Personally I find it annoying when websites and sales ads don't list prices. Price is such a large part of the equation for most shoppers. Even when a person has plenty of money to spend, they most likely still care that they are getting a good value. Also, there are a LOT of sellers out there who have completely unrealistic views on what their young stock are worth. Additionally, refusal to list a price can reflect that seller has different prices for the animal depending on who the buyer is, isn't serious about selling the animal, or doesn't know what the animal is worth. Listing a price also protects buyers who are working with trainers who might be wanting to pad their commissions. The days of the "Hey trainer, here's the take-away price, I don't care what you tell your buyer the price is" are over, these deals are illegal and even when the seller has minimal involvement I'm not comfortable facilitating a shady deal.
OTOH, I do dislike it when my friends and customers can instantly go look up what the sales price was on a horse that I just bought. Especially if I either spent a lot or spent very little. I also have on occasion sold a young horse pretty inexpensively--maybe one with a blemish or just not the fanciest of the bunch, and I don't want to list a low price publicly to "devalue" my stock, or to devalue that horse to future buyers if the first buyer decides to resell. Also, with young stock sometimes the price does legitimately need to increase sharply. If I put a horse up for sale as a late 2 yo who has just been backed, but then after 3-4 months I've seen some things that really impress me, I'm might significantly change the price. No matter how reasonable it is to increase pricing, those price changes don't look good to customers.
Second, these deals are NOT per se "illegal." It all depends on the trainer's actions and their agreement with the buyer and whether the trainer abides by the agreement. As a seller, I have absolutely no obligation to police or enforce such arrangements. If a buyer asks me what my price is, I will tell them, but I don't need to publicize my price. If that flushes out an unscrupulous trainer, so be it.
Third, sellers do not have any obligation to protect buyers from their trainers. Buyers that can't trust their trainers need to find new trainers.
If you choose not to do business in this way, that is your perogative, but your condemnation of sellers who elect to do so is misdirected.
I differentiate this kind of sale from the transaction in which the trainer has no out of pocket expenses. The seller is paying for monthly training and horse shows. If, the trainer's expertise at training and showing the horse increases its value, that money should go to the seller, because the trainer has already been paid for his services. Yes, the trainer should get a commission, because selling the horse is another service he performs. But that commission should be an agreed upin % of the sales price.
Sadly trainers do not see it this way. They take huge sums for training and get more money in training costs and day care costs for showing the horse, and still think that they are entitled to be rewarded for the increased value.
But that is their JOB. To make the horse a better horse -- that is what they get paid (sometimes thousands of dollars a month) for doing. If they think that the horse's value is going to increase exponentially, then why not take him on consignment? THEN he deserves whatever he can get over and above what the seller wants for the horse.
10 years ago I had a lovely horse who was champion or reserve at every show (all AA shows) he went to in his pregreen year. I had bought him as an untrained youngster and had put a lot of time and money into getting him to that point. In Fla, where he was champion every week, I was asking $85k. Not one person even tried him. I found out why: He was beinbg marketed as a $150,000 horse and, as I heard ringside, "He is a lovely horse, but not worth $150,000. I was aghasted! With so many greedy hands in the pie, the horse had been priced right out of his real value. No wonder he did not sell.
From Fla. we went to the big spring Ky shows. My trainer could not be there, so he found a big name rider to take over for the shows. After the first show the rider said she thought she had a buyer and asked me how much I wanted for him. My answer was "85% of the sales price".
Funny, but no one came to look at him.
That horse is now retired, and living outside my window in his pasture. After that second experience I took him off the market and have loved owning him for the last 10 years.
I am confused by this answer. At first I thought the poster was agreeing with the person she was quoting , then the last sentence makes it clear she was disagreeing.
I agree with her disagreement. :D An in utero sale means the foal is sold while it is still in utero. A price is agreed upon and the buyer gets whatever hits the ground. The buyer is the one taking the risk that the foal will be born crooked or just plain less wonderful that either party had anticipated.
Because the buyer is taking this risk, she also deserves the reward of getting a fabulous foal for less than she might have had to pay for it once its fabulosity was discovered at birth.
It is all about risk and reward. If the mare owner wants to wait until the foal hits the ground before figuring on a price, then that is not an in utero sale. That is more of a "right of first refusal", based on the sales price established after the foaling. Because it is the MO who takes the risk of getting an imperfect foal. So, if she gets a perfect one, then she deserves to be monetarily rewarded for the risk she took.
Bent Hickory, I 100% agree with you. A seller and her agent are free to make whatever arrangement they want, as long as it is not illegal, and your arrangement is not illegal.
I think that the majority of us here have a problem with hidden profit and double dipping.
One way to hopefully limit both practices is for the buyer to insist that the check be written out to the seller, if the seller and her agent have a commission agreement. I have heard the gamut of excuses as to why the check should be written out to the agent. None of them pass the smell test, but often the seller is intimidated and agrees to it.
So going back to my OP.
There are many thoughts on this subject that have been posted.
I would like to say why I don't post prices on my website or anywhere else.....
I work very hard at making sure that the quality of horses offered by us is exceptional on all levels. My hope is that building a positive reputation in the industry, that folks come to look and browse. I want you to browse and connect with me. If I post a price or range in price I may turn someone away whom I could assist in their search for their next great. I might not always have what buyers are looking for, but I have connections in the business that I can use to help in that search.
I'm a breeder, stallion manager, young horse developer and sport horse lover. There are good horse people out there with great horses. Don't let numbers get In the way of connecting. If you have a foul experience, forge ahead!
When the horse market was at its height I saw lots of "private treaty" or "call for price" ads. I know a lot of people, myself included, wouldn't even click on an ad with that in the price line. Now, I rarely see a private treaty or call for price ads. Sites like Dreamhorse allow you to chose to not include private treaty in your search.
For the first time ever in 2012, I marketed and sold a foal with a Private Treaty price. I felt he was the best foal I ever bred with very special bloodlines and he was not expensive by good foal standards--too bad he wasn't born in Germany and he probably would have sold for a bigger price tag.
My requirement for this particular foal was that the buyer had experiences at the upper levels and also riding in the Young Horse Classes. Most foals I just want to go to good homes, but for this foal, I wanted a little bit more in terms of a future performance home.
Sure, there is always the chance that the foal will be re-sold before he ever gets to riding age, but I was willing to even keep him until riding age if the right buyer didn't come along. THAT was my reason for a Private Treaty and in my mind what the phrase meant. I also spelled out my intentions in the ad--that I was looking for an FEI rider to campaign the horse for the Young Horse classes and hopefully upper level dressage.
I had dozens of inquiries on him and not too many balked at the price because that was not the reason for the "Private Treaty." If a potential buyer didn't meet the rider/trainer criteria I had in my mind, I offered an in-utero sale for much, much less if desired on two REALLY nice coming foals. Without too much of a wait, the perfect buyer came from across the country for my special colt. I expect a great future with the two of them.
I'm sure my next foals will be traditionally priced as past foals have been but I wanted to give another Private Treaty perspective. Had I priced this special colt at his actual selling price I might have been inundated with buyer inquiries but also may have put off future sales when I explained why I didn't want to sell him.
If no BOS from the seller is available or the USEF cert signed by the previous owner is not available then the new owner will have to record the horse with a new number ( identity) as USEF needs the signed documents to transfer ownership.
Everyone bitches at USEF about horse identity but this is an example of how breeders, trainers and sellers contribute to the problem.
It's not always about the trainer ditching the papers..
( not picking on you personally Bent Hickory but you've pointed out an issue)
For about 15 different reasons.
No time to scan all horses
expense to the show for scanners
expense to have someone scan horses
check in takes too long, this ads more time
Not every horse is in a WB registry so what percent have chips?
Not required in many breeds and H/J, Dressage, Eventing all open to non breed recorded horses.
Chips can be removed, reinserted.
Do not assume that all shows run like WEF.
Zone II has the most H/J shows and the most H/J members.
The majority of those shows are low budget one day C-B rated shows.
However,it might be useful if any horses being drug tested were scanned for a chip. That puts the extra expense on USEF.
Pine Tree, your post #77 is a great point. Shady deals actually incentivize the creation of a new identity for the horse in question. If Trainer X tells Buyer Y that horse came from Farm Z (either directly or by giving the buyer any documents with the identity or the horse or the seller listed), it would be all too easy for Buyer Y to call up Farm Z and make inquiries, either as to what the sale price was or what the sale prices are of other young stock for comparison. Plus, then Buyer Y can go straight to Farm Z for their next young horse instead of paying that fat commission to X. In some cases a made up history might sound grander to a client than "Oh, Fluffy came from the breeding farm down the road."
However, I completely disagree with your post #79. Microchip scanners cost a couple of hundred dollars and of course are reusable just like any other small electrical appliance. Scanning microchips is quick and easy and I don't think it would realistically be necessary to scan every horse at every show--horses could be scanned at the time of sale for identity verification as part of a vetting, or randomly a show or if there was a question about identity. Although WB registries requiring chips is a great place to start, ANY horse can easily be microchipped and the cost of microchipping is fairly reasonable. As easy as it is to inject a tiny microchip into a horse, it would be VERY difficult to find one and dig it out surgically without damaging or scarring a horse.
It is rather affordable to have a horse microchipped and a lot more vets now have the scanners.
I also don't think it's necessary to scan ever horse on the show grounds, and I'm not sure where I see the expense for the horse show or USEF? Also note, that when horses arrive into the US for import, they are scanned for chips. All FEI horses at check in are scanned for their chips now. I certainly don't see checkins taking any longer than usual because of this.
I personally think it's a heck of a lot better to have a microchip as opposed to a piece of paper saying who the horse is.
Here's some reading material for you in case you haven't researched it yet for yourself........
On this particular site.... you'll find the scanner is only $325.00 and one chip is $33.00. Looks pretty affordable to me.