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Ever Look At Sale Ads And Wonder...

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  • Ever Look At Sale Ads And Wonder...

    ...what planet the seller lives on? I had a text message from someone I know asking me why my gelding was for sale and wasn't he older than the ad stated?

    Turned out to be an ad on an internet sales site, but not my horse. Right barn name (unusual, so I can see why she mistook him at first glance), right color. But wrong breed and age. Anyway, I read the ad and walked away wondering why this person thinks their horse is worth that price. It seemed kind of steep ($15,000 for a horse that has done nothing much, other than been trained steadily for a couple of years and trail ridden).

    Then I saw another ad for a hard to sell breed in this state, with the horse prices at $10,000. Are this young people who think their special horse is worth a ton of money? People who don't want to sell, so place an outrageous price on the horse to avoid actually selling?

    What are people thinking when they put a price on their horse? When I sell a horse I put a realistic price on them so I can, you know...sell them.

    When I was looking for a horse, before I purchased my mare last year, there was an ad for a grade gelding that was advertised as having potential for western pleasure, trail riding, grad prix jumping and "upper level dressage". And the price tag was only $17,000. I wanted to respond just to ask what they were drinking. Then I thought that perhaps it might be a teenager who really thinks that the horse could go on to do well in any of those careers.

    I know that this is a free country and someone can ask whatever they want for their horses. But as a serious buyer, I am turned off when someone kind of throws all these different disciplines out there with nothing to back it up. And then puts a hefty price tag on it.
    Sheilah

  • #2
    I think it's the idea that "they" touched it and therefore it's gold. Ummm, nope. I used to live at a place where the lady bred Appys. But her stallion was Mr Nobody and the mares were Ms Nobodies. She never took them off the property and never put any training on them. Yet, they were "Show Horses." And priced accordingly. The younger stallion - unbroke and very badly handled (think spoiled brat) - was $15k. The gelding who somehow had managed to get 60 days on him was $12k. And so on and so on. She had a woman walk onto the property one day and offer her $3500 cash right then for the gelding. The owner was so offended she chewed her out and chased her off. LSS, she passed, the daughter took over, had all the older horses (15) destroyed, and took the younger ones who are all in their teens now, still untrained and still priced exorbitantly. The unbroke stallion, now in his late teens (never let out of his pen and certifiably nuts now) is now $20k.

    Or the Craiglist ad I saw for a quarterhorse gelding trail horse for $20k - "because he is worth it."

    To all those situations - I say "Back off the crack, jack." Or as my mom would say "Wake up and die right."
    "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
    - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

    Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yep, the folks who do research on such things call it the 'endowment effect'. If you own something, you tend to value it more highly than something you don't own. Even if it's a coffee cup (used in one of the studies I've read about.)

      A thing is worth whatever a willing buyer will pay, no more. I recently sold an old horse trailer for very little -- a dealer could have sold it for more, because they could have provided extra services such as financing and perhaps a warranty.

      I don't think I could ever pay more than $10k for a horse. (I'd happily *sell* one for more than that though!!)
      --
      Wendy
      ... and Patrick

      Comment


      • #4
        Although Agree with the topic in general, why the knocking of trail horses? A really safe, smooth and experienced trail horse that can go out alone, cross rivers, climb mountains, encounter wildlife and not bat an eye, could well be worth five figures to the right person. I get tired of people knocking true/good trail horses.
        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

        Comment


        • #5
          It's not only sellers who's ads I laugh at. Some of the in search of ads make me giggle. I understand that some may find the diamond in the rough, but the packer everyone seems to be in search of are never free.

          Comment


          • #6
            CHT, I agree with you about the value of a good trail horse. I see the issue as being on the buyer's side -- many of them think "just a trail horse" is something any horse can do. It goes with the corollary that you don't have to ride particular well/have much riding experience to trail ride. I think some sellers just state a horse is a trail horse due to no real formal training in any discipline. It's something any horse can do, right? I particularly like buyers who just want to trail ride alone and have no clue that many horses will not tolerate it without being spooky.
            Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
            http://www.ironwood-farm.com

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            • #7
              A good solid trail horse is worth their weight in gold. I train my trail horses so they are comfortable with going alone as I do ride by myself a lot. They become confident and trust your judgment to keep them safe. However, not all horses are suitable for the trail life and that's okay too. I wouldn't pay 5 figures for one though. Best trail horse I ever had I paid $1,600 and had him for over 20 years. He was a professional mountain horse and I was offered mid 4 figures for him but he was not for sale.

              I saw one ad that had so many unreasonable requirements for the buyer and the horse was nothing special plus it bucked. She had something like $5,000 on it and I commented that I hoped she liked the horse because she's going to have it for a while.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by c0608524 View Post
                It's not only sellers who's ads I laugh at. Some of the in search of ads make me giggle. I understand that some may find the diamond in the rough, but the packer everyone seems to be in search of are never free.
                Oh, these are the worst! I've noticed a lot lately on FB. ISO and then they list a litany of wants and talents, like must be have high-level dressage/jumping potential. Max budget, $1500. Sheesh.
                “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                ¯ Oscar Wilde

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by c0608524 View Post
                  It's not only sellers who's ads I laugh at. Some of the in search of ads make me giggle. I understand that some may find the diamond in the rough, but the packer everyone seems to be in search of are never free.
                  Yep. I've seen some really interesting ISO ads. Saw one a few days ago reading: "Bombproof ottb with FEI dressage potential, some changes ok but no current soreness, looking to purchase this weekend."
                  Yeah ok, let me know how that works out for ya.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ParadoxFarm View Post

                    Oh, these are the worst! I've noticed a lot lately on FB. ISO and then they list a litany of wants and talents, like must be have high-level dressage/jumping potential. Max budget, $1500. Sheesh.
                    Ha! Yeah, sheesh indeed. And maybe a YEESH! Or an OY VEY!

                    Example:

                    ISO Upper Level Eventing prospect, WB (NO TBs) 4-7 years old, 16'2"+ (rider is tall with long legs), geldings ONLY!, must be quiet enough for beginner but talented enough for pro, NO vices, easy-keeper, takes a joke, must be elastic mover and easy to sit, dressage scores in the 20's, scopey enough to eventually go Advanced but quiet enough to pack husband on trails, budget 5K. Would be willing to go up for PERFECT horse.

                    (Rinse/repeat for hunters OR jumpers, but I'm an eventer so see a lot of the above ^ ^ ^ )
                    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

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                    • #11
                      ^^^ Those crack me up! Where do they live? In a bubble, I guess! I feel like asking them to find one for me, too.
                      “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                      ¯ Oscar Wilde

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ParadoxFarm View Post
                        ^^^ Those crack me up! Where do they live? In a bubble, I guess! I feel like asking them to find one for me, too.


                        Or ask them what they're smoking (and whether they are willing to share.)

                        I have a good friend who has been on a horse search for some time (finally found a good one, phew!); she and I have been perusing the local horse for sale sites for quite some time, finding only a few who were "just the right fit" for what she was looking for.

                        Though I am not in the market myself, I enjoy the process of sifting through ads and evaluating prospects - so I offered to write an ISO on her behalf (so she wouldn't be personally involved/have to sift through the responses); knowing the potential pitfalls. She was reluctant to do this because inevitably - and more often than not - sellers (or people who knew of horses for sale) would respond with completely inappropriate suggestions.

                        Like some COTHers, people apparently just "skim" the ISO ad without reading carefully for details, context, et al *sigh*.

                        An example:

                        ISO small GELDING under 16 hands, not OTTBs, between 5 and 10, QUIET, must have been started over fences, snaffle mouth, local to XYZ area, budget "X".

                        Typical response: I have a 16'3" MARE, OTT for 3 months, green but talented, "forward thinking", located (3 states away), etc., etc. Photo of mare being ridden in Mikmar with mouth agape, price 3 times higher than stated "X" budget.

                        Why waste everyone's time, including your own? Maybe they think "if you just SEE this horse you will fall in love!"

                        Oy.

                        To the OP, I definitely wonder myself! Barn blindness is one factor, ignorance another, greed, maybe?, and gullibility. Owners have one person say "wow, your horse is really nice, I bet you could get XYZ for him!", and take this to heart.

                        We don't see as much of this in our area (I don't think) because buyers tend to be more savvy - but there are still enough sellers with unrealistic ideas of what a "prospect" is worth. If it's a WB? Yes, jack the price up to what you think people are willing to pay, even when the horse for sale is completely unproven. WB weanlings are priced in the mid-5 figures whether or not they have been inspected (and based on their "elite" parentage), and I guess people are willing to pay it - especially if it's being offered for sale by a BNT!
                        "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                        "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Having just completed a ~5-6 month horse hunt I am LOVING this thread. It's just so accurate. I think my favorite of all time ad read basically as:

                          "8 year old WBx mare 15h - currently unregistered but may be possible, haven't looked into it - been under saddle 4 months and shows huge talent. Started late due to no fault of her own. A steal at $25k" - and then included no video with the ad

                          Ummm a steal? An older, just backed, unregistered, small horse that has lived in a field most of her life and you think she's a steal at 25k? I genuinely laughed outloud. Granted they did braid her up and put white boots and a clean saddlepad on her for a photoshoot so I guess that warrants the price tag...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I guess I'm struggling to understand why you care that someone has their horses (potentially) over-priced? And I'm not sure who made you the judge of horse pricing? Maybe that horse is a packer extraordinaire and worth every penny? Or maybe it's a backyard nag that's not worth $1k, but it's not *your* horse to sell, so it shouldn't matter either way. IME, when someone has a horse grossly overpriced, it doesn't sell. That's self-correcting karma (or something). No need for random strangers to add their voice to it

                            Yes, I am a little sensitive about this subject, but I get trainers (and random strangers) telling me this often enough that it sets me on edge to hear it here. I sell most of my horses in the higher 5-figure range, and I frequently get comments and messages about how "my pricing is ridiculous." And yet, I've sold every horse I've had at the asking price and in the time frame I've expected (and, FTR, I've also had trainers tell me that my horses are underpriced - everyone's a critic!).

                            And don't even get me started on the people who read my ads that state "horse is priced in the high 5-figure range," text me to ask the price, and then when I respond with $85k" text me back something nasty about how they only have $25k and *that's* high 5-figures to them, and "who do you think you are to have your horse priced at $85k?!"

                            At the end of the day, it doesn't hurt YOU to have someone asking 17k for THEIR horse. Yes, it might be overpriced for the market, in which case the horse won't sell. Period.
                            __________________________________
                            Flying F Sport Horses
                            Horses in the NW

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My favorite recent ad was in a foxhunting FB page. Horse was a lovely lower level dressage horse with good scores and had been to a couple of low level events. Price was 20K, photos were all in dressage tack/in a dressage frame. There was nothing in the ad about hacking out, hound walking, trail riding, going out in company - nothing.

                              I politely asked why she was advertising the horse as a foxhunting prospect, and the answer was because the seller thought the horse would really enjoy it.

                              Um, okay.
                              The plural of anecdote is not data.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
                                I guess I'm struggling to understand why you care that someone has their horses (potentially) over-priced? And I'm not sure who made you the judge of horse pricing? Maybe that horse is a packer extraordinaire and worth every penny? Or maybe it's a backyard nag that's not worth $1k, but it's not *your* horse to sell, so it shouldn't matter either way. IME, when someone has a horse grossly overpriced, it doesn't sell. That's self-correcting karma (or something). No need for random strangers to add their voice to it

                                Yes, I am a little sensitive about this subject, but I get trainers (and random strangers) telling me this often enough that it sets me on edge to hear it here. I sell most of my horses in the higher 5-figure range, and I frequently get comments and messages about how "my pricing is ridiculous." And yet, I've sold every horse I've had at the asking price and in the time frame I've expected (and, FTR, I've also had trainers tell me that my horses are underpriced - everyone's a critic!).

                                And don't even get me started on the people who read my ads that state "horse is priced in the high 5-figure range," text me to ask the price, and then when I respond with $85k" text me back something nasty about how they only have $25k and *that's* high 5-figures to them, and "who do you think you are to have your horse priced at $85k?!"

                                At the end of the day, it doesn't hurt YOU to have someone asking 17k for THEIR horse. Yes, it might be overpriced for the market, in which case the horse won't sell. Period.
                                Well said!!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Dr. Doolittle View Post

                                  Ha! Yeah, sheesh indeed. And maybe a YEESH! Or an OY VEY!

                                  Example:

                                  ISO Upper Level Eventing prospect, WB (NO TBs) 4-7 years old, 16'2"+ (rider is tall with long legs), geldings ONLY!, must be quiet enough for beginner but talented enough for pro, NO vices, easy-keeper, takes a joke, must be elastic mover and easy to sit, dressage scores in the 20's, scopey enough to eventually go Advanced but quiet enough to pack husband on trails, budget 5K. Would be willing to go up for PERFECT horse.

                                  (Rinse/repeat for hunters OR jumpers, but I'm an eventer so see a lot of the above ^ ^ ^ )
                                  and sound - don't forget sound!


                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
                                    At the end of the day, it doesn't hurt YOU to have someone asking 17k for THEIR horse. Yes, it might be overpriced for the market, in which case the horse won't sell. Period.
                                    Yes, this is very true. Which is why I stated that this is a free country and a person can put whatever price they want on a horse they have for sale. I am just curious as to what makes people over-value their horses. If you are getting your asking price, then I would guess you aren't over-pricing the horses you sell.

                                    But there seems to be a sub-set of sellers that don't know the value of their horses on the open market and these are the people I wonder about. Are they kids posting ads that sound like they are offering The Black Stallion for sale? Or folks who don't want to sell and purposefully price the horse out of what the market can support? Do they think that simply having papers in a registry automatically makes the horse worth $15,000?

                                    I would never waste someone's time and contact them simply to ask how they arrived at that price. But, as someone who has been in this area as a horse owner for a lot of years, I see some pretty astounding price tags from time to time, with no discernible reason to back it up. Is the local horse already competing at FEI levels worth the asking price of $22,000? Yep. Is the older, "off breed" horse that has never done anything other than stand out in a pasture and (according to the ad) carry the owner on three trail rides worth $11,000? Not in my opinion. But maybe someone out there thinks differently.

                                    I think good trail horses are hard to find and worth every penny the seller can get for them. I swear I wasn't looking to argue or "dis" anyone! I am just curious.
                                    Sheilah

                                    Comment


                                    • #19

                                      Well to put young stock into perspective....
                                      Around here it costs 5K to 6k to just 'put' a foal on the ground (assuming a 1K stud fee).
                                      There are no guarantees as to what you are going to get, boarding, training & shows for practice can easily go up to 85K.
                                      3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375 10582097494459230781640628620899862803482534211706 79821480865132823066470938446095505822317253594081 284811174502841027019385.....

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Another reason for potentially over-priced horses - the seller's friends and/or trainer.

                                        When someone mentions to me that they are going to put their horse on the market I'll ask what kind of price range because if it's a nice horse I'll pass on the details to friends/trainers that may know someone looking. It seems like every time someone tells me a price that I think is very high they say "my trainer says he's worth this" or "all my friends say she's worth this."

                                        (FYI I'm not in the US and we don't have the commission set up with trainers, mostly it's private sales, so I'm really baffled by why trainers tell their clients this)

                                        But I never say anything - maybe I'm wrong, maybe a buyer will come along that thinks that's a great price - it doesn't really matter to me.

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