Facebook groups can be a great way to connect with other people who have similar interests. Perhaps you’re in a group of musicians in your area, or artists, or maybe other horseback riders. In this case, the groups I’m talking about are for buying, selling, and trading tack. There are a ton of horse people online looking to sell the things they no longer use and buy new things.
There are groups for every discipline you can imagine. Finding a group to suit your needs only requires a quick Facebook search. English, Western, Saddleseat, Eventing, international, or local, there is a group for everyone. I’m a member of several, but my personal three favorites are English Tack Trader, Quality English Tack Trader, English Riding Apparel, and Dressage Tack & Clothing Swap.
The most important thing to do when joining any tack trading group on Facebook is to read the rules of the group. Each group is run by volunteer moderators who have the group’s rules posted, usually in a pinned post at the top of the page. Groups typically have rules about what can or cannot be posted. Some groups allow questions and non-sale related posts, and others do not. The rules also specify when posts can be “bumped up” to the top of the page, done by commenting on the post. Being aware of the rules makes everything go much smoother.
When buying or selling on Facebook, be polite! When writing your posts, please spell all words out fully, and make your best attempt to clearly articulate what you want or what you are selling. If you are in search of something in particular, include sizes, color preferences, brands, budget, and any other information. If you have an item for sale, make sure you include brand, size, color, whether it is used or new, and price. Most groups require that you include a price, not just “make offer.” It’s fine to mention that you are open to offers, but make sure that you have a price listed. If you’re including shipping in your prices, mention that; otherwise, make sure to say that buyers pay shipping. I write all of my posts out in advance to make sure that I have everything in order before I post.
Be sure to take pictures of all of your items before posting in the group. Keep pictures clean and simple. Clear the background behind your object. Take pictures from multiple angles, and show any damage clearly if the object is used. If an object has a size, be sure to include a picture of the tag or measurements. Photograph one object at a time to make it easy for potential buyers to view your items.
Respond to people as quickly as possible. Only cross-post items if you’re available to manage multiple listings, as it can get quite confusing if people in two different groups are interested in one item. Cross-posting, meaning posting ads in multiple groups, can be quite helpful when trying to sell items quickly, as you will reach different people.
When shipping items, attempt to ship within a day or two of making the sale. Keep buyers informed throughout the shipping process. Always ship using a method that offers tracking on the item. I prefer priority mail through the United States Postal Service. It takes 2-3 days on average and comes with $50 of insurance and tracking. Be sure to give the tracking number to the buyer.
Whether buying or selling, always use PayPal. A PayPal account is free but can protect you in the event of a scam. Sellers can send invoices to buyers, listing item inventory as well as any shipping costs. In the event of a damaged item, unhappy customer, lost package, or a dishonest seller, PayPal helps mitigate and resolve disputes.
Overall, Facebook groups can be a great marketplace to find new and used tack and apparel at affordable prices. If you’re willing to wait a little bit to find the perfect item, it can be totally worth it. Sometimes it takes a few months of poring over listings, but when you do find that dream item, it’s incredibly satisfying. I’ve found fantastic pairs of breeches, plenty of saddle pads and wraps, and even a pair of custom pair of Equifit D-Teq boots with my horse’s name already on them! I’ve also sold bridles, saddle pads, and breeches that I no longer need or wear.
If you’re in the market for something new or new to you, give Facebook groups a shot! If you want more advice, feel free to shoot me a message on here or Twitter! Look for Part 2 of this series soon – what to do when something goes wrong!