Selling horses is difficult! Whether it’s a personal horse or if you’re a professional, selling can be stressful and time-consuming. However, you can make the process easier by being clear, concise and realistic with your advertising. A good advert can make a huge difference to both the number of people who enquire about your horse and the type of people. A key point to a successful sale is getting the right riders to view your horse, so a targeted advert to reach this audience is vital.
While simplicity is key in advertising, when it comes to horses you want to ensure you include all relevant information about the horse to save both yourself and prospective buyers time.
Heading: As the viewer's first impression this should be eye-catching and engaging, so it stands out amongst other similar adverts. It should also highlight your horses very best quality/talent, to encourage people looking for that quality to read more.
Don’t – 1.25m show jumping horse with potential.
Do – Talented Showjumper, competing at 1.25m with Grand Prix Potential.
Make it exciting, catch readers attention and quickly outline what this horse has to offer.
Vital Information: These are your absolute ‘must’ includes for any and every advert!
Main Description: Here is where you sell! Describe your horses’ best qualities, showcase their accomplishments and share a little about their personalities. Here are a couple of ideas for what you should cover:
- Results e.g. Winner for the Horse of the Year 1.25m Championship.
- Experience/Training e.g. Currently competing at Level 2 Dressage, while schooling level 3 movements.
- Potential/Talent e.g. This outstanding young horse has potential for top-level competition in either showjumping or eventing.
- Temperament e.g. A lovely natured horse that is easy to do everything with! Good to shoe, drench, truck, float etc.
- Vices (or lack of) e.g. No buck, rear, bolt etc. Can wind suck and crib.
- Reason for sale e.g. Sadly for sale as the rider has outgrown.
Top Tip - While you need to be transparent and honest about your horse, also remember that this is your ‘sales pitch’ so be positive and make sure you highlight their best qualities.
Contact Information: Now that you’ve written an awesome advert, make sure your contact information is easy to find and user friendly. Include multiple contacts e.g. Phone & Email. It’s also often a good idea to include the area where the horse is located, you would be surprised how often buyer come to view your horse as they happen to be looking at another nearby and want to combine the travel.
Quality images that showcase your horse in the best possible way are ESSENTIAL to any advert.
Images, being the visual representation of your horse, are arguably the most important part of your advert. They must be good quality, medium-high resolution and need to show your horse off well. Poor quality images or poorly timed ones can be detrimental to your advertising and I would certainly apply a less is more mentality here – 3-4 great shots are better than 10 average ones.
When it comes to the imagery it may be time to call in the professionals, unless you have access to a reasonable quality camera (and a proficient photographer). Or if you have competed then this is the perfect time to support your local photographer and purchase images from an event if they have attended one. NB: Make sure you have paid for the use of any professional photographer’s images and are obeying correct copyright regulations.
Another vital part of your visual content is a sale’s video. It is important to have good quality video footage of your horse for multiple reasons:
Time Saver; If a photo says a thousand words then a video says a million, so having a good video, demonstrating the horse’s capabilities can saves buyers (and you as a seller) both time and money. Most people will have a fair idea in their head of what they require from their new horse and watching a comprehensive video can tell you a lot.
Sight unseen sales; For horses in at the lower end of the price range selling site unseen is not uncommon, especially from reputable sellers. In this case, people are often buying solely from your video so it’s imperative this is of good quality and demonstrates everything your horse can do, so you reflect his/her full value.
Those travelling; it is an expensive exercise for prospective buyers who are required to travel or fly to come to view the horse, so they need to be quite confident the horse will be suitable.
Quality and ease of viewing are important to sales videos! Be wary of sending video via Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp as their quality is lowered significantly. Try instead uploading it to youtube or Facebook directly, even if you keep the video unlisted so only people you send the link to can view it.
Top Tip - Same rules apply to videos as photo’s; less is often more. Only include footage that show’s your horse off positively and make sure it is of decent resolution quality, mute the audio, and edit out any unnecessary parts for quick, easy viewing.
Where to Advertise:
Reaching your target audience is crucial to any advertising, so listing on Auto Trader is unlikely to find you a potential buyer anytime soon. How you advertise is often variable depending on the level and value of the horse you are selling but here a couple of common options:
IspyHorses.com: IspyHorses is an online hub specializing in horse sales, and in recent years has become the primary place to advertise in New Zealand. They offer various listing options, starting at $38.50 for a Standard Listing’s, through to Premium Listings which includes active digital marketing. You get what you pay for – as the pricing of the listing increases so does the level of marketing they do on your behalf through their website and social media platforms. This is often one of my first points of call being a handy platform to put all of the horse’s information on, laid out in any to view format. Here it can be seen by IspyHorses many web visitors, and you can also easily share the advert link through your social media platforms.
Click Here to learn more about advertising with IspyHorses.
Social Media: In 2020 social media is new ‘word of mouth’ and it is the best way to sell. Make sure you share you advert on your personal (and associated) social media platforms so your friends and those in your ‘horse’ circle can see your horse is for sale. Likely they have seen your horse before and are walking, talking references for you. Encourage them to also share amongst their circles. Another good step is to share your advert through the local equestrian community, do you have a Facebook page for your local riding group or something equivalent? That is the perfect (and FREE) place to advertise.
Top Tip – Make sure you do a final check before posting. Correct spelling and grammar are very important to establish yourself as a trustworthy, reputably seller. Also, fact check all your information, especially if you are listing a horse on behalf of someone else.
Wanting to save yourself the hassle of advertising? Or are you missing some of the key components mentioned above? Contact Scope Marketing today at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our competitive marketing packages.