Selling A horse - Beware of Scammers


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Are you planning to sell your horse soon? When selling your horse you will want to quickly find him a top home, but you need to protect yourself from scammers and con persons, too. Here are some precautions to keep in mind when selling a horse. Is the buyer genuine? Anyone who is interested in buying a horse will want to see the horse in person, and to probably ride it. If you receive a response to an ad offering to buy your horse without ever having seen the horse, that offer is a scam. Think of what you would do if you were buying a horse – you would ask for pictures and videos, ask questions about the horse, go visit the horse in person, and have a veterinarian examine the horse. A buyer who is moving too quickly or seems too eager is not genuine. Is the deal getting too complicated? Scammers frequently try to get a third party or agent involved in a deal. Often they will state that they are out of the area or outside of the country, and so their “agent” must step in to facilitate the deal. If a buyer seems to be constantly making excuses, they probably aren’t worth your time, and unless you are selling truly elite horses, most buyers will not have agents.
Are you comfortable with a trial period? Whether or not you let your horse go off-farm on a trial period is up to you. You may decide to only let the horse go on trial to farms within a certain distance, so that you can regularly check up on the horse. If you let your horse go on trial, be sure that you have a signed agreement between you and the potential buyer which spells out who is responsible in the case of illness, injury, or other issues during the trial period. Also be sure to designate a set amount of time for the trial – if the horse is not sold by the end of the trial, then pick him up immediately.
Do you have real payment in hand? Be sure that any payment you receive is genuine before you allow the horse to leave your property. A common scam involves a “buyer” sending you a money order or cashier’s check for an amount larger than the purchase price. The buyer will come up with a reason for why the money order is so large, and will ask you to refund the difference. The money order may appear real, so many sellers deposit it and issue a check to the buyer to refund the difference. The scam is revealed when, two weeks later, the bank alerts the seller that the money order was fake; the seller is now out of the amount that they “refunded” the buyer. Do not become a victim of these scams. Require payment, in full, and do not accept money orders or any other payment method with which you are not comfortable. If you accept a check for payment, do so on the condition that the horse must remain on your property until the check has cleared the bank. Scammers are all too common in today’s society. Keep yourself protected from them when you sell a horse by looking for suspicious warning signs and always listening to your intuition.
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