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Buy and Sell Horses Online - Avoid Being Scammed

Avoid Being Scammed

The Internet is a powerful and effective way to sell horses. However, just like anywhere else, there are dishonest folks out there and we feel it's our responsibility to let people know about specific scams so they are aware and can be ready if they are contacted.

Internet Horse Scammers tend to hit the horse classifieds websites. They go down the list of horses for sale contacting sellers about their horses. They work in a number of ways, but in the end, their ultimate goal is to swindle you out of your horse, your money, or both.

The good news is that it's fairly easy to recognize. Using your common sense about how horse buying and selling typically operates is usually enough to keep you safe. Here are a couple of the common flags that indicate an inquiry about your horse is fraudulent.

  • An individual claims they are buying a horse for a 3rd party in another country.
  • An individual offers to buy your horse for more than you are asking without ever coming to see the horse.
  • An individual offers to buy your horse for your asking price site unseen without asking any questions about your horse.
  • An individual comes to look at your horse with a trailer, gives you a cashier's check and tows the horse away. Later you find out the cashier's check is fraudulent and your horse long gone, most likely at an auction far away.
  • If a buyer gets aggressive at any time during the sales process, this is a strong indicator it is a fraudulent buyer. They may try to pressure you into letting a horse go before allowing you to verify payment, for instanec. Even if the aggressive buyer is legitimate, why would you want your horse to go to that person? It's always better to lose the immediate sale over losing your horse.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Ask lots of questions. Find out where the horse is going to live and what they are planning to use the horse for. Ask what kind of stable their horses live in, how they care for their horses, what the shoeing schedule is, what kind of feed, etc. The more information you can learn that "seems legitimate", the more likely the inquiry is real. You can also learn about the buyer to ensure your horse will be going to a nice, safe environment where it will be getting the care it deserves.
  • Use your common sense. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Ensure payment for your horse is valid (and in the bank) before letting your horse be trailered away.
  • If you have any doubt about a buyer or their intentions, always follow your instincts and find an alternative buyer.
Hope this article has helped inform you of the dishonest folks out there. This being said, please keep in mind, millions of horses are successfully bought and sold online. It is a powerful mechanism to advertise your horses for sale and a wonderful means to find thousands of new prospective buyers for your horses.


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