View Full Version : Grrr...Did I do wrong

Jul. 3, 2010, 10:37 AM
I think I am a responsable very fair seller.
100% discloser of EVERYTRHING I know or own.
I fairly price the horse and don't try to gouge the buyer.

I made a buyer aware of a situation prior to them traveling to see a horse. It was going to either clear up quickly or drag on.
They wanted to come at a later date. So agreed.

Mean while in the middle of that time someone showed up unexpectately with cash and bought horse with current issue still unresolved. For way less $$$. Willing to chance it out.

I had no contact #'s since it was over a period that my phone cycled and # was dropped from memory, my bad I didn't save it. I accept that lack of judgement.
When a buyer is going to travel more than an hour and horse has had a issue would you not expect a call to make sure horse was going to be able to be seen???
No one called during the time or the evening before or day of.
If I had saved the number I would have contacted the prospective buyer. My bad again.
With the amount of no shows all of us sellers experiance a 24 hour confirmation is expected. 99% of the buyers who are coming to see a horse who had a previous issue even if it was just a lost shoe, call to make sure horse is 1. OK to try or 2. still available.
With no deposit no contract was I wrong to move the horse?
There are plenty of other horse that could have be tried of similar quality or better and am more than willing to accommidate a price adjustment but the buyer was very angry and uhappy not willing to even look. Wasn't a bait n switch and the horse they came to see probably wouldn't have been their ride anyway.
I have clear printed buyer guidlines on my sale site to address every situation I can think of.
How do you handle these moments?

I do not like to disappoint customers and try to anticipate every scenario to make the buying experiance pleasent for everyone involved.
I know you can't make all the people happy all the time or even 1/2 the time.
Just frustrated at my self and unhappy potential customer.............

Jul. 3, 2010, 11:04 AM
Well, I think you answered one of your questions already. If you sold the horse on, you needed to contact the other prospective buyer and let them know. It's only polite.

As far as the sale itself--first one with cash wins, IME.

Jul. 3, 2010, 11:59 AM
Personally, if I were going to travel a distance, I would call to be sure the horse is still available. I think the potential buyer should have given you a call just to be sure.

I don't think you were wrong to sell the horse to a buyer willing to take the chance on the unresolved issue. There was no guarantee that the original interested party was going to buy the horse anyway.

Jul. 3, 2010, 12:40 PM
If they had an appointment time to come see the horse then they have every right to be angry. If it was one of those "we'll come out in a few days" with no specific date or time, then they don't.

I agree that it would have been polite to call and tell them that the horse sold, but not "required" by any means. I think it's strange that they didn't call to ask if the horse was okay to see and to confirm that they were coming out. I can't imagine not contacting a seller before heading out to see a horse.

Jul. 3, 2010, 01:03 PM
If they had an appointment time to come see the horse then they have every right to be angry. If it was one of those "we'll come out in a few days" with no specific date or time, then they don't.

I agree that it would have been polite to call and tell them that the horse sold, but not "required" by any means. I think it's strange that they didn't call to ask if the horse was okay to see and to confirm that they were coming out. I can't imagine not contacting a seller before heading out to see a horse.

No contact no e-mail no phone calls ...after I poliely saved them a 1st trip out.

If I had a contact they would have been called in a very timely manner and offer othet options in same price category.

I also did have it noted they had requested an appointment but for a diffrent time as well.

When a good piece of time goes by and you don't get a check up call I start to get "a no Show" feel.
Plus horses Ad was updated and removed once sold.
I absolutely hate to inconvenience anyone especially with the cost of fuel.
This was so infortunate and I feel terrible, but they also were not so polite and refused to let me at least try to make the drive worth it.:no:

Jul. 3, 2010, 03:20 PM
But did they have another appointment? As in they were going to come on May 31, issue was found with horse, you called, appointment was rescheuled fro July1 at 9 AM.

If they did have another appointment (July 1 at 9), then yes, their anger was justified.

Your bad you didn't save their phone number. Well, perhaps you should have written it down, put it on your computer instead of your cell phone? Lesson learned by you.

So, if I was the buyer and came and found out you'd sold the horse, I would be put out. Although I probably would have called the day before to make sure we were still on target with the appointment. If I hadn't called, and arrived at the appointed day/time and found out you'd already sold the horse, well, I guess I would have been annoyed. Wouldn't have taken it out on you (because I've been to many anger management classes) and since when dealing with animals, nothing is concrete, I would have looked at the other horses you had so as not to make the trip a waste.

You know, the everything happens for a reason thinking, maybe one of the other horses was really the one for me.

So the long and short of it for me is: next time don't depend on your cell phone saving the phone number.

Jul. 3, 2010, 03:37 PM
What are we talking about for the time when the appt was made and the appt date? hours, days, weeks, months, etc

Jul. 3, 2010, 08:20 PM
I am very good about phone numbers this one just escaped me.
We write all our appointments, times, days along with the horses customer is trying on blackboad in barn along with tele #'s and emails contact info.

I had the time diffrent by hours. But no phone #. Which was my bad an I agree.
In no way would I ever schedule a early AM.
I have stallions to get in and out as well as mares n foals. The mucker is barely gone by 9.

But I would have been happy to show someone who drove a distance something else equally as nice or better and MADE the price work. I'm not stupid or unreasonable and I hate to inconvience anyone.
I do have it clearly state in Bold on my webb site a 24 hour confirmation is requested to insure horse is still available.
When I do not hear from a customer after a full week and especaily when the horse had a soundness issue no matter how minor I take as a signal they found another horse or lost interest.
My luck was someone drove in with cash n trailer on a whim coming thru and liked horse enough at a discount to take a chance.
And if I had a contact number they would have gotten a call immediately before tail lights were down the road.
In 20 minutes they could have been sitting on a nicer horse who cost more that I would have accomidated the price put a smile on everyones face and no angst on anyones part.
Thats whats so frustrating...............

Jul. 3, 2010, 08:45 PM
You have not answered my question, maybe you don't want to...I don't know.
What I would like to know, is what was the time frame between the scheduled appt and when it was made.
For example, on June 15th, we scheduled an appt on June 20th.

I understand they came at a different hour then scheduled, but I'd like to know, since you are asking if you did bad, the time frame of the scheduling of the appt.

Long Spot
Jul. 3, 2010, 09:00 PM
I'm also missing if an actual appointment was scheduled? Maybe it's been edited out, but I haven't seen if they had an actual appointment or just dropped in.

Jul. 3, 2010, 10:37 PM
Fivehorses I believe the time lag was 10 days not 3-4 and it was made when I called to let them know horse had come up unsound. And after I had a difinative medical diagnosis so they knew it was either going to resolve quickly or drag out. But was not permanant.
Which is why I couldn't understand when no one called to
1. check on soundness progress and 2. call to confirm appointment. I'm not such a dolt when I went to the trouble the 1st time to save them a wasted trip, and I sold the horse for 1/3 value to a drop-in 5 days later who took a chance the issue was going to eventually resolve.

No mention was made to hold horse and I wouldn't with out a deposit which was mot because no one had seen it yet.

I clearly have it stated I ask for a 24 hour confirmation to avoid waiting for "No Shows". Its posted in Bold letters top of my webb site Buyers guidelines, that I ask everyone to read so they know the PPE policy and trial policy. Saves alot of misunderstandings and hard feelings.

No Long Spot when I let them know there was an issue and horse could not be tried for their 1st appointment, they wanted to reschedule for another day and time.
I had a diffrent time written down 2 hours later but correct day.
Since I admit to being stupid and not saving the phone number and it rotated out of my phones cache I was not able to notify them of the sale mid week.

I had horse also promptly removed from sale site.

As posted before I would have bent over backwards to show them something equal if not better and made price to meet 1st horses. But they scurried out in pique'.

If I was unscrupulous I wouldn't have shared with them the 1st time about horse. Nor would I have spent money on a vet.
I wasn't anticipating someone being refered and sent over by another horseperson. I had no idea they would make an offer or take horse. Bird in hand.
I apologized offered to show them diffrent horses.
What more could I do short of offfer to pay for their gas.
For all the times I wasted got stood up, had customer call 10 minutes before arriving to let me know they bought a horse the week before...etc etc.
One of the very few like count on one hand times in 30 years I screw up.
I just felt like crap, mad at myself and annoyed they were short and pissed off. Nor wait to see something else.
The horse was not a Devon star and was interchangeable with others.
I also feel this is escalating into a finger pointing non productive subject. I know and admit I errored. I vented, I wasn't deliberate or malicious. I would have made it as right as possible but wasn't given the opportunity.

Jul. 3, 2010, 11:17 PM
Oh, for pete's sake...
If I am interested in a horse that is some distance away, I call before I head to the barn to look at it. I would never just show up without some sort of confirmation that someone would be there to show me the horse. I don't understand why they didn't follow up with you beforehand.
So NO, I don't think you did anything wrong. Some people are UNBELIEVABLE! Be glad you "lost" the sale to them!

I called to confirm a next-day appointment to look at a horse one time, and the person answering the phone told me the seller would call me back right after her husband's funeral...:eek: (That would be one of the reasons I call first!)

ETA: I certainly understood why seller did not contact me, but I was stunned to find she was dealing with her husband's death, and still worrying about her appointment with me. My point: Always best to call first, to be sure the appointment is still on, and save yourself the trouble of going to purchase a horse that is already sold. I still say you did the right thing trying to 'fix' it and they did not handle it as well as they could have.

Jul. 4, 2010, 09:08 AM
OP, I don't think you are unscrupulous, but yes, this was a pretty bad mistake and the potential buyers were justified in being angry about not being contacted. I think you need to accept that, not just look for vindication here (which you may very well not be doing -- e-communication can be less clear than spoken -- but it looks that way a little bit when reading your initial post and responses here).

In their shoes, I would have expected a call from the seller as soon as the other horse sold. Yes, this was an honest mistake; and maybe their initial reaction was over the top. But they have a right to their anger, they have a right to be skeptical of your business practices and they have a right to choose to do no other business with you. (Remember this is their sole contact with you! How do they know how you usually operate with this regard?). I can understand that reaction.

I can also understand that it was an honest mistake on your part. You keep saying "my bad," but your posts don't give the impression that you truly own the mistake. You seem to be seeking nothing more than agreement that it was the potential buyer's responsiblity to contact you? Why? You had agreed to an appointment.

It doesn't matter if you, I or many other people tend to call ahead to confirm appointments. Not everyone does. I don't every time. Often, yes. But not always. I generally expect people to keep appointments they've set and call if there is a problem. That is not abnormal. I call ahead when I am not confident that the other person will remember or honor the appointment. If I have faith in the other person, I often do not. Again, not any more unusual than those who compulsively confirm every appointment they make.

End of the day, you cannot control whether the potential buyers were angry or not. You cannot control how their anger shaped their reactions (e.g., not willing to try other horses). You cannot control whether or not they choose to check in and confirm appointments in advance. The only thing you can control is you. And I'm sure you've learned now a valuable business lesson: Duplicate way of recording client phone numbers is a very good idea!

I am glad you were able to sell your lame horse so easily, and hope your next sale goes very smoothly.

Jul. 4, 2010, 09:15 AM
My 2 cents, yes, you are bad, BUT, and but always cancels out what comes before it! Shit happens. Yes, you should have saved the number, yes, they should have called to check on the horse and confirm the appt, yes, they are angry you sold the horse, etc, etc.

Mistakes happen, don't beat yourself up over it. I can get very busy, and when I have an appt, I write it in my appt book and expect the person to show. I now find, those in business(farrier, hay guy, those who will get paid or not depending if I am there for the appt) call me. I think they have experienced too many no shows and its their time and $$$. (I do not miss appts and can't remember the last time I did...like 20 years ago). With that said, when its my $$$ and time, sometimes I call, sometimes I don't- really depends on the situation, but I am always amazed at the people who say, oh, its tomorrow or something similar! I am like duh, get organized.

If I was the person to look at this horse, I would probably not have been pleased with you. I don't know if I would have wanted to look at other horses.

As far as the 10 day time frame, that is not that long, I am not sure if I would have called, but given the horse's physical issues, I think I would have in case you told me you thought he needed more time in recovery. New people or people who don't buy/sell horses probably don't understand that whoever comes with the $$$ first, gets the horse. Maybe they thought the horse was off your sale list and that you knew they were interested. I chalk up their disappointment to being naive and not understanding that horses move at your place, and less focus on the relationship. Thats just my take.

Chalk this up to a learning experience, and have a good 4th.

Jul. 4, 2010, 12:28 PM
Coloredhorse...I am not seeking absolution..I was venting and asking if I did the right thing by offering up another and possibly better horse for same (lower) price.
Short of offering gas money I did the best I could under the situation I hoped.
I had the time 2 hours later, but regardless wasn't able to make a call.
The "lame" horse had an easy problem that was 100% resolvable with no fall out. Just time and how fast.
Which is one reason I was suprised no one made a call back let alone confirm horse was OK to try.
Water over the dam. Horse sold, client lost, better horse will sell for full price to someone else soon enought.

Jul. 6, 2010, 12:09 AM
Do you have access to your cell phone bill online? My cell phone company allows me to look at my bill online and I can see all of my incoming and outgoing calls. Maybe this would help in the future should a phone number go astray?

Jul. 6, 2010, 03:16 PM
"Society" today as a whole is just rude. People only seem to think about themselves..without consideration to others. What we all 'assume' your customers would have done...ie
1. Call to check on a horse they were interested in...or

2. Call to confirm with you - not to impose on your busy schedule...

They did not because they only thought about themselves.

As you stated, you also assumed they were not coming - even though they had a much later rescheduled date to see the horse and you could have called them too. I think it is obvious, you overlooked the situation and have learned from it..

The sad part is they will go away unhappy and probably more than willing to share their (side of the) experience with others who could have been your future customers. I am much more willing to do business with someone who had done good business with someone I know...

As for offering a better horse.. I think your heart was in the right place - but if I was a customer and did not know you.. I don't think I would have felt comfortable with that situation either... too much room for doubt and too many good horses for sale right now.

I hope I did not hurt your feelings .. just answering your question about our opinions.

Jul. 6, 2010, 03:51 PM
I would not have been happy to show up and the horse was sold.

I would not have been interested in seeing others you had for sale, either. Seems a bit convenient that Dobbin's gone, but hey, how about Dobbette? No, thank you. In their minds they came to see the bay gelding with the star and a sock with __ history. NOT the red mare with a sock and ____ history. Too quick, too bait and switchy.

I don't care what's on your website in screaming red letters. You lost their number and screwed up. They screwed up by not calling to confirm, sure. But did you do wrong? yep ;)

Jul. 7, 2010, 11:15 AM
"Society" today as a whole is just rude. People only seem to think about themselves..without consideration to others. What we all 'assume' your customers would have done...ie
1. Call to check on a horse they were interested in...or

2. Call to confirm with you - not to impose on your busy schedule...

They did not because they only thought about themselves.

Puleese! I make dentist appointments 6 months in advance, I do not call back to confirm the appointment. It seems to me that the potential customers assumed that an appointment made meant that there was an appointment.

How on earth is it rude to show up for a scheduled appointment? It was their obligation to show up or call if for some reason they needed to cancel. It was the OP's obligation to call and cancel the appointment when the horse was sold.

Frankly, if I call and confirm an appointment it's because I have little confidence in the professionalism of whomever the appointment is with and feel the need to "remind" them.

Jul. 7, 2010, 12:00 PM
the best thing you can do is learn from a simple, honest and relatively minor mistake. The horse was gone when they showed up? How many times have I gone to a sale to find the item I wanted was sold out. How many times have I gone to look at a horse and the thing is lame. Its happened to me.

Had a rehome project ready to go. The day a buyer came out, the horse sustained a kick to a non crucial area. Not lame, not off, but a nice hoof shaped hematoma that would takes weeks to resolve. The buyer rode the horse, liked her but did not want to take responsibility for the fresh hematoma. I said I would call when it was resolved. The buyer said they would call in a week to see how she was doing. A week came and went- no buyer call. Someone drops by the farm 2 weeks after, hears the story and asks to see the horse. Hematoma is smaller but still bigger than my hand, and is not causing any problems. Dropper-by says she'll take the horse, the hematoma is not an issue, it will go away, she says. So I rehome the horse. Then I call the other buyer and let her know the horse has been rehomed "as is"... Her reply "Oh well, she was a bit small for me anyway". No hard feelings and she hadn't wanted the possible problem. (PS, the horse is happy in her new home and the bruise is gone)

Shit happens, you apologized and offered them what you could. They are understandably upset to have wasted a 2 hour drive, but any sensible person would have called that morning to say they were coming, because with horses, these things happen- the horse could have a kick, a cold, a colic or even died in the few days between making the appointment and getting there.

What will you do different? Probably if you make an appointment you will include the person's number in your appointment book. And maybe you will call them the morning of, and confirm. Oh and quit worrying about it! If that's the worst you've done in this world of horse dealing, you're next door to a saint.

Jul. 9, 2010, 04:31 PM
Also realize that to the potential buyer it looked like a bait and switch tactic. There is a lot of that going on right now. While you were perfectly willing to show them what you had and work with them, they most likley had already been burned by another seller and you likley caught the brunt of their frustration. Thank you for being up front about the horses issue though. It shocks me how many people these days are trotting out obviously lame horses with not only no disclosure, but complete denial....

Jul. 9, 2010, 09:48 PM
Well buyer #1 coming tomorrow as already communicated since its a 5 hour drive.
We have arrived at a firm price and done video and in person.

They aren't looking at same horse.

And buyer #2 is 2 hours away and has not returned my confirmation call or responded to a 24 hour courtesy e-mail that I very most definately and clearly told them I need. Which now leaves me in a pickle.

And potential customers 3 and 4 n 5 are all interested in same horse but only 1 has confirmed for later tomorrow.

And I have all the phone numbers all the e-mails and all the times straight:yes:

Oh and my Dentist calls 24 hours out to confirm you are coming, so does my GP and OB-GYN and even out-patient procedure clinic.

While some might percieve it as a bait n switch I offered to sell them a much better more expensive horse and cut his advetised firm price in 1/2 to make them happy.To try an make up far any inconvience I had caused them.

So much drama not used to it.................

Jul. 10, 2010, 09:49 AM
If your horse is advertised online, mark the ad "Sold." Prospective buyer is most likely cruising the internet as well. I always wonder why buyers leave their ads up, I've emailed on horses and gotten the "sold' response, but the ad remains up for months and months!

Jul. 10, 2010, 12:07 PM
I did promptly mark the Ad sold.

And today was a prime example...I talked 3 days ago to a prospective customer, they wanted to come today Saturday.
I asked for them to contact me 24 hours out or at the very least when they left home. Was a 2+ hour drive.
Last night I e-mailed a request for confirmation.
I waited for hours this AM, no call no e-mail, paid rider sat on hands waiting. I had another customer who wanted the horse, I put them off so I wouldn't get any grief. Could have sold horse last night.
Well I just sold horse checks on its way.
Called and e-mailed todays no show. Am sure I will be crucified some how...........

Jul. 10, 2010, 10:31 PM
Oh and my Dentist calls 24 hours out to confirm you are coming, so does my GP and OB-GYN and even out-patient procedure clinic.

So does mine; because other people flake out and don't show up or cancel. My point was that I don't call them.

Jul. 11, 2010, 04:24 AM
Hmm... counting the eggs before they hatch? Or "bird in hand". I totally agree that you did the right thing to sell the horse to the people that showed up with cash ready to take the horse to a new loving home. For the people that did not show up you have no reason to feel guilty or come up with excuses. If they were truly interested they should have come out sooner and left a deposit on the horse for an agreed amount of time with the agreement that if someone came out to buy the horse you could contact them and give them the chance to say yay or nay since you would then have all of their contact information.

I completely understand about people making appointments and not showing or not being able to make up their minds so I truly think you did the right thing for the good of the horse. It's always best to consider what is best for the horse and it sounds like you made the best decision. Congratulations.