We see them all the time when we log on to Facebook. Someone with high expectations goes on a Horse Forum and write an ISO ad for a unicorn, usually accompanied with a unicorn emoji (those cute clip art things that people put in place of words to be cute, expressive, funny, etc.) They want that horse of a lifetime and the good news that definition is different for all of us and you may be able to connect your sale horse to the right buyer. You can grab this opportunity to market your horses, but tread carefully. Number one, Facebook is cracking down on animal sales and often ads are being kicked off or taken down. Still people find ways around this and we still have a bustling online marketplace. The best part about this blog post is that it works for any type of online sales advertisement, not just Facebook. The best practice to is to find the right online marketplace for your animal which requires lots of research on your part or the person you hire.
Sellers are lured in at the idea of an easy sale without paying to put up a classified ad. For horse buyers, they have a list of horses that they can go try out and see within minutes. And sometimes this method does work out. But this easy way to access sale horses (or goats, cows, hogs, etc) is often laced with drama and often discourages those trying to sell animals. Often social media horse sales invite disaster for both equine professional and buyer. The truth of the matter is although this method of free, you get what you DON'T pay for. Buyers & Sellers, you are inviting people to comment on everything on your post. Often people "hijack" the posts and contact the seller if they didn't post. Trolls or keyboard warriors will mock a buyers budget, horsemanship, grammar, breed preferences, and profile picture banner without pause. Others might take the opportunity to slander the seller. The list goes on. The best practice is to be ready to police and babysit your posts. Screenshot any unpleasant comments, delete, and move on with your day.
The good news for sellers is that you can effectively increase your reach to potential buyers on social media but you need help to do it successfully. Below are a few tips that will attract the RIGHT people. Please keep in mind that hiring a professional to create a banner, take professional photos, & advertise in the right places is always the best way to market your sale horses online. If you don't know someone that can do this, you do now! ;) See my services tab for more information and pricing.
* Seasickness and clutter do not sell. If you want top dollar for your animal, take top dollar pictures. Make sure the subject is groomed to a halter class standard, on level ground, stood properly, & background free of clutter and mess. You are showing people your property, let it be a positive and appealing marketing tool. Steady HD video (that means using a high quality camera and tripod, not just using your iPhone.) Hire a professional for this, it is WAY cheaper than buying a new DLSR & HD camera, lenses, editing software, and desktop that can handle it all.
*You are marketing yourself too, not just the horse.
Show perspective buyers honesty. Don't say your 3 year old colt with 30 days on it will be a packer for a novice or beginner rider. Don't market your horse that you spent a small fortune on corrective shoeing and Previcox as 100% sound. Disclose any behavior issues or medical issues, failure to do so is not just hugely irresponsible but against the law. You are putting another person at risk. Don't be that horse person. Encourage a vet check at their expense, because transparent horsemen are the best horsemen. The better you present your horses, yourself & your property, the more value to add to that horse & your business. Cut corners and be dishonest, you will be found out.
* Price the horse or Service. I don't care if its a $75,000 reining futurity horse or a $1,500.00 pasture pet you are selling. Have a professional appraise your animal. Post it with the price. It will save you from tire kickers & drama for not having it in the post. If that makes you uncomfortable list the price range your animal falls under. The horse market changes just like housing markets, know and plan when to market your horses. If you show, be ready to market them heavily at the show where there are many buyers, onsite vets, and places to try out your animals at your disposable. Don't overwhelm your sale horse and if its greener show in a lower division instead of over facing your horse so he can perform his best for potential buyers.
That's about it for this week's blog post. Stay tuned for next week's subject and contact us at email@example.com for any comments for inquiries.