The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21
  1. #1

    Default How to turn away a buyer?

    Alter here to protect any hurt feelings.

    I have a horse for sale that, although not particularly difficult to ride, he is an OTTB....so if you brace against him and hold his face, you can, and eventually will, go for a ride.

    Potential buyer inquired and although she doesn't really know me, I know her and her program and what it produces.

    Horse.would.not.be.happy.

    How do you decline an interested party with tact and grace?

    Thanks.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,281

    Default

    "Thanks for your inquiry. Unfortunately I don't think this horse is a good fit for your program at this time. I wish you all the best in your horse search, and will let you know if I hear of one that might work for you. Regards, alterego2012."

    If you haven't asked "what are you looking for?" I would probably do that first before sending the rejection in response to her reply.

    Good for you for turning down an unsuitable home. It's the best thing you can do for the horse's happiness and to protect your name as an honest seller.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    31,369

    Default

    Look at it this way-the horse can't talk so you MUST speak for them when anything is not in their best interests.

    And it's business with a Pro here? Just say you do not think it's a great match for her program/client OR you can just say you are reconsidering the decision to sell it at this time...you can decide again to sell it 5 miniutes after you hang up. You might also just be "unavailable" for any appointment she wants to set up to try it. But that's alot of effort when there is no need to make any at all.

    If the "Pro" gets bent out of shape? You really do not want to be known for doing business with her anyway.

    Not worth fretting about hurting her feelings or anything...not like you are BFFs or doing anything at all "wrong".
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
    Posts
    2,064

    Default

    This is a tough question. I've turned people away before and no matter how tactful you are people can be upset about it. F8 is right, either say you are reconsidering the decision to sell or that you don't think it would be a good match and you don't want to waste their time. I wouldn't do the "unavailable" tactic though...some people can be very persistent and you could come across as being weird, better to be direct.

    I've been turned away before, and I personally am very grateful...the seller knows their horse best and may know of a subtle issue they don't want to disclose publicly that would make the horse not suitable for what I want.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,918

    Default

    I would not tell the person that I don't think the horse is a good fit - almost impossible to not sound insulting. I would just say I had a sale pending and am willing to wait as it seems to be a good match...



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2005
    Posts
    1,140

    Default

    It is difficult to say "no" tactfully & tact isn't my forte.

    I have overheard one professional say to another, "Now you know this horse does not fit your rider." and the 2nd professional say, "Yes - so I'll get training fees & in a year, another commission for selling it."

    [I overheard the conversation because the two trainers had left the indoor where the rider was trying the horse. They wanted to speak privately - but were standing right outside the bathroom & hadn't checked whether it was occupied . . . ]

    The 1st professional did not sell the horse to that particular buyer; the two trainers had a strained relationship afterwards & everyone (but me) wondered why.

    I've been grateful when a trainer at the racetrack turned me down for a mare she was selling off the track because she knew we stood a stallion - and she also knew that particular mare had only 1 ovary. She was advertising this big, pretty, well-conformed mare as a hunter prospect, where a single ovary wasn't a deal-breaker. In the land of 'buyer beware' she could as easily have sold me the mare & moved on.

    I think if you can say that there is a sale pending, or if you can say you have identified someone you want to end up the horse, there is less of a sting. Or if there is something about the horse that you could disclose that would make the 1st buyer decide for him/herself that the horse isn't for him/her.

    But telling them the horse doesn't fit their program is as likely to inspire them to buy the horse, just to prove you wrong.
    Hidden Echo Farm, Carlisle, PA -- home of JC palomino sire Canadian Kid (1990 - 2013) & AQHA sire Lark's Favorite, son of Rugged Lark.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2005
    Location
    On my tiny piece of hunt country!
    Posts
    256

    Default

    I always find honesty to be the best policy even if it's not the easiest. It's not your responsibility to manage her emotional response, it's your responsibility to find your horse the right home. I would be simple and direct....thank you so much for your inquiry, but I do not think this horse is suited to your program. I will be happy to keep my eyes and ears open for something that will work for you. Best of luck...blah blah blah. You don't owe anyone an explanation, but this person isn't worth your reputation over or getting caught in a lie over. IMO
    Love my country! Fear my government!
    Roll Tide
    Fenway Park
    Gotrocks



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Posts
    3,369

    Default

    When my friend and I were looking, the person was up front and said she didn't think the horse would be a good match. No drama. She even offered to keep my friend's name in case she did come across something more suitable. We both really respected her for that.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    15,787

    Default

    Ask her to explain what she wants, in detail. Then tell her the horse isn't it (and, that's honest-- it sounds like he's not). The equine version of "it's not you, it's me."
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2009
    Posts
    4,530

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Come Shine View Post
    When my friend and I were looking, the person was up front and said she didn't think the horse would be a good match. No drama. She even offered to keep my friend's name in case she did come across something more suitable. We both really respected her for that.
    Exactly. Why do so many people feel obligated to twist themselves inside out to come up with a "story" about why the horse won't work in a specific program. Just say, "Sorry, I have a different kind of program in mind for him" or "sorry, I don't think this would be a good match." You don't owe it to anyone to sell them your horse, and, honestly, you don't even owe them an explanation as to why. Even just "Sorry, I don't think that will work out" is fine.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2008
    Location
    Portola Valley, CA
    Posts
    276

    Default

    Ask her what she's looking for in a horse, "ponder it" (to be polite), and then just tell her how the horse probably wouldn't be the best choice. Remember you're doing them a favor, the horse a favor, and yourself a favor. No one benefits from having the wrong horse in their program.

    Chances are even if they came and tried the horse, the horse wouldn't go well for them and they'd call it a day.

    I had the sweetest equitation horse that I had to sell. I had never seen him run through the bridle. In fact, I didn't know that he could! This girl showed up and before she got on, I knew they wouldn't mesh. She got on him and he nearly took off with her. Horses often do speak loudly. Put a kid who barely knows anything on him, and he cantered around like the professional he is.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
    Location
    NYC=center of the universe
    Posts
    1,931

    Default

    I agree with the others here. Ask what she's looking for, ask about the rider (if a student), etc. Ponder and reject politely. It'll be fine.

    I had someone turn me down sight unseen because they wanted a show home for their lovely mare, to boost their breeding program. And I was willing to pay the asking price! Sometimes it just doesn't work for any number of reasons. Hopefully there are no hard feelings and people can happily move on.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    5,828

    Default

    I've had breeders and owners steer me away from a horse I was asking about as a good fit.

    In fact, I had contacted the breeder of my new filly about a different horse who is already under saddle, but she said my filly really sounded more exactly like what I was looking for. Given I'd been watching the filly for two years, I decided to believe her and check her out in person. ;-)

    I've never taken offense at being told a horse isn't right for me - and ended up with a horse who wasn't right for multiple people before we ended up being a great fit. It's nothing against an individual, just preferences of both rider and horse come into play. I know of one program in which I would never let my horse go because he would kill someone, yet when we're ready to free lease out my mom's horse I think she'd be perfectly happy if someone in that program is interested.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2009
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thanks for all your replies; they helped a tremendous amount.

    Just a follow up to what I decided to do.

    Buyer emailed me asking if I had a video, so I took that opportunity to say:

    "I do have a video but it is on my computer at home and I am at the barn (on my iphone). I can send it to you later this evening. What exactly are you looking for, beginner friendly? Green prospect? Show ready? Thanks!"

    She followed up with beginner friendly and show ready.

    In return I told her that said horse "is quiet and steady, but being an OTTB, he needs a rider with somewhat educated hands. Although I would say he is an easy ride, I do not think him beginner friendly."

    Ironicly, everything I said to her was the absolute truth, so I think it just kind of worked itself out, ya know.

    Thanks again.

    PS-I appreciate all the support about wanting the right home, not just any home, for this horse. I was wondering if folks would come on here and say "how do you know he wouldn't be happy!" and it was refreshing to have constructive positive feedback. I've been around COTH long enough to know that isn't always the case!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2012
    Posts
    1,961

    Default

    The best dealers and trainers--the ones whose reputations last for decades, not just for one or two sales--are more concerned with making a "perfect match" every time they sell a horse than making a commission. If they develop the formula and the contacts for doing that, the commissions will come by themselves--and KEEP coming.

    Kudos to you for doing the right thing for both horse and buyer!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2001
    Location
    Rosco, GA
    Posts
    1,900

    Default

    As a backyard horseperson I have had to do this twice. One was the mother of a three year old child who had only ridden a neighbor's horse in high school. Just said it wouldn't be a good fit for an inexperienced person to buy a green horse, and explained how she could get hurt. She then REALLY wanted the filly. I was nice but firm.
    Second time the next horse I was selling had gone lame and the buyer just did not believe me and was rabid to buy the horse!
    Made me think that if you really want to sell the horse, tell the buyer they can't have it! Reverse psychology.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2000
    Location
    Pawlet, VT US
    Posts
    3,495

    Default

    We had a different experience. When I went to college, we put my 5 YO up for sale. She was a small mare with a full season hunting under her belt. Nice, calm, steady, good jumper, good manners. Tiny 50-something lady came from far away to try her. Mare stopped at a fence, dropping the lady, and got a little uppity, both odd behaviors for her. My mother called and said she didn't think it would work, but that the buyer was enthusiastic. As a deterrent, we doubled the asking price. Buyer bought. They happily hunted all over Ky and Va. I got Christmas cards from her for at least a decade, always thanking me for her favorite field hunter ever...

    This was before trainers were involved. I always wondered how it went with the other horses she tried, as it couldn't have been pretty. Sometimes the buyer really does know what they want.
    madeline
    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2012
    Posts
    1,961

    Default

    Doubled the price, eh? Well, I've sure filed THAT one for future reference!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 19, 2011
    Location
    Madison, GA
    Posts
    2,782

    Default

    I would be careful assuming that someone would be a bad fit. I say this just because you could take me as an example. When many people hear that I'm from a WP dude ranch they automatically assume that I'm a face yanking, peanut pusher that falls over jumps when in reality I grew up riding and showing HJ in local and rated shows and only came to be at a WP barn because of a college trail guide gig...

    Just playing a bit of devil's advocate, you probably have good reasons, but you never want to jump to conclusions until you know the fact of whether or not the person would fit the horse.

    ETA: And to add something constructive, we have flat out told people before that they cannot handle the horse and should find something more suitable.
    Southern Cross Guest Ranch
    An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia
    www.southcross.com
    RIP Bocephus March 2008 - April 2013



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    31,369

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alterego212 View Post
    ...Potential buyer inquired and although she doesn't really know me, I know her and her program and what it produces.

    Horse.would.not.be.happy...
    Lets all go back and review that statement. Does not sound like simply assuming an unsuitable match.

    Sounds more like keeping a horse that has been good to OP out of the hands of somebody who will not treat it well. Also sounds like the potential buyer here has publically displayed her "program" and it's results. OP is not assuming anything.

    And it is her horse to do with as she pleases-including who she chooses to sell it to.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 24
    Last Post: Jun. 30, 2012, 02:26 PM
  2. Buyer is ill :-((
    By alexandra in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: Nov. 18, 2011, 07:04 AM
  3. Replies: 30
    Last Post: May. 18, 2009, 03:51 PM
  4. Colour turn off or turn on?
    By Cowgirl Lindz in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: May. 7, 2009, 03:09 PM
  5. What do you, as the buyer, want to see?
    By rideforthelaurels16 in forum Eventing
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: Jul. 10, 2008, 06:12 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •