• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Spinoff- What do you want to tell the major online tack retailers?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Spinoff- What do you want to tell the major online tack retailers?

    There is a major opportunity out there for an online tack retailer to fill a niche. What is the niche? It is the "major warehouse/large volume tack retailer that is actually run well."

    How can we tell that those out there now (Dover, SLT, Horseloverz to name a few) are not run well? Because they are constantly losing customers over minor things that shouldn't be happening, and yet they never take steps to change the recurring issues.

    So, here's my advice.

    Dover: Two words- free shipping. You lose more customers when that shipping gets added in than you can imagine. If you even did what SmartPak does and offer rotating coupons, you'd increase your sales by quite a margin. If you did flat rate shipping, free over _x_ amount you'd be AMAZED by the increase. Seriously.

    I would bet that there are hundreds of unfinished shopping trips a day that stall out on that shipping cost. Buy a book on e-commerce, and read it. Finding out where your sales are stalling out and fixing it is rule number one. You have the quickest and easiest path to filling this niche.

    Horseloverz: Maria, you know I love you, but your boss is missing the boat big time. The website misses the design mark on so many levels, and I'm sure you guys dump a lot of customers just based on frustration. He also understaffs, resulting in long shipping times and difficulty in reaching customer service. Your boss is missing the mark in his business plan, not realizing that there is a customer base out there that he could tap into if he bumped up the level of service just a tiny bit, from abysmal to serviceable.

    Stateline Tack/Horse.com: The websites are atrocious, but the prices are good- but what the heck is up with making people CALL you about internet sales? If I wanted to call someone, I'd order over the phone. I want it all to be done without dealing with any rude customer sales people, with computerized clarity and on my own schedule. Follow your sales from start to finish, figure out where they are going wrong, and fix it- losing customers AFTER A SALE HAS BEEN MADE is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Cancelling someone's order and not offering another product is like flushing money down the toilet. Are you privately owned or are there stockholders? because if I was your owner/stockholder I'd send whoever set up your system down to the sewer to look for my money.

    Ah, that was cathartic. I hope I'm not the only one feeling a bit grumbly today, otherwise this is going to be a lonely thread!

  • #2
    wonder if anyone's listening...

    i don't shop at dover for the exact reasons you stated. shipping charges are ridiculous. and the more i spend the more i pay regardless of the size/weight of the item. wtf is that about????

    i've heard too many complaints to bother with either horseloverz or stateline.
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

    Comment


    • #3
      SmatPak - PLEASE ship to Canada!!!

      Dover- Your shipping cost to Canada are crazy!!! $75 is shipping for a cooler?!? I had to cancel my order!
      www.simplicityweimaraners.ca

      Comment


      • #4
        PAYPAL pleeeezzee - to prevent credit card fraud

        DOVER & all other retailers please offer PAYPAL payments.

        This is a scream for paypal, as this is the 3rd time my credit card details get copied/stolen via online horsie shopping.
        My husband is VERY very upset with me at present , and said once more and NO more online shopping, meaning I would then be limited to getting stuff from Dover shop & Horseman's Outlet.

        Hubby still giving me benefit of doubt, by buying me a new computer this weekend to make sure that there's no more spyware left anywhere. Nevertheless I'm now totally freaked out by this and don't dare entering my credit card details online anymore .

        Comment


        • #5
          Dover...ditto what Ambrey said about free shipping/reduced price shipping. For Pete's sake, it's cheaper to shop at Beval than you guys a lot of the time!

          SLT....until you start employing people who know what a horse is, and have a modicum of pleasantness, I won't be back. You can offer free shipping and 50% off and it won't make up for your terrible customer servce.

          Smartpak.....I love you, keep up the good work!

          Horse.com....you need more suggestions than this site has bandwidth.

          Equiteric/Horseloverz..... Can you please update your system to one that actually reflects what is/is not in stock when I order. I am tired of getting notices days (or even weeks recently) that that item is no longer in stock. Another helpful point....I might have come back to shop more if it didn't take WEEKS to get my last refund on an out of stock item.
          Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement
          http://www.horseretirementfarm.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Attention everyone who is not Smartpak : Take notes from Smartpak on the way they do business.

            Smartpak : Please continue being undeniably awesome.
            Originally posted by barka.lounger
            u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

            we see u in gp ring in no time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kellyb View Post
              Attention everyone who is not Smartpak : Take notes from Smartpak on the way they do business.

              Smartpak : Please continue being undeniably awesome.

              Ditto. That's all I was thinking as I read through other posts.

              NOTE TO ALL: See Smartpak? Do THAT.

              Their CS is phenomenal. PHENOMENAL. Yeah, we're crazy horse peeps and we dig stuff like oh...A sympathy card after we call to say "Hey, cancel my shipment. The horse died." NOT: "Oh, I'm sorry, we're going to have to charge you anyway. It's on the way." (fail)


              They DO make mistakes sometimes...but usually, they know it before WE do...and they make it right regardless.


              Their website is nice. Their CS reps are educated on the products they sell. Generally speaking? If I could get everything I need/want through SP? I would. Totally.
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                But SmartPak serves a different niche. They are more along the "boutique" line. A large warehouse type store wouldn't need phenominal CS like SmartPak has- just adequate customer service and a good internal system for making sure orders are processed smoothly.

                Amazon does not have superb customer service. In fact, their CS is often subpar. What they have is the system that makes sure that CS is not needed most of the time. It's all managed electronically (I'm sure there's a name for the system that companies use to process orders, etc.). You have to have either one or the other- if your fulfillment system or whatever it's called is constantly leaving customers in the lurch, you'd better have some way for them to get help!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Dover: SHIPPING CHARGES! Also, it really ticks me off when I select an item from your sales catalog, go online to order it the next day, only to find that your ONLINE price is HIGHER than the catalog price, just because I don't have the sale catalog at work with me. I need to pay more? However, for me, at least, customer service has always been awesome (except at your stores).

                  Also, if I buy an item online and need to return it, I should be able to return it to the store!

                  SLT: I gave up on you when you were bought out by Petsmart.

                  HORSELOVERZ: Way to hard to find stuff on your website. I don't even bother.
                  Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                  Witherun Farm
                  http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There are several companies that I've bought from regularly that offer flat-rate or free shipping over a certain amount (VTO, Smartpak, EquusNow). Everyone who's not doing that should take note of it, because it's a big incentive. When I bought clippers the other year, I ended up going with a slightly higher sticker-price, because the site offered free shipping, making them less expensive than paying the sticker price plus shipping fees.

                    If Dover has something I want, I try to go to their store, and avoid the shipping charge--I just have to watch the register prices, because things don't always ring up in line with what the sale flyer says. I wish Beval were closer, because their shipping charges are ridiculous, too--it cost $15 to ship me a fitted fleece saddle pad and a pair of stirrup leathers? Really?
                    A Year In the Saddle

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kellyb View Post
                      Attention everyone who is not Smartpak : Take notes from Smartpak on the way they do business.

                      Smartpak : Please continue being undeniably awesome.
                      Ditto - my experience with Smartpak buying a new dressage girth was awesome, I have NEVER had such good customer service and free shipping to boot, land's sakes, all you other tack stores, take a page from Smartpak..great customer service, shipping that comes when they say it will, easy to pay for items that you purchase and lots of helpful advice from HORSE people.

                      If your customer service folks have to ask the customer to explain horse terms to them..you got the wrong customer service folks..find some horsey ones..we are OUT HERE and most need a job to support their horsey habits..

                      As an aside - Jeffers has also exceptional customer service, knows horses, but unfortunately offers less english tack..but great customer service as well. Their shipping can be a little expensive FOB, but pales in comparison to Dover.

                      I used to shop Dover all the time, and finally had to put the catalog down..the shipping charges are horrendous. Why should I pay more for shipping something that weighs maybe 1 lb. because it costs more than something that weighs 4 lbs???? Gack..and why so hard to figure out whether I am getting a "deal" through the catalog, the coupon pages, or the internet? Jeez, make all the outlets you sell through have the same pricing!!!! I do give you credit though, if you have said item in stock, I usually receive it within ten days.

                      Stateline- sorry but you just plain stink at customer service and I quit using your site years ago..too "iffy" for me to bother with. I did buy when you were part of Petsmart and I could go and pick up the items I needed. Something happened along the way and let's put it this way: I'd rather go to an auction for a bucket than take a chance that you will have it in stock, that it will ship, that it will be the right size or that I can return it..sorry..get a better grip on things.

                      BTW - I do like Country Vet Supply and have ordered from then on occasion and never had a problem.

                      But Smartpak rules..sure their prices aren't the cheapest, but when I compare quality of service to "cheap" pricing and factor in "maybe I will get the item and maybe I won't" and the cost of shipping: Smartpak rules.

                      These folks know how customer service should be done and a lot of non horse related businesses should study their business model and emulate them. No I don't work for them, but if they were in GA, I'd be banging on the door with my resume in hand..lol.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I love the prices at amira-equi though their sometimes difficult to get a response from CS. But when it's good it's great.

                        Shipping costs to Canada from the US retailers can be annoyingly high but can be circumvented due to my proximity to the border - so please DO NOT BLOCK sales from out of country credit cards!!!!

                        Also as a side note, I hate manufactures (cough *ariat*) that have ridiculous price mark ups for different countries. I can literally save hundreds of dollars by buying in the US.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dover: Don't say you offer discounts- I know all you do is up the original price, and have the "sale" at the normal price. Ok, so that's a bit unfair, I mean you do drop the price about $.50 sometimes. But there is a very good side. I was at a local Dover recently, and overheard someone looking for a job there. The one employee asked if they had experience with horses and the person said no. The employee told her that they only hire people with horse experience. I thought that was really good on their part.

                          Ditto what has been said about SmartPak.
                          Horsey Stick Art clique
                          Crayolaposse~ SparklyLime
                          PPP Grand-Poobah

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I must be one of the few people who doesn't like shopping at Smartpak. I don't get flat rate due to my location. I have to pay regular shipping fees and don't even get the choice of combining my item orders with my regular shipments. They are far more expensive than just about any other option. However, they are the only place I can find with a decent selection of suppliments, which is the only reason I shop from them. I suppose if I lived in the continental US I would like them, but from Hawaii, it's all meh.
                            For the horse color genetics junky

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              VTO rocks!!! They can't be beat in there customer service!!!! And cheap shipping with a flat rate, AND... it just about always arrives within 3 days!!

                              I swear... the box will have a price for shipping on there... like $13, but I still only pay $5.95 or whatever it is.
                              THEY ARE AWESOME!!!!

                              There twice yearly 24% sales on everything.... And they will order something if they don't carry it And sometimes even let you buy it on the super sale!!!

                              And they donate to the T3D prizes


                              ROCK ON VTO!!!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My biggest complaint is most websites show light colored merchandise on a white background--how stupid is that? You can't even see the item! I stop shopping then.

                                I think it is Valley Vet that often is out of the product the day they email you you that it is on sale. Usually when I am salivating over cheap ivermectin dewormer for my herd of 22.

                                Yeah Dover shipping is high but sometimes they have just what I want and cheaper even considering shipping. Waiting for my 9 piece real sheepskin halter covers right now!
                                http://TouchstoneAcres.com
                                Touchstone Acres Lipizzans, Standing N. Samira VI (Gray), N. XXIX-18(Black), more in 2014

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Many good points, but I'd summarize it differently.

                                  All, see amazon.

                                  When I order stuff from amazon:
                                  * I know they are honest about whether they have stock
                                  * If they have stock I know I will have it in 2 days
                                  * I know what shipping will cost,
                                  * If I am a regular I can sign up for prime and have free shipping and a huge incentive to not even look elsewhere

                                  When I order stuff from a horse business, I have to look at the shipping charges because they vary all over the place, then I'll probably have to wait 7 days then if it does not come I'll ring them, then be told they did not have it in stock and the manufacturer is waiting on a shipment.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Dover: You could perhaps even just offer free shipping to people who have your credit card.

                                    That would be cool.

                                    Or like Gap (if you have the Silver card, over $x in purchases EACH year, you get free ship)

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Dover doesn't even have real-time inventory on their website. You can order a bunch of stuff, thinking it is all available, and days later find out it is backordered or no longer available. They are the dinosaur of tack catalogs.

                                      And believe me, Stephen Day doesn't care a hoot about what you all say.
                                      \"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.\"--Pogo

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        All of these guys could stand to have bigger/clearer/more detailed images of items. I hate trying to figure out if what I'm looking at in the teeny tiny photo is what I really want to buy or not. At the very least, show us the front AND the back of items like breeches, and give us a detail shot of tack!

                                        And make individual retailers' size charts for products like tack and clothes easier to find. I've never been able to find a size chart for anything on Horseloverz, and when I ordered some Ariat half chaps from Dover, I had to find the size chart on someone else's webpage. Ridiculous.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X