DO’s and DON’Ts of Selling Your Rope Horse On Facebook

2018. A year where you can buy, sell, or trade just about anything on Facebook. It used to be if you wanted to sell a horse, you told a friend, who told a friend, who told their brother’s cousin’s sister-in-law’s uncle. From there, a person would come try the horse and a handshake sealed the deal.

With the help of social media, it is easier to sell a horse than ever before.  And with nearly 5,000 friends on Facebook, I see A LOT of horses for sale every day.  It is because of this that I decided to compose a list of all the things that you should and shouldn’t do if you are trying to sell a horse on Facebook.

If you are going to advertise a horse as a “started” or “finished” rope horse, post videos.

There is nothing more obnoxious to me than reading an ad for a rope horse and there not being any video.  What exactly makes you think that someone will even consider coming to look at a horse before seeing video?  Let’s face it, in today’s day and age, everyone has a smart phone.  If you don’t have a smart phone, I’m sure you know someone that does.  Furthermore, if you have Facebook, I’m pretty sure that you have a phone with a camera attached to it.  So, do yourself a favor, take video of your horse AND POST IT IN THE AD!

My second pet peeve is when someone posts an ad and says they’ll PM video.  Just post the friggin video and save you, and everyone who may be interested in your horse, a lot of hassle.

And speaking of videos…

Can we all just agree that if you are going to post video of your horse that it 1) needs to be a good, clear video and 2) needs to show full runs from start to finish…that means scoring, the run itself, and the finish.

If I am buying a head horse, I want to see how that horse scores, rates, handles, and faces.  I want to watch him go down to the catch pen after the run is over.  If I am looking at a heel horse, again, I want to see him score, I want to see if he stays in good position, and I want to see that horse stop.

If you are trying to pique someone’s interest in your horse, I suggest posting several videos on both slow and fast cattle, if possible.  Post a video of that horse just scoring.  Show more than one run.  Anyone can make ONE good run on a horse.  I want to see a few good runs.  Horses aren’t cheap these days and I’m not about to waste my time traveling to try one if I can’t clearly see from video that he’s worth the trip.

Do us all a favor and post the price.

I’m not sure where the fear associated with posting the price of a horse came from.  Are you afraid that people are going to think that your horse isn’t worth what you’re asking for him?  Here’s the deal…it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.  If you are trying to sell your horse for $60k and think he’s worth that, then who cares what Joe Blow has to say about it?!

The issue that I have with people not posting the price is that, often times, I ask for it and then I am PM’d a price that is way over my budget.  Had the price been on the ad, I wouldn’t have wasted your time and I wouldn’t have gotten my hopes up on a horse that I now know I can’t afford.

The other issue I have with not posting the price is the same as the issue that I have with not posting videos.  You will have 250 comments on your post that say:

“Price?”

“Price?”

“Video?”

“Price?”

“Video?”

“Price?”

“Price?”

“Price?”

“Price?”

“Price?”

“Price?”

“Price?”

“Videos and price please?”

“Do you have any video?”

Annoying.  Just do everyone a favor and post the price and videos for everyone to clearly see.  All other transactions and communications can be handled via private message if need be.

Make sure to include all the “REQUIRED” information in the post.

There are a lot of things you don’t have to mention in your horse sale ad.  But there are a few things that absolutely DO need to be mentioned.

Horse’s age

Horse’s location

Is the horse registered or grade.  If the horse is registered, post a picture of the papers.  If you don’t have the papers and can’t get them, the horse IS GRADE!

Some other things that you may want to include are whether or not the horse is started, finished, or seasoned, if he has any soundness or health issues, if he is gentle or a bronc…and unless you want someone to blast you on Facebook and tarnish your good name, it would be wise not to lie about any of these things.

Please stop calling your horse bombproof.

I can’t tell you how many horror stories I have heard over the years about someone buying a supposedly “BOMBPROOF” horse, only to have it hurt their kid, grandma, husband, etc.  The truth of the matter is, all horses can come unhinged.  It doesn’t mean that they will and it doesn’t mean that they won’t.  But it’s best to not be held accountable when a freak accident happens.

For the love of God, please stop standing on your horse’s back.

I get it…your horse is gentle.  But the last time I checked, standing on my rope horse’s back wasn’t necessary unless I was showing off (which more times than not, I busted my ass and just looked foolish anyway!)  I see a lot of photos in ads of the seller or the seller’s kids standing on the horse’s back.  Let’s just clear the air here…I am way more impressed by awesome, professional photos of the horse from a jackpot or rodeo.

Stop with the boutique pricing.

I might have lost you with that term.  What do I mean by boutique pricing?  I mean horses that are priced $8725.75. Please, don’t be weird and just round up or down accordingly.  If you are going to price a horse at $8725…why not just post him at $8700 or $8800?  Is that $25 going to make or break you?  If the buyer doesn’t want to pay the $25, is that really going to be a deal breaker for you?  By pricing your horse like this, you come across as difficult.  And no one…I REPEAT, NO ONE…likes to deal with a difficult person.

Proof read your post.

Oh man…I hate to admit it, but I have probably passed up a few really nice horses because a seller’s spelling and grammar were so atrocious.  First of all, your horse is “for SALE”.  He’s not “for SELL”.  I get that we are not all English majors and that is perfectly fine.  Just like you probably know someone who has a smart phone, you probably know someone who is really talented in the spelling and grammar department.  Buying and selling horses is a business transaction and business transactions need to be handled in a professional manner.  The best thing you can do for yourself when selling a horse, is have a professional looking ad.  Proof read your ad, or have someone do it for you!

Include as many details as possible.

There are a lot of fish in the sea and there are a lot of horses for sale on Facebook.  Make it easy for a buyer to tell whether or not a horse is suitable for them.  Here is an example of a Facebook ad I wrote for a horse I had for sale recently.  As you can see, I state as many details about the horse as possible.

Bay Gelding Head Horse for Sale. I do not have his papers, so I’m selling as grade. This is a top-notch rodeo horse and an excellent jackpot horse. He stands at about 15 hands and weighs 1200 lbs. 15 years old. This horse scores like a rock, leaves off your hand and leaves flat and smooth, runs hard to cattle, is strong at the horn, and faces fast. He will run through a string barrier and works great in both long and short score situations. This horse is VERY FAST and VERY STRONG therefore NOT A SUITABLE BEGINNER’S HORSE. He will get you to the hip in a hurry, give you a good shot and a great handle. No buck whatsoever. Gentle to be around. Easy to catch. Stands for the farrier. Good feet and legs. Sound. Loads and hauls easily. This horse doesn’t get rattled. Take him to the WSTR Finale in Vegas and win the big bucks on him. Would be a great fit for a confident high school or college rodeo kid. Suitable for open rodeo also. $10k firm. Located in ******, California.  Vet checks welcome at buyer’s expense. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to own this nice horse that WILL take you to the pay window.

Along with this ad, I included 4 videos and 3 photos.  Two of the photos were of the horse in action.  The third was straight photo from the side of him unsaddled.  Make sure to show photos of the horse unsaddled.  It’s hard to tell if a horse is in good condition when he is tacked up.

As a seller, I don’t want to deal with a bunch of people asking unnecessary questions about my horse when they can just read all about him in the ad.  Don’t get me wrong, you are still going to have those people who REFUSE to READ the ad and still ask questions that are clearly stated in the horse’s description.  Unfortunately, you can’t fix stupid…you can only work around it.

Selling your rope horse on Facebook can be a really convenient way to reach a huge number of potential buyers in a very short amount of time.  If you follow the Do’s and Don’ts listed above, I assure you that you will have a much smoother sale process.

Stay tuned for Buyer Do’s and Don’ts coming soon!

Roping.com LLC

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