Ballin’ on a Budget

Throughout my entire life, I’ve always coveted a hunter green show coat. More recently my obsession became the Equiline Hayley Competition Jacket. I didn’t NEED it, but I REALLY REALLY wanted it. I couldn’t bring myself to drop over $800 for it. I already had bills from showing the past two weeks looming in the back of my brain. So I tried not to cry as I hung it back up and walked out of the tack shop.

In the past I’ve been successful with finding new or barely used tack on eBay and Facebook groups, so I thought I would give it a shot for the coat. Barely anything turned up. But miracles of miracles, I found ONE on eBay, in exactly my size, with the tags still on. I figured it was meant to be and put in a bid.  I ended up getting the jacket for almost 50% off. It was still a big spend but having had my eye on it for a long time I splurged and patted myself on the back for waiting it out and not just throwing it on my credit card. I hate having any debt and am a big believer in paying off all or as much of it as you can.

So, for the love of budgeting (but also loving new tack and apparel way too much – I mean who doesn’t?) I’ve picked up a few simple tricks.

eBay 101

Tip 1: Download the app (it’s super user friendly) & sign up. Make an account so you can start adding items to your watch list.

Tip 2: You can turn on notifications for specific keywords so when something you’re looking for is listed you instantly get a notification. For example, “Ogilvy”, “Tailored Sportsman” or “Equiline”. After you type in a search term, click the green “+Follow this search”

Tip 3: Check the sellers rating. If they have one star, raise an eyebrow & proceed with caution. If they have no stars, it may just be because they haven’t used eBay all that much and they happen to have some things to sell.

Tip 4: Look at the photos closely and don’t be afraid to message the seller asking for additional photos or if there are any flaws/damage. FYI, NWT = new with tags. You’re welcome.

Tip 5: Not all sellers use the timed auction setup. Instead, many have two options, place a bid or buy now. Once you place a bid, the seller has 48 hours to counter, accept or reject. The same goes for you if they submit a counter offer. Sure, it takes time, but the money you’ll hopefully save makes it worth it.

eBay is pretty good about protecting their buyers and you can use Pay Pal which is quick and easy. There is a lot of inventory, you just have to be willing to sort through it and have enough patience to go through the bidding process. Shipping is usually free and you also get automatic shipping notifications.

Not all sellers have return policies, so check it out before you buy.
Not everyone lists their items correctly. You may have to search “horse bridle” results to find that elusive Hadfield’s or “show coat” to track down that size 38 navy blue Sarm you’ve been dying for.

Facebook Groups

Facebook has a lot of great tack trader groups. Most of them you have to request to join, but the admins are all pretty quick to respond. I belong to High End English Tack Trader, English Tack Trader, English Tack Hunter & High End English Tack. Those are just a few, there are A LOT once you start looking for them. I find these groups to be a little overwhelming as the comments and organization can be chaotic but if you just happen to be browsing at the right time you may score a great deal. You can also sign up for notifications when someone posts something new to a group, but you can’t get as detailed as eBay. I guess it all depends on how many notifications you want blowing up your phone.

You can search for exactly what you’re looking for within each of the groups. If it’s in the listing headline, it will come up. Most posters are quick to respond and horsey peeps so can answer your questions easily.

It’s kind of like the wild wild west of eBay – there’s no middle man, it’s just you relying on a Facebook stranger. I’ve sold a few things myself and everyone I’ve dealt with has been fine, but I did require payment via Pay Pal prior to shipping. If I was a buyer, that would be a leap of faith for me, because I would be super mad if I paid for something and it didn’t arrive in a timely manner or in the condition it was advertised. I don’t know the rules (if any) the Facebook has put into place for Marketplace or buy/sell groups.

Instagram Consignment Accounts

I’m seeing a lot more consignment shops pop up at horse shows and on social media. World Equestrian Center has a mobile unit that actually carries pre-owned Charles Ancona jackets! Also, I  follow a decent amount of consignment retailers on IG. I haven’t purchased anything from any of them, but here are some I’ve found that seem legit and do a great job of posting their current inventory:

Horseman’s Exchange
The Consigned Equine @TheConsignedEquine
The Tried Equestrian @triedequestrian
BNJ Tack @bnjtacksales – photos
Tack Up For Less @tackupforless – photos
AV’s Tack Sales @avstacksales – photos

I wouldn’t recommend buying boots consignment if you’re unable to try on before you buy. The same goes for a helmet, unless you’re 100% sure it’s NWT and you already know your size in the brand you’re looking to buy. So set up your search notifications & start saving your pennies people!

One thought on “Ballin’ on a Budget

  1. BNJ tack sales is the worst. Owner is extremely rude and unprofessional. Horrible experience, I never got the items I paid for and she wouldn’t own up to her mistake. I would recommend using a reputable company or store with a customer service department.

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