There are various ways to buy and sell horses online, however, making your advert appeal to the right buyer, and avoiding scammers, can be tricky. Follow the Horse&Rider guide, to ensure you avoid the pitfalls.
Selling your horse online
A badly written advert can affect how quickly your horse sells, and the type of buyer it attracts. Here are a few ideas to consider when writing your advert…
- Start with a good title. If you’re selling a showjumper, don’t just write ‘Showjumper for sale’, try something more dynamic like ‘Smart, scopey showjumping horse with potential’.
- Pick good-quality photos that are a clear and honest representation of your horse’s ability. Avoid using images taken by professional photographers with watermarks on, as a lot of websites won’t accept these.
- Think about all the basic things that you would want know if you were reading an advert. Height, age, breed, gender, colour, etc. are all things that people want to know before they even consider enquiring. Make it easy for them and include relevant information from the outset.
- Don’t get carried away with your description. A potential buyer doesn’t need to know the ins and outs of how much you love your horse. The advert should focus on your horse’s experience, temperament and any honest comments on his quirks or vices.
- Always try and mention the type of rider that your horse would suit.
- Include the price – ‘POA’ can deter a lot of potential buyers. Also, state whether any tack, rugs or equipment are included in the price.
- If you can, create a video to go with your advert. This allows buyers to see your horse’s movement before a viewing, which could save you both time.
- Take a look at our article on writing a great advert
Proceed with caution
If someone contacts you about your horse, and they are offering money without viewing him, or they ask if he can be shipped abroad, be cautious. If the sale goes ahead, check with your bank that the money has cleared before you let your horse leave, or you could end up without the money, and without your horse! Even if you’re desperate to sell your horse for whatever reason, don’t just go with the highest offer. Always consider what is best for him, even if it does mean losing out on a sale. Anyone who is really interested in buying your horse should make the effort to arrange a proper viewing, and a vetting.
Buying a horse online
When you find an advert online, do an initial assessment…
- Is the advert written well, does it make sense, and is the horse described in detail?
- Are there clear photos showing the whole horse without tack, and being ridden (if you intend to ride him)?
- Is the price listed, and is it clear what’s included within the price?
If the advert seems clear and you are interested in the horse, contact the seller via email so that you can keep a record of any initial conversations. Ask for more information, extra photos and videos, and proof that the horse is passported. Ask for any known history, details of previous owners and his medical records. If the seller is unable to provide these things, then it’s possible that the horse for sale is not as described in the advert, or it could be a fake seller. If a horse is advertised as free to a good home, and all you would need to pay for as the new owner is the transport or shipping, again be cautious. Transporting horses can be very expensive and if this does turn out to be a scam advert you could lose out on hundreds of pounds. Always see the horse in person before you agree to anything.
A few pointers for avoiding scams
- Avoid using money transfer services such as PayPal, these are not designed for sales between strangers and payments can be retracted
- Do not give out any of your personal information, including your bank and card details. If you get an email from Horse&Rider asking for your personal details, don’t follow any of the instructions as we never contact you asking for this information.
- Be wary of overseas buyers.
- Always view a horse you’re interested in buying in person whenever possible. When selling also question any enquiries which don’t ask to view your horse prior to purchase.
- If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is, always keep your wits about you.
If you think that you have been contacted by a scammer via our website, or are unsure about an advert, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget, you can also advertise your horse for free with our classifieds system. Click here to get started.