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selling horses UGH ;-(

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  • #21
    I have taken prices that were less than what I want and it helps me decide how to price the horses that come later. I had a very nice sale for less than I wanted to a great home that went out and showed in my area and will make it easier to sell other young horses in the future. It gave us confidence in what we had to sell and confidence to hold in future prices. It also helped us be realistic about what amateurs might not accomplish even if they have a great young horse. Anyone who comes and looks helps us learn more about pricing, preparing for sale, dealing with buyers and trainers, and living with the decisions we have made. In our area we have a much lower price range than nationally. We have to decide if it is worth it to sell more horses locally to accept lower prices or do we hold out for the buyers who come from the coasts or even internationally and maybe get higher prices. One horse sold for less has brought in more customers...not because he was less expensive but because he got out there and was seen doing well for one customer. I tyhink to you need to be aware that your trainer has different goals than you might. I am not selling one horse one time. I will have a couple horses a year to sell...my trainer has 6 to 10 horses a year to sell...the farm has as many as 20 to sell. Perhaps you have just one and have the base to hold for a better price. Maybe your investment in this horse is as much emotional as financial. Maybe that means to accomplish your goals you want to get a lot of money to show you can. Maybe the great home is most important as he has been your buddy and even if you are moving up you want the great home more. Often it is a balance with both. You may be verclempt because the offer is making you have to think more about this when you thought you had it straight in your mind. I will say that the market for well trained horses is pretty good. There are fewer and fewer people breeding and preping and selling. If you have a solid horse with a solid base, if you have a set of presale xrays he cleared you are in a good spot to wait. You know he can please a customer...you would know by now perhaps if there are other customers out there or if you have waited months for just one customer. You have your marketing package set to go with pictures and videos. It is not personal they are trying to get the cheapest horse they can...and they will find a horse. You need to have a range of value for te horse you are offering that gives you some wiggle room for the range of buyers you will see. PatO

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    • #22
      I tend to price my horses at a price point a bit above what I am willing to accept, in order to account for some inevitable negotiation. I expect this of buyers, but I will say it is frustrating when people come out to look at a horse, have no intention of potentially paying my asking price, and neglect to mention this before making an appointment. Not all prices are negotiable and if you're not willing to consider the asking price, it is rude to waste the seller's time- if you want to negotiate, make this known.

      Negotiating within 10-20% of the asking price (depending on the price point, of course) is very different than offering less than half of the asking price, which I have had done on a very nice, reasonably priced horse after allowing multiple trial rides, including an xc school. The buyers were well aware of the price prior to trying the horse and never mentioned any problems with this until after the third or fourth trial ride. I learned from that experience and now let buyers know upfront whether or not I am negotiable.

      I wouldn't take it personally, as negotiation is a regular and accepted part of horse dealing, but don't be afraid to stick to your guns, either. You know how important the sale is and what the horse is worth to you- make your decision based on that.

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      • #23
        It's the market. Some sellers are actually taking these ridiculous offers because they need to move the horse, need the money, etc. So now everyone thinks that every seller is desperate.

        I don't take it personally; but sometimes it's a little embarrassing to hear their sob story of why they can't offer more. I mean really, it's a horse! If you can't afford it, then don't buy it!

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        • #24
          I now make sure the customer is well aware of the price and any negotiations will come after a PPE if there is something the shows up requiring a plan change. PERIOD

          Like acottomgin said short term payment plan with horse staying on site and insured for full price as well as major medical and a Rock Solid Legal bill of sale signed by all responsible for paying for the horse.

          It has nothing to do with. "Soft" economy it's a Soft Brain......seriously just try pulling some of the crap buyers pull on horse sellers to a car salesman and see how far it gets you.....

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          • #25
            Originally posted by ivy62 View Post
            I had someone look at her, fell in love and offered me less than half of what we are asking. Why would people insult me like that!
            Make sure that your sale ads state the price is "firm" - that should clear out the halfpricewannabe's.
            Reiterate this in phone calls & emails.

            It's fine for a buyer to try on the "low offer" but a serious buyer will be quick to increase at the scandalized looks of seller & trainer
            - if person is going through a trainer, you might later let trainer know that the price is only slightly negotiable & please screen future clients ...

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            • #26
              I'm glad to see I'm not the only one being insulted!! I recently was contacted by a "friend/trainer"...multiple times (e-mail and phone calls) looking for a horse for a friend/student who had lost her horse. After videos, pictures, chats, she offered me 45% of my asking price for a "made" show/event/dressage/foxhunter!!! She kept insisting that "he'd have a good home"!! My reply was that he "HAS a good home and that my asking price WAS flexible, but give me a break"!! I went to the trainer's web site and every single horse (many) was priced - Private Treaty!! Why do people think fellow pros are running a "non-profit" business?? My horse is very nice, sound, experienced...if they like him well enough to spend time inquiring, they should have realized he was fairly priced!!! I think people should shop closer to their budget!!
              www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
              Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

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              • #27
                First of all, I think it takes a lot of nerve to offer 50% of asking price! However, I did offer ~60% when I bought my horse. But I had a good idea what the market was like, and thought he was quite a bit overpriced for his level of experience. I ended up paying about 65% of his asking price.

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                • #28
                  Kcmel....I get buyers all the time who come try the horse love it trainer loves it...then they tell me their budget including PPE and shipping is a fraction of the firm price...That is why I just plan out right ask them what their for real,budget is..I just say I do not not want to waste their time gas money and my day on a wasted trip if they can t actually afford to pay the price. I may loss a customer or have often gained one for another horse in their price range not yet advertised...I also will not FaceBook prices....If a buyer wants all the details..which are there in black and white as well as a photo they have to call...Tire Kickers just window shopping. Will ask on FB serious buyers will take the effort to talk on the phone. while we are all so attached to the Digital Media it often is not your best friend ...

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                  • #29
                    Funny, jbrp, I have no issues with using email or communicating through FB. I don't immediately assume tire kicker, and I think sometimes emailing back and forth with someone is easier (especially a "working stiff" ammy who may not always have time during normal hours to talk). I've done plenty of deals, good deals, via email. I PREFER email (I HATE talking on the phone...always have), because I can answer questions when I have time to do so without distraction...which may be 6am or 11pm.

                    Just a thought. Everyone does business differently, but I certainly don't write off a potential buyer if it is easier to keep our communication digital (also, you always have everything in writing....)
                    Amanda

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by judybigredpony View Post
                      Kcmel....I get buyers all the time who come try the horse love it trainer loves it...then they tell me their budget including PPE and shipping is a fraction of the firm price...That is why I just plan out right ask them what their for real,budget is..I just say I do not not want to waste their time gas money and my day on a wasted trip if they can t actually afford to pay the price. I may loss a customer or have often gained one for another horse in their price range not yet advertised...I also will not FaceBook prices....If a buyer wants all the details..which are there in black and white as well as a photo they have to call...Tire Kickers just window shopping. Will ask on FB serious buyers will take the effort to talk on the phone. while we are all so attached to the Digital Media it often is not your best friend ...
                      How do buyers respond to that sort of inquiry? I have to say, I can't imagine that I will ever be frank about my budget with a seller again as I did not have a very positive experience. That said, I certainly wouldn't be offended if a seller was very direct and told me the price was not negotiable and that I should only come to see the horse if I had that amount to spend.

                      The tricky thing about buying/selling horses is that different people value different attributes and that can have a big impact on what someone is willing to pay for a particular horse. A horse listed at $15k may very well be within my budget, and I may even really like the horse. But if my top dollar boxes aren't all ticked (say, for instance, that I was willing to pay up to $15k for something with Training miles but the horse I am looking at does not have those miles and I think will need another season before he is ready for it), the horse might not be worth $15k TO ME. While I would be very careful about how I went about making an offer (and would be inclined to be quite frank), there is always a chance that the seller would view my offer as 'insulting' which is unfortunate.

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                      • #31
                        I don't use Facebook, but my most recent purchase (see "My New Project Horse" on the Eventing forum) was done almost entirely with email communications. Including price negotiations, and setting up the PPE.

                        Used the phone for a couple of logistics things, and for the remote PPE.
                        Janet

                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Backstage View Post
                          The tricky thing about buying/selling horses is that different people value different attributes and that can have a big impact on what someone is willing to pay for a particular horse.
                          Agree.

                          "What my budget is" and "what I am willing to pay for THIS HORSE, as is" may be very different things.

                          I have paid as little as 25% and as much as 160% of what I would have told you my budget was.
                          Janet

                          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Well, I should really hope that sellers wouldn't be insulted by any offer, though I can see being irritated by wasted time and effort. But sometimes the signals given by sellers are truly mixed -- for example: horsey listed at $4500 on one listing service, $3500 on another. So me, if I were to negotiate on this horse (and I'm being hypothetical), I would definitely consider the $3500 the starting point, and probably offer 3000 to get the ball rolling. That sounds like a lowball offer on 4500, but it's not on 3500, especially if buyer and seller were to meet in the middle at about 3250.

                            Another thing as a buyer that I consider is potential for use/longterm potential. Horsey may be fairly priced for current level of performance, but if there are conformation issues, and not just one but a couple, a buyer may have legitimate concerns. Still, you can't dispute that horse is performing well at advertised level NOW, but since horse is very young -- well, it's hard to know how to start negotiating because you really want to say -- horsey has a great mind and seems very nice, and I can't dispute horsey is doing well right now at advertised level, but conformation is a concern. May never be a problem, but on the other hand -- young horsey may not last very long. Therefore I hesitate to pay asking price, if I'm going to buy at all.

                            Just a few thoughts from the other side of the fence. And probably, enough people get the $20k horse for $10K that everyone feels they have to try for that kind of deal.

                            But really, I would hope that no seller would get insulted by any offer -- it it's ridiculous, don't hesitate to say no. But also, don't take it personally for sure!
                            If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great

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                            • #34
                              "What my budget is" and "what I am willing to pay for THIS HORSE, as is" may be very different things.
                              Bares repeating. There is a BIG difference in these two things. Just because someone has 10k to spend and your horse is marketed at 10k does not guarantee that they think it is WORTH spending 10k on. In which case, the buyer has 2 choices: walk away or make an offer. If they make an offer, the seller then has three choices: say no and walk away, accept, or counter.

                              Really....we make it all rather complicated sometimes!
                              Amanda

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                              • #35
                                I agree different price ideas for different boxes ticked off.

                                Maybe works for some to tell a seller their budget, in the lower range, but if I was looking higher I sure wouldn't want to tell someone my top dollar (for that horse that's not priced) and voila the price meets my best dollar!!

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Personally I LOVE communicating through email. Especially in these types of negotiations. It gives you a moment to think out your approach and say what you really want vs. blurting something out or being caught off guard, you get responses in writing, etc.

                                  As for finances, I can't imagine giving a seller much personal financial detail. I might say "he/she is within my budget" if asked, but if I have 10K to spend and am looking at your 2K horse, I don't see how the other 8K are relevant. I definitely would not go see a horse well out of my budget without clearing that with the seller.

                                  Agree completely with Backstage and Janet that your budget and valuation of a given horse for you are unrelated.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                                    Bares repeating. There is a BIG difference in these two things. Just because someone has 10k to spend and your horse is marketed at 10k does not guarantee that they think it is WORTH spending 10k on. In which case, the buyer has 2 choices: walk away or make an offer. If they make an offer, the seller then has three choices: say no and walk away, accept, or counter.
                                    I can't agree more. As a buyer, I looked at a very nicely performing horse, but in person some physical issues and the ppe were very eye opening. Which was a drag because I really did like him (and spent a sig chunk of change on X-rays). Now, I may have misread the seller, but I couldn't see her taking kindly to ANY offer so I walked away.
                                    Reasons I'm crazy, #37: I went out shopping for a pony and came home with a 17hh OTTB
                                    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Agree, Beam Me Up -- I am reluctant to say what my precise budget is, but if I ask what you want for him I am more than happy to share whether that's in my budget or not (and if it not, I'll thank you for your time and move on). IME, if someone says what their budget is before finding out price, oftentimes a horse is miraculously are priced at the top of it. Of course, not all sellers do this, but enough that it makes me wary.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Janet View Post
                                        I don't use Facebook, but my most recent purchase (see "My New Project Horse" on the Eventing forum) was done almost entirely with email communications. Including price negotiations, and setting up the PPE.

                                        Used the phone for a couple of logistics things, and for the remote PPE.
                                        I think it went pretty smoothly, too! It was my first time selling a horse and it was a very positive experience.

                                        I definitely prefer email to phone calls. Email gives you time to think things over before you respond.
                                        Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                                        Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                                        VW sucks.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          I think that being honest and transparent about pricing saves everybody from hurt feelings. If I am firm on the price than I put it clearly in my ad. Otherwise, I am never offended if people ask me if I am negotiable. They often will say that they have X amount of money to spend and ask if that is feasible. It either is or it isn't. No hurt feelings on either side by having open communication. I often negotiate quite a bit when the right home comes along. Especially if I have a horse that may be a bit more difficult to sell. You can hold out for more money but sometimes you end up losing more money when you don't take an offer.

                                          I believe in putting my prices on my ads because then people don't have to guess. I have nothing to hide and I really don't mind if people know the price of my horses. I also am very upfront with jockey club names. I am always confused when people don't put down the jockey club names when they clearly sell ottb's. I want to look up the breeding. I also want to look at the race record so I don't call you and waste your time if there is something obvious in the record that makes me want to steer clear.

                                          Buying and selling horses is a stressful business. I have been at it from both sides for a very long time. I sell more horses than I buy (although that is changing now that I am doing personal resale horses again) so I try to treat buyers as I would like to be treated when I am a buyer. The horse world is a small world!!!

                                          Oh and I love email. I work full-time and then am in the barn every spare minute that I am not working. Email is wonderful and helps me at least figure out what people are looking for and whether the horse will be a good match.
                                          http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

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