Friday, February 22, 2008

Buyers (and Not-So-Much Buyers)

It's official: Callisto is sold. I just got the deposit for her this afternoon, and she will be going to her new home on Monday. Now I'll never be the one to ride her over those 4 1/2 foot jumps when she's old enough.

When I was a teenager, there was nothing in the world I wanted so much as a horse that could take me over the really big jumps! Now I guess I'll have to wait for Grace to grow up and see if she has the talent.

On the bright side, I think Callisto is going to a nice home that is very well suited for her. She's going to be less than 3 hours away from here, and her new owner has said that I'm invited to come and visit her any time I like. Isn't that sweet?

So, with the money from her, we'll be able to:

1. Pay our $800 propane bill so that the propane company will come fill our tank again before we run out of heat.

2. Pay our stallion Senter's annual $800 insurance bill so that if he gets sick or hurt we won't lose out on all the $14,000 we invested to buy him.

3. Buy 2 1/2 weeks' worth of hay.

That doesn't seem like much to get for such a magnificent horse, but at least it's something, and I'm grateful for it! I think Callisto is going to fit in perfectly at her new home.

On the other side of the selling process:

Most of you know that I have my beautiful tobiano Oldenburg/Spotted Draft cross filly Libby for sale. She's got it all: conformation, color, refinement, temperament, brains. She's absolutely spectacular.

Because I'm doing such a major herd reduction, I'm only asking $3,000 for her, which barely covers what it cost to feed her mother while she was pregnant with her.

A few months ago, I had a buyer asking about the filly. We exchanged emails for weeks as she asked about all the details about her. She decided that Libby was "the one." I arranged a very flexible payment plan, we discussed what shots she'd like Libby to have before she was shipped, even what color halter she'd prefer. We worked out every detail. The buyer said, "I'm putting the check in the mail today." AND DISAPPEARED OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH FOREVER!

Time went on, and now I've been exchanging emails with another person who was interested in Libby. I've spent the past month answering email questions from her. She even called me on the phone (from Canada!) to ask a huge list of detailed questions. She started looking into finding a shipper and getting the documents needed to import the filly across the border.

Then, this afternoon, for the first time, she made me her official offer:

Would I take $600 for Libby?

$600????? For this flawless yearling filly with bloodlines that include Spectrum, Rainbow, Peron, and Lungau? You make me spend a MONTH answering your questions, knowing all along you're planning to offer me a paltry 20% of my asking price??? You'd pay more than that to ship the horse there, but the horse herself isn't worth as much? I don't think so!

What on earth are people thinking?

I mean, okay, fine. I'm doing a drastic herd reduction, and my ads all say that my asking prices are negotiable. "Negotiable" means I might be willing to take $500 off the price, if you pay immediately, pick the horse up promptly, and I don't already have 3 other people inquiring about the horse that day.

It does not mean that as a reward for the pleasure of answering countless questions spread out over the course of weeks, I'd be delighted to give away a flawless horse with Olympic medalist bloodlines for what isn't much more than slaughter prices!

I understand that horse buyers have budgets. If someone started right out asking me just how flexible my prices were, and did I have anything that might be in the "Under $1,000" price range, I would not have been insulted. I wouldn't have offered that person Libby, but I wouldn't have been insulted.

And if after asking many questions over the course of weeks, a buyer had come out and offered me at least 50%-75% of my asking price, I would not have been insulted either. Depending on how many inquiries I'd received on that horse, I would probably have at least considered the offer.

But this---Sheesh!

My emotions about it are kind of mixed between 50% insulted and 50% amused at how ridiculous the whole situation is.

On to the next buyer!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you are wise focusing on the humor in the situation, because that is pretty ridiculous! I am happy to hear about Callisto, as it seems to be the near-perfect situation: near to you, a great home and welcomes visits so you can see her progress. Slowly, slowly but you are getting there... and your hard work has paid off in good situations for each one, which is no small feat these days.

I agree with the commenter about Andromeda. She is a beauty and a steal at that price. I can't figure out why she hasn't been snapped up yet either.