Whether you're selling Breyers and horse models through eBay or classified ads, certain steps ensure that you accurately portray the model horse you are selling and help buyers make the decision to buy your models. Buying model horses through the secondhand market is a huge part of the model horse collecting hobby and the best way to buy vintage models. Thanks to the power of the Internet, collectors now have an easier time both buying and selling models, yet those selling model horses often neglect to include basic information that could help their model horses sell more quickly. This primer will show you what it takes to sell your models for top dollar - and invest those profits into more Breyers and other brands of horse models for your collection!
What to Include in Model Horse Advertisements
Before writing and placing your sales advertisement, it is important to accurately identify the model horse or Breyer horse that you are selling and determine its value. Use a good reference guide like the Breyer Animal's Collector Guide to identify the model. While it's okay to say, "I do not know the make or mold on this horse model" it will make it more difficult for serious collectors to find your ad; many have a 'wanted' list and peruse the ads and auction listing seeking their "holy grail" or that one special model to fill a gap in a collection.
There are complicated numerical scores given to Breyer models based on body condition, with a 5-10% subtracted from the overall score for each blemish or fault on the body. Most ads for model horses, however, use descriptive words. Use the following as a general guideline only.
- Mint - no scratches, rubs, or marks of any kind. Such a model is suitable for live or photo showing.
- Excellent - if it's a vintage model, model may have small signs of wear at the ear tips of a bit of yellowing but overall in good condition
- Good - model may have minor rubs or a box rub, but overall good condition
- Fair - model has significant yellowing, major rubs or scratches or a chip
- Customizing only - suitable for customization. Model may have missing ears, hooves or tail; may have significant body damage
It's important to accurately note any and all flaws on a model horse in an ad. While some might wonder, "Won't that drive potential buyers away?" the answer is an emphatic, "No! Breyer model horse collectors may be willing to purchase a model with a significant flaw if other criteria are met. A rare vintage Breyer can still fetch a good price even with rubs or other condition flaws. It all depends on what the buyer is willing to accept, but they must know the full truth about what they are buying.
What to Include in a Model Horse Ad
In addition to a description of the model horse's condition, the following information is good to include in an ad or auction listing:
- Manufacturer and mold of the model
- Age or date of the release if known
- Original finish or customized in some way
- Size in Breyer scale description or inches
- Body composition (plastic, resin, china)
- Any other pertinent information such a show record or history
- What payment methods you accept, such as PayPal, money orders or checks
- Your contact information
- Price plus shipping
- Shipping method
For Artist Resin model horses, it's important to include the following information:
- Name of the Artist Resin horse model
- Sculpting artist
- Painting artist, if the horse model is painted
- Whether the model is raw cast, prepped or painted
- What company cast the model, if known
- Release size, if known
- Size in inches or Breyer scale
- If the model is painted, if it has been shown
- Model's show record, if any
- Price plus shipping method
- Your contact information
While some people like to write flowering descriptions of their model horses, most sellers appreciate the simple facts along with good quality pictures to make their decisions.
Photographs to Help Your Model Sell
Nothing is more frustrating to collectors than poor quality photographs accompanying tantalizing ads. Good quality photos are by far the most important factor in selling model horses.
While show photographs may be used to sell a model horse, a sales photo can be different. Usually it is best to photograph the horse model against a plain background and on a flat surface that shows the entire side of the horse from hoof to ear tip.
Photograph the model at the same level as the table it is on, NOT from above or below. Take one photo of the horse model showing the entire left side and one of the right side. Take additional closeups of special markings, the face or other details that you think will help the model sell.
Be sure the images are crisp and clear. Blurry images make it impossible to see the model and make potential buyers wonder what you're hiding. Images with cluttered backgrounds like kitchen countertops detract from the model too.
Answering Buyer Questions
By using these tips, you should have answered 90% or more of your potential buyer's questions. No matter how carefully you have crafted your ads, however, buyers will still contact you with question. Answers them promptly. Be prepared for requests for more photographs. Do not give out your home address or personal details to strangers. Trust your instincts, and walk away from any situations or people who make you uncomfortable, especially if you decide to trade or swap a model horse.