* knowing what you have
* knowing how to present it
* identifying the market niche
* checking out the competition (prices, products, techniques, successes)
* showing what you have to offer that is different or better
* a more thoroughly trained horse
* lessons with the sale
* lower price
* installment contract
* first month’s board free
* setting goals and reasonable expectations regarding the horse’s price, the amount of time it will take you to sell him, and the type of owner (home) the horse will go to.
Usually there are a good number of horses for sale for every prospective buyer. There is always a large supply of partially trained, out-of-shape, “backyard” horses for sale. It is much more difficult to sell a horse that has not been worked for some time, is overweight, either very lazy or a little bit wild, and not professionally cared for or presented. It is easier to sell a horse at the beginning of a riding season (spring or early summer) than at the beginning of the feeding season (fall or winter).
Not many potential buyers will take a seller’s word, “He’s a wonderful pleasure horse (but he hasn’t been ridden for five years)” and buy a horse without being able to test him thoroughly.
If you hope to sell your horse, you must get him in shape, highlight his positive attributes, and direct your sales efforts to the specific market for which he is suitable. Don’t hope to sell a horse by saying he is a hunt seat prospect if he has never been in the show ring, let alone never had hunt seat training.
Early in your sales efforts you must decide whether you will market your horse locally or nationally, at private treaty or auction, how you will advertise and where, and what price you will ask for your horse.
Remember, unless you are selling a very specific age, type, color or blood-line, there are many other contenders in the marketplace. What makes a horse sell? Quality, training, presentation, performance, appropriate price, and paperwork in order.