Tips For Selling Horses
When it comes to selling horses there are some definite do’s and don’ts. Here are a few tips.
Buyers say the number one, absolute top thing to consider is photos.
Most buyers agree that the photos you include with an ad are almost always the deciding factor that will influence whether or not they call you for further information.
The two biggest turn offs when it comes to photos in ads, according to HorseYard users, are a photo of a person standing on the back of a horse, “Ridiculous photos of people standing on horses, I hate them. I know you want to illustrate how amazing your horse's temperament is, but it only actually illustrates how quick your photographer is, and how silly, but lucky for 1.5 seconds, you are,” says Kimberly.
Or photos of the horse rugged. “When an ad has a terrible picture for a horse that has 'great conformation', says Amy. “Seriously how hard is it to take the rug off the horse and take a half decent side on picture?”
Another is “Photos of the horse at one week old when they are trying to sell it as a four year old!” says Melissa. Most users agree, showing a current photo of the horse is an absolute necessity.
Also good conformation shots are most important. Take photos of the horse stood up nicely, side on, front on, from behind. Photos at odd angles are a definite no no, as are photos showing the horse way off in the distance. Only uploading a head shot is another turn off. As is no photo at all.
If you are advertising the horse for a particular discipline, show a photo of it engaged in that activity. But also make sure to show it untacked or unharnessed.
Spend five minutes giving your horse a tidy up before taking photos. A growing number of buyers indicated they also want to see video in ads. Making use of free video sites like www.youtube.com is an excellent tool for helping to sell your horse.
When it comes to the information included in your ad Horseyard users are united on one thing: Spell Check, Spell Check, Spell Check (and check your grammar while you are at it!). Nothing turns most users off more than badly worded ads. Abbreviated into “text” form is also a big no no. “When people blame their phones for spelling and grammatical errors ... the phones don’t push the ‘send’ button,” Kate notes. (ie. Avoid excuses for laziness!)
Details are important. Make sure you include the age, height, location, sex and colour of your horse. Omitting any of these from your details can put people off calling you. “Too little information and bad photos. I hate not knowing if a horse is a certain height or suitable for something because I can call them and feel like I’m wasting their time,” says Hayley.
POA (Price on Application) is a real turn off for most buyers, “Straight away I assume the price will be outrageously over my budget, so I don't even bother,” Briony tells us. Emma agrees, “POA, I hate that and won’t enquire.” “Expressions of interest” (EOI) is another price cop out that annoys buyers as most sellers do have a definite idea of the price they want. Sell with confidence and do not expect buyers to have to guess their way through to a sale. EOI also indicates indecisiveness – as if you are unsure about selling but might do so if an above average price is offered. Most buyers see this as an indication that you will waste their time.
Other phrases to avoid in your ads are “No time wasters”. And “No photo collectors”. Natalie explains “I really can't understand if I'm a time waster or not when I'm making an inquiry about a horse. If I'm searching for the right horse it takes a lot of research and time for me and I might not buy that horse because it's not right. Does that make me a time waster? If you haven't got time to sell, then I don't have time to buy!”
Sellers should remember that the “No time wasters” statement works both ways. “I don't like the “no time waster ads” either,” adds Fiona. “But if something looks suitable on paper then I might enquire further to find out more, if it turns out the horse isn't suitable then maybe I have wasted the seller’s time but I've wasted mine too!”
HorseYard readers also agree that sellers need to be honest in their ads and this includes mentioning the bad as well as the good. Honesty is always the best policy. Other statements that irritate prospective buyers are “has potential”, “selling well below true value” or “making way for next year’s foals.”
“When people charge for the horses "potential",” Gemma says. “This is an extension of my dislike for the "has potential to excel" catch phrase you see popping up. The horse ISN'T a great PC mount yet, you haven't put the time or energy into training it, so don't charge like it's the next Totilas!”
Or “when people say 'price reduced for quick sale', 'grab a bargain', 'need this horse sold now/asap!’ This turns me off the horse!” adds Charmaine.
Other emotional language to avoid is “part of the family” (would you sell your family?) and “Will go to doggers if not sold” – this type of statement is seen as emotional blackmail and tends to make buyers angry rather than likely to buy.
Buyers say it is important to update your ad regularly and let people know your horse is still for sale. They also agree that if you are not getting any interest by the one to two month mark you might like to reassess your strategy – have a look at your photos and the information you have included. Also your price. Is it on par with horses of similar age, type and ability?
Finally, make sure your contact details are up to date. There is nothing worse for potential buyers than not being able to contact a seller.
Use good photos. A good photo will go a long way to selling your horse
Include the important details. Don’t forget height, age, sex, colour, location.
Avoid negative statements like “no time wasters”.
Avoid unrealistic statements like “has potential to ...”
Include a price. Buyers hate guessing.
Include your current contact details.