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OMG! Sellling a Horse in the Information Age...

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  • OMG! Sellling a Horse in the Information Age...

    Oy! Help out an Old Timer here, please?

    Specifics omitted, so as not to run afoul of the Mods. . .

    I have a big, handsome, athletic steeplechaser-bred TB gelding for sale. He's definitely young and green, but he's sane, sound and has been re-started over 2'+ fences as a terrific H/J or eventer prospect. He's priced at mid-four figures or so, not expensive, but certainly a quality prospect.

    It's been a long time since I've sold a horse, and ordinarily I'd just put out the word locally and pass around a few photos.

    But now, with the economy being what it is, and with the internet being the marketing force that it is, I decided to try something new, and put him up on Dreamhorse.

    I advertised him with an attractive conformation photo in-hand, and an accurate description of his current work. I've gotten back a ton of responses, which is nice, but they're all asking for MORE photos and videos of him.

    So my question is this-- what's the current standard for photos and videos for online advertisements?

    This guy's big, gorgeous and well-built, but he's still schooling and popping over easy courses at local shows-- what am I supposed to be providing photos and videos OF?

    Thanks much in advance for any advice on what I should be providing in a sale ad!

  • #2
    In terms of video-I like to see them w/t/c each direction just enough to show movement and then schooling over whatever they are supposed to be jumping, also conformation from different directions. If asked for more pictures I would assume the same but obviously in picture mode, not video
    No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
    For Hope, For Strength, For Life-Delta Gamma
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    • #3
      I just bought a horse, so I asked this questions to like 10 gabilion people. Poor people... I normally want to see pictures of them being ridden and any other conformation shots you might have. Front and back straight on are really helpful. As for the video, just show the work he is normally doing. W/T/C and jumping. If he can collect, show him collected. If he can jump 2'3, show him jumping 2'3. Just show him off.

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      • #4
        I have always thought that a sale video should be like a "good" movie trailer....

        Make the buyer want to SEE the horse.


        That said, with the internet, it seems like more people shop out of their regions now-

        I know that I will most likely not go see a horse 300 miles away with out good pics or video..

        While making the video please use a tripod-I have watched so many sale & stallion videos that make me seasick...
        Quick note-Rider's clothing should be understated and conservative (Seriously, a couple years back I received a stallion tape, on which the rider was wearing only a sports bra up top...and she was a well endowed girl-could not concentrate on the horse at all. Kept waiting for those things to smack her in the face

        Personally I like to see horses go in minimal tack & leg gear.
        Will generally turn off video and write off horse who is warm-ed up in draw reins or the like, and wearing polo bandages on all four...
        I am still wary of horses in bandages, as it was ingrained in my head from youth (track) that you should be questioning a horse that is in the paddock with bandages on the front....
        "The Friesian syndrome... a mix between Black Beauty disease and DQ Butterfly farting ailment." Alibi_18

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        • #5
          He sounds great. Do you have the Dreamhorse link or ad number so I can take a peek?

          How big is big. 17.2H big?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TeamBrickman View Post
            So my question is this-- what's the current standard for photos and videos for online advertisements?
            The standard is "a lot, more than you would have imagined 5-10 years ago, etc."

            Find yourself a friend with a digital camera that takes simple Youtube-quality videos and photos. Post these in a location where people can see them. May I recommend Posterous.com if you are super duper internet illiterate (if you can handle EMAILING the photos and videos to an email address, you can handle posting them on Posterous.com).

            Alas, that's the way it is these days. It does beat the heck out of inviting potential buyers to the barn who would have quickly lost interest after seeing more photos/videos.
            Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
              Alas, that's the way it is these days. It does beat the heck out of inviting potential buyers to the barn who would have quickly lost interest after seeing more photos/videos.
              Yep. I just bought a horse this year and additional photos/videos made life a lot easier as choosing who to go try out in person. That being said I went to try my new horse off of 2 grainy photos and a blurry 10 second video and I ADORE him.

              Normally I like to see conformation shot, a shot undersaddle trotting or cantering, and at least one over a jump (a headshot doesn't hurt if he's got a cute face).

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              • #8
                Your life will be easier if you post a youtube video and put several photos up that people can link to. The serious buyers will be on the phone and come to see the horse. The serious buyers who are over 1 hr away will pester you a bit, and want to do a trial at their place (so be ready with your response/terms). Maybe they will make the trip, maybe not. Only about 10-20% of the emails will be from people who are seriously shopping in your area.
                Man plans. God laughs.

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                • #9
                  First, lucky you that so many people are inquiring. In this economy that's a good sign.

                  Absolutely you need video and more pics.

                  I sold a horse about four years ago and I actually went out and bought an inexpensive video camera so that I could tape her. Guess what? She was sold off of the tape, so it was a good investment.

                  If you don't have a DIGITAL video camera (or a friend with one), invest in one of the small Flip video cameras. I bought one on eBay for $70. They are dead easy to use and you plug them right into the USB port of your computer to download the video. From there it's a piece of cake to upload to YouTube.

                  Make sure you go digital because you really need to be on YouTube.

                  BTW, creating a user account on YouTube is very simple and it's free.

                  Good luck.
                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                  • #10
                    How about going to your local high school, talk to the principal and see if they've got a art/drama/film teacher and have her/him recommend a student whose a budding photographer/film maker and offer to pay say $40 for a kid to take video's (with their own camera) of your horse and help you post it you tube.
                    That way you encourage a kid, the kid will love the $ and probably the whole experience and you will be getting the best technical help you can plus kids are usually very good teachers to adults, they don't judge, they just help.

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                    • #11
                      I think people shopping in the under $10k price range are more demanding than those in the higher price range. They wants lots of pictures-flat/jumping/x-c or whatever the horse does and also conformation pictures that are decent. Video is a must even for under $2k horses if you want someone to actually come look.

                      I try to highlight the horses as being versatile so they can appeal to different buyers. If they trail ride get some video of them out doing that particular job. Many of mine good enough for the hunter ring but also go x-c so I do video and pictures of both because lower level riders may want that all around horse.

                      Good conformation pictures are hard to get so read up on how to stand the horse to get the best picture. I take a bunch of shots because out of all of them only one or two might be something worth using.

                      When I do my videos I try not to edit them to much. No point in making a video that only shows the "perfect" you set yourself up for a disappointed buyer. Show the horse as they really are in their training especially a green horse.

                      I often might show the horse with different riders up to show they can handle a different ride. Or ride the horse like a hunter one round and on the flat and then frame them up a bit for an eventer.

                      It really helps to have a ton of video and pictures when selling to give people an idea.
                      http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

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                      • #12
                        Photo O/F - one side shot and one from front. If you are marketing him as a jumping horse- that's what you've got to show. You should make a video anyways, whether you want to put it online or save it for really interested prospective buyers. Sounds like you should have no problem selling him. Good luck

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Vindicated View Post
                          Quick note-Rider's clothing should be understated and conservative (Seriously, a couple years back I received a stallion tape, on which the rider was wearing only a sports bra up top...and she was a well endowed girl-could not concentrate on the horse at all. Kept waiting for those things to smack her in the face
                          Man, that's scary... did they think stallion tapes should be viewed as soft-core porn?
                          "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                          Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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                          • #14
                            It was hysterical, but on the down side-

                            The stallion was nice, not exactly what I wanted-he was however, taken right off the list, as the tone of the video suggested that the owners/managers may not take their business seriously-and I like to consider myself open minded.

                            The lack of attention to what I consider an important detail-derailed my intrest in their horse.
                            "The Friesian syndrome... a mix between Black Beauty disease and DQ Butterfly farting ailment." Alibi_18

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                            • #15
                              With digital pics and video so much easier to get nowadays, people do expect more. When getting 3 or 4 nice shots took 6 rolls of film and professional photog, expectations of great pics were the realm of shoppers looking for high end show horses.
                              I would expect to see a (flattering) pic of the horse's conformation (no saddle please) with the horse stood reasonably well. Have the least possible distractions in the background and the most level ground underfoot. A couple of "working shots" are standard, IMO. A nice trot pic is great, especially if the horse is a good mover. If the horse is advertised as a horse that jumps, I want to see pics. If he's young and still a work in progress at home, get a friend to snap a million pics at one of your jump schooling sessions. I hate to see copy telling me that he's schooling 3' at home then a pic of him hopping over an X. Show me what the horse can do. If he's showing, spend the money and buy a copy of a pic or two and use them.
                              My 9yo son with ADD has taken some pretty good video of me riding (with a $100 digital camera) so it shouldn't be that tough to get reasonably good video. Have someone get schooling or show video and put it on YouTube with a link from your ad.
                              In this era when I can capture video of my friend's horse being saddled for a race and have it posted on FaceBook before the race is run, people expect pictures and video, and plenty of it.
                              F O.B
                              Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                              Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

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