Negotiating Horse Prices

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by Peanut Palomino, May 14, 2018.

  1. Circle C

    Circle C Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    17,247
    Likes Received:
    10,049
    When buying, If the ad says price is firm and it's over my budget, I don't bother. If the horse has issues when I go look at it and I think I can fix/manage those issues, then I will make an offer based on what *I* think the horse is worth, keeping in mind that I am going to be re-selling the horse and I need to make money off that sale. I simply say, "I have X amount of cash with me today. Are you interested in selling?"

    When selling, I used to either list the price as firm or negotiable. What I REALLY can't stand is when people try to low ball you. I advertise a horse at $7,500 neg and someone asks me if I'd take $2,500. Really? I have learned to put "reasonable offers considered" instead of "negotiable." If I have the horse listed at $7,500, it's not a $2,500 horse. $6800-7000, MAYBE $6500 , depending on the horse. But DEFINITELY not 2,500.
     
  2. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    2,533
    Likes Received:
    8,907
    My philosophy is a little different. I don't go look at a horse and THEN suggest a lowball offer because I don't want to waste my own time, to say nothing of it being so horribly rude to the seller.

    Instead, I am very up front about what my budget is before I even go look at the horse. IMO it is all in how you phrase it.

    "I see you have him priced at X but my budget is Y. I understand you may not want to sell him for that low but if you change your mind, please let me know!" I have gotten more than one animal this way, from horses, to dogs, to livestock. I guess the difference is that I'm not out to lowball or resell, I just genuinely have a REASONABLE price range in mind which reflects the animal's value.

    For instance, one of my minis was an untrained 9 year old when I bought him who had been kept on grass full time and foundered repeatedly. He needed to lose a good 150+ pounds to boot. I expressed interest, the seller came back and said he was $1,300. I used my line above and said I am very interested but my budget is $500, good luck in selling him! And she came back and said she'd take $500 because she needed him gone. IMO, $500 is extremely reasonable for an untrained 9 year old mini with health issues.

    I admittedly will pay a lot more for a foal than I will for an older horse with someone else's baggage unless it's exceptionally well trained. So I generally don't haggle with breeders. Only time I offered less than the asking price on a foal is when I was buying 2 so got a small discount.

    For selling, my instant turnoff is when people ask a question clearly reflected inthe ad. My ads are always short and concise yet people ask the questions anyway.

    This is a real ad I had for the last horse I sold:
    "3 year old registered Welsh Mountain Pony gelding for sale, great ground manners, leads nicely. No health issues. 44" tall, not kid safe, not broke to ride. Loves people and learns fast so he could be taken in any direction."

    And these are real responses I got:
    "How old"
    "Is he broke"
    "Is it kid safe"
    "Is it gelded?"
    "I trail ride and need a horse for my kid, has he been on trails?"
    "How tall is he?"
    "What is he registered with if he's a Welsh/Rocky mountain?"

    The last one made me facepalm so hard I replied and said Welsh Mountain is the section A of the Welsh registry and the person responded she's never heard of that and asked if he's a mix. I gave up.

    Anyway, it sounds mean, but the instant turnoff is stupidity.
     
  3. barrel_racer64

    barrel_racer64 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    2,661
    With selling, I try to price my horses pretty reasonable, but high enough that if I need to come down $1,000 to make the sale, I'm actually getting what I wanted out of the horse. I budget that wiggle room into my price because I know most people are going to want to make an offer instead of paying the asking price.

    A huge turn off is when they lowball big time like CircleC said. Or just plain asking stupid questions.
     
  4. Bakkir

    Bakkir Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    5,038
    Likes Received:
    6,458
    In my case I went to see the horse. She was skinny, wormy with horrible feet, but otherwise healthy. She wasn't worth the asking price in that condition. I made a fair offer for her that was accepted immediately. And she has turned out to be a great fit for me. She is not a resale project. All of that made a big difference when buying her.

    I didn't go in thinking about making a low ball offer. I was willing to pay the asking price if the horse was in good condition and UTD with vaccination and ferrier.

    I made a decision on what I was willing to pay for her, taking into account the vetting she needed.

    When I sold my previous horses, I always had them priced fairly. Never had a low offer. But there were a lot of useless odd questions.
     
  5. barrel_racer64

    barrel_racer64 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    2,661
    I don't think those of us who do buy re-sale projects automatically go in thinking we are going to lowball offer. Sometimes its what we think the horse is worth, other times, we are happy to pay what they are asking for the horse. We are bargain hunters, basically, whether we have to make it into a bargain or the price is set as a bargain.
     
  6. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Messages:
    37,524
    Likes Received:
    71,929
    You ALWAYS dicker. That's what it's about. If someone has a horse set at a firm price, and he is not worth that, you just don't bother.

    Otherwise, as soon as the seller knows you are the person for that horse, they're coming down on the price anyway. If they don't you walk off and wait for them to call you next day.
     
    bellalou and Bakkir like this.
  7. Circle C

    Circle C Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    17,247
    Likes Received:
    10,049
    Like when I thought about selling Charlie over the winter. He had 5 rides. Some girl emailed me and asked, "is he a 1D horse?" Umm......... He has 5 rides. "But do you think he'll be a 1D horse?" Umm..... he has 5 rides lol Does it look like a have a crystal ball!?

    Or the one that wanted to know if I'd take $3,500 (he was advertised at $8,500) bc he'd have a good home and she has trained one mustang for barrels and is ready to train another.
     
    GONE ROPING, ginster and manesntails like this.
  8. emali06

    emali06 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Messages:
    10,131
    Likes Received:
    15,200
    A horse is only worth what someone will pay for it. I'm in the market for a young horse right now. This is how I see it. For what I'm looking for they are listed for anywhere from 10,000 - 2500.

    If your blue roan colt is 5000 but his parents are do nothing nobodies then I'm not going to pay your price. I want money earners and own daughters. Not some pretty colored ranch bred no name papered pasture produced thing. I would pay that price if his parents had something going for them.

    I see all the time people complaining that buyers don't want to pay their prices. I'm sorry but if you can't sell them for that price then you need to be willing to hang on for the long term or lower your price. Just because you demand something, doesn't make it worth it.
     
    barrel_racer64 likes this.
  9. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    16,111
    Likes Received:
    14,756
    Some horse prices are negotiable. Not all. I don't negotiate when buying from friends; we both know what the horse is worth and what kind of owner I am. I have negotiated with a breeder... I felt like I could because I'm offering a show home and will get the baby out in the pen, which will help her stallion and program.

    When selling a horse, I hate when people try to negotiate before they even see the horse. I'm always a little flexible on price, but I don't want to talk numbers until you see the horse, and I see how you interact with the horse.

    When I bought my roan gelding (who is my most expensive horse to date) I negotiated pretty hard because of what came up on the PPE. He sold for less than half of his asking price. The asking price was too high to begin with though; they swung for the fences. I will definitely use health issues or conformation faults as negotiating tactics.

    I had one horse on free lease. She wasn't at all what she was supposed to be. I sent her to the trainer, and together we decided she wasn't worth spending money on if I didn't own her. The owner wanted $2500. I offered $1000. The horse was pretty, papered, but was 7 and not even green broke. She had some issues; she'd been rammed and jammed in her first 5-10 rides and was scared of everything. For $1000 I could have sent her to my trainer for 3 months or so and been confident if we still didn't like her we could get our money back. That wouldn't have been the case had I paid $2500. I ended up shipping the horse back to her owner at the owner's cost.

    Sometimes I think it is easier to buy show horses... usually you can ask around and get to know the horse and its connections. You can check earnings and points. It is when you buy project horses that is harder to assess a fair value. Sometimes it is hard with prospects too, but with prospects you can consider the breeding program.
     
  10. StraightandTrue

    StraightandTrue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    I won't dicker for the sake dickering. If the horse ticks all my boxes and I believe it's worth the price being asked then I'll pay it without hesitation rather than jeopardise the sale by annoying the owner. I know I get annoyed with people who ask for discounts when there's no justification for it. I'll just tell them the horse is already competitively priced and I'm not making a profit on the sale as it is.

    If I haven't offered them a discount chances are they're not the ideal home anyway. It's my way of saying "Look, you're not the person I'd like to buy my horse but if you're willing to pay full price I might consider selling it to you." It's a stalling tactic as well because in the time they take to 'think about it' I might find a more suitable buyer.
     
    Arem likes this.

Share This Page