Questions about hosting a tack swap

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Questions about hosting a tack swap

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  • How do tack swaps work
  • How to host a tack swap

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    12-25-2012, 10:55 PM
Question Questions about hosting a tack swap

I volunteer as a 4-H leader. This year I volunteered to organize out annual tack swap which is our biggest fund raiser. I've been a leader for about 10 years but I'm still a lot younger than the other leaders and they are all snickering about my tack swap but none of them are offering any pointers. I know I need to have a form when people drop off their tack with description, price, the percent we are taking, and have them sign it in and sign it out. I did work a at tack store at one time. Has anyone ever hosted a tack swap fundraiser? Do you have any tips? I'm beginning to get worried they all know something I don't.
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    12-26-2012, 09:37 AM
Green Broke
Id only sell donated tack and keep all the money. Your opoening up yourself to a nightmare pain in the butt letting people drop stuff off and then you have to work selling it. People are going to come and offer less than the listed price and then what ? Its not yours you can't haggle. SO the customer walks. Also people frequently people think thier stuff is made out of polished gold and will stick full retail or even higher than retail prices on their used prices. Nope no how no way.
If I was doing this I would try to get tack donated. 4h is a tax deduction, at one area I would have donated items and forsale items from members THAT ARE PRESENT,,, noo I'll watch it for you stuff,
The other service would be to rent tables, or tailgate parking spots, people pay you $10 for a space, then sell their own stuff. Then advertise advertise advertise, describe table rentals, ask for donations, Your going to have to wait for it to warm up or maybe you have a big indoor arena.
    12-26-2012, 09:52 AM
Green Broke
I have been and participated in both kinds of tack swaps.

I rented a space for $20 and brought my table and manned it myself.
I have brought tack in for the organizer to sell, You need to be an amazing record keeper for this kind of sale. There are always disputes over $$$. You need to also write down bottom line on items seller will take. I just told organizer I would go down 10% on all my stuff.

The most important is advertising, it needs to be good.
I have found the best luck is to pick a weekend and have the sale on that weekend every year. The one around here is the first weekend of April and September.

Also what the organizer here does is goes around to the tack stores and askes for items to be sold or donated any overstock or things that are not selling. Try going to the small privatly owned farm stores too, ie Charlies Farm and Home, Missouri Farmers association, MFA.
jillybean19 likes this.
    12-26-2012, 10:05 AM
Let them snicker. If that is how little they think of the group they are involved with, they don't need to be involved.

The hardest part is getting help. If anyone has negative comments or suggests you are doing something 'wrong' - offer they can take over. Usually stops the dribble from the mouth.

As far as what to do:

Advertise (lots)

Provide release form saying you/club/host facility is not responsible for any loss or damage of the items. Also includes the percent the club will keep from the sale of the item.

Provide sheets for the folks to fill out. Give them a consigner number and then put that number on their tags with the item number - example

Sally Jones - 16
Her items would be - 16-01, 16-02, etc

Her sheet should be a list in order of the items 01- english saddle, 02 - o-ring snaffle. She would fill out the sheet and the tags. You keep the sheet and your crew places her items with like items. A good idea is to have seller place tape (duct or painters tape) with their seller number and price 'hidden' somewhere on the big ticket items. Keeps the honest folks from swapping tags.

Table for bits, table for saddle blankets, table for shipping boots, etc. Racks or stands for saddles, racks for hanging clothes.

When the buyers come through the line, remove the tag. Have someone keep up with the outgoing lists every 1/2 hour or so.

Have an exact time for drop off and pick up. Any items not picked up, will be donated to the club.

Good luck. It will be great!
    12-26-2012, 10:47 AM
Originally Posted by Taffy Clayton    
I rented a space for $20 and brought my table and manned it myself.
Especially if it's your first tack swap, I think this would be a good route to go. It minimizes your work. In Idaho, we have "Idaho's Largest Garage Sale" that's run this way. It's at the fairgrounds - if you have stuff to sell, you rent the number of parking spaces you want to set up in (I believe it's $30/space for regular people, and $100/space for commercial sellers - Of course, they can definitely justify charging that because thousands of people show up, many lining up before the thing even opens!). It's one of those lots with numbers on every space, so it's pretty convenient to find your space and set up all your own stuff in your own space. Because this is such a big deal, there are a lot of rules about when your space has to be set up, what time you have to stay until, etc., but since yours will likely not be as huge, you could probably be a little more flexible. However, there is the added benefit that, as a shopper, I know everyone will be there with all there stuff when I go, so I try to get there before anyone else!

Anyway, all your leg work is done BEFORE the event - all you have to do the day of is manage and make sure things are running smoothly. You also avoid people getting upset with you since you were responsible for their personal belongings and the prices you took for it. I would NOT want to get into that mess, especially with 4-H kids involved!

One additional option you could do is to combine this with Joe4d's idea - you could have one area set up where the kids could sell any tack people donated as well as take donations from people coming to buy stuff. That would be way fun for them! Just give them a minimum price for each item and let them have at it! That would be a great learning experience for them as well. Just make sure there's an adult nearby to back them up if someone decides to be a jerk.
    12-26-2012, 10:48 AM
Oh, and it's also guaranteed money. You don't take the risk on of having to actually sell anything to make money - that's all in the hands of the item owners!
    12-26-2012, 10:53 AM
Originally Posted by jillybean19    
Oh, and it's also guaranteed money. You don't take the risk on of having to actually sell anything to make money - that's all in the hands of the item owners!
However - the downside is that some folks won't buy from some folks. "So and so's kid beat my so I refuse to buy anything they have for sale . . ."

That set up is also not worth it for the folks that only have a couple of items they want to sell. Or the folks that are specifically looking for one thing. Going into a swap and straight to the used kids riding boots vs checking out 10 tables worth of stuff.
    12-26-2012, 11:25 AM
Originally Posted by mls    
However - the downside is that some folks won't buy from some folks. "So and so's kid beat my so I refuse to buy anything they have for sale . . ."

That set up is also not worth it for the folks that only have a couple of items they want to sell. Or the folks that are specifically looking for one thing. Going into a swap and straight to the used kids riding boots vs checking out 10 tables worth of stuff.
Meh, if people are going to be petty about that, it's not your problem. Plus, you've still made your money.

I think a lot of it depends on your own area and the people in it so you'd have to decide what is best for your situation. Plus, it would also matter if you had a big turnout or if it's just going to be a small thing.

I do see the organizational thing being an advantage, though most people I know are willing to rummage around to find the stuff they want. If you do decide to do consignment, then every item must have 2 prices - the one that the sellers would like to get, and the one that they would settle for. That's how all the tack shops around here do consignment for. I set my base price at what I needed to get out of my saddle plus their consignment fee. Then we set the tag price $50 higher. They keep my original consignment sheet at the register, so if someone makes an offer, they just check the consignment sheet and tell them whether they can sell it at that or make a counter offer, without ever telling them what my bottom line was.
    12-26-2012, 11:29 AM
I have participated with the Boulder Valley 4-H tack sale. They run it were the different clubs or individuals rent a table for $25 and it's up to them to get their stuff sold. They will get vendors in (Nightwinds, Purina plus I think Murdock's). They open it up the first hour for just the 4H kids than the public. PM me and I might be able to help depending upon where you are.
    12-26-2012, 11:56 AM
Renting space and letting people/groups/tack stores sell their own stuff would be far less work, I would think. And a table for your group with donated items is an excellent idea.
There is a huge tack swap at a fairgrounds southeast of Portland twice a year. It draws a lot of shoppers and sellers. Advertising the date and place is critical both in print, fliers on bulletin boards and Craig's List, plus whatever else you can think of. And don't forget liability insurance!
I can't imaging other leaders not offering to pitch in and help. That really stinks as far as setting a good example for their kids.

fundraising, organizing, tack swap, volunteering

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