Selling tack online or in tack sales? Which is better?

Tack sale season is here. It seems as if everyone's talking about tack these days - at least, in the horse world.
Equestrians are cleaning out tack trunks and closets, sorting and selling all sorts of horsey items, while shopping for bargains on others. Lots of horse lovers are posting equipment, horse show clothes, and miscellaneous horse-related items on eBay, in Facebook groups, and all over the internet.

Which is the better way to sell used horse tack and equestrian apparel?

Certainly, the answer depends upon the sort of items one wishes to sell.

High-ticket items, such as driving carriages, saddles, and horse trailers may lend themselves to in-person inspection. Buyers want to kick tires. Horseback riders often insist upon trying saddles on their mounts before purchasing.

On the other hand, plenty of items do well online.

Fancy show chaps, dressage or hunt coats, showmanship outfits, and riding boots may be easily sold via internet auctions and listing sites – especially if shoppers have tried on similar items in-person already and know exactly what they want to purchase.

Horse blankets, saddle pads, spurs, and splint boots may be snatched up promptly that way, too.

Barn equipment, schooling apparel, and work clothes tend to move quickly online as well.

Here’s a prime example.

Recently, I shared a table at a tack swap with a couple of friends. We hauled out all sorts of horsey gifts, riding equipment, and equestrian attire.

Towards the end of the show, a casual acquaintance tried on a pair of top-brand full-leather-seat riding breeches. She hemmed and hawed and finally offered a small fraction of the ticketed price..

I declined the offer. She began to whine.

“Are you sure?” she asked. “You really won’t take that for them? Really? Oh, c’mon. Why not?”

I held my ground. “Sorry, but I paid more than twice the asking price for them. And they are nearly new,” I said.

She walked away, looking somewhat offended.

The interaction was somewhat uncomfortable. Because we sort of knew one another, it seemed this person expected an extra steep discount.

That night, I listed that pair of breeches on an online auction site, along with a few other higher-ticket items that failed to sell at the tack swap.

Well, whaddya know? The same fancy full-seat riding breeches fetched considerably more than my asking price at the tack sale – and a whole lot more than the apparently miffed shopper had been willing to offer.

Maybe declining a ridiculously low offer at a tack sale isn’t tacky at all. Perhaps it’s simply smart business.

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