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Buying a secondhand saddle online can be a scary process if it is your first time. You may be wondering...
With The Saddle Bank’s 5 'must know' tips for buying safely online, you can safeguard yourself and your hard earned money from being lost on a broken saddle, or one that doesn't even exist! Let’s get started...
Ask the seller for clear photographs of the saddle from all angles. This is really important as poor-quality photos can hide an arrange of marks, damage, and poor flocking. Ask the seller for photos from all sides, including the underside, so that you can see not only the exterior aesthetics, but also the most important part which will make contact with your horse's back; the panels!
Ask for photos of:
Make enquiries to the seller as to why they are selling the saddle in question. From time to time people upgrade their saddles and therefore want to sell their old ones, which is great as it means you can obtain a nice secondhand saddle at a great price. However, some people will be selling faulty saddles due to their horse having had an accident in it, such as a fall, or if the saddle fitter has deemed it unfit for purpose. Therefore, it is important to establish why they are selling it.
Find out how long they have had it and confirm what is included in the sale. Does it come with a girth, stirrup leathers, stirrups or is it just the saddle?
With the rise of online social media sites such as Facebook there has been a rise in people getting scammed. They use fake names, fake accounts and will send you photos of a saddle they do not own. You put yourself at greater risk of being scammed when posting a ‘wanted’ ad. A scammer will then go and find photos of exactly what you are looking for online and reply to your message. Scammers often price things at a ridiculously low price. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Here is our scammer checklist for checking a Facebook profile:
When buying a saddle online from an individual you should always pay by PayPal Goods and Services only. The only exception to this is if you are going to collect the items in person and pay cash upon inspection.
Inspecting a saddle in front of the seller can be intense and you may miss things. Therefore, even if you are collecting an item, paying by PayPal Goods and Services gives you a bit more protection.
Finally, if you are still cautious about buying online then you should buy from a reputable company such as The Saddle Bank. There are many companies throughout the UK who offer delivery on saddles which is super convenient. The Saddle Bank also offer 5-day UK trials to enable you to try the saddle on your horse to assess the fit. When buying from a private individual you are taking the risk of it not fitting your horse and being stuck with your money tied up in a saddle you cannot use. This may not be a problem if you can afford to purchase a replacement without having to wait for the non-fitting saddle to sell. However, if funds are tight, it makes much more sense to buy from a company who offer a trial period so you can return the saddle if it doesn’t fit.
Choose a company that offer fast delivery, ideally next working day, as you don’t want to be left waiting for long. You should also look for a company with good reviews as you can trust in your fellow riders. Also investigate the company’s return policy. Will they offer to buy back the saddle if your horse changes shape in 6 months’ time or can they help you resell it?
When buying from The Saddle Bank you get:
Buying from a company such as The Saddle Bank may cost you a little more than buying from an individual, but the benefits certainly outweigh the costs.
If you would like access to The Saddle Bank’s FREE Saddle Fitting guide and get access to our unmissable step by step checklist to ensure your saddle fits your horse click here.
If you want to learn more about how to recognise the signs your saddle does not fit then join the many happy riders in The Saddle Bank academy.
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