Advice on negotiating a buy - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-10-2011, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Johnson Creek, WI
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Advice on negotiating a buy

I'm thinking about going to look at a trail/companion horse and I'm not sure how the price negotiation usually goes. The last horse I bought just had the price lowered so she was firm.

1) If nothing is stated (such as "firm" "obo" or "negotiable") do you assume that there is room for negotiation?

2) How much lower do you usually start with without being insulting? (This horse is a 13yo QH mare 16h babysitter type trail horse and they are asking $2000)

3) Do you take the time of year into consideration? ie: it's almost winter and maybe they don't want another mouth to feed until Spring?

Also, if it's a couple hour drive to see the horse, would you bring the trailer with or is that weird?
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-11-2011, 09:48 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Surry, Va
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Yes bring trailer,shows you are serious plus one of the prebuy checks is will horse load, , Personally I find the whole haggle thing beneath me and I wont do it.
If I have something listed for sale, thats the price I want, I dont do the , "well I want 15 so I'll ask 20 and let em talk me down."
No if I want 15 thats the price I have on it and you can talk till you are blue in the face.
If I am buying an item the price I am willing to pay has no bearing what so ever on the listed price, If I see something I like I will go look, decide what I think it is worth and make a single offer this is also take it or leave it. I DONOT HAGGLE. Nor will I play games with people that do.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-11-2011, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greenville area / SC
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I've bought and sold many horses. What I try to do before hand is to know the going price on horses in my area before deciding on making an offer. If the going price is $1,000 and they are asking $2,000, I don't bother going - I don't want to waste their time or mine. If the are asking $1,250 or even $1,500 then I'll go see and try the horse.

Regardless, when I talk to people on the phone about their horse, I'll always ask if the price is firm. If they say no, then I have to decide if it's worth it to me. If they say make an offer, I'll go see the horse but I won't try to work them on the price over the phone.

In any case, since taking a buyer out back of the barn and shooting them (although I've wanted to do that to some potential buyers) is against the law, making an offer is perfectly fine even if the price is right to begin with. I see it as money in my pocket for tack, gas, feed, etc. If someone had an attitude when I asked if they were firm, I would pass on the horse simply because I don't need an attitude if I ask a question about something that bothered me when I was trying the horse.

The last horse I bought had a perfect asking price, the horse was great, and rode like I would expect. I still offered a little less - they were firm on the price so I paid it and picked up the horse the next morning.

If I were a few hours away, I would certainly bring my trailer. It shows intent and when you make an offer, they know you are ready to buy and not just trying to bring the price down with no real intention of buying. If it is impractical to bring your trailer, be sure to bring a sizable down payment.

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post #4 of 10 Old 10-11-2011, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
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Originally Posted by MySerenity View Post
Also, if it's a couple hour drive to see the horse, would you bring the trailer with or is that weird?
See if you can line up one or two more in the area to look at that same day. Take the trailer and then it's worth the drive.

Ask up front if they are firm. If you have been communicating through e-mail, print and take those with in case they change the price or something else they have said about the horse.

Ask any deal breaker questions before you set out. (won't tie, cinchy, needs special shoes, etc)

I would say though $2,000 is at the higher end for that type of horse in this area.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-11-2011, 11:58 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2010
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I wouldn't take a trailer but that's because I want a PPE done on any horse I am buying and even if for some reason I didn't, you can't buy a horse in the state I reside in without a brand inspection and it takes 48hrs minimum to get an appt. for one.

Last horse I bought was 4hrs away and I want down there at least 4 separate times before I hauled him home.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-11-2011, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South Dakota
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I am a haggler... bought Sheldon for $1500 asking price was $4500, bought Reuben for $1500 his asking price was $2000.

I haggle everywhere I go lots, furniture stores any place that is selling used stuff and even at tack stores if I really want something and it is not a chain :) My friends take me with them anytime they buy something. Saving them on everything from saddles to trailers :)
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-11-2011, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: left of center
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From my perspective, it is worth a shot. The worst they can say is no. I have always paid less than asking for my horses, and in return have always come down when selling, especially if it is a good fit.

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post #8 of 10 Old 10-11-2011, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northern Utah
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Make sure that when you look at the horse you look for the faults first. This will keep you from missing something important because you are focused on a good quality. Also, don't be afraid to walk away and tell the seller that you have other horses to look at if your offer isn't accepted. Offers and counter-offers are the way business is done in many parts of the world but for some reason most americans are made uncomfortable by it. If the price is $2000 and you only think the horse is worth $1000 then don't bother making an offer as you will probably insult the person selling it but there is nothing wrong with offering $1500 for it.

One thing I have tried when the bargaining is getting pretty close is to offer to flip a coin for it. If I win you pay my price and if you win you pay your price. It's a little funner than arguing ove 50 or 100 dollars and you have a decent chance to come out on top.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill

Last edited by kevinshorses; 10-11-2011 at 01:32 PM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-11-2011, 10:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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The sellers are already aware that if the horse doesn't sell they are facing overwintering costs plus farrier and hopefully no major vet bills. If the horse isn't registered, ask the vet during the PPE. She might be older, way older.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-11-2011, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Johnson Creek, WI
Posts: 444
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These are all really great points. I love the coin flip idea! I really appreciate the ideas/opinions. I am definitely not very comfortable with haggling!
MySerenity is offline  

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