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)…”
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.
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!!
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
hey there! thanks for featuring beautiful pictures of MY saddle that I bought from you off of ebay…..everything you said is true and best of all it fits my TWH….now maybe I’ll sell that Barefoot Treeless I have in my tackroom…that I don’t use…that’s taking up space..that SOMEONE else
will love. thanks for the ebay tips!