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Need some reassurance--consignment sales!

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  • Need some reassurance--consignment sales!

    I need to sell my horse pretty quickly and don't have the facilities to keep him in work when he returns home from his lease. Findeight suggested a consignment barn and it seems like a great idea! I've been chatting with a well known and highly respectable consignment trainer who is happy to take my boy.

    I'm just having trouble convincing myself to pay almost 1000 bucks a month for board until he sells. I don't have unlimited funds to blow through so he would need to sell in the first few months.

    Has anyone done this before? How long did it take your horse to sell? Was it worth it? (Horse is priced low 5 figures and I'm negotiable on the price for a quick sale). Thanks! This is a really tough decision that I'm having to make rather quickly.
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

  • #2
    Have you asked the consignment trainer how long they would expect a sale to take?

    Of course every individual situation can vary, but if the trainer can demonstrate that they are routinely able to move a horse in 60-90 days, (ideally providing you with some references to speak to that claim) then I would think that would help ease your concern. I'd also ask what percentage of the asking price they have sold for.

    I'd likewise ask how many other similar horses (age/size/job/resume) they have sold in the last 3-6 months to get a feel for whether it would be a good fit for your horse.

    Also discuss what the options are if the horse does NOT sell in the timeframe you can afford to have him there. If you can only afford a couple of months of this arrangement, in this market I think you need to have a plan in advance for what you will do if you don't get a deal done in that timeframe.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina

    Comment


    • #3
      I have seen it go both ways, honestly. The important part is finding a barn/trainer that really makes the effort with every horse they have come in. Ask them what their success rate is for finding consignment horses new owners/leasers. You want a quick sale so it's important to have a barn that has a lot of in-house clients (lesson students, other boarders), a lot of traffic re: well known in their area for having quality horses, or a trainer that has a wide network they can reach out to themselves.

      I'll share both scenerios with you:

      Fail
      Very nice AA horse and TB division winner at A shows (mid 5 figures), sent to be sold in the winter (mid-atlantic area). $1,000/month just like you said, he's been there 5 months now. Had a few bites, but nothing solid, he wasn't marketed much. Luckily, the trainer who is very honest came to owner and said he loved horse but he just wasn't getting clients that were looking and willing to spend that kind of money. Moral of the story: not the right barn.

      Success:
      Children's Hunter, hack winner, Warmblood, wins everything (mid 5 figures). Sent to large, well known show/consignment barn. Even with his quirky personality..he can be a little difficult on the ground, he's never been there more than 2 months before he's leased out. They market him aggressively and have heavy traffic flow through their barn.

      It's really good that you're negotiable, that WILL help move things along. I hope this was helpful!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
        I need to sell my horse pretty quickly and don't have the facilities to keep him in work when he returns home from his lease. Findeight suggested a consignment barn and it seems like a great idea! I've been chatting with a well known and highly respectable consignment trainer who is happy to take my boy.

        I'm just having trouble convincing myself to pay almost 1000 bucks a month for board until he sells. I don't have unlimited funds to blow through so he would need to sell in the first few months.

        Has anyone done this before? How long did it take your horse to sell? Was it worth it? (Horse is priced low 5 figures and I'm negotiable on the price for a quick sale). Thanks! This is a really tough decision that I'm having to make rather quickly.
        As there are no guarantees (or really even accurate predictions) in this game, set a time line & budget that you're willing/able to devote to the sale; put this in the contract with consignment barn - if they do leases, maybe offer an incentive (to trainer) should they manage a lease (not sure if this will help with your "need to sell" or not: reality is that even with everything going "right" horse may not sell for several months or longer, so be prepared for that possibility, no matter how unlikely).

        Do the math on how much commission & monthly fees are going to cost you vs selling horse yourself for that "X" amount minus those predicted fees ... but also consider your location & it's effects on the likelyhood of the sale.

        I just read Lucassb's post - she said it so much better

        Comment


        • #5
          I am 0 for 2 on consignment sales (in both cases brought the horse home, lost a lot of $), so I would say there is some risk. Part of it has to do with how marketable the horse is--I think in my case both trainers and I overestimated both times.

          I wouldn't do it again unless it were a trainer I or my trainer knew well. I think being a relative outsider, vs. an important client, hurt me when I did it.

          Comment


          • #6
            As with anything it's buyer beware. Some sellers will be honest & tell you the horse isn't moving. Others will keep it in their program & hand you a bill when you leave or finally sell.

            Make sure you are very aware of all the costs upfront, have your paperwork in order & stay on top of it. I have seen people finally sell the horse only to still owe the sale barn a chunk of change afterwards.
            "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

            Comment


            • #7
              Put any agreement you make with the consignment barn in writing, and have both parties sign it! That way, you both know what's expected. I've seen things go very wrong without such a contract...

              Comment


              • #8
                Findeight recommended consignment, which she normally is lukewarm on , because OP is coming off a lease deal suddenly going south and dumping a horse she really cannot take at this point back into her wallet.

                This is kind of a "new normal" consignment deal with training board BUT if she chooses the right trainer, horse will get cared for properly and actively marketed. OP can't attract the buyers or present the horse like a pro sales barn can...and OP needs to sell.

                If OP is careful, gets references and is clear and reasonable about price for sale or full 1 year lease with a good contract?

                Horse should sell or lease pretty quickly. If OP is not realistic about the price? It might take longer.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Sorry findeight! Didn't mean to throw you under the bus!

                  I'm definitely keeping in mind all of the points you brought up. It seems like a good idea for my situation as of now. I found a very reputable trainer with great references and I'm realistic about price and timing of sale. Still considering my options and taking ideas to make sure
                  I'm making the right choice!
                  Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                  White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                  Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
                    Sorry findeight! Didn't mean to throw you under the bus!

                    I'm definitely keeping in mind all of the points you brought up. It seems like a good idea for my situation as of now. I found a very reputable trainer with great references and I'm realistic about price and timing of sale. Still considering my options and taking ideas to make sure
                    I'm making the right choice!
                    I'm so sorry you're having to make this difficult choice, kudos to you for managing to do so


                    Must admit to being a bit stalkerish & looking up his old ad, do try previous owners if it seems like a good fit - he looks lovely

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by alto View Post
                      I'm so sorry you're having to make this difficult choice, kudos to you for managing to do so


                      Must admit to being a bit stalkerish & looking up his old ad, do try previous owners if it seems like a good fit - he looks lovely
                      He is absolutely lovely. I hate to get rid of him but finances and illness in my family force it.

                      I've actually had some interest in him from the ad I put up so maybe I won't need to do a consignment sale. Another local cother gave me another idea as well..this is an awesome community!
                      Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                      White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                      Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have my horse at a consignment barn, it's someone I know kind of from our livestock days but not someone I would say I was necessarily friendly with. She has been there for 7 weeks tomorrow. As far as I know, there has been no interest other than people saying she is super cute. Unfortunately I've found out that the trainer's reputation isn't so great. Communication has been very spotty, especially when it comes to asking about charges. We had agreed to do our payments as the board with 20% of the sale price but have been charged both the board and training fees the first month and this month (that is supposed to be board and training costs now with 10% of of the sale price.) The first time it happened I sent text messages, facebook messages and voicemails just asking for clarification of the three charges I had received on my credit card. (horse was dropped off on like the 20th of March) I threatened to come pick horse up and received a call from her "admin assistant" who is one of the moms. Who had no information for me other to say that she would call me in a couple days after the clinic and show that was being held at their barn. She finally got back to me (by text not a phone call) and we agreed again how I was supposed to be paying and yet again this month it happened again. Texted her again, she returns texts about other things but not the money part (according to a former employee on yelp there is a lawsuit for unpaid wages for employee) horse has been ridden by an 11 or so year old girl who has taken her to 3 shows, the only part that I have had to pay was for the stall at the A show. She was supposed to be at a show this week but the barn has colds so they aren't going and are getting 10 days off. A friend has a friend at a very nice facility that has offered a different situation for the pony and I informed her that I wanted to pick horse up. Now suddenly there is someone that is interested in seeing her as soon as she is well again. She wants 30 days notice, which is understandable, but if I'm taking my horse off the market there is no reason for her to stay there another 30 days, much less she will probably just get thrown in a pasture and not have anything done with her (I'm 2.5 hrs away so can't be down there to check on things though I have a friend who boards with another trainer at the facility that has kept an eye out for her but can't really meander through their barn or get anywhere near it without getting ugly looks) so I am picking her up this weekend and she will get better at home and then move to her new place and learn about being an eventer. I'm not going to fight to get any of my money back for this month even though they won't have been worked really for the first half of it. I'm thinking it will just be easier to let her have her money and collect my horse and get out (oh, and upon notice that she was going to be leaving I was also told that she had personally put a lot of money into her-where not real sure since the only advertising I have seen is a free text ad on a local site and I've been told she is in a sales catalog. My understanding is that the parent's were paying for the horse shows. ) We also had a specific timeline that she needed to be sold in (which is of course no guarantee but she had leased or sold I believe like 25 from Jan 1st to Mar so there was hope that something could be done. ) After that time period it would have to be rethought. I don't have a ton of money to dump into having her at a sale barn so that also limits how long she can be there in comparison to how much she was going to be sold for. So I guess what I'm saying is make sure you do lots of research on where/who you are sending your horse too. If you are able to find him a home on your own it will save you money in commissions! Unfortunately I didn't have much interest in her outside of someone that wanted to free lease her (and was also a couple hours away and not a trainer I had heard of) even though she is a super cute jumper and wasn't priced too high, I had actually been told to raise her price. But it has worked out well in some aspects because I have been able to finally get my new OTTB going under saddle (had him since Nov) and we have since found her this other living situation which I don't have to pay for with a fabulous trainer! I'm going to be jealous of where she is going to be living!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Findeight gave good advice but one of the issues w/ selling horses is just as OP says - $1,000 per month can easily eat up any profit, not to mention any paid out commissions... could you find a barn 1/2 that price and try to market the horse yourself or another trainer? to be honest 2 of my friends had pretty good luck selling their horses on their own with little to no help from their trainer - one trainer would of course help show the horse so it is doable. I've seen/heard countless tales of people (owners and trainers) holding out for top dollar and by the time the horse sells - well they've spent in board/training equal or more than the top dollar (I'm not talking really expensive horses here - probably in the $15-$40,000) range. I'm sure it's quite different when the horse's value is much greater. Good luck and sorry you have to make this decision.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Get WRITTEN contract even on a free lease and spell out all contingencies or you might end up as OP has or avoid some of the examples above. Include an exit strategy if things are not working out. Never be afraid to question and/or withold payment not described in the written contract...IME trainers personally get back to you pretty quick when you line out and deduct something on the bill with a WRITTEN explanation accompanying the check.

                            A barn with heavy traffic and a lot of well established connections can often sell a decent quality animal a lot quicker then even another Pro with a smaller operation. Perhaps this thread has allowed OP to network a little more then she has been able to before and she'll get a quick lead on a buyer or bona fide long term lease instead of having to go to the sale barn. But it is a viable option at this point.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              More than anything I think both owner and consignment barn have to be realistic in horse worth and horse worth for a quick sale.

                              The market isn't great but I've had a lot of luck with good photos/video and proper pricing for the timely fashion of the sale.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Fingers crossed for you for a swift and happy sale. If my lawsuit was settled, I'd be snapping him up for my DD. You won't have any trouble moving him along, he's very nice. I bet he's gone by the end of May.
                                Bolter Bolter Bolter!!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Alittlegray, I hope you're right!

                                  I've actually found a barn here in town through another cother where I could field board him for a fraction of the consignment barn and I could keep him in work and market him myself. I'm considering doing that for a month or two--if he doesn't sell, I can always send him to the consignment barn. I've had a couple people email about him already but no one has set up an appt to ride him.
                                  Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                  White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                  Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Well, give it a few weeks but this is the time of year most horse sell, they look their best, the weathers good and still a big chunk of show season left.

                                    For OP, I think you need to follow up with anybody who inquires. Don't let them be vague, ask them when they can come try him right then. Follow up in a week asking if they are able to set an appointment. Don't be pushy but there is nothing wrong with staying in touch and offering to show him in a polite and approachable fashion.

                                    With a personal meeting, you can assess if they are serious buyers or tire kickers as well as see if they are somebody you feel will be good to the horse and would be willing to negotiate with on price.

                                    I know I sound like a bit of a hard A** here but, once upon a time, my hubby at the time lost a lucrative job with little notice, no severance (company went under) and suffered stress related health problems. I HAD to get rid of my horse to meet basic living expenses. Like yesterday.

                                    Fortunately, she was fairly well known on the breed show circuit where I had a lot of contacts. Fashionable breeding and color if a bit of a flake (OK, she was a jerk) and unsound. I sold her in one evening for a dirt cheap price, cash. They bred her for barrel horses and got 3 good babies out of her.

                                    Sometimes you have to do what you wish you didn't when you suddenly cannot afford to support the horse, profit takes a back seat. You need to sell ASAP.

                                    The consignment barn is an option and it's a prime example of Plan B. Always good to be friendly with your horse community and know what you would do if...
                                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
                                      Alittlegray, I hope you're right!

                                      I've actually found a barn here in town through another cother where I could field board him for a fraction of the consignment barn and I could keep him in work and market him myself. I'm considering doing that for a month or two--if he doesn't sell, I can always send him to the consignment barn. I've had a couple people email about him already but no one has set up an appt to ride him.
                                      I'd try this

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I think choosing the RIGHT barn has everything to do with how well it goes. Be honest with the potential trainers with what your horse has done, and who you see him selling to (keeping an open mind). Ask them point blank if they have anyone that is looking for your type of horse. The more people the trainer has in the barn or going through the barn that fit your buyer profile, the more likely the sale. For example, you're more likely to sell a nice local level horse at a big local-level lesson barn with lots of riders in and out than you are going to a smaller A-level barn. The A-level horse may have a hard time selling at the local barn since it's likely to be above most of their client's budgets.

                                        2 years ago, I sent my horse on consignment board. Horse was a nice kid and ammy friendly horse that could do just about anything, but was never going to be a AA show or high-performance horse. He went to a trainer who had a lot of clients looking for that type of horse. He sold in 7 days for 10% below asking. I was just a little chapped about paying for a full month of board when he was only there a week, but it's a problem I was lucky to have, LOL.

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