Have you noticed that quality of show horses in America is higher than ever? We have! Go to any show (or browse our website) and see it yourself. So how does this affect you, as you work to sell your hunters, jumpers or equitation horses?
Like any horse show class, buying and selling is a competition. Selling doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it happens in a competitive marketplace, and no matter how nice your horse is, if you don’t present your ad well and professionally, you will miss out on potential buyers. Not only that, but show horses are a luxury item, and it’s not a large market to begin with - especially if your horse is in the higher price categories.
With this in mind, it is imperative that sellers are mindful of every detail about their horse’s presentation to the buying public. Our goal here at Bigeq.com is to help you present your horse elegantly and professionally - and we think we do a good job of it — but even then, we can only do so much. With this in mind, here are some extremely important tips for presenting your sales horse well on Bigeq.com:
CHOOSE YOUR PHOTO(S) WISELY
Whoever will buy your horse or pony is doing so for a reason: to win a hunter class, teach a child the ropes in short stirrup, help move a junior or amateur from the 3’ divisions to the 3’6” divisions, to fly around high level jumper courses, or what have you.
So your main photo, and any photo, should show what your horse will DO for the buyer - and this is best accomplished with a professional quality jumping photo, or for hunters, perhaps a stunning hack-winning flat movement shot. Sometimes we see nice championship presentation photos, and this might be a fine alternative because it allows the buyer to place themselves in the winning scenario that the horse will provide. If neither of those is available, then a simple side conformation shot will do, but make sure you set up the photo in a location with a clean background and with the horse’s side lit by light/sunshine.
We sometimes see sellers post candid photos of a horse’s head, a horse and rider cuddling, or the horse hanging out in the pasture or stall. These photos will NOT sell your horse, unless your horse is the cutest horse on the planet. The trouble is that everyone thinks that about their horse, but buyers won’t. Save those photos for yourself.
And lastly, some technical suggestions: 1) Crop it! The photo should be cropped so the jump/horse fills the frame. 2) Make sure you submit a high resolution photograph for use on the website; pixellated or grainy photos will not attract buyers (email us if you need assistance). 3) Avoid screenshots from mobile phones and video captures.
If the photos look low quality, the subconscious message you’re sending to buyers is that the horse is also low quality - and worse, that you might not be professional about selling your horse.
USE GOOD, CURRENT VIDEOS
Photos are great at catching a buyer’s attention, but the video is what will sell your horse.
Competition videos are the best. This is what the buyer wants to see, because this is what the buyer wants to DO. We live in a great time, where many videos, especially from large AA shows are available online. Our website accommodates videos by simply linking to those - easy peasy!
If you go the route of taking your own videos, please, please, please, hold your camera still, use a zoom to follow the horse, and don’t talk through it. If you edit and upload it yourself to YouTube or another file sharing service, don’t add in music. It’s distracting. While you may ride your show courses with your favorite song running through your head to keep a rhythm, potential buyers don’t need the distraction. And may hate hearing repetitions of “Eye of the Tiger” or whatever Rihanna song inspires you…
Get to the point and consider starting your video immediately with your horse’s strength - a winning course perhaps. Avoid long warmups at the walk/trot/canter followed by a drawn out jumping session. Cut out excess time, and post a concise video covering your horse’s abilities. If your video lags, users may grow impatient and simply close the window and move on. That’s the blessing and the curse of the internet - users want info quick and if not, there’s always something else to move on to.
DON’T GIVE AWAY TOO MUCH
A little mystery doesn’t hurt! In your text descriptions, keep it cool, professional, and concise with a summary of the horse’s abilities, competition history, positive behavioral attributes (ships, clips, good for vet, etc.). Try to avoid personalizing the horse too much (“he’s such a pet, his favorite treat is donuts”, “if you scratch his withers he curls his lip, etc.”). Just mentioning that the horse has a kind, people-friendly personality will suffice.
Again, your ad is competing against other sale ads which may present a very similar horse, but if your ad goes off topic, it can be distracting. Get to the point, and serious buyers will call anyway wanting more info, and then you can get into the minute details of the horse.
Hopefully these tips will help you as you market your hunter/jumper horses and ponies for sale or lease. If you need any assistance or would like help in selecting which photos and videos will best represent your horse, we’re happy to offer suggestions! Feel free to be in touch with any questions - and as always - thank you for using our service! Happy buying and selling!
First in Hunter/Jumper Sales Online since 1999
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