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Selling saddle--trials?

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  • Selling saddle--trials?

    I have a saddle I've been trying to sell since the end of last year and haven't been able to move it. I've dropped the price quite a bit over time, but have had very few truly interested offers. I have someone local-ish to me now expressing interest, but she'd like a test ride/trial.

    Does anyone have good guidance on how to handle this? My instinct would be to bring the saddle to her and stay while she rides in it—but she's about an hour away from me and frankly, I'm loathe to spend half a day or more of my pretty limited weekend time on this if she decides she doesn't like it or it doesn't fit her horse. She has offered to pick it up and seemed fine with a deposit, but I'm not sure how to structure this. My first thought is to ask her for either cash or a cashier's check for the full asking price, with some sort of simple contract in place for when the saddle needs to be returned, the condition it needs to be in, and a guarantee that I'll return her money if she doesn't want the saddle. Essentially, she'd be buying it with the option to "return" it within a few days after purchase.

    Any advice? The saddle isn't a super pricey one, but it's not a cheapie's an older French brand in good condition, still valued over 1K (that I need to recoup to purchase a new saddle for my horse), so I don't want anything to happen to it or for it to go "missing."

  • #2
    I'd go with the cashier's check for the full amount, and have in writing same as you would a trial for a horse. Maybe even include pictures of the saddle like they do with apartment leases?

    Wouldn't just send that much money there where it could disappear. She gets her money back when you get your goods back. Easy peasy and not unheard of.


    • #3
      Unless it is someone you know personally and trust, I wouldn't let it go on trial without payment in full, pictures of the condition it is in, and a short written sales agreement that spells out that she can return it for a refund within X number of days in same condition, and that if it is not back in your possession by X time then the sale is final with no right to return.


      • #4
        I did exactly as you stated - the buyer left the entire purchase price with me in cash, we had a contract written up for the time frame, the condition the saddle was taken in (with photos), and what was allowed for the trial - time frame, do you want her wrapping her leathers? Can she ride in jeans? (If anyone actually does that anymore!) Be very specific - good luck! Mine worked out and the buyer wound up keeping the saddle.


        • #5
          The only time I let my saddle go on trial was with people I knew well at my barn and even then a friend who said she was buying it, kept it for a week without paying for it and then when her prospective new horse didn't pass the PPE she reneged on the purchase. So I agree with everyone else, have her pay the full purchase price in cash before the trial, take pictures and note details of any blemishes or its condition in a brief written agreement and take pictures! Good luck!


          • #6
            I have done both local and distance trials on cheap and pricey saddles. Always paid in full, always with our agreement in writing, and a detailed list - with pictures - of the condition of the saddle. If the situation included shipping, I always specified that the buyer is responsible for shipping (both ways if they shipped back) and that they were responsible for any damages incurred in transit.

            I've only had one poor experience - a local person came to pick up a (cheap) saddle for a student, was very bad with communication while she had the saddle, kept putting off a decision etc. Eventually told me they were good and the sale was through... only to message me a couple of days later to ask for a refund OR a discount because her student had found a better deal. I politely refused - they'd had the saddle over a week at this point and had agreed to the sale - and was then the recipient of a barrage of messages saying how I'd "pressured" her into the sale and how I'd "betrayed our trust." I responded to a few to try and smooth it over, but ended up simply ignoring her.

            I figure she'd either spent her student's money without explicit permission, OR had spent her own money on behalf of her student and hadn't worked out the details on her end. Either way - not a problem that involved me and the money was long gone to vet bills at that point.

            So, overall, I've had good experiences but there are loons that pop up now and then whatever you do.


            • #7
              My husband had a saddle for sale one time and had two women who were interested in going in together to buy it. They asked for a trial and husband graciously agreed without a deposit. So a week goes by and he hasn't heard from them. About 3 weeks into the trial, he finds out where they live and goes there and waits until they get home. The look on their faces and the one mouthing "oh sh__!" was priceless (according to him). They had no intention of buying it and thought they had suckered him into giving them the saddle. They tried to come up with excuses and he ignored them, asked for the return of his saddle and left.

              No full price for the trial, no trial.


              • #8
                I have bought several saddles via fb groups with a full paid trial. There was contract and I paid PayPal and 2 have worked one did not. I kept in constant contact with seller and let them know as soon as I tried it my intentions. I was put shipping and PayPal fees on the one that did not work but would have been put that If id used one of the ones online too.