Advice for sellers

While using this British Dressage managed platform is the perfect way to engage with the dressage community, we can't control everything and sadly not all those interacting can be guaranteed to be trustworthy. You should be vigilant as a seller and do everything possible to protect yourself, and your clients. 

Writing a good advert

Your advert is the shop window to your goods and it’s your chance to sell without the buyer being able to look in person so put yourself in their shoes – what would you like to know?

Think what essentials you need to include, what’s the core information and then the ‘nice to include’. Be mindful of spelling and grammar – get someone to read through it first.

A good headline

It’s your message to grab a buyer so use it well. Simple, informative and eye catching is key. This doesn’t mean decorating with stars or writing in capital letters – it means the use of some engaging words which tells the audience what’s on offer.

Use your copy wisely – make it work for you

Your narrative is your chance to sell your item to a viewer online who only has a few photos and perhaps a video to go on so be as descriptive as possible. Use detail, be honest and ‘visual’ to paint a picture.

Be very specific about what’s on offer and included in the sale. Does a horse come with any tack or rugs? Does a saddle have a cover?

For horse adverts, all the basics such as gender, age, height, colour, studbook and the level the horse is working and competing at are covered so don’t waste your space repeating it. As well as the look of the horse, give details of personality.

Plus, buyers will be looking for detail on any habits, vices, behaviours and veterinary history. It’s wise to cover areas such as clipping, farriery and hacking – if that’s missing, buyers may wonder why.

Price

Be realistic when settling on a price and know what you’re prepared to accept. Using ‘price on application’ can be off-putting for buyers as they’ll instantly think it’s out of their reach.

Images - your main selling tool

The most important thing is to make sure you have permission to use the photographs online and in an advert. If taken by anyone other than you, they’re protected by copyright so please ensure you’ve paid any fees due or gained permission.

Images should be good quality, reasonable resolution and sized to around 800 pixels wide by 400 high. It’s better to have a few good images than lots. For horses, it’s a good idea to have a formal ‘stood up’ shot, preferably from both sides, and a nice head portrait alongside any action shots.

Videos must be on YouTube for the BD platform and we’d suggest no longer that two minutes.

Protect yourself

Some tips:

  • Don’t give your personal information to someone you don’t know. If your buyer asks for information you don’t feel comfortable giving out, don’t work with them.
  • Set yourself up with an online method of payment or person-to-person payment app such as PayPal, Venmo or CashApp which helps you and your buyers to stay safe.
  • Face to face transactions are preferable but make sure any funds are cleared in your bank account before you release the goods.
  • Make sure any online transactions are over a secure internet connection.
  • Speaking over the phone will help you verify your buyer is serious about the purchase.
  • If you’re selling an item to send by post, take detailed pictures before sending to avoid false damage claims. Consider insurance with your courier to cover damage from transit.

Our FAQs document has further information or visit GOV.UK for advice.