The time has come for me to finally purchase a saddle. I have been leasing my Haflinger for awhile now and will continue to do so for a few years. Since I am leasing my pony I want to buy something that I can sale used if the need arises. She has a wide and flat back so it won't be a saddle that fits a variety of other horses.
I think I have narrowed down my options to either the Duett or a Custom. I don't think I would have any problems selling a used Custom but how about the Duett. The Duett is considerablly cheaper than a Custom but that won't do me any good if down the road I can't resale it.
Tell me and we'll both know. I'm fixing to sell my Duett Rondo. Not at all sure how much to ask, so I thought I'd chime in on this thread and see what kind of responses you get. It's a great saddle for wide, flat-backed horses. But not so great for the horse I'm riding now.
I never rode a broke horse but then maybe I'm a sorry hand. - Ray Hunt
Here's my 2 cents worth, as I have been there done that more times than I care to mention.
Custom is great, resale can be tricky if your saddle has been custom made to fit your horse specifically. To resale it either will have to fit another horse just like your's or the buyer will have to pay to have it re-customized to their horse. Yes, you will get more $$ but your loss may be more also. Here is my example, I bought a $3,200 (not custom) saddle, didn't work out for the horse in the long run so sold it for $2,100, a $1,100 loss. Bought a $1,795 saddle which I ended up not using resold it for $1,200; a loss of $500. Its been my personal experience that the more I spent on a saddle the more I lost as I had to make the saddle price appeal to more buyers, meaning I had to lower it more. Conversely, with less expensive saddles I lost less money as the used price was already low and in an affordable price range for more buyers (I hope that makes sense).
On Trumbull Mtn tack shop's web site they have a "general" rule of thumb on how to value a used saddle. Basically it starts with the resale value is half the originally price and then adjusted up or down depending on the condition of the saddle.
Trumbull's rule of thumb is a good one. Start at half the price of new, and go up for a saddle in great condition, popular brand etc., down for fair condition, older, brown (for dressage), etc.
I was just in Pelham Saddlery yesterday, and the fitter there told me that they are moving a lot of less-expensive used saddles right now, basically anything under $1500. With show season coming up, a lot of people are looking for "the right saddle" so it's a good time to sell, but most people are on a budget. Made me happy as I will have two for sale soon, one a bit over $1000 and the other a bit under.
The best resale value, imo, is if you can find a lightly used higher-end saddle to buy (I'm not familiar with the wide-backed saddle brands, so I can't comment). The big depreciation is already done then. I love buying quality used tack, but had to buy a semi-custom jumping saddle to accomodate my crazy femur length. I went with a Prestige (was leasing a horse at the time too) so I could adjust the gullet a bit and have done that several times now for different horses. I do feel I am stuck with the saddle though, as there is no way I will get $3400 back if I sell it used. I bet I would eat half the cost. So no selling that one!!
I have always bought my dressage saddles (all used) for the individual horse (typically saddles in the $500-$1200 range) and there have had great luck with resale. I usually sell them on Ebay for more than, or at least equal to what I paid!!
You can get some idea by going on eBay and looking at asking prices for similar saddles. A better benchmark is to used their feature (advanced search) for closed auctions. It will give you the sales prices for auctions that have already ended, as well as showing items and their prices which received no bids.
TrotTrotPumpkin had excellent advice and that has been my experience as well--buy quality saddles used, take care of them and if you have to sell, market it well and you're likely to make money.
She has a wide and flat back so it won't be a saddle that fits a variety of other horses.
oh, you are so wrong. Owners of wide/flat horses search far and wide for saddles, and used versions of such saddles, like the Duett, can often sell quickly at close to new prices.
What you'll lose money on is a "popular" moderately-priced brand of saddle- people willing to pay in the $1500 range for a new saddle are more likely to pick a new one for $1500 than a used one of the same model, unless you really cut the price down on the used one to make it attractive.
Custom saddles are very difficult to re-sell for obvious reasons.