Category Archives: Handy Tips

Tax Day Got You Down? Ebay your Excess Tack! I Do, Read On!


Thursday, April 15th, 2010 | Filed under Handy Tips




Uncle Sam called me today.  I was not happy to hear from him although I expected it.  What caught me off guard was his very large demand for me to help keep this country running… “Wha?, I gasped apoplectically.  I’ve always hated your outfit and that hat is ridiculous!”  Alas, he was having none of my tantrum and I was forced to realize that there were no more deductions… How was I going to come up with his green without becoming kryptonite for me… “Ahhhhhh.  gulp, Ahhhh, ahhhahhhhahh.  I hate April 15th.  Ahhhhhh!  Hey, wait a minute…  there’s always (drumroll:  dun du nu nahhhh)…”

EBAY.

Yup, turn things into gold with a flip of the computer.  Hence, my topic for today at tax time everywhere…  Ebay your tack!

THE EBAY EXPERIENCE

I know, I know… you say that Ebay is just full of chachkas and it isn’t worth selling anything there.  Au contraire mes petites!  In the case of equine tack, it is a cacophony of buying and selling worthy of the WallStreet Trading floor!  Tack flies around there like Dorothy in Kansas.  Trust me.  It will sell.

YOU ARE PROBABLY HALF WAY THERE ALREADY

You probably buy on Ebay already?  But, do you sell?  Don’t worry.  It is so easy!  Besides, if you buy, you probably should sell to make room for what you buy!  Truly, us horsey folks are always looking for a deal and what better way than through anonymity.  I mean, you can have a total transaction without any emotion or worry that the friend you sold it to doesn’t really like it, use it, hasn’t paid for it or vice-versa.  And, the best news of all, that lonely piece of tack is now vacated from your tack room or tack closet (spare bedroom, trailer, under your bed, hanging on the banister, hanging over a doorknob, in the corner of the dining room…) where it just took up space.  And you have some found money!

THE EBAY SECRET

Here’s the secret… come closer…  If you resign yourself to making half of what it is worth, you will make that and probably more.

Heck, if it is just sitting in your hall closet, it isn’t worth anything anyway.  So, play it forward!  Your discards are someone elses GOLD.  I swear, some people will buy almost any piece of tack if they perceive a deal.  I know because I am guilty of that.  I had 24 brushes in my tack room last year.  Why?  It was a deal.  I also have a case of vet wrap…(I still think that was a deal).  I’ve purchased a grab bag of leather string ties so I would always have them when I needed them.  I’ve purchased everything from Chicago screws to several elite dressage saddles (I don’t even ride dressage but that’s another story…).  And, I’m not even on Ebay frequently!  If you list it, they will come.

OFF WITH ITS HEAD!

The hardest part is the initial parting.  Be the Red Queen. (Or, have one of your friends do it for you.)  After you decide to sell, the rest is easy.  Go find all the tack that you never use that you are holding onto because it is still “good”.  I’m sure it is still good and that is exactly what someone else will want. Clean it up well.  Believe me, a picture tells a thousand words and it also picks up dirt like crazy.  So, get on your Cinderella apron and whistle as you hum your mantra, “Found money, yahoo, maybe I can buy some more tack or two, or maybe I can rescue a horse or a few…”.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Take a few minutes and hunt around on Ebay and see what others are selling in your category.  Check out prices and pictures of tack like yours.  Take notes and figure out where your tack falls in that lineup.  Whatever you do, don’t succumb to the greedy trap. I know, I know, you want the most you can get for it.  But, not surprising, people want to buy for the least they can pay for it.  Hmmmmmm.  My suggestion is to remember, your tack is only worth what someone will pay for it.  Like diamonds and horses, they aren’t worth anything unless you have a buyer…

TAKE REALLY GOOD, THOROUGH PHOTOS

You probably all have a digital camera by now.  If not, ask for one for your birthday or go down to Costco, or borrow one from a friend. (Or, get one on Ebay since you are already online…)  Take clear, clean and discernible photos. If you have a saddle, take every view (right, left, front, rear, seat, cantle, pommel, rigging set up, stirrup set up, gullet, underside and also any marks or titles).  Just poke around on Ebay and see what catches your eye and fills you with confidence as a buyer. Don’t have your kitchen dishes or extra gas can in the photo.  Yeesh.  That never helps.  Believe me, if you look around Ebay, you will see gorgeous saddles set up in front of a fully loaded no-pest strip.  Bad photos or not enough photos make potential buyers click away as fast as you can say, “I shudda”!

LITTLE EBAY TIPS FROM YOURS TRULY

1)  Find a box to ship the item before you list it.  There is nothing worse than selling an item and then having to spend $10 on a box.  So, scrounge around and be creative.  I’ve shipped many items in Sun-Maid Raisin canisters and used Valley Vet or Amazon boxes.

2)  Try to offer Free Shipping.  This tips it for most folks. “Oh, free shipping, why didn’t you say so!”  People love this!

3)  Be really descriptive without sounding overly gushy.  Just be honest and real.  Go to the item’s website and add their description, of applicable.  Think about what you’d like to know about the item.  But, don’t worry, buyers will ask you what you forgot to put in the ad, if you are lucky.  Also, you have to be honest or Ebay will take away your selling privileges.

4)  Be nice!  If a potential buyer asks you something, answer really courteously.  A buyer will choose your item over another if they like you.

5)  Be realistic.  You are there to sell it.  So, sell it.  Sometimes during the selling process, sellers get defensive.  Don’t.

IN CONCLUSION

I’ve sold lots and lots of items on Ebay and I’m no computer whiz or marketing guru.  So whether you need some simoleans for tax day or if you just want to make room in your closet, please go forth and SELL!!

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Equine Wizard Nutritionist, Gabrielle Sutton and… Mary Poppins had it Right! A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Wormer Go Down!






For those of you smart and lucky horse people who only have one horse, worming day is probably a very manageable day.  But, for us insane multiple horse owners, worming day leaves us shuttering like Lurch.  Thankfully, I’ve found a solution that really helps me, so I thought I’d pass it onward.

Gabrielle Sutton and KAM Animal Services

But first, thinking about worming made me think about Gabrielle Sutton.  This woman is a force in the Equine Nutrition world!  She received her initial education in Human Health as a nurse practitioner with advanced training in Naturopathic Medicine, Botanical Medicine, Nutrition as well as Homeopathy.  Then, people started asking her to help them with their horses.  Well, a new career opened up and she became just as proficient in Equine Nutrition, Equine Naturopathy and Homotoxocology.  She’s got chops.  Her business is called, KAM Animal Services.

Now, I know we all hear about herbs and herbal remedies.  I actually really believe that you are what you eat… same with equines.  And, we all know that most of our horses are living artificially on what we provide for them to eat,  not necessarily what they are craving or what they intrinsically need. We try our best to figure out what they could use nutritionally… “Hmmm, her coat looks dull” or “Gee, his feet seem to be chipping more this year” and “He has no energy “… and we purchase a nice supplement.

Obviously,  we are all kinda shooting from the hip, if you know what I mean.  For me, I just surmise what they probably need and go from there.  And, that has been mostly just fine.  But, I’m here to tell you, when you need to bring in the big guns, Gabrielle is a wizard.  This brainiac is so helpful and so knowledgeable, you want her to live out back planting a garden, mixing potions and fixing all your equine buddies’ ailments.  I was in awe and gaga when we had our initial conversation.  Well, it wasn’t really a conversation… she spoke, I listened trying to keep up, but it all made sense and I was sold!

All of her supplements and feeds she created herself.  All the ingredients are listed and she can tell you exactly what each one does, how it supports another and why it is in there.  She will also cite clinical trials and tell you more about metabolic disorders than you ever wanted to know — but need to know.  Oh yes, and SHE answers the phone.  Or, if Gabrielle is out of town (which she is quite often as she visits farms and horses all the time), she will call back or have her assistant call.  Wonderful.

Personally, Gabrielle came to my farm and helped me tremendously with a Cushings horse (she recommended an entire feeding regimen and it worked) as well as a supplement program for all of my horses. Her wealth of knowledge just bends you over backwards.  So, when you need to call in the cavalry to help your horse, put this info in your back pocket.  She is a genius.  Go to the website and you’ll see what I mean.  These aren’t your ordinary herbal concoctions for horses.  This is extraordinary stuff.

Anyway, back to the reason I’m thinking of Gabrielle —  she re-educated me on my worming schedule.  Without getting political, I’d like to say that there is generally no reason to worm your healthy horses every day or even every 3 months.  However, this is not going to be a favorable piece of information for the companies that make wormer… Really, Gabrielle taught me that unless the horse is showing signs of worms (and you can always do a fecal test every three months if you’d like), it could be detrimental over time to worm a horse every day or every three months for its entire life.

GABRIELLE’S SUGGESTED WORMING SCHEDULE (this could upset Pfizer or maybe your vet…)

SPRING:  5 day Power Pack (test to make sure you need it)  SUMMER:  Strongid   FALL:  Ivermectin or Equimax if you are in an area populated with Equine Tape worms.   That’s it.  Simple.

**Exciting news!  Gabrielle emailed this morning and told me about her Free workshop in May!  I’ve attached the flyer above. Please take the opportunity if you are interested!  Click on the flyer image and it should get bigger.  If not, the number to call for information is 970-309-4223.

Onward…

MARY POPPINS HAD IT RIGHT!

So now that it is worming time, I wanted to share with you my worming experience.  I know you know it… the horse that raises his head just out of range of your wormer hand, the horse the puts its head up then down then up then down or the one that just won’t be caught on worming day.  Well, I have 10 of those.  Only two of my horses actually grin and bear it without letting me know how they feel about it.

MY REMEDY

I got sick of dealing with the Head Bobbing Olympics on worming day.  And, last year I rescued the wild mare who was NEVER going to take wormer.  I had to think of something that would steal less time and also administer to the wild one.  Grain.  I knew it had to do with grain.  So, the next time the vet was out, I asked if I could put paste in grain. Would that effect the wormer in any way?  Nope.  Hmmmmmmm. I put on my Mary Poppins hat and concocted a very easy recipe.  A spoonful of molasses with watered down grain and the paste all mixed together.  You really have to mix the paste — no big clumps or that gives it away. They can see a big clump a mile away.

As I tested my first batch, I knew I had to feed strategically because I didn’t want any one horse bullying the potion from another and then get too much wormer.  I very carefully fed everyone so no one thought anyone else had anything better.  For the lead horses, I put in more grain so they had more to do.  I put the babies in stalls and the rest were easy.  I gave them all their dishes and they ate their wormer just like they always ate their morning grain + supplements!  Yahoo!  And for the cook in the feed room, it took only a few more mins to add the water, paste and molasses, but they ate every bit!!  No more schmear on my coat and arms, no more schmear on their muzzles and no more waste on the ground as they spit out whatever they could maneuver.  Wahoo!  Worming Day made easy! (That’s my Gwen, slurping it up!)

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!


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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!