Negotiating Tips - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 02-03-2016, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Negotiating Tips

I am going today for a second try of a horse I am seriously interested in. I am bringing my instructor as I did the first time and we all really, really like him.


17 y.o. Swedish Warmblood Gelding
Shown up to 2nd level, highest score 60.152
Also trained in H/J
Good Feet
No vices
Will pack me around (I'm an advanced beginner) but I can also learn from him and keep riding him as I advance.
Nice Personality
They are asking $10k but "will negotiate to a perfect home".

I am wanting to pay $7500.

He will be at a nice, clean facility with Grand Prix horses who live better than I do, lol. I am going to love him as if he were my child. I do not have any tack as of yet (he would be my first horse). I am also worried about his age. While he is sound, I am worried by the time I need a horse that is more advanced, I will not be able to sell him for much because he will be 20+ years old. Honestly, I would probably never sell him because once I had him, I don't think I would be able to bring myself to sell because I love my babies. BUT....the sellers don't know that.

Any negotiating advice? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 51 Old 02-03-2016, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Take your $7500 in cash and show them the money. Be prepared to walk away if they won't accept it.

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
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post #3 of 51 Old 02-03-2016, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
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I'm afraid offering $7500 on a $10,000 horse is going to seem like a slap in the face to the sellers no matter which way you slice it. It's a lowball offer for sure. I usually assume that the wiggle room on a horse with a "negotiable" price is usually about 10% of the asking price.

That being said $10,000 for a 17 year old is a LOT to ask for. Even with a show record and lots of experience, I would say they are overpricing the horse anyways and $7500 is probably about the right price for him. I actually think that might still be a bit much for him. At that point, you're paying for the word "warmblood" to be attached to him. Most horses have the ability to perform second level maneuvers with about that level of success, so keep that in mind. You're almost just as well to get a nice little qh or tb school master for half the price.

For instance:

Flashy Chestnut 2nd Level Dressage

I don't know if this guy is anywhere near you but he's already schooling third level and he's only 14 for $8000. Far closer to your $7500 budget...

Price Reduced-12 Yr Tb Gelding

How about this boy? 12 year old beginner friendly with show experience. $2000. Probably not very fancy but likely more than enough for you to keep learning on and you could easily get your $2000 back in a few years if you need to progress to a more advanced mount.

Anyways ... that doesn't really answer your question about negotiating tactics does it? I will stop rambling ...

Will you get a pre-purchase exam done?

In terms of negotiating, you're already breaking my first cardinal rule of thumb which is never go see a horse you aren't prepared to pay full price for if it comes to it.

The only thing for it now is offer cash and have someone with a trailer on standby to come immediately if the seller agrees.

Keep in mind the seller may not be willing to wait for you to have a pre purchase exam done if he/she is taking 25% off the price for you. They may want you to take the horse as-is ... with a 17 year old horse, I'd be extremely wary of that situation. He may be sound now ... but you will be kicking yourself if he is lame in six months from ringbone that could've been caught on xrays ...
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post #4 of 51 Old 02-03-2016, 12:43 PM
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Unless I had no food in the fridge, I'd probably just say, "NO" and walk away from you if you offered me $7500 for a horse I had priced at $10K. That said, I probably would NOT price a 17 y.o. that high to begin with. If all you're prepared to pay is $7500 you're looking at the wrong horse. If you can go as high as $9000, then offering $8500 would probably at least get me to come back and negotiate with you. At $7500 you're making a "Take it or Leave it" offer and if they don't absolutely need the money they'll probably leave it.

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post #5 of 51 Old 02-03-2016, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
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I guess I need to rephrase my original question...:)

I do not look at horses I am unable to pay full asking price for. I was just saying I also feel that $10k for a 17 yr. old horse is a little much. And yes, I will be getting a PPE.

From what I understand, the seller is most interested in finding a buyer who will spend more time with the horse as he is a doctor and no longer has the time to ride as much. I am just asking what points could I possibly use as negotiating tools?
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post #6 of 51 Old 02-03-2016, 02:13 PM
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Age would be the main one, then anything that comes up in the PPE, and there will be things that come up, 17 year old who has been competing, there's bound to be something.

But prior to PPE, that age thing.

LOL, I suppose the theory is the same, but I am used to negotiating a couple of hundred off the couple of thousand I am spending, that level of shopping is way above my pay grade.

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #7 of 51 Old 02-03-2016, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kisiahc View Post
I was just saying I also feel that $10k for a 17 yr. old horse is a little much.
Then why are you looking? Not trying to be rude, but if you think he is overpriced look somewhere else.
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FYI, it is spelled W-H-O-A.
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post #8 of 51 Old 02-03-2016, 02:45 PM
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Ah. That's a much different scenario than the one I was picturing. Thank you for the clarification. That helps.

Your strongest negotiating tips would be to do precisely as I did in my last post. Find ads for comparable horses that have similar show records, training, breeds and ages and show the seller the price tags associated with those horses. Even better, find ads for horses with BETTER training and who are younger with smaller price tags and be polite but honest. I strongly suspect that if you find ads for other 17 year old horses, even old school masters, you will not find any near the $10,000 range.

Tell him you are prepared to pay $7500, show him why (ie the ads of comparable horses in that price range) and then let him decide. As a doctor, you'd think he doesn't need the extra cash and if he truly is interested in getting the horse the best possible home, he may accept. Conversely, if he's not hurting for the cash he may wait for a buyer to come along that will pay the price he's asking. It could go either way.

I would still recommend that you don't hang your hat up on this horse. He may be lovely and you may have already created an emotional attachment, but a buyer's greatest tool is remembering that there a thousands of other horses out there just as good or BETTER for you than this horse. If this horse does not absolutely tick all your boxes (including the price tag!) it is better to walk and start the search over than settle and end up with something that you're ultimately unhappy with.

Keep your head about you. Make sensible, polite arguments for your case and be prepared to say "thank you for your time" and walk if things don't go as planned.

If you PM me your general location and basic check list for things you're looking for in a horse as well as max budget, I'd be happy to help you find comparable ads! :) I love horse shopping (especially when I don't have to do the buying haha)!
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Last edited by Siren; 02-03-2016 at 02:51 PM.
Siren is offline  
post #9 of 51 Old 02-03-2016, 03:26 PM
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If you like him I would explain the type of home you would give and that if he were younger you would pay that price in an instant. I M one to say if the price is negotiable I would be interested in purchasing. Then agree on price pending PPE.
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post #10 of 51 Old 02-03-2016, 03:51 PM
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The horses I have were bought at a discount of 6-17% off advertised price but none were near as expensive as that one. If the horse was advertised as negotiable to a good home I wouldn't have a problem offering $7500. Describe the type of home you'd give the horse and explain that $7500 is all you are willing or able to pay for a horse of that age. Maybe he'll take it or make a counter offer which you can decide to accept or not. I've sold lots of things and don't get offended with low ball offers. Sometimes we can make a deal sometimes not. It's just business.
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