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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering, when your buying how low do you go when offering a price to the seller? What is reasonable to offer for a horse listed at $3000 o.b.o? Of course I'd like to get the horse for as low as possible. Would I be rude to offer $2000-$2200??
The horse is in his late teens but has a lot of training and show experience. He is sound and has a good personality. The market here can be overpriced but desperate at the same time because it generally takes a while to sell here. He's up to date on everything except teeth floating...
Any advice would be great :)!
 

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Typically I am only comfortably offering 80% of what is being asked if it's stated as OBO. How long has this horse been listed for? If it hasn't been very long then yes the seller would probably be offended if you offered $2000. I would offer $2400 (and even then feel bad), the worst they can do is say no or get so offended they don't want to sell to you at all.
Can we see the horse in question? Hear a little more info?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply! Here is some info:
16.1 hh Appendix QH gelding, 17 years old. Has had a lot of show experience in hunter/jumper. Showed 1.1m jumpers in his younger days. Did pony club, and was a lesson horse. Was advised not to jump him over 3ft at this point in his life.
 

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When negotiating price for anything, i play it hard.
Most folks want to negotiate, and most aren't real good at it.
They have a dollar figure in their mind as to what their item is worth, and i, as the buyer, have to fetter it out through creative discussion.
So, i ask questions. Lots of them. And, i watch their eyes. Unless they're a pathological liar, and can lie without flinching in the slightest with their eyes or voice, they will give me the information i want to guide my price offers.
If someone is asking 5k for a horse for example, their ducks had best be in line marching like little soldiers. I will look for any holes to poke in their story, find the missing information, and generally ask the questions i already know the answers to because they gave them to me.
I have purchased $4500 cars for less than half of the asking price.
Some folks think their stuff is solid gold. They never see my money.
Some folks know realistically what their stuff is worth, and sell accordingly. They did their research, they know the markets, and they know what comparable items are being sold for.
Others have no idea what they have in hand, so they highball the price hoping for an idiot.
I prefer to deal with the last two, as thats where the best deals are made for both parties.
Two points to ensure you NEVER do- call someone out as a liar on the value of their stuff, and never offer full price.
If i am intending to lowball them, i will preface it by leading into it with a question.
I will ask, "i know you're asking x for your widget, but the market is really soft. I like your widget, but from what i've seen, and please understand i don't intend to sound disrespectful, but x-40% is about what i'm thinking. What are your thoughts?"
This leads into negotiations, and you've softened it so they'll continue to negotiate with you.
Yes, it runs the risk of ticking them off, but most folks interested in selling, especially in this economy, want to negotiate to get their item sold.
It's a feel thing, and what i sense when talking with them.
How attached are they to the item?
Are they in distress financially, compelling the sale?
Where is their motivation to sell the item coming from?
How pressed are they to sell it?
Be their friend, help them out, and you'll get the best deal possible.
 

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Great post. ^^^^

In this market, prices are *highly* negotiable.

Some key points not mentioned above - never insult the seller or the horse. Imply that of course the horse is wonderful, however, you're not able to pay what they're asking, even though of course it's totally justified.

The key to negotiating hard on price is limiting the negotiation on other parts of the deal. Offering cash, immediately, with no pre-purchase exam, no warranty and no delivery, will lead to the buyer being extremely flexible on price.

You can't negotiate much off the asking price and still expect to put a lot of conditions on the sale such as payment plan, pre-purchase trial, guarantee, etc.

In your situation, it sounds like you know the horse and know what you're getting, so that won't be much of an issue.

If the seller doesn't accept your initial offer, be prepared to walk away saying "I really like the horse, and I completely understand that you want x for him. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you'd be willing to accept y, please give me a call, because I'd love to have him for y."

Many times, when the next board bill, hay bill or farrier bill is due, the seller will find y is acceptable.

In your situation, I would offer $1500. cash, no conditions, for the horse. I would allow myself to be talked up to $2000., but I would want some concessions from the seller to get to $2000. (Some tack, some hay, they put shoes on him, pay for his spring shots, delivery, something.)

I would not be at all surprised if the accepted a $1500. cash offer happily or quickly.
 

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All of that is good information DEPENDING on where OP is located. If you came to somebody asking $3000 in my area and offered $1500 you'd be turned out of the barn and asked not to return because the market isn't crappy everywhere. I think offering $2000 without concessions would be reasonable (in my area) but I would NOT expect them to take it.
 

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The main point here I think, is that if you are friendly about it, as they have already stated OBO - it means they don't expect to get the full amount.

One of the key things here is that if you are going to go and talk trade, make sure you have cash on you. Let me go and run to the bank is not the same as I have $2000 in my pocket and a trailer hitched to my truck.

When I sell something, I ALWAYS put wiggle room in the price. I figure out the lowest price I am willing to sell my item for, then add 1/4 to 1/2 of the price on the top for wiggle room. I also like to make the back and forth fun. The more fun I have, the lower I will sell for.

That said, I suck as a horse traider... Over the course of six years and no money exchanged, just horses traded for horses, I started with a Lipizzaner mare and ended with a pony mule that I gave away... (In the middle of that was a Pinto Arab show horse, and a Morgan kids trail horse who came to me in foal) So, um, maybe don't listen to my advice on buying horses.... though I was paid $100 to drive home with this baby.... includign papers and a breeding to a National halter Champion

 

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As a seller I try to make my horses attractive to people and everything is always OBO.

Right now I have a month old filly listed for sale. She's very exotic, very well bred and will win in halter when she's a bit older. She's also eligible to show in the weanling futurity, so could win cash almost right away. So, until she's weaned, I have her listed at $3500, if purchased (paid in full) now. No board fees and I'll provide her first vaccinations once she's weaned. The only thing the new purchaser would have to pay would be farrier and if she needed a vet for any reason. I also listed her as OBO but I would not come down much on her price, maybe to $3000 to a really well established show home that shows and works with their horses. That would be for cash right now and no conditions. After she's weaned, she'll stay at $3500 but if they wanted her to stay here, there'd be the usual expenses. If she's still here and I show her at the weanling futurity and she does well (I expect her to, she's that good), her price will go up to $7500 and that's where it will stay. I'll negotiate some on the price because everyone expects to negotiate but I don't have a lot of wiggle room built in. I hate buying/selling/haggling and want it over with ASAP, either you want the horse or you don't.

Soooo, if that was my gelding, if you offered me half what I was asking, I'd be the one inviting you to leave the property. I would not be asking $3000 for him, well trained as he is, with the proviso he not be jumped over 3 feet at this point. That pretty much knocks him right out of the show ring and makes him about a $1500-2000 horse for me, right there. As a seller, that 3 ft thing tells me that buyer's will be worrying about passing a vet check and/or future soundness issues and vet bills. Again, I would want to make him really attractive to a buyer so wouldn't ask the world for him.
 

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This is the market for negotiation. You could even get things included, like tack or delivery. I got one of my horses for 10% less than they were asking with delivery included from CA to TN. The delivery was awesome savings! My other pony also included delivery to my place.
Just a thought!
 
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