Selling your used saddle is a great way to clean out the tack room and get a little extra money. There is a large market for used tack in the horse industry, for the same reason that there is a large market for used cars in the United States. Saddles and other items are in high demand, but they can be quite costly new and buying used often gives riders the opportunity to get a good quality item for a fraction of the retail price. Selling a saddle you are no longer using can be beneficial to both buyer and seller.
Evaluating Your Saddle
Almost all saddles can be re-sold, but how much you can sell the saddle for will depend on several different factors. You need to examine the saddle carefully and realistically assess its condition in order to determine it's value. There are a number of different things to consider, including:
Who was the saddle's manufacturer?
How much did you pay for the saddle?
How old is the saddle?
What condition is the leather in?
Has the saddle been damaged in any way?
Is the saddle fully functional, or will it have to be repaired?
Determining Your Saddle's Value
Determining the value of a used saddle can be a little tricky because there are so many variables that affect the value. It is important to value your saddle correctly before you sell it. Overpricing may cause it not to sell, and underpricing can significantly cut into your profit. As a general rule of thumb, the higher quality your saddle is and the better care you have taken of it, the more you can expect to get on resale. If your saddle was a low end saddle or you have abused it and not cared for the leather properly, you should not expect to get a lot of money for it. Also, be prepared to take off value if the saddle is not fully leather (synthetic saddles do not hold their value as well as full leather ones), does not have a brand name or has unusual features or colors that do not appeal to most riders.
There are two ways to get a accurate approximate value for your saddle. The best way is to take it to a professional saddle fitter or tack shop for an appraisal of its value. The other is to go online and comparison shop for similar items. Take the average price of the saddles you see online and use that price as the base point for pricing your saddle. Used saddles can sell for anywhere between several thousand dollars to less than $100 dollars, depending on their condition and value.
Selling Your Saddle
Selling your used saddle is a matter of getting your saddle to the right buyer at the right price. Once you have valued your saddle, you need to consider how and where you want to sell it.
Selling Your Saddle Online
You can buy or sell virtually anything on the Internet, and used saddles are no exception. Selling a used saddle on the Internet makes it available to a wide market of buyers and often increases the likelihood it will sell quickly at top dollar. There are a number of horse classified websites on the internet that allow members to sell their used tack. The ability to sell the saddle through an Internet auction such as eBay can be a good solution for a buyer who does not feel comfortable pricing their saddle or who wants to make sure they can get every dime possible from their saddle. The downsides of Internet shipping are that buyers can not examine the saddle and may be unhappy with the item once it arrives. When selling a saddle online, you should take as many pictures as possible and be certain to document every possible flaw carefully to make sure the seller can not accuse you of misrepresenting the item. Also, be aware that saddles do not ship cheaply. Selling a saddle online almost always guarantees a hefty shipping charge.
Selling Your Saddle Locally
Finding a buyer for your used saddle locally often takes slightly more time than selling the saddle online, but it has a number of benefits over selling through the Internet. Local buyers can thoroughly examine the saddle as well as making sure it fits both them and their horse prior to purchase. Selling locally also eliminates the shipping charges, which can be especially costly if you are looking to sell an older western saddle - which can weigh upwards of 40 lbs. Local tack and feed stores that take items on consignment are often a great place to find a buyer for your saddle. You can also put up fliers advertising your saddle for sale in barns and show grounds or take out advertisements in local classified papers.
Selling a used saddle can take a little bit of time, so remember to be patient when waiting for your saddle to find a new home. If you want your saddle to sell sooner rather than later, you will probably have to price it low in order to attract a buyer quickly. Remember that the best way to sell your saddle is to offer an item in good condition for a reasonable price.