Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Saddle Search - Part II - Updated

Guess what's getting shipped off to Texas tomorrow....


Though the Ebay fees, Papal fees, and increased shipping costs means I'm not getting as much of the purchase price as I'd like, I'm still getting MORE than I was trying to get for it locally. Everyone still wins. Time to go shopping for REALZ.


I've shipped two saddles now and there are things that I didn't really consider before doing so. Here is how YOU can avoid what I've just done.... I still did very well on the sale, but comparing the Auction sale price to what I actually MADE is usually a shocking reality.

Ebay FEES: Ebay's fees are constantly going up. Check Ebay's "Final Value Fees" so you are prepared for what they'll charge you. It's a percentage, but there's a cap so currently anything that sells for over $500 will be $50.
Paypal FEES: Paypal is owned by Ebay now so it's highway robbery because they are really charging you twice. There really is no other option for a safe way to send/receive funds, so you suck it up. It's also on a percentage. AND instead of Ebay taking the listing fee and final value fee out of the purchase price itself, Paypal charges you a percentage based on the final value, THEN you have to pay Ebay fees. They certainly have developed a money maker.
Shipping FEES: A little research can tell you how much it will cost to ship. I thought $75 was reasonable and I assumed I'd have to pay a little more if it had to ship far.
  • Measure the saddle - I ship horn down, just like you set the saddle if there is not a rack available. The smaller the box the cheaper it ships and the less the saddle jostles around the better.
  • If you do not already possess a sturdy box of that size, call the shipper or another box supplier to see what they have. I decided on a 30x20x24 $14 box.
  • Weigh the saddle - they say add 2-5 lbs for box/packing.
  • Call the shippers and get a quote. You'll need the zip it's going to (pick whatever is furthest away from you), the weight, and the box dimensions.
  • Protect the saddle: I removed the stirrups (not the fenders), wrapped the stirrups, mock billets, horn, and the tack in bubble wrap and tape. Encase the saddle in plastic just incase the box gets wet. Put a layer of bubble wrap in the bottom. Pack bubble wrap/air pillows/whatever you've got around the saddle so it stays in place as much as possible. It's the rocking and rubbing that causes damage.
  • The final box weighed in at 48lbs. I estimated the saddle itself was about 40lbs using the scientific method of weighing myself then weighing myself holding the saddle and finding the difference. (I swore that thing was 50lbs, but apparently I'm jus a wuss and the 8 lbs difference between that and my training saddle matters a lot.)
All told, the difference between the final value fee and my actual "earnings" was 205.72. This is still nearly $300 more in "earnings" than I was trying to sell it for locally, so everybody wins, I just wish I had charged $100 for shipping, but sometimes numbers like that scare bidders away, so you never know.
I am still pleased and now I can move on to a new saddle!


  1. Thats great! Hope mine sells off ebay, its been five months of attempting to sell locally with no success and jsut as long with no saddle to ride in! Just bareback for me...

  2. Congrats! I would be happy with selling it, saddles are not moving nearly as easily as they used to. Don't be afraid to ask if you can have a test/trail run on your new saddle, I love having this option and what is the worst that can happen they say no?!

  3. You pack your saddles better than I've ever received one! The good thing about eBay is that you reach such a large audience. It seems I can sell things on eBay I've given up trying to sell locally. Like you said, just adjust costs and hopefully keep more of the profit.

    Can't wait to see what you buy with your money!

  4. Congrats on selling the saddle! Glad to hear that someone is packing saddles correctly! I just bought a Stubben saddle, and it had NO bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or anything! I've received a few saddles like that, actually! It's very annoying when you spend hundreds of dollars on something, and the seller takes zero care in packing the saddle.

  5. Yeah, same as what Jess said - I've been really disappointed with how I've rec'd new saddles. Whoever bought yours should be derned happy!

  6. I HATE all the fees, but usually don't have much luck selling locally for much money. I guess there's not much alternative to it. Good luck on the saddle search!

  7. Thanks, everybody. It was a lot of effort to pack it right, so it's nice to hear it's appreciated. Hopefully the new owner will appreciate it, too! I'll be nervous until the feedback shows up.

    Milo, I hope yours sells too. It is so nice to finally have it sold, I just wish it were 3 weeks from now and I were done with work so I could really get down to shopping!

    Valiant - I absolutely will. I know Rod's will let me test ride for sure.