How do I get my used horse gear ready to sell? And where can I sell it?
Most of us have a vast amount of absolutely necessary horse items that we have not used in years. Every now and then, it’s a good idea to organize it all and perhaps find it a new home. A great way to earn some pocket money is to sell you stuff - but what’s the best way to get your items ready to sell?
I always start by collecting all of the items that I can do without. Then I decide if I toss, fix, sell, or donate. For any items that end up in the sale or donate pile, I want to make sure they are totally clean and pristine. Would you buy a car filled with fast food wrappers and trash? Don’t sell dirty tack. I should really say, don’t TRY to sell dirty tack.
Look closely - this is dirty and cracked.
Now to the deep cleaning part.
For tack and leather goods - a few steps to follow.
- Take it all apart! Well, not your saddle necessarily, but at least remove the stirrup leathers or fenders! This makes things easier to clean and inspect for damage.
Just NO. This is a definite toss.
- Inspect all of the leather for cracks, rips, and stretching. These indicate a weakening of the leather and could lead to breaking. For a billet on your high dollar saddle, consider having it repaired or replaced. For the low dollar leather halter crown piece spare you have not used or cleaned in five years, consider tossing it.
- Start to deep clean. Bust out the toothbrush and the tiny sponges. Grab polish for stirrup irons and those tiny buckles on bridles, don’t forget about the stirrup bars. Skip the metal polish on bits.
- Condition it all. Depending on the age, past care, condition of your leather, you may need to condition over a few days. Use a lederbalsam or neatsfoot oil to soften your leather. Neatsfoot can sometimes darken leather, so be prepared. More on oiling tack here!
Deep clean everything - especially those nooks and crannies!
For blankets, saddle pads, leg boots, etc.
- Clean is the name of the game! A skilled laundry service can also fold and package your blankets into easy to store (and sell) bags. Most services also handle repairs to blankets.
- Use a stiff nylon brush on everything to remove any hairs, sweat, and dirt before you launder. Stain sticks are your friend.
- Make repairs, even if it only takes a few stitches here and there. Fluff up fleece or sheepskin linings with a wire dog grooming brush. Use a mane pulling comb or ful-minator type brush to remove fuzzies from velcro.
These are well used and the stitching is intact.
How much to ask? A good place to start is to compare prices on eBay, tack exchange websites, and even make a trip to your local consignment shop to see their inventory and what the price points are.
Where to sell? Do you want to deal with advertising and packing and shipping, or do you want to just turn it over to someone else to sell and pay the commission? Or do you want to trade it in for a newer saddle?
Some ideas for where to sell your items -
- Social media
- Online stores that specialize in tack
- Consignment stores
- Online auctions, like eBay
- Trade in with a manufacturer
- Tack swap - often at fairs, shows, local horse clubs
- Flyers at shows
Selling tips -
Take high quality photos. This means fuzzy light (like dawn, dusk, or in the shade). Take photos of everything - top, sides, front, back, bottom, under the flaps, show any existing damage. Find the most boring backdrop you possibly can. A blank wall is best.
This is a HORRIBLE saddle selling photo.
Know (and share) the specs. Manufacturer, model, year, size, gullet width, type of leather, describe the twist (narrow, wide?), find the serial number. Most manufacturers can tell you all of the specs from the serial number.
Decide if you are going to offer a trial. If you are a business, and can secure a credit card deposit, then a trial is something you may want to offer. If you are not a business, and someone wants you to mail it to them for a trial, be warned you may never see your money or your saddle again. You can have a return policy - where they can get a refund if and when the saddle is returned in the same condition. This is where a zillion detailed photos are necessary. Or, you can say "as is".
This photo is getting better. In the shade, up close, super clean.
What has worked for you when selling your horse's used tack?