As the Social Media Marketing & Consignment Sales Coordinator (or whatever I want to call my self on any given day) of a saddle fitter, repair and consignment company, I talk to a lot of people who are debating the age old question: Should I consign my saddle?
Well, sorry, but I can’t answer that for you. Of course I want to say “Yes! You Should! With me!” but that may not be the right choice for some people so I zip my lip. I cannot tell you yes or no, I can only simply give you the information, and hope you chose to do with it what you will -in my favor. 😉
So I bring to you a piece about the pros and cons of consigning a saddle with ANY company- I’m not only talking about Dutchess Bridle & Saddle here! There are hundreds (thousands? I don’t know, I didn’t do THAT much research) of consignment shops all over the country to chose from. They all have pros and cons, it’s up to you to decipher which pros are the best and which cons you can live with!
The number one pro about consigning your saddle is that you do not have to deal with the headache of marketing and selling it yourself. Take it from someone who does it for a living, it can be a headache. “Serious” buyers who waste your time, low ballers, people who have no idea what they need but are adamant that they do (again wasting your time), children who pretend to be adults and adults whom act like children, people who take 5 weeks to finish one simple email conversation about a saddle.. the struggle is really real here guys. It is definitely a HUGE pro to not have to deal with this hassle yourself. Sit back, relax, and sip some wine knowing that someone else is dealing with all the hassles for you!
Again on the note of not having to do it your self: you may have a marketing degree, but with that fancy job of yours how much time do you have to devote to these shenanigans? Probably not much! And for those without marketing and sales knowledge, it’s immensely easier to hand the reins over to a professional.
Here comes our first con, not getting the full value of the saddle. Sorry people, consignment stores don’t (can’t!) sell your saddles for free. A lot of time, money and energy goes into getting those puppies into new hands. Upon once telling a potential client our consignment commission rate I was met with something like “That is WAY too high, even crappy mom and pop shops don’t charge that much”. Well, they’re probably “crappy” because they can’t afford to be any better because they don’t charge nearly enough and are basically consigning as a charity! These things cost money. Some consignment stores have lower rates than others. In some cases, it’s because they have hundreds of saddles in stock so they don’t have to charge as much. I’ve seen rates as low as 15% (Which is totally cray..) and rates as high as 50% (also can be described as cray) and everywhere in between. You need to decide what percentage of money you’re comfortable forking over.
Here’s another pro of not having to sell it your self, you don’t have to pay the fees associated with selling. You don’t just sell things for free on Ebay, through PayPal, on a website, Horse Clicks, the list goes on. There are fees associated with those platforms, which consignment shops eat for you.
So far I’ve said not doing it yourself is a pro, but I guess it can be a con for the control freak types out there. Giving up control can be hard because clearly no one can do the job better than you. Which I totally get! I am the same way, which is why this job suites me 😉
If your saddle is consigned with a saddler fitter, there is an additional pro hidden in there. Saddle fitters whom offer consignments often travel is many different saddles when heading out to an appointment. This means much more exposure for your saddle, a higher chance of it going out on trial and ultimately, being purchased. Winner, winner.
I can’t think of many more cons of consigning a saddle other than not getting the full value in your pocket and the giving up control thing. I guess a potentially damaged, lost or stolen saddle could potentially be an issue, but most reputable consignment shops will have that covered for you- so it isn’t even a real concern.
All in all, if you’re lazy, busy, non-internet savvy, or just cannot be bothered, sending your saddle out on consignment may be a good idea. Just make sure to shop around and find the place that aligns best with your needs. Commission prices, policies and other various associated fees (listing fee, restocking fee, contract cancellation fee.. I’ve seen em all) vary at every location. As does the types and amount of exposure that your saddle will receive. So do your home work. Happy selling:)