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2003/09/05

The Pool of Knowledge For Sale By Owner - Tips On Marketing by Dr. Jim and Lynda McCall The First Rule of Marketing is to sell people what they want to buy. Reducing marketing to its simplest common denominator makes it sound easy but there is complexity in understanding the application of basic principle. In a nutshell, you have to identify and locate the consumers who might want to buy the horse you are selling. You have to make them aware that you have a horse for sale that might fit them. And, last but not least, you have to present the horse in a way that makes them want to buy it. The process begins by developing a clear picture of exactly what you have for sale. Forget pride of ownership. Objectively decide what kind of horse you are selling! Is it a beginner horse, a top show horse, a prospect, a breeding animal or some combination of these categories? Now for the price. Price has a great deal to do with who might buy your horse. The higher the price, the smaller the number of interested consumers. So price the horse fairly according to your best estimate of the industry standard for horses of this type. One good measure of fair pricing is to estimate the value of the horse at the price you would be willing to purchase it. If you think the horse is worth more than anyone else, you may need to keep him. Hopefully looking at your Horse for Sale through the eyes of prospective buyers will give you a good idea about the consumers who might be interested in this horse. How do you target that group? In the business of selling, advertising is one of the best ways to locate buyers. Selling horses is no different. The only question is how to best utilize advertising dollars and how to target the correct horse buying public. Printed advertisement is one of the most traditional methods of offering a horse for sale by owner. Livestock classified in tabloids and newspapers gives a big bank for the buck in a local area. That is, assuming your horse appeals to local horsemen. Slightly more expensive classified ads can be taken in breed journals and performance magazines. High prices advertisement can be taken in these publications by buying larger display ads and adding color and dynamics layouts. These magazines may help you to hit your target group but there is a lag time between submitting the ad and publication date which can be as long as 2 months. A second tried and true method is mailing lists. Do a picture layout with pedigree and performance record along with a personal evaluation of the animals attributes. Mail it to a few hundred of your closest horse friends and neighbors. You might also obtain the membership lists of breed associations, riding clubs and veterinarians in your state. And don't forget the internet. Use the same information that you developed for your mailing list and post your horse for sale on your website. Search for Horse for Sale websites and list your horse on-line on these sites. Some of these sites are free. Some of them have listing fees between $15 and $30. With all this advertisement you should be getting some hits but you might have a little trouble closing the deal. When this happens, consider taking a few lessons from furniture and used car salesmen. Get creative and cut a deal "horseman style." "On the cuff" is a term used in the racing game. It means selling a horse for a certain amount down and the rest to be paid out of the winnings. Another horse deal comes in the form of a binder which is basically a lay-a-way plan where a portion of the price is paid with the remainder due at the post-dated time of delivery. If the remainder is not forthcoming, the binder is forfeited. Then there is the time payment plan, the true American Way. The horse is sold with a book of monthly payment. Depending on the price, horse insurance may be a part of the deal as well as an interest rate on the unpaid balance. If all this boggles your mind, don't forget that you still have the option of consigning your horse to a respected horse sale where the management has years of experience in developing buyers for their specific market. However, if you are determine to venture down the road of "For Sale by Owner" and you have a horse with a high purchase price where the new owners expect to pay a monthly upkeep, tune in next month for limited partnerships a.k.a. Syndications. Visit the McCall's at their website - www.the-old-place.com and post your questions and comments on their forum.

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