off the norm or not, but it happened to me and I'm sure deals like mine can be found out there (albeit rarely). Mare started out with a VERY loose $20,000 asking that went down to $15,000 "to a good home."

Honestly I guess I was a "tire kicker" because I had the opportunity to lease the mare for 3 months with first right of refusal (that's after a month as the exclusive rider of the mare for free). I knew full well that $15,000 was above what I could afford, but I proceeded anyway. After I knew she was "the one," I did the PPE (still knowing she was above my budget). A few things showed up on it so I offered what I knew I could afford which came out to 25% off of the "to a good home" asking price.

The owner was happy with how I had taken care of her horse during the lease and saw the improvements I had made on her. She could have easily turned me down, taken the training I put into the mare over 4 months and marketed her for more.

In the end she took my offer without hesitation saying she was just happy the horse would be in a good home. I will note that she had to put zero marketing effort into the mare as I found out about her through word of mouth and the mare was at the same boarding barn that I was riding out of. The owner was ready to get out from under the monthly costs of boarding, etc. She was smart enough to know that she could sit on the mare with no interest in riding her for several months at $500/month board plus training to keep the mare's training moving forward or take my offer and be done with it.

I put a lot of money (to me $1000 is a lot) through lessons, clinics and shows into that mare during the lease and gave her a show record which she didn't have before. It was an honest seller that didn't take advantage of me and my efforts to ensure the mare was capable of performing at the level I wanted.

I was fortunate to have a 4 month trial on a horse that started out with no dressage foundation. I either got 25% off or over 50% off depending how you look at it.

CatOnLap
Aug. 27, 2009, 11:04 AM
Had one person offer me 50% of asking price - I was insulted!
See, I don't understand why you felt insulted. The price offered has little to do with your horse and much more to do with the prospective buyer's budget, attitude and habits. The fact that you kept the horse suggests to me that no offer that you received was acceptable to you and that you really didn't want to sell. Or possibly that you had priced the horse too high for the market. In any case, if you are a person who wants to buy and sell horses, I hope you were able to keep your insulted feeling under wraps and bid the buyer a polite goodbye. One never knows when that will come back to you.

Carnelian makes a good argument for going to try horses that may be too expensive for you, especially in today's market and especially if you can offer a great home. One horse I bought was way over my price range, I wasn't even looking for a horse at the time, but I ended up going to lookyloo and kick tires, I guess. I lowballed the seller, he countered and offered his own financing plan which suited me well. And it ended up I struck a bargain with the motivated seller that made us both very happy and that horse was one of the best I ever owned.

meupatdoes
Aug. 27, 2009, 11:30 AM
See, I don't understand why you felt insulted. The price offered has little to do with your horse and much more to do with the prospective buyer's budget, attitude and habits. The fact that you kept the horse suggests to me that no offer that you received was acceptable to you and that you really didn't want to sell. Or possibly that you had priced the horse too high for the market. In any case, if you are a person who wants to buy and sell horses, I hope you were able to keep your insulted feeling under wraps and bid the buyer a polite goodbye. One never knows when that will come back to you.

Carnelian makes a good argument for going to try horses that may be too expensive for you, especially in today's market and especially if you can offer a great home. One horse I bought was way over my price range, I wasn't even looking for a horse at the time, but I ended up going to lookyloo and kick tires, I guess. I lowballed the seller, he countered and offered his own financing plan which suited me well. And it ended up I struck a bargain with the motivated seller that made us both very happy and that horse was one of the best I ever owned.

It is insulting when I have cleared a Saturday morning for someone who rolls in to "lookyloo and kick tires" for the horse I have spit shined/NOT taken to a horseshow so he can get looked at/NOT taken my other horse who was also going to go to this horseshow so the first horse can get looked at/cancelled a lesson/not gone to the family BBQ so the horse can get looked at/taken off work/whatever, and then they rideykins around forever and then act all surprised when the horse is STILL $15,000 and will I take $5,000?

How many people do you think it is acceptable to lookyloo and kick tires until you find the ONE who will meet your lowball? All those other people who have put a lot of work into and fairly priced their horses should just spend their morning on you who are rolling in the driveway PLANNING to walk away from their horse before you even see it? They should just graciously donate their morning toward giving you a free pony ride?

Sheesh.

Gloria
Aug. 27, 2009, 11:34 AM
See, I don't understand why you felt insulted. The price offered has little to do with your horse and much more to do with the prospective buyer's budget, attitude and habits. The fact that you kept the horse suggests to me that no offer that you received was acceptable to you and that you really didn't want to sell. Or possibly that you had priced the horse too high for the market. In any case, if you are a person who wants to buy and sell horses, I hope you were able to keep your insulted feeling under wraps and bid the buyer a polite goodbye. One never knows when that will come back to you.

I have to agree here. It is buyer's busines to pay as little as possible and it is seller's busines to get as much as possible. It is just business. If a person cannot get the emotion detached from a business transaction, maybe it is better to employ a third party as agent.

A couple of years ago we (my trainer and me) went to a shopping trip. We stopped at this place and they pulled out this very cute chestnut which immediately caught my eyes. We were not there for him but when I saw him go, that was it.

Anyway, we knew that the current owner paid $30,000 for him but under the circumstances she had to sell him. The asking price was $18,000. I told the trainer who also acted as her agent that this was a very very nice horse and I was positive that he was worth $18,000 but my budget did not allow it. I went ahead to offer $10,000. He smiled at me, and said, "I cannot do that!". He went ahead to counter me. After some back and forth and some phone calls, we settled for $13,000.

You see, they knew we were serious in buying. We even had a trailer with us. We had cash in our hand. And we did not try to find fault in this horse. We made a lot of compliment on the horse (or why were we interested in him anyway). They also knew that we weren't going to pay the asking price. The end result was I obtained a very nice horse at a bargain price and they got rid of a horse that was essentially costing them more money. Everybody was happy.

alacrity
Aug. 27, 2009, 11:40 AM
In the US people seem to gravitate toward the basic model you see in real estate. You see something, you know the price, you get a fair amount of time to check it out, and then you make an offer. We had offers on our last house that were totally ridiculous. Yes it was annoying to vacate for the showings, deal with realtors, and keep the house impeccably clean all the time. But in the end our place sold for a fair price.

I can see both sides of the "insulted" argument. But I think it all comes down to screening on both sides and unfortunately most people are really uncomfortable talking about money. If someone contacts you on a horse you're marketing, and you are not flexible on the price... say it upfront! Especially in this market where it seems like everything is interpreted as negotiable. Saves a lot of time.

meupatdoes
Aug. 27, 2009, 11:49 AM
I have to agree here. It is buyer's busines to pay as little as possible and it is seller's busines to get as much as possible. It is just business. If a person cannot get the emotion detached from a business transaction, maybe it is better to employ a third party as agent.

A couple of years ago we (my trainer and me) went to a shopping trip. We stopped at this place and they pulled out this very cute chestnut which immediately caught my eyes. We were not there for him but when I saw him go, that was it.

Anyway, we knew that the current owner paid $30,000 for him but under the circumstances she had to sell him. The asking price was $18,000. I told the trainer who also acted as her agent that this was a very very nice horse and I was positive that he was worth $18,000 but my budget did not allow it. I went ahead to offer $10,000. He smiled at me, and said, "I cannot do that!". He went ahead to counter me. After some back and forth and some phone calls, we settled for $13,000.

You see, they knew we were serious in buying. We even had had a trailer with us. We had cash in our hand. And we did not try to find fault in this horse. We made a lot of compliment on the horse (or why were we interested in him anyway). They also knew that we weren't going to pay the asking price. The end result was I obtained a very nice horse at a bargain price and they got rid of a horse that was essentially costing them more money. Everybody was happy.

I don't get emotional about the PRICE they are offering. I really don't care if all you have is $5,000. Oh well.

I get emotional (though I maintain polite demeanor externally), when they have gotten me to invest significant TIME AND EFFORT with them and then it turns out they could never buy the horse anyway.

There have been times when I personally have wanted to look at a horse 'just to look at it' for now. In that situation I have called sellers and said, "I want to look at your horse, but I don't want to waste your time so you should know that I would have to save up a little longer to afford it/sell my other horse first before I could buy it. I would however like to see it and know that it's out there if it turns out to be one I like. If you are still willing to show me the horse knowing this can I come by?"

Imo the seller should have the opportunity to know BEFORE SPENDING her time whether my level of interest is worth her spending her time. Not be surprised at the end and "Oh well, guess you would have gone to that horseshow instead of showing me this horse if you had known I needed to sell my other horse first, huh?"

ETA:
Actually come to think of it the "I would need to sell my other horse first" is the perfect thing to say (regardless of whether it is technically true although in my case it was) if you want to look at a horse that is out of your price range or you would buy the horse if you could low ball it, but you don't want to waste the seller's time.

The seller knows that they are showing the horse to someone who is not ready to buy it immediately. If they would rather not clear a Saturday morning for that they can say, "I'd prefer to wait until you are ready to buy," or, "I'd prefer to wait for a later weekend rather than clearing this one for you."
The buyer has a bargaining chip: "I said I have to sell my other horse first but I really like yours and could buy him NOW if you met me at $x price."

If a buyer for some reason would prefer not to reveal that they are not totally serious at this time because they feel the seller might not show them the horse, then that is the DEFINITION of tire kicking: trying to make the seller spend time you feel/know they would not otherwise spend if they knew your REAL level of interest.

Gloria
Aug. 27, 2009, 12:13 PM
I don't get emotional about the PRICE they are offering. I really don't care if all you have is $5,000. Oh well.

I get emotional (though I maintain polite demeanor externally), when they have gotten me to invest significant TIME AND EFFORT with them and then it turns out they could never buy the horse anyway.

I agree that it is extremely annoying and frustrating to spend much time and effort with someone who has no interested in buying the horse. However, when you are selling horses, you ARE going to encounter many of the rude buyers. That is why it is sometimes a good idea to employ a third party. They can take the abuse and waste of time that come hand in hand with selling horses.

On the other hand, just because a person has "wasted" a lot of your time, does not mean he/she is simply kicking tires. When we went to our last shopping trip, we looked at at least a dozen horses. Every one of them "wasted" a lot of time showing us horses and discussing with us. How many did we eventually get? One.

Here is the deal. If the seller is not willing to spend time with me, he/she has no business getting money from me. And even if the seller is willing to spend time with us, there is no guarateen that we are buying. There were some some very strong contenders and those were the ones we "wasted" their time the most but eventually we set our hearts on one and thanked the others for taking their time with us. I have to say that, there was some disappointments in the sellers' parts but I had not seen anyone feel insulted.

katarine
Aug. 27, 2009, 12:19 PM
Meh- I offer less than they are asking to determine if there's room to negotiate. I ONLY do it on horses I've seen/tried/like/WANT: never on a horse I've only seen in print/online. To do that would be pointless and rude and absolutely earns the asker, a NO.

I'm not insulted when someone asks about bottom dollar on a horse I'm selling. I can find myself offended if they are rude about it, or want a payment plan on a 900 dollar pony (um, NO). I can find myself annoyed when I'm showing them a 5K horse and they obviously only intend to ever spend 2K or so- sure, I'm annoyed. I got him all spit and polished and he's not remotely in your price range, and there ain't no way I'm coming off that much, no frickin' way. BUT- am I insulted? Nah. Just annoyed. Then it's over and they're gone and it's all fine.

katarine
Aug. 27, 2009, 12:24 PM
I agree that it is extremely annoying and frustrating to spend much time and effort with someone who has no interested in buying the horse. However, when you are selling horses, you ARE going to encounter many of the rude buyers. That is why it is sometimes a good idea to employ a third party. They can take the abuse and waste of time that come hand in hand with selling horses.

On the other hand, just because a person has "wasted" a lot of your time, does not mean he/she is simply kicking tires. When we went to our last shopping trip, we looked at at least a dozen horses. Every one of them "wasted" a lot of time showing us horses and discussing with us. How many did we eventually get? One.

Here is the deal. If the seller is not willing to spend time with me, he/she has no business getting money from me. And even if the seller is willing to spend time with us, there is no guarateen that we are buying. There were some some very strong contenders and those were the ones we "wasted" their time the most but eventually we set our hearts on one and thanked the others for taking their time with us. I have to say that, there was some disappointments in the sellers' parts but I had not seen anyone feel insulted.


You are twisted up over nothing. She said 'I'm annoyed that I busted ass prepping a horse to show you, a horse you COULD NOT afford'. That is NOT the same thing as telling a seller 'You know, he's nice, but he's not quite what I'm looking for'. HUGE difference. You don't see that?

I'm kicking tires right now hunting a sound sane TWH for my SO. I am NOT looking at 5K horses b/c that is not in my budget. I'll kick the tires of many under 3K, though :) and no one will be insulted :)

scubed
Aug. 27, 2009, 12:39 PM
I have always bought on a budget. I have also sold many and am always somewhat negotiable on price to the right home, etc. I have had one or two that I really needed/wanted gone, in which case, I priced them what I thought appropriately, but took the first offer I got (in a couple of those cases 50% and 60% of advertised price). I also called on a horse that was offered "private treaty" in the ad, asked price up front, determined that the $10,000 they were asking was more than I was willing/able to spend, told them that. They called me back when price was $6500 (still more than I wanted to pay for an unbacked horse with some issues). I ended up paying $3200 a few weeks later because they really did need the horse gone and did want the horse to go to a show home with someone with some experience with very green horses. As a buyer, I try not to waste sellers' time, but will say, "no matter how much I like it, I'm unlikely to buy right now, I need to work some stuff out and try several horses, but would like to come see horse and am available on these dates" I also really dislike it when you very honestly say to a seller, "I'm sorry, your horse is out of my price range" (price not on ad) and they go on and on about why the horse is worth that much and you should buy it. The horse may totally be worth it, but if I don't have the money and am honest about that, don't waste my time and yours trying to persuade me to pay your asking price, it ain't gonna happen.

Gloria
Aug. 27, 2009, 12:51 PM
You are twisted up over nothing. She said 'I'm annoyed that I busted ass prepping a horse to show you, a horse you COULD NOT afford'. That is NOT the same thing as telling a seller 'You know, he's nice, but he's not quite what I'm looking for'. HUGE difference. You don't see that?

I'm kicking tires right now hunting a sound sane TWH for my SO. I am NOT looking at 5K horses b/c that is not in my budget. I'll kick the tires of many under 3K, though :) and no one will be insulted :)

Twisted? Um I think you did not understand my post. All sellers need to prep and present the horses in show condition, if they want to fetch top dollars. It is simply in sellers' interests to present a horse as spotless and fininshed as possible.

Eventually we told all but one that those horses were not quite what we were looking for. The horses/prices combinations were not quite right for us. Should they get insulted? Surely not.

And the one we eventually bought, we told the seller that we could not pay that asking price, will you be wiling to accept this instead? They said no and countered. We countered back. We eventually reached an agreement.

As I said, if you sell horses, you WILL encounter many rude buyers, and many who are serious but choose not to buy your horses. Again, it is just business. If you will feel insulted in any business transaction, well, I'm sure you will feel insulted many more times.

Beam Me Up
Aug. 27, 2009, 01:39 PM
I think maybe the issue is that we all agree that as buyers, looking at horses way out of your price range is discourteous. But that if, while looking at horses within your price range, you find something interesting but overpriced, it's ok to make a reasonable offer (i.e., you *could* afford the horse, but you feel it isn't worth what's being asked).

But on the seller side, those 2 "lowballs" look exactly the same. They don't know the buyer's true finances or intent. And even if they did, the bottom line is still the same. It's a toss-up as to whether they'd take less for "your horse isn't worth that much" or "your horse is awesome but I came out to try it knowing I couldn't afford it."

If the former is true (horse is overpriced) then it will be hard to get that price from anyone. If the buyer simply can't afford it, the seller could hold out for a wealthier buyer.

I do understand feeling irked by the suspicion that the buyer had this planned all along. It's happened to me too, and usually it follows a really unpleasant, nitpicky visit. That said, all you can do is make your counter offer and find out if you can make a deal or not.

Gloria
Aug. 27, 2009, 02:16 PM
I think maybe the issue is that we all agree that as buyers, looking at horses way out of your price range is discourteous. But that if, while looking at horses within your price range, you find something interesting but overpriced, it's ok to make a reasonable offer (i.e., you *could* afford the horse, but you feel it isn't worth what's being asked).

But on the seller side, those 2 "lowballs" look exactly the same. They don't know the buyer's true finances or intent. And even if they did, the bottom line is still the same. It's a toss-up as to whether they'd take less for "your horse isn't worth that much" or "your horse is awesome but I came out to try it knowing I couldn't afford it."

If the former is true (horse is overpriced) then it will be hard to get that price from anyone. If the buyer simply can't afford it, the seller could hold out for a wealthier buyer.

I do understand feeling irked by the suspicion that the buyer had this planned all along. It's happened to me too, and usually it follows a really unpleasant, nitpicky visit. That said, all you can do is make your counter offer and find out if you can make a deal or not.

Well said, much better than mine I'd admit...

My initial offer on the cute chestnut I eventually purchased was a whooping $8000 less than the asking price. I knew I was lowballing him and I told the trainer/agent so. I told him that I believed this nice horse was well worth the asking price but I cannot pay it and asked him to meet me somewhere. The trainer had one option at that time. He could feel angry and kick me out of the door, or he could counter. He chose the later and we had a happy transaction.

As to the other dozen horses I saw at that trip, some were priced more than him and some were less. Eventually I had to say sorry but I found one I have decieded to purchase, and I thanked them for taking their time. Yes there was tremendous disappointments but they understood business was business. It did not mean their horses were low quality or anything. It just meant the fit wasn't perfect.

I know there are many many rude and discourteous buyers. They attempt to insult your horses or they attempt to insult you to try to get you lower the price. For these buyers, I think the only fitting treatment is to show them the gate, politely. But, again, unless you want to hire someone else to sell your horses for you, you will see many of these buyers. You can feel insulted, or you can understand that business is business, and forget about them the moment they disappear.

Coppers mom
Aug. 27, 2009, 05:51 PM
Well said, much better than mine I'd admit...

My initial offer on the cute chestnut I eventually purchased was a whooping $8000 less than the asking price. I knew I was lowballing him and I told the trainer/agent so. I told him that I believed this nice horse was well worth the asking price but I cannot pay it and asked him to meet me somewhere. The trainer had one option at that time. He could feel angry and kick me out of the door, or he could counter. He chose the later and we had a happy transaction.

I don't know why, but I, personally, would be completely embarrassed to do something like this (not specifically you, just this is the most clearly written example). I can't imagine walking into someone's barn, knowing I couldn't afford a horse in my wildest dreams, and then offering an extremely low price. It's like saying to them "I know you put a ton of work into this horse, and that he's completely worth the price, but I'm still only willing to pay this extremely low price".

Negotiating is fine, but I'd feel like a total ass if I went around offering half or less for perfectly nice horses.

**this is just me, personally, and my lack of cajones when it comes to this stuff**

Gloria
Aug. 27, 2009, 06:15 PM
I don't know why, but I, personally, would be completely embarrassed to do something like this (not specifically you, just this is the most clearly written example). I can't imagine walking into someone's barn, knowing I couldn't afford a horse in my wildest dreams, and then offering an extremely low price. It's like saying to them "I know you put a ton of work into this horse, and that he's completely worth the price, but I'm still only willing to pay this extremely low price".

Negotiating is fine, but I'd feel like a total ass if I went around offering half or less for perfectly nice horses.

**this is just me, personally, and my lack of cajones when it comes to this stuff**

I understand what you meant. And that was why most people won't even try. I felt completely differnt though. I liked that horse. I was not willing to pay for the asking price. I made it clear to the seller. I wanted to see whether we could reach an agreement.

If I didn't ask, they had no chance to tell me no, and they had no chance to counter me. If I did ask, the worst they could say was no, and they had every chance to accept it. So how bad was that? If I were a seller, I would rather to have a buyer to make an offer, and we will see whether there was a chance of reaching an agreement.

An offer, low ball or not, is in many sales situation a chance to start a conversation, potentially fruitful for both parties.

If you have studied sales strategy, you will see that the most important thing in sales is to keep the conversation channel opened, especially in higher dollar goods. If that channel is open, there is always a chance a happy medium will be met.

Remember, the whole conversation was civil and courteous. We treated it like business. I respected him as a trainer, and mostly a businessman. I made an offer. He said no way. He did not insult me or get angry. I asked will you meet me somewhere? We eventually met somewhere (much higher than my initial offer). We were BOTH happy. If we couldn't meet somewhere, then there was no transaction. I wouldn't feel insulted by him refusing me. He didn't feel insulted by my offer.

It's not like I walked into the barn, banished the horse, saying he was junk and overpriced and the seller was completely out of mind. Then yes I should be embarassed.

Oh in my lifetime, I have bought horses at the asking prices and even at above the asking prices but they were generally at lower dollars. When it came to 10K or above, I do get a lot more cautious.

f4leggin
Aug. 27, 2009, 07:15 PM
I'm happy to say I haven't had anyone come to my farm and look at one of my babies and not buy - except once. That horse ended up being sold to my friend who was the one who showed it to the prospective buyer - so I figure that one doesn't count.

My horses are priced low enough that I would probably say I wasn't real negotiable on price until I had a chance to meet the buyer and determine if it was a good fit. I'm more likely to say - come out and meet the horse and then we can talk. Recently, I had a funny call - a prospective buyer cancelled last minute on coming to see a horse because their price range was 5K and I was asking 15K and they didn't want a mare. Now, I can understand not being sure about price when they made the appointment a week prior - but she was a mare when they made the appointment, and low and behold - she was still a mare when they cancelled.

Jill

Ruperman
Aug. 31, 2009, 12:10 PM
I was always told:

"A horse is worth what someone will pay".

As far as etiquette goes for buying and selling, just be respectful in everything that you do.

Oakstable
Sep. 1, 2009, 08:49 AM
The Golden Rule applies.

If someone was just curious about a horse, what would be wrong with saying that you would like to see what a (fill in the blank) bred horse is like.

IMO, it is wrong to PRETEND to be a buyer. The owner may have to hire assistance in getting that horse ready for presentation and to be ridden for the alledged buyer.

atlatl
Sep. 1, 2009, 09:58 AM
I've had a related but different experience; sellers who were insulted when after watching them ride the horse, I declined to mount up. Those horses just weren't for me and I didn't want to waste anymore of anyone's time. It was about 50-50 on those that appreciated it and those that resented it.

Buying and selling is so much fun...

CatOnLap
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:50 AM
I've had a related but different experience; sellers who were insulted when after watching them ride the horse, I declined to mount up. Those horses just weren't for me and I didn't want to waste anymore of anyone's time. It was about 50-50 on those that appreciated it and those that resented it.

Buying and selling is so much fun...
Well, it can be, if you have good spirits and patience.
I have done the same thing atlatl, I will always have the horse ridden for me to watch first if it is saddle broke. Most of the time I decline to ride because mostly I look at about 100 horses before I buy one and I don't risk my neck on anything but something I am likely to buy. No seller was ever put off by my refusal to ride, they all politely accepted that I said the horse was not quite suitable for me.

It is insulting when I have cleared a Saturday morning for someone who rolls in to "lookyloo and kick tires" for the horse I have spit shined/NOT taken to a horseshow so he can get looked at/NOT taken my other horse who was also going to go to this horseshow so the first horse can get looked at/cancelled a lesson/not gone to the family BBQ so the horse can get looked at/taken off work/whatever, and then they rideykins around forever and then act all surprised when the horse is STILL $15,000 and will I take $5,000?

See, in the business of selling a horse, I would probably not have cleared a show day for a single buyer. Nor an important family get-together.I would have worked around those events with the prospective buyer, for example, invite them to come to the show grounds at a certain time to view the horse compete and such, and come home to ride it another time if they still liked it. I think you have learned something about marketing and selling here. It seems what you resent is missing your show/BBQ for a no-sale. And in marketing, showing the horse would probably bring you a great many more buyers. The family BBQ not so much, but one does have to have priorities. Work very seldom takes priority over a great family time in my week.

Anyway, next time you will be more careful in your scheduling and do the same excellent prep and perhaps the horse will sell or not, but you will not feel that you missed out on all counts.







ETA:Here's the thing about making it easy but not too easy for your buyer. As a buyer I once looked at a video of a stud I was interested in. Called the seller, who was hours and hours drive from here and things sounded promising, but a few things were red flags- they said he was 15.3 hh, but they had no stick and on the video he looked about 15 hh with someone standing beside him. They said he was saddle broke, but no footage on video of riding, only liberty. Nice mover and gorgeous markings though. Anyway, they made it real easy for me- invited me and a friend to come stay with them overnight if we wanted to spend a weekend driving and talking horses. OK, we did that. Horse was a shade over 14.2 by the stick and had such a bulldog shoulder that fitting a saddle was nigh on impossible, and they had no riding ring- only rocky sloped pasture... Those folks were quite resentful that they had really gone out of their way for us ( and they had, they were hospitable with dinner ready and everything) and I wasn't even going to try and ride the beastie. To be polite I did sit on him but he was really really green and it did not feel safe to me. plus my toes were hitting his knees.
We thanked them for all their trouble. But truthfully, had they not made it so easy for me, I wouldn't have taken the look at a horse that sounded somewhat unsuitable from the start.

Valentina_32926
Sep. 1, 2009, 02:09 PM
See, I don't understand why you felt insulted. The price offered has little to do with your horse and much more to do with the prospective buyer's budget, attitude and habits. The fact that you kept the horse suggests to me that no offer that you received was acceptable to you and that you really didn't want to sell. Or possibly that you had priced the horse too high for the market. In any case, if you are a person who wants to buy and sell horses, I hope you were able to keep your insulted feeling under wraps and bid the buyer a polite goodbye. One never knows when that will come back to you..

I usually own horses for life - so I don't have to worry about selling them - and you are WRONG - about my willingness to sell - I had another buyer in line - an older woman who would have LOVED my mare - and she had the money, her trainer talked her out of buying my push button mare to buy a younger horse (so said trainer sould "train" younger horse and make more money off the sale"... Obviously YOU jump to CONCLUSIONS easily/ :lol::cool:

I got insulted because she knew the price BEFORE she tried the mare, the price was a bit high but not by much, and she came back several times before making an offer. If she couldn't afford the mare why waste my time? One try should have convinced her to make an offer and we could have been done with my rejecting said offer. What makes you think I'd sell my sweet mare to some wet behind the ears kid out of college who wanted a 20K horse for 10K? If she couldn't afford the 20K how was she going to afford board, a saddle that fit, etc?

Best for the horse if I refused - so I did. :yes: Best if you don't put words into other people's mouths or jump erroneously at conclusions.


I think maybe the issue is that we all agree that as buyers, looking at horses way out of your price range is discourteous.

Agreed - It's something I would never do.

Dressage Art
Sep. 1, 2009, 03:01 PM
There is a really interesting TV show now on HGTV called "real estate intervention". It's about sellers who price their house too high for the current economy and can't find the buyer for it for months. The real estate agent comes with comps and advices what they should do and why/what price they should ask. It's amazing to see the degree of subjectivness why some owners think that their house is better and what they like in their horse. they will fight with all 4 that their house is worth more, yet nobody is buying it ??? = it really reminds me about similar subjectivness in selling/buying horses - what one rider will like and what other rider will not like in the same horse.

You can see it on the web right from that link or catch it on your TV:

http://www.hgtv.com/real-estate-intervention/show/index.html

The bottom line: there is NO reasoning with some sellers/buyers ;)

YankeeLawyer
Sep. 1, 2009, 03:12 PM
There is a really interesting TV show now on HGTV called "real estate intervention". It's about sellers who price their house too high for the current economy and can't find the buyer for it for months. The real estate agent comes with comps and advices what they should do and why/what price they should ask. It's amazing to see the degree of subjectivness why some owners think that their house is better and what they like in their horse. they will fight with all 4 that their house is worth more, yet nobody is buying it ??? = it really reminds me about similar subjectivness in selling/buying horses - what one rider will like and what other rider will not like in the same horse.

You can see it on the web right from that link or catch it on your TV:

http://www.hgtv.com/real-estate-intervention/show/index.html

The bottom line: there is NO reasoning with some sellers/buyers ;)

But have you noticed that sometimes the interventionist dude is overly pessimistic, and the stubborn sellers who do stick to their guns get more $$ than he thought possible?

Dressage Art
Sep. 1, 2009, 04:05 PM
No, I didn't see that yet + for people with 2 mortgages every month is a loss of about $1,000+ I also can share when I put my very first house on the market for sale at $145K and got an instant cash offer in the same day with 7 days to move out. I declined it (was too rushed to move out) and 10 month latter I ended up selling that house for $110K + replacing all of the carpet, + replacing the air conditioned that broke, + replacing the leaky faucet that broke during that time + paying $800 per month for 10 month for the empty house in the other state. I learned a hard lesson on that one ;)

It does relate to horses since the board $ can add up and vet bills can come up as well. sometimes the best is to meet in the middle, when the seller thinks that she is almost giving her horse away yet the buyer thinks that she is overpaying for that horse ;)

But I agree that if the market for the special horse (or house) is small, there is no reason to lower the price, the best would be to wait for the right buyer if you can afford it. And if the horse is ridable, trainable and has no vises = it will hold its value even in the bad market. But the horses with some issues will loose their value, since the amount of horses available for sale is more, but the amount of sellers are less.

meupatdoes
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:04 AM
See, in the business of selling a horse, I would probably not have cleared a show day for a single buyer. Nor an important family get-together.I would have worked around those events with the prospective buyer, for example, invite them to come to the show grounds at a certain time to view the horse compete and such, and come home to ride it another time if they still liked it. I think you have learned something about marketing and selling here. It seems what you resent is missing your show/BBQ for a no-sale. And in marketing, showing the horse would probably bring you a great many more buyers. The family BBQ not so much, but one does have to have priorities. Work very seldom takes priority over a great family time in my week.

Anyway, next time you will be more careful in your scheduling and do the same excellent prep and perhaps the horse will sell or not, but you will not feel that you missed out on all counts.


Both you and Gloria continue to miss my point.

Obviously people look at more than just my horse. However many horses they look at, they will only buy one. I do not get annoyed at all when a legitimate and serious buyer comes in and thinks another horse would be better for her.

MY POINT is that it is ridiculous to drive down the driveway on a horse you know you will not buy under ANY circumstances, because the price is out of your league. If you are driving down my barn's driveway to look at my horse KNOWING before you even turn the wheel that you won't buy the horse unless I take a lowball offer of 1/3 the asking price, then you are wasting my time.

In this situation the courteous thing to do would be to call on the phone and say, "I'm not ready to buy now but I would still like to see your horse. Are you still willing to show him to me?" I do not understand the great big resistance to this concept.

Lecturing me about "being more careful in my scheduling" and what plans I should and should not cancel to make myself available to potential buyers is completely beside the point and frankly, somewhat obnoxious.

CatOnLap
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:46 AM
I completely understand your point, I simply do not agree with you.
Your tone was resentful that you did not make the sale after making some extraordinary shifts in scheduling in your personal life. I offer a realistic suggestion as to how to avoid that resentment. Many here have offered reasons why it is often a good idea for buyers to sometimes look above their ordinary "budget". You find approaches from such buyers discourteous. But for the right horse, a 5K budget in hand is easily converted to 15K with a healthy credit card or a seller willing to arrange terms. Hell if they own their own house, they can turn that 5K into 50K with a secured line of credit, for the right horse that they feel is worth it. BUT- They rode your horse and after their thorough trial ride, they felt it was only worth 5K to them. They might have said it was their budget, but that's really moot. It is a bargaining technique, maybe you don't like it, just like sellers who overprice their horses so they can bargain down to a price they actually want, is a bargaining technique.


I don't see where the prospective buyer was discourteous in any way. Not like they called you names or obnoxious or anything. They even showed up for the appointment that you shifted horses, shows and family for! Not showing up, without calling to cancel, now that I would consider discourteous.

meupatdoes
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:20 AM
I completely understand your point, I simply do not agree with you.
Your tone was resentful that you did not make the sale after making some extraordinary shifts in scheduling in your personal life. I offer a realistic suggestion as to how to avoid that resentment. Many here have offered reasons why it is often a good idea for buyers to sometimes look above their ordinary "budget". You find approaches from such buyers discourteous. But for the right horse, a 5K budget in hand is easily converted to 15K with a healthy credit card or a seller willing to arrange terms. Hell if they own their own house, they can turn that 5K into 50K with a secured line of credit, for the right horse that they feel is worth it. BUT- They rode your horse and after their thorough trial ride, they felt it was only worth 5K to them. They might have said it was their budget, but that's really moot. It is a bargaining technique, maybe you don't like it, just like sellers who overprice their horses so they can bargain down to a price they actually want, is a bargaining technique.


I don't see where the prospective buyer was discourteous in any way. Not like they called you names or obnoxious or anything. They even showed up for the appointment that you shifted horses, shows and family for! Not showing up, without calling to cancel, now that I would consider discourteous.

It is a "bargaining technique" if the offer is somewhere in the vincinity of the asking price. If someone is offering HALF or A THIRD, that is not bargaining. That is looking at a horse you couldn't afford. Sure some sellers price a horse with a little room. They do not price a horse with 66% room for $15,000 hoping to get $5,000.

Such a "buyer" is discourteous because they are showing up for an appointment for a horse they CAN NOT AFFORD from BEFORE THEY EVEN MEET THE HORSE.

You seriously think that it is somehow my fault that someone who only has $5,000 liquid who is coming to look at a $15,000 horse doesn't love my $15,000 horse enough to take out a line of credit on their house??!

Either I should make sure my horse is a little nicer so they are inspired to overleverage OR they could stick to looking at horses that are priced in the whereabouts of $5,000 and not waste the time of sellers whose horses they can't afford. Hmmm, which suggestion sounds a little more realistic?

In an earlier post when you went to go look at a hony you thought was unsuitable for you from the video you seemed to be blaming the sellers again for being too accomodating and making it "easy" for you to tirekick. It really is the buyer's job to make sure the buyer is not tirekicking, not the sellers.

If you are looking at over 100 horses before you buy one, my suggestion would be to narrow down your search criteria on internet ads and look at videos more carefully. If it looks small in the video, it isn't going to magically grow upon your arrival. (Nor will my AppQH dressage/hunter/eventer magically turn into a $3,000 draft cross trail horse, which is what one buyer who came to try him eventually said was more along the lines of what they were looking for.)

It is starting to seem like going to look at horses is a fun weekend activity for you, which you justify by blaming the sellers for their own willingness to be accommodating.


Maybe you think it would be perfectly reasonable for me to look at over 100 horses scoring 70%+ in GP competition. I mean, I would SHOW UP to the appointments that the sellers scheduled their lives to accomodate. It's not like I would waste their time by no showing, no sirree. I would have a lovely ride on someone else's very nice horse. Then I would politely (without calling them names) offer them a low ball offer of $20,000. Perhaps somebody somewhere would accept that low ball. Who knows? Couldn't hurt to try. Possibly I could even get one of the sellers to let me stay the weekend and feed me dinner. A fun little road trip, a ride on a made GP horse or 90, a free bed and breakfast....what's not to like?
After all, there is always the slight possibility that I will remortgage my house, and either way it is the sellers' fault for being so accomodating.

Dressage Art
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:28 AM
Some people may honestly feel that some horses are worth only 5K for them. My mare was for sale for $25K, my trainer thought she wouldn't pay more than 15K for her (rearing = not an amateur horse) but one of my close friends (worked as a vet at Kentucky’s horse racing barns) said that she wouldn't pay more than a $5K for her since she doesn't like her front end - why? - Straight shoulder + just a gut feeling, she just didn't like it. Was really trying hard to talk me out of that. She even double vetted her herself and wasn't able to find anything. But several years later my mare was diagnosed with navicular. I have no regrets of buying my mare, but I know several people who wouldn't take her even for free.

meupatdoes
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:36 AM
Some people may honestly feel that some horses are worth only 5K for them. My mare was for sale for $25K, my trainer thought she wouldn't pay more than 15K for her (rearing = not an amateur horse) but one of my close friends (worked as a vet at Kentucky’s horse racing barns) said that she wouldn't pay more than a $5K for her since she doesn't like her front end - why? - Straight shoulder + just a gut feeling, she just didn't like it. Was really trying hard to talk me out of that. She even double vetted her herself and wasn't able to find anything. But several years later my mare was diagnosed with navicular. I have no regrets of buying my mare, but I know several people who wouldn't take her even for free.

Which is fine.
Hopefully they would deduce as much from the photos, videos and phone conversation prior to scheduling an appointment.

I wouldn't pay $5 for a Friesan even if I had $50,000 to spend. Just not my type.
I also will not schedule an appointment to look at a Friesan.

Coppers mom
Sep. 2, 2009, 02:41 PM
It is a "bargaining technique" if the offer is somewhere in the vincinity of the asking price. If someone is offering HALF or A THIRD, that is not bargaining. That is looking at a horse you couldn't afford. Sure some sellers price a horse with a little room. They do not price a horse with 66% room for $15,000 hoping to get $5,000.

Such a "buyer" is discourteous because they are showing up for an appointment for a horse they CAN NOT AFFORD from BEFORE THEY EVEN MEET THE HORSE.

You seriously think that it is somehow my fault that someone who only has $5,000 liquid who is coming to look at a $15,000 horse doesn't love my $15,000 horse enough to take out a line of credit on their house??!

Either I should make sure my horse is a little nicer so they are inspired to overleverage OR they could stick to looking at horses that are priced in the whereabouts of $5,000 and not waste the time of sellers whose horses they can't afford. Hmmm, which suggestion sounds a little more realistic?

In an earlier post when you went to go look at a hony you thought was unsuitable for you from the video you seemed to be blaming the sellers again for being too accomodating and making it "easy" for you to tirekick. It really is the buyer's job to make sure the buyer is not tirekicking, not the sellers.

If you are looking at over 100 horses before you buy one, my suggestion would be to narrow down your search criteria on internet ads and look at videos more carefully. If it looks small in the video, it isn't going to magically grow upon your arrival. (Nor will my AppQH dressage/hunter/eventer magically turn into a $3,000 draft cross trail horse, which is what one buyer who came to try him eventually said was more along the lines of what they were looking for.)

It is starting to seem like going to look at horses is a fun weekend activity for you, which you justify by blaming the sellers for their own willingness to be accommodating.


Maybe you think it would be perfectly reasonable for me to look at over 100 horses scoring 70%+ in GP competition. I mean, I would SHOW UP to the appointments that the sellers scheduled their lives to accomodate. It's not like I would waste their time by no showing, no sirree. I would have a lovely ride on someone else's very nice horse. Then I would politely (without calling them names) offer them a low ball offer of $20,000. Perhaps somebody somewhere would accept that low ball. Who knows? Couldn't hurt to try. Possibly I could even get one of the sellers to let me stay the weekend and feed me dinner. A fun little road trip, a ride on a made GP horse or 90, a free bed and breakfast....what's not to like?
After all, there is always the slight possibility that I will remortgage my house, and either way it is the sellers' fault for being so accomodating.

YES!!

horsebliss
Sep. 17, 2009, 10:50 PM
Whoa! I read this thread to try to get a better understanding of how sellers (and buyers) feel about below asking price offers in this market. I must say, I'm more confused now than ever! :confused:

I've been looking at listings for sale horses to buy a horse for the first time as an adult (I grew up riding and training Morgans). I have a bit of a buyer's dilemma, in that my budget doesn't quite match my taste. ;) So, I suppose I have a few options 1) I can lower my standards. 2) I can wait until I have a bigger budget. 3) I can buy a horse in my price range now, and then sell it to buy another horse at some point in the future - though this doesn't fit with my plan to buy a horse that I will be happy with permanently. or 4) I can try to get a great deal in the slow market that we are in right now.

My plan has been to go with option #4. However, I am a peaceful and honest individual and I'd like to go about it in a courteous manner. Which is proving to be a rather difficult task, even with research, since everyone has different levels of emotional attachment to the issue.

I think it is going a bit too far to be totally upfront about my budget on a first call or email. I think, as some of you have said, that without meeting the seller and horse in question I am doing myself a disservice. I am a natural horsewoman, have good riding and training skills, will provide a great and loving life-long home, and horses just love me ;). I think a seller needs to experience that first hand in order to factor it into the "money equation". Also, I'm not trying to get a great deal on a 2-4 year old so that I can train him and turn a profit in a couple years. I want a great horse with good conformation and breeding that I can enjoy for a lifetime of riding and companionship.

So how high (above my budget) is TOO high of a price to go look at? I'm not considering any horses whose price is out of my range and listed as "firm". I'm only going to contact sellers who have advertised that they are negotiable. But how do I broach the topic of "how negotiable are you - so I don't waste your time?" without going into specifics about prices before going to look at the horse in person? I'm not talking about multiple visits, vet check, and then offering half the asking price... but maybe offering half the asking price (to someone who has advertised being negotiable remember) after one showing.

I read a great article somewhere online earlier this year called "The Art of Low-Ball Horse Buying". Basically it stated that anything under half the asking price is a "low-ball" offer, and that to be succesful you must be honest with the buyer that your offer reflects only your budget and sincere interest in the horse, not the quality (or lack thereof) of the horse.

Any advice and opinions are appreciated (as long as they aren't combative or derrogatory). Thanks!

EiRide
Sep. 17, 2009, 11:02 PM
I've been looking at listings for sale horses to buy a horse for the first time as an adult (I grew up riding and training Morgans). I have a bit of a buyer's dilemma, in that my budget doesn't quite match my taste.

I'd say don't waste time on horses that are more than 20% above your budget.

ALSO, to increase that budget as you search, each month set aside the costs of keeping the horse in your 'purchase account.' Board, farrier costs, routine vet costs, showing, extra lessons above what you currently take, etc.

Amazing how fast that adds up to increase your purchase power--even with a backyard horse, it's multiple hundreds per month. ALSO, if you find you can't set aside that money every single month no matter what, think twice about your ability to keep a horse comfortably on your current budget.

veezee
Sep. 17, 2009, 11:06 PM
Only offer what you can afford to pay. As you know some sellers may price high but only hope to find a "good home" for their horse while others just want the money. It will just depend on the circumstances but the bottom line is no matter what the horse costs it is the least expensive part of buying that horse. The most important thing is to make sure you can afford whatever you are going to offer to pay and make sure you have extra money set aside for emergencies and the best care you can give to your new horse.

Fairview Horse Center
Sep. 18, 2009, 12:24 AM
As you know some sellers may price high but only hope to find a "good home" for their horse while others just want the money.

There is another type seller, the ones that have worked hard to produce a nice prospect, and believe they have priced it fairly. I have "pre-negotiated" my prices, and list them well below what others of similar quality and training are selling for. I put this statement on my website, "My policy is to list the horses at what I believe to be very reasonable prices for their quality & training, and the lowest I am willing to sell them for. I personally find the negotiating process to be unfair to both buyer and seller."

I have no desire to be a good negotiater/seller. I want to be a good breeder.

Would I lower a price? Yes, if there is a finding on the PPE that I was unaware of when I priced the horse. Have I lowered the price for any of my sold horses? Nope. I will CHANGE a POSTED price, if I feel the market, or the horse's training level has changed, or if I really need to move something.

slc2
Sep. 18, 2009, 06:33 AM
I have gotten some very nice deals simply by being honest up front, and don't see why not tell the seller how much you are willing to pay right at the start, and let THEM decide if they want to take the time to get the horse ready for you.

Some will do so not because you will buy, but because you might tell someone about the horse and THEY might buy it. Some will do it because they think if you like the horse you will borrow some more money and buy the horse, and that some counter offer can be worked out. Some of them figure most people are not being truthful about how much they're willing to spend, and they are playing a little bit of a game with the seller, well the seller can play too.

Normally, I wouldn't offer less than 20% under the asking price unless something unusual was going on. But I also, normally, wouldn't go to see a horse priced at 75,000 when it was worth 25,000. I just wouldn't even go there. If the seller is that off the beam, there are plenty others who aren't. I would look at the horse's details and only go to see horses of a specific age range, training level, and price in the first place. You cut out a lot of trouble just by doing that. It's the 'don't even go there' approach. If the horse is more than 20% over what you have, don't go try it.

From time to time, an amateur (or even a pro) has a horse for sale at a very inflated price. You go, you try, you offer, they get all huffy, and in eight months when they haven't sold, they call you back and you work out a deal. But one really has to know the market very well to know if a horse is going to sell or not, and while all horses are taking longer to sell, if it won't sell for a very long time, it might not be something you want.

What I would not suggest, is assuming that anything goes in this market. I think that is a huge mistake. First of all, many of the people selling horses (especially more expensive ones) are 'recession proof'. The middle and low end of the market is a disaster, but not all of the market is a disaster. Don't make too many assumptions.

Remember that the worse the economy gets, the more desperate some people get to sell at any price, but a lot of people get very desperate to not sell a horse and lose money. If they've lost their job they may feel they HAVE to get a certain amount for the horse, and yolu may be dealing with a pretty tense person if they really are in trouble.

Fairview Horse Center
Sep. 18, 2009, 09:31 AM
For sellers, these have been posted a few years ago as suggestions to eliminate the tire kickers.

SELLING:
The big question is - are you ready to buy a horse NOW?
Followed by: is this horse within your budget and do you have the money now?
And: Will your trainer need to approve this purchase and if so, will she/he be coming?
If no, how will we achieve this goal - video, second trip, what? And so on.

“Are you ready to purchase a horse now? I ask this because I DO have someone coming (next week, this weekend, etc) that IS ready to purchase immediately if they like the horse, and they do expect to as they have seen the video and/or siblings, bloodlines, sire, etc. I know many people are shopping for the future, they need to sell something first, or are waiting for stall space to open up, etc, and not quite ready to purchase. I wouldn’t want to waste your time looking at a prospect that may be sold before you are in a position to buy.”

RESPONSE….
If that is the case, we should schedule this visit closer to when you expect to be in a position to purchase.

Another:
Our policy is a bit different than most sellers in that we do sell at the listed price. Is this horse’s price in the range of what you expect to spend on a young prospect? Do you have a trainer that will need to approve of this purchase? We do not offer commission to the buyer’s trainer as we feel the trainer is working for their client, not for us. Will they have a problem with this policy?

I look at them differently. A few tire kickers gives me the opportunity to see how the youngsters will respond under different aids, and different levels if riding. It helps the youngster to experience different riders.

pluvinel
Sep. 18, 2009, 02:19 PM
Well....27 years ago, (before Aiken became a "destination" for the masses) I purchased an advanced eventer for $3,500 when the asking price was $15,000.

18 years ago, I bought a German-bred Hanoverian (pink papers), by Dynamo (important sire) 2yr-old for $3500.

Last year a friend bought a steeplechaser listed at $80,000 for $8,000. It is her dressage horse.

This year a friend got a 16 yr-old DW who had been part of a team that went to the Olympics for free.

I also paid more than the price on my 2007 F250 for a horse that was way beyond my budget because I liked the horse and seller.

So....pardon me sellers if my offers insults you. I don't know your situation. I know enough of these cases where I figure it doesn't hurt to ask and rejections are free. I will work around the sellers schedule to not disturb special plans. I just want to see the horse and meet the seller. We can start the dialog then....but if you price your horse so high and have an attitude such that people will not even start the conversation, then a potential sale may be lost.

EqTrainer
Dec. 12, 2009, 07:05 PM
Dunno, guys.

A very successful breeder I worked for in college consistently internet low balled show horses. This woman routinely sold babies she bred 2yo and under for upwards of 20k...but when buying- routinely offered $3500-5000 on horses priced between $12-15k with show records. Granted, few were in show condition at the time of purchase...but with 30 days riding/conditioning an ex-show vet is pretty easy to bring back.

You would be shocked at how many people took her up on this. No health or soundness issues, not dinosaurs. She bought them for lesson horses. It was the nicest lesson horse selection I've ever seen in my life- and as one of the head instructors of her program at the time, I can tell you that they were the real deal.

She found that if horses weren't moving and people needed to downsize, many sellers appreciated the fall back offer to a quality facility. This was 3-6 years ago. She pretty much shopped nationally and as long as something vetted and had a show record, we bought off of video.

The amateur owner/seller is clearly at a disadvantage already, so I don't think they should be "shamed" into paying full asking price without inquiring.

I agree that the "R U negocioble?!" emails are awful! :)

Something to point out about this, is that this buyer made it EASY for the seller to sell. Video and a show record and a vetting. No trying it. No wishy washy behaviour. Straight forward and reliable.

FWIW, I am much more likely to sell a horse for less than asking price if the home is going to be stellar (and I don't mean someone is going to spoil it with treats and make it into a monster) and the horse will be likely to have a retirement there. And - an easy sale is paramount. If it's difficult I want all the money!

EqTrainer
Dec. 12, 2009, 07:06 PM
By the way, what kind of offer would be reasonable on a $3500 pony? Is $2k too low, or $2500? He's 8, not registered, has kind of a pony trot, pretty, fancy-looking dark bay, training level/schooling first, can do flying change if asked correctly (not auto), can jump 2 feet as well), is barefoot, good on trail by himself, and apparently is sound. Oh, and he's 14.1 hands.

I'd be happy to pay $3500 for that so you might want to get on it.

Invite
Dec. 12, 2009, 08:22 PM
Quite a few years ago I found a very nice yearling and weanling for sale by the same stallion who was also owned by the same person. My trainer saw the pictures and liked both horses. The seller was asking $y. I called the owner and told her up front that I could only pay $x and asked if she still wanted me to come see the colts. She was completely willing to come down to $x for either colt because she new it would be going to a show home and the woman who trained her stallion knew my trainer blah blah blah. The seller called me the night before my trip to her farm and we chatted for an hour. I drove 4 hours to see the horses. After I watched a video of her stallion, saw the dam of each colt, and saw each colt, I decided I really liked the weanling, but felt a little iffy. The yearling was a love, but just didn't have that spark. So, we are standing looking at the colts when the seller says,"I'm not sure if I remembered to tell you, but I can't accept any less then $z for the weanling and $z+ for the yearling." I told the seller,"Last time we discussed money, you said you would take $x for either one of the colts." She responded by whining about the amount of money she put into them. I was fuming. I had been completely up front about my price limit. Not only would she not accept what she was originally asking for them, she wanted even more money.

I would think that I rubbed her the wrong way or she just didn't like me, but she continued to email me new pictures of the colts. She would email me and tell me the colts were still available. I think she was either crazy or thought her colts were so wonderful that I would magically come up with the money.

Dressage&Rhinestones
Dec. 12, 2009, 08:44 PM
Personally, I just pay what the people want. The last horse I bought (my current horse) would not have been sold to me if I had price squabbled.

I have attempted to get a live, healthy foal out of a mare before and sunk a lot of money into it without getting anything out of it, so I am compassionate to the breeders of good horses. The insemination alone can cost $5000 if you're shipping semen and using a vet, not to mention the year of mare care and all the other vet calls, and foal care after birth. You can easily have a horse you've sunk $15,000 into at birth, and it can get caught in a fence, or have developmental issues, or just be a crappy horse.
This is why I just pay. I don't think that for a good quality 2 or 3 y/o $30,000 is outrageous, I think it's a good price. Much better than the $300,000 10 years down the road when it's a proven GP horse.
This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Everyone seems to want a sane and sound dressage horse by some dressage sire that is broke and started and has a show record for like $10,000 or something stupid. It doesn't matter what the economy is like!! We have to keep our North American breeders alive so that there will continue to be a supply of nice, European quality horses being born in NA! Otherwise we're going to be stuck importing, which costs a heck of a lot more than buying a horse from down the road, even an expensive one.

Already I know one breeder who didn't inseminate any of her mares this year and basically everything on her property is for sale because no one wants a good quality horse for $25,000, they want a sub-par, second best horse for $9,900. All I have to say is you get what you pay for. Dressage is an expensive sport, get used to it.

Coppers mom
Dec. 12, 2009, 10:50 PM
By the way, what kind of offer would be reasonable on a $3500 pony? Is $2k too low, or $2500? He's 8, not registered, has kind of a pony trot, pretty, fancy-looking dark bay, training level/schooling first, can do flying change if asked correctly (not auto), can jump 2 feet as well), is barefoot, good on trail by himself, and apparently is sound. Oh, and he's 14.1 hands.

Sounds like he's more than worth the $3,500. If I had a pony like that and was giving him away already, I wouldn't be at all negotiable, and especially wouldn't knock the price down by nearly half.

gettingbettereveryday
Dec. 13, 2009, 09:40 AM
Some quick thoughts on negotiation from a buyer's perspective:

1) Look at horses that are within a price range you can afford. So, if you have $2,000 to spend, seriously consider horses that cost no more than $3,000. Look at horses above and below your price range, however, to get a true sense of what the market has to offer. This will aid your negotiations later because it will give you perspective on what horses are actually worth. (i.e., Are they over- or under-priced?)

2) Begin, as Gloria mentioned above, a conversation with the seller. You're going to get nowhere fast with a seller who doesn't have the slightest interest in your story--why you're interested in this horse, what your previous experience is, what you plan to do with the horse in the future, etc. Sellers who don't want to have a conversation are generally going to insist on getting the listed price, no matter how suitable you might be for their horse. Sellers who are interested in you are going to be flexible and accommodating.

3) Only test-ride horses that seem like a perfect fit. To do otherwise is a complete waste of your time and that of the sellers. Let the seller know that you're being cautious and that you only ride those horses that seem absolutely perfect. This will help immediately establish your initial credibility.

4) Never, never, never, never tell the seller your budget. Never. That is for you to know and for the seller to guess. You throw away all of your bargaining power if you tell the seller what you have to spend.

5) After you look at the horse and test-ride, decide what you are willing to pay for the horse. Ask yourself: Am I willing to pay the full price? Is this horse worth it to me? If not, what are you willing to pay? Whatever price you settle on in your head is the ceiling for your negotiations. Do not go one penny over that number.

6) Make your initial offer. To do this, talk about what you like about the horse. For example: "Dobbin really made me feel safe when I was riding him, and I really like his size. You did a great job representing him. I would be willing to pay $X for him. Is that an offer you can accept?" By opening with a compliment, you are letting the seller know you think the horse has worth and that your offer isn't an insult, it's just negotiation.

7) Be prepared for the seller to counter your offer. The seller isn't being a jerk when he or she does this. It's just business. Keep that magic ceiling number in your head, though.

8) When the counter offer comes (if it does) and if it's over your ceiling, be prepared to make another offer. You might say, "$Y is still more than I'd like to pay for Dobbin. I do think he's a great horse, but I'm willing to go no higher than $Z."

9) Now you've given them an indication of your ceiling price. This will probably be the final step in your negotiation, and it may mean you're going to walk away from the horse. You can sweeten the offer by saying something like "I'm interested in moving fast on this process. I would be willing to get the PPE scheduled immediately, and I would like to take the horse home by the end of the month." This lets the seller know you're really interested and not just screwing around. It also offers incentive to settle on your price.

10) If the seller says no to your final offer and insists on a price that's higher than your ceiling, be prepared to walk away. You've already determined what the horse is worth to you. Walking away is hard because buying a horse is an emotional process, but paying more than you feel a horse is worth is a big mistake. And sometimes walking away is a great negotiation tool. If you are a serious buyer and you're willing to move quickly, some sellers will agree to your price instead of watching you walk.

***

I come from a family of serious negotiators. I've seen my mother get stuff for a half or third of the price just by being pleasant, reasonable and firm. I use the above methods in almost every situation--garage sales, car buying, real estate, horse buying, etc. For the most part, if you aren't a jerk and if you don't outright insult the seller, the method works.

I rarely regret a purchase I make as a result. And I just purchased a wonderful little gelding for about 20% under the purchase price. I would have paid full price. Heck, I probably would have paid more; but I made my initial offer, and the seller said "sure no problem." I kicked myself later because I probably left money on the table, but no matter. The horse is worth every dime, and I don't regret buying him for a second.

The key is to not get emotionally invested. You just need to be steady and firm. Horse buying is emotional business, but try to separate that out. This is where the services of a good trainer or a trusted friend or family member can come in handy. They're going to be able to say "um, didn't you say you would never buy another green-as-grass pony again? because this pony is awfully green." It helps to have someone there to remind you of your goals. :)

Foxtrot's
Dec. 13, 2009, 12:17 PM
You see, that's where I fall apart. If I got a horse for 20% under asking price and knew he was worth full price and that I could pay full price, I'd never feel right about negotiating even lower....that's why everything I've got is home bred and cost me F-A-R more than going straight to the market ;)

gettingbettereveryday
Dec. 13, 2009, 04:25 PM
You see, that's where I fall apart. If I got a horse for 20% under asking price and knew he was worth full price and that I could pay full price, I'd never feel right about negotiating even lower....that's why everything I've got is home bred and cost me F-A-R more than going straight to the market ;)

I don't feel bad, and here's why: the seller could have countered my offer. She could have said "nope, you and I both know he's worth the original asking price. I can't take a penny less." And then I could have either walked away or paid the full amount which was, ultimately, a fair price.

She had as much right to do that as I did; but she chose to move the gelding right then and there. She wanted him gone as she had a full barn. She had taken time to get to know me and my trainer, and she even later said "I wish all buyers were like you" because we were decisive, knowledgeable, and polite. Because she had a sense of who I am, she knew what kind of home he would be going to, and it matched her expectations.

It was a win-win. Sure, she didn't get her full price, but the horse is very loved and very pampered. I didn't pay full price which allowed me to pamper him even more. ;)

What would make me feel bad or unethical would be insulting the seller's merchandise or trying to undermine her position in the negotiations in some underhanded way, such as walking away before polite, reasonable negotiations have happened as a tactic to scare her into taking less or presenting some cockamamie sob story designed to tug her heartstrings or some other nonsense. That's never OK. Paying less than the asking price even when you know the merchandise is worth it is just good negotiation!

ToN Farm
Dec. 13, 2009, 04:40 PM
Never, never, never, never tell the seller your budget. Never.

When a person shops where there are multiple horses for sale, giving your budget range is required. You can't just say "show me every horse in the barn that is for sale". Why should a seller bring out 100k+ horses for you to look at when you can't afford more than 20k?

The first question you will be asked when you have someone help you look for a horse, is your budget and what kind of horse you want.

A wise shopper has a good idea of horse prices. I didn't read the other posts, but I would never even inquire on a horse that I couldn't pay the asking price. Whether I offered less, and how much less, would depend on a variety of things. I think the more expensive the horse, the more flexabilty in the price, but I could be wrong. Personally, I'm not a wheeler/dealer type, so I've pretty much paid the asking price and felt the horse was worth it.

slc2
Dec. 13, 2009, 05:43 PM
Most sellers will not deal with you at all unless you state something about what you are willing to pay, some sort of range.

The trick is not in avoiding telling them what you are willing to pay out; the trick is figuring out whether the horse they are selling is worth the price they are asking.

In a lot of sale barns, if you say you have 50k to spend, all the horses in the barn will suddenly cost 50k. You have to be the one to decide if the horse is fairly priced.

I don't buy many horses, but I think in most situations with dealers or agents, you can't avoid making some sort of statement about your range.

I think it's different with private sellers selling one horse. There is an advertised price, usually, and by answering the ad, you're making an implied statement about what your range of interest is.

There's a difference between 'budget' and 'what you are willing to pay'. You may have 15k but not be willing to pay that for a given horse. I think it is better to talk about what you're willing to pay, than what your budget is.

I think it's ok to say, 'I'm looking in the neighborhood of 15k, thereabouts'. I've been with a couple more experienced people who said, '15k, but it needs to be a 15k horse' (LOL).

I think the people who say the key is not getting emotional, are right. Negotiations should be kept simple and to the point. I think whatever offer is made, just don't jerk people around or waste their time. It's also good if you have your agent do the kicking and screaming, but you will pay for that.

egontoast
Dec. 13, 2009, 06:41 PM
Sorry I didn't read the responses so apologize if this has been said but just wanted to say just don't insult the seller/breeder.

In many cases the seller/breeder is selling at a loss or near loss these days.

One thing that worked for me which may have been a little unorthodox but was honest.

I said, I love the horse. I do know he is worth more but this is my budget so thought I would ask anyway. Can we discuss? This was the truth and I think the breeder knew it was the truth and it led to a successful negotiation.

Key thing. Don't insult the seller OR THE HORSE! if you are trying to negotiate a lower price.

Coppers mom
Dec. 13, 2009, 06:47 PM
Most sellers will not deal with you at all unless you state something about what you are willing to pay, some sort of range.

This is just so incredibly wrong. I know you said you don't buy a lot of horses, but seriously? Most won't even deal with you unless you say how much you have to spend? Wrong.

I'm willing to bet that 99% of sellers will NOT ask what your price range is. If you're inquiring about a horse (where the price is listed), obviously it's in your price range. And if you inquire about a price when it's not listed? They're not going to ask you what you can spend first. The only time sellers are likely to ask what your price range is is if they have several horses that may work for what you're looking for, or if you call an agent without inquiring about a specific horse.

Beam Me Up
Dec. 13, 2009, 07:01 PM
I said, I love the horse. I do know he is worth more but this is my budget so thought I would ask anyway. Can we discuss? This was the truth and I think the breeder knew it was the truth and it led to a successful negotiation.

Key thing. Don't insult the seller OR THE HORSE! if you are trying to negotiate a lower price.


I go back and forth on this a lot.

Is it more powerful to say "I love the horse but cannot afford it?" which gives you the "good home" points, but also implies that the horse is well priced and raises the possibility that someone with more money might also love the horse.

Or is it better to say "I love the horse but I really couldn't pay X for a horse 30 days under saddle at age 6" (or whatever)? Because the seller likes you a lot less in this scenario, but may fear that she can't get her price from anyone.

I'm interested in what others think. I guess I normally don't state a reason (can't afford or not worth it), just say "would you be willing to take X" but am curious how the different strategies would work.

egontoast
Dec. 13, 2009, 07:13 PM
Well in my case, I really thought the horse was worth the asking price and I knew the breeder knew the horse was worth the asking price so for me to try and trash the horse was not going to have the desired effect.

it wasn't about offering 'a good home". it was about recognizing the value of the horse and respecting the breeder while making a lower offer as opposed to criticizing the horse and suggesting he wasn't worth the asking price (which we both knew was not true).

So it depends. i was lucky because the breeder needed to downsize so was motivated to sell but (understandably) had pride as well. If I had said the horse was not worth the asking price ( not true) I know I would not have been able to buy the horse. Every situation is different.

slc2
Dec. 13, 2009, 08:49 PM
Most won't even deal with you unless you say how much you have to spend? Wrong."

I said almost identical wording to what you are saying in your post, and I think of it almost identically to what you're writing, so am not sure where I went so 'wrong' in your eyes. If I don't agree with you, it doesn't mean I'm 'so wrong', it means we had different experiences.

When I call up a dealer, s/he asks what range you are looking at today.

If you say you can't give a range to look at, s/he likely says, 'I don't see how we can proceed', he doesn't want to tack up and show (and or drive to) all 10 20 or 30, not in two hours.

I'm willing to bet that 99% of sellers will NOT ask what your price range is."

"The only time sellers are likely to ask what your price range is is if they have several horses that may work for what you're looking for, or if you call an agent without inquiring about a specific horse."

That's what I specifically referred to. I mentioned one has to determine if the horses are fairly priced.

My experience has been that agents/dealers do want to know a range you want to look at that day.

And it does not mean revealing what is in your checking account or what your top line is. It means you're agreeing to look at a specific group of horses on a given day because nobody has 10 or 12 hrs per customer.

If one doesn't know that barn or agent, one gets kind of a ballpark idea of what a barn is pricing horses at.

Hopefully, he looks at the first 1-2 horses, he starts feeling they're overpriced for what they are. He can politely say, 'can I see a horse in x range instead?' and see if that goes any better.

meupatdoes
Dec. 13, 2009, 08:49 PM
This is just so incredibly wrong. I know you said you don't buy a lot of horses, but seriously? Most won't even deal with you unless you say how much you have to spend? Wrong.

I'm willing to bet that 99% of sellers will NOT ask what your price range is. If you're inquiring about a horse (where the price is listed), obviously it's in your price range. And if you inquire about a price when it's not listed? They're not going to ask you what you can spend first. The only time sellers are likely to ask what your price range is is if they have several horses that may work for what you're looking for, or if you call an agent without inquiring about a specific horse.

I ABSOLUTLEY make sure the interested party and myself are on the same page financially before I go through the whole song and dance about schooling the horse toward the buyer in the days before the test ride, spit shining it, clearing my schedule for them, etc etc.


I recently had somebody interested in looking at two of my horses. She heard about them from a friend and contacted me to make an appointment to come out and see them etc etc. I wrote back that it would be great to see her on Sunday, but just so she knows before coming out the one is $40k to buy and the other is $15k the year.
She was like, "Oh, I better pass then. My budget is $20k."


What would have been the point of an entire day dedicated to showing her horses that were way out of her league?

Am I supposed to not ask about her budget at all and just wait until AFTER she has ridden both of my horses to discover that oh hey this whole scenario was up the river before I even got out of bed?

NO WAY will I show someone a horse until I know we are in the same ball park on the budget. I have nice horses which I am training TO SELL, not give pony rides.

sketcher
Dec. 13, 2009, 09:05 PM
So sometimes, if you really want the horse, its better not to try and bargain. Especially if you're a loud mouth know-it-all...

:D

egontoast
Dec. 13, 2009, 09:12 PM
So sometimes, if you really want the horse, its better not to try and bargain. Especially if you're a loud mouth know-it-all...


exactly!:yes:

Coppers mom
Dec. 13, 2009, 10:14 PM
I recently had somebody interested in looking at two of my horses. She heard about them from a friend and contacted me to make an appointment to come out and see them etc etc. I wrote back that it would be great to see her on Sunday, but just so she knows before coming out the one is $40k to buy and the other is $15k the year.
She was like, "Oh, I better pass then. My budget is $20k."


Did you list the price with the horses? Did your friend tell them how much the horses were? I can't imagine someone seriously coming out and only having half to spend. Most tend to call first when they have that big of a difference in price, as that's a little more than "negotiable".

And SLC, that's not at all what you said. Most sellers are not agents with tons of horses in the barn. And even then, most of the people looking for horses aren't going to call out of the blue, never having seen or heard of the horse and it's pricing. The number of "What do you have to spend before I deal with you?" encounters are no where near "most". Horse sellers have a bad enough name to begin with, don't perpetuate it with this kind of mis-information.

meupatdoes
Dec. 14, 2009, 07:37 AM
Did you list the price with the horses? Did your friend tell them how much the horses were? I can't imagine someone seriously coming out and only having half to spend. Most tend to call first when they have that big of a difference in price, as that's a little more than "negotiable".

And SLC, that's not at all what you said. Most sellers are not agents with tons of horses in the barn. And even then, most of the people looking for horses aren't going to call out of the blue, never having seen or heard of the horse and it's pricing. The number of "What do you have to spend before I deal with you?" encounters are no where near "most". Horse sellers have a bad enough name to begin with, don't perpetuate it with this kind of mis-information.

She made the appointment to come out without asking or knowing the prices first. She found out through a friend who didn't know the numbers, just told her about the horses.

Yes, somebody made an appointment to drive over an hour one way to spend an afternoon riding two horses, asked for mapquest and everything, without bothering to find out the price range. "Hmm, today I'll go see some horses to look at. Have got NO IDEA how much they are. All part of the suspense!"

People really, really seem to like pony rides.
It must be the equine version of those open house tours.... see another barn, drive through nice countryside, make chit chat with another horse person, see how they ride, get to ride something different....

slc2
Dec. 14, 2009, 08:02 AM
I discussed the two separately, individual and dealer/agent sales, and they are very different and people proceed differently in each case. I don't always deal with agent/dealer, and I don't always deal with private sellers selling one horse, and the two are very different, and both indeed exist, in whatever proportion someone wants to say, based on their experience.

I agree with meupatdoes, that someone selling horses does need to know what the potential buyer has in mind for a price range before he starts working with the person. They can't do business otherwise. Even a person selling one horse is entitled to feel out if the buyer is serious; a person may or may not answer their questions, usually the buyer can say, 'you're in my range' without revealing what's in his bank account, and can go look at the horse that way.

Sellers just don't have the time and it isn't fair to them at all, they are people too, and just because someone is selling a horse doesn't mean they don't have some rights to spend their time usefully. It isn't about 'giving them a bad reputation', it's just about being fair to them.

Some people bargain more, some less, people like to proceed different ways and have different feelings about it, it's very interesting to read different people's impressions. Without a bluebook or government regulation, horse sales experience will always involve different folks having different experiences and ideas, none are 'wrong'.

Coppers mom
Dec. 14, 2009, 03:33 PM
She made the appointment to come out without asking or knowing the prices first. She found out through a friend who didn't know the numbers, just told her about the horses.

Yes, somebody made an appointment to drive over an hour one way to spend an afternoon riding two horses, asked for mapquest and everything, without bothering to find out the price range. "Hmm, today I'll go see some horses to look at. Have got NO IDEA how much they are. All part of the suspense!"

People really, really seem to like pony rides.
It must be the equine version of those open house tours.... see another barn, drive through nice countryside, make chit chat with another horse person, see how they ride, get to ride something different....
:lol::lol: at the suspense part!

I can just see it now... "Oh, that place looks lovely! Let's go wander around for a while" doo doo doo :lol::lol:

I can't believe she didn't even ask the horse's price from your friend. That's just weird.

SuperSTB
Dec. 14, 2009, 03:59 PM
She made the appointment to come out without asking or knowing the prices first. She found out through a friend who didn't know the numbers, just told her about the horses.

Yes, somebody made an appointment to drive over an hour one way to spend an afternoon riding two horses, asked for mapquest and everything, without bothering to find out the price range. "Hmm, today I'll go see some horses to look at. Have got NO IDEA how much they are. All part of the suspense!"

People really, really seem to like pony rides.
It must be the equine version of those open house tours.... see another barn, drive through nice countryside, make chit chat with another horse person, see how they ride, get to ride something different....

So many people out there actually *do* pretend to be buying for the sake of a little fun time. Usually you can weed them out but not always. I had one woman call me- we talked for hours- finally set up a time for her to come and see the horse I had for sale. Does she show up- no- instead I get her 20yo daughter and a BFF. :rolleyes: BFF was pretending to be a trainer I think. Anyway, a few quick sneaky questions pretty much revealed that this was all just a way for the two to get some weekend riding in. I was a bit peeved to say the least.

As to OP though. You can get a pretty good read on the seller with a phone conversation and really studying the ad/ responses. That gives me an indication of the seller SOP's. If they are professional, thorough, precise throughout the deal- they are probably on target with their selling price and a slight negotiation might be okay. If you're dealing with a casual seller that might not exactly know how to price their horse- you *may* have more negotiating power. I say may because it's still very possible that they have an accurate value. Naturally you don't want to insult them.

Like the 'trainer' who offered $500 on a neighbor's horse listed at $4500... I wouldn't have believed it if I wasn't there helping out. The trainer's excuse was that she really didn't want to pay for a PPE so her offer was in case there were any unknowns. :confused: Of course my neighbor should have been asking for way more than $4500 to begin with but she was hoping for a quick sale.

I hate buying and selling... but there's only one thing worse... adoptions.

asb_own_me
Dec. 14, 2009, 07:20 PM
I'm glad this thread has been bumped back up. I purchased a horse this summer that was priced at $3500, and paid $1k less, on a three-month payment plan. You'd think I got a good deal....nope. Worst equine decision I've made yet.

Now I'm in a predicament with a friend. Friend has Nice Horse that would be a really great horse for both me and my DH. Friend and Nice Horse live about 1,200 miles away, so there's not an opportunity to go try the horse without sinking close to $1k in travel expenses (airfare, farm sitter, etc). What if we simply don't get along with Nice Horse? Sometimes the connection isn't there - as evidenced by Bad Decision Horse from this summer ;) Friend has Horse priced significantly over what we have ever paid for any other horses....not to mention we're not in a fantastic financial place right now. Friend very generously offered to take an offer and even work out a payment plan over time. Which is great - but 1) still can't travel to try Nice Horse, 2) doesn't improve our financial situation, and 3) what I could offer (even if I could....my job isn't looking so steady these days either) would be well below the asking price and I feel as though it would be insulting.

The resolution? After not saying anything about it for at least a month, I sent friend an email (did not want to call and take the chance of being interrupted...I had a lot to say) that explained what's going on in our lives (finances, job situation) and that although we think Nice Horse would be great, we just can't do it. I didn't want to make that "lowball" offer, because I thought it would be insulting and affect our friendship. I lost both ways, I think, because I haven't heard back from Friend since I sent that email. Would the "lowball" offer have the same result? I don't know, but either way I'm sad, because this has obviously affected our relationship and I'm not the proud new owner of Nice Horse, either :sad:

Sometimes it sucks both ways.

Florida Fan
Dec. 14, 2009, 07:52 PM
I have learned over the years at least for me, I keep it simple as possible. If I am selling, I state the price, credentials of the horse, and ask buyer if that is the horse that best suits their needs. If I am buying, I determine the price versus the credentials, if the horse is what my client needs, we proceed further. I do not like to waste time and effort with either buying or selling some horse that does not suit needs-----whether for $2500 or $25,000. Of course, there is always that "gray" area, which requires a little more research.
What do you all think?

Invite
Dec. 14, 2009, 10:01 PM
I'm glad this thread has been bumped back up. I purchased a horse this summer that was priced at $3500, and paid $1k less, on a three-month payment plan. You'd think I got a good deal....nope. Worst equine decision I've made yet.

Now I'm in a predicament with a friend. Friend has Nice Horse that would be a really great horse for both me and my DH. Friend and Nice Horse live about 1,200 miles away, so there's not an opportunity to go try the horse without sinking close to $1k in travel expenses (airfare, farm sitter, etc). What if we simply don't get along with Nice Horse? Sometimes the connection isn't there - as evidenced by Bad Decision Horse from this summer ;) Friend has Horse priced significantly over what we have ever paid for any other horses....not to mention we're not in a fantastic financial place right now. Friend very generously offered to take an offer and even work out a payment plan over time. Which is great - but 1) still can't travel to try Nice Horse, 2) doesn't improve our financial situation, and 3) what I could offer (even if I could....my job isn't looking so steady these days either) would be well below the asking price and I feel as though it would be insulting.

The resolution? After not saying anything about it for at least a month, I sent friend an email (did not want to call and take the chance of being interrupted...I had a lot to say) that explained what's going on in our lives (finances, job situation) and that although we think Nice Horse would be great, we just can't do it. I didn't want to make that "lowball" offer, because I thought it would be insulting and affect our friendship. I lost both ways, I think, because I haven't heard back from Friend since I sent that email. Would the "lowball" offer have the same result? I don't know, but either way I'm sad, because this has obviously affected our relationship and I'm not the proud new owner of Nice Horse, either :sad:

Sometimes it sucks both ways.

Well, your friend was not the friend you thought she was. I think you were very honest with Friend. The problem could be that Friend thought she could just ship Nice Horse to you and then you'd be stuck with Nice Horse and no money to ship Nice Horse back. Maybe Nice Horse was actually not so nice. You'll probably never know the truth, but Friend is not a very good friend and you are probably better off without Friend! JMHO

It can be a very bitter pill to swallow when a friend dumps you or treats you like crap over a horse deal. One of my closest friends asked if I wanted to come out to her place to ride. When I jumped at the chance, friend said I could have the horse I was going to ride if I wanted him, as he was stubborn and she was tired of dealing with him. I went out and rode the horse. We really clicked. He wasn't stubborn in the least. He just lacked training. As he was going beautifully for me, she shouts across the indoor that I should buy him as my next dressage horse....for almost twice what she payed a month ago.

I won't buy a friend's horse. Friendship and money don't mix. When you throw horses in with the friendship and money, you just have a bomb waiting to explode!

YankeeLawyer
Dec. 14, 2009, 11:37 PM
ASB,

Hopefully Friend is just busy or maybe did not even get your email (spam filter / accidental deletion are always possibilities). If I were you, just to make sure there is no misunderstanding, I would phone Friend and say I was just calling to thank her for the opportunity she offered wrt her horse but unfortunately the timing is just not right for you now. A Friend should be really understanding about that (and in fact should be understanding even without any reason for declining to buy the horse).

asb_own_me
Dec. 15, 2009, 06:07 PM
I'm hoping Friend is just busy with other things....but I'm sad about the possible alternative. Thanks for the kind words, though :)

Invite
Dec. 15, 2009, 09:04 PM
I'm hoping Friend is just busy with other things....but I'm sad about the possible alternative. Thanks for the kind words, though :)

No matter what the reason, know that you did NOTHING WRONG. I'm sorry you are having to suffer through this. Usually knowing the truth is better then wondering. Keep your chin up :)

kayandallie
Dec. 15, 2009, 09:34 PM
What about an ad that says "Bring Offers." I went to look at a horse advertised for 30K who had that statement in the ad. I have offered 24K, which is 20% less and I think she is insulted. I wouldn't have gone to see the horse had the ad not said that. I don't have 30K to spend. Maybe I really shouldn't have gone?

slc2
Dec. 15, 2009, 10:12 PM
Sounds like the gal is a real playah.:lol:

It's probably better to just respond with, 'Sorry, I can't accept that offer. The lowest I'm willing to go is 27'.

An offer within 20% is expected. In this market, I am hearing many offers are lower than that as people feel out how quickly the person needs to sell the horse. I think sellers make a big mistake when they let their temper get the better of them.

kayandallie
Dec. 16, 2009, 09:30 AM
So, is it acceptable to go look at a horse that is priced at more than you can pay, if the most you can pay is 20% off their asking price? What if you tell them your top of the line amount, go to see the horse, like him, but he's not worth the 20% off price, but you still want him at a bit lower? Then you've messed up; you're buying a horse for more than he's really worth.
Still, not only do I hate to waste the seller's time, but I hate to waste mine looking at a horse I can't buy (heck, I absolutely hate trying horses, so if I happen to show up in your barn, know that I'm not doing it for a fun outing for the day).
I guess that answers my question; I'd rather pay more than waste time looking at a horse I can't afford if the price is not negotiable.

YankeeLawyer
Dec. 16, 2009, 11:00 AM
So, is it acceptable to go look at a horse that is priced at more than you can pay, if the most you can pay is 20% off their asking price? .

I would not consider something like that a waste of my time as a seller. Sometimes it is a good idea to give the seller a bit of a heads up, though, regarding budget - but I think it is best to do so only after you have given the seller an idea of the kind of home you will provide and your goals for the horse so the seller can take that into account. For me, those factors are very important and can favorably impact the price.


What if you tell them your top of the line amount, go to see the horse, like him, but he's not worth the 20% off price, but you still want him at a bit lower? Then you've messed up; you're buying a horse for more than he's really worth.
Still, not only do I hate to waste the seller's time, but I hate to waste mine looking at a horse I can't buy (heck, I absolutely hate trying horses, so if I happen to show up in your barn, know that I'm not doing it for a fun outing for the day).
I guess that answers my question; I'd rather pay more than waste time looking at a horse I can't afford if the price is not negotiable.

I don't think people should offer more than they think a horse is worth. Even if you have stated your maximum budget, you can politely say to the seller you are willling to pay X (some smaller amount) for the horse if after seeing him it appears he is worth less.

Horsepower
Dec. 16, 2009, 11:09 AM
You have nothing to lose by offering whatever you can afford. The worst thing that will happen is that the seller won't accept. And you can say at the time that you can't afford more but really love the horse. If it is a good match the seller may accept. Also, in this economy, many sellers are anxious so they may accept the bid.

Here's another reaction to your post: Aside from the friend's bad reaction from not responding; if you can't afford the airfare to see the horse and your job and finances are shakey(sp?) right now, perhaps you shouldn't be in the market to buy a horse at this time.

asb_own_me
Dec. 16, 2009, 03:50 PM
Aside from the friend's bad reaction from not responding; if you can't afford the airfare to see the horse and your job and finances are shakey(sp?) right now, perhaps you shouldn't be in the market to buy a horse at this time.

Could I afford airfare? Yes. Is it the wisest purchase at this time? No. And that's kind of my point - I'm not in the market for another horse at this time, which is what I shared with Friend, and all the reasons why.

Regardless, I'm not looking for "oh poor you" responses. I'm not going to lose my home, or have to rehome my horses, if I lose my job. I'm feeling bad about the situation as it relates to the relationship with Friend :( It's friendship sorrow, not "oh my life is awful" whining.