Pricing Question for School Project- PLEASE HELP!!
Let me preface this by stating that I realize a sale horse's price depends on many, many factors including breed, experience, performance record, temperament, and location to name a few. That being said, I'm doing a generalized study to see what qualities eventers expect in a horse, depending on the price.
I'm interested to hear what kind of horse you would expect to sell at the following price ranges. Let's assume the location is Mid-Atlantic (MD/DE/VA, maybe PA). Other than that, feel free to add in experience, age, performance record, etc. where you see fit.
This is just impossible for me to answer, and I sell 1-3 horses per year. It all depends on breed, pedigree, potential, location, talent, rideability, age, temperament, soundness, what they've done, etc. I've seen Intermediate horses go for between 25 and 30k and unbroke 2 year olds go for the same price. It is a very complicated equation and I'd have to put a formula together in trying to say what goes into pricing.
That being said, I've seen so many horses that sell for 30k that could have easily sold for 10k. The pricing of horses is only moderately correlated with what the horse actually is, if that makes sense.
The best value, in my opinion, is the OTTB. Wow, you can find fabulous horses for a fraction of the price of a comparable Irish or German horse import. I am forever amazed at what the racetracks have to offer. If I wasn't addicted to the connemara crosses, I'd be at the tracks or going through CANTER every time I was looking!
You can do a zip code and price limited search at www.dreamhorse.com and see what is there. You can also look at Virginia Equestrian which has a wide range of classified ads and at the classifieds on www.usea2.net.
Are you talking about an old campaigner that may have maintanence issues? A stellar mover? An average mover? A young fancy thing that will wow the judges but needs 6 months to a year of pro training? 14.2 or 14.3 can make a huge difference. So can 15.1 vs 16.1.
Way too many variables in play.
For under 5k in my area I can find:
a schoolmaster type warmblood in his 20s- will win dressage but can't jump without lots of joint support.
A good safe trail broke quarter horse - not fancy but will do the job
A weanling warmblood of lesser known bloodlines
Young OTTBs of varying soundness and ability
Older OTTBs that are still "prospects" at 9, 10, 11, 12 years old, but have more miles than the young ones....
Your price ranges/brackets are too close together here. 5k difference is nothing and frequently is the difference between asking price and negotiated sales price. I mean, the difference between a 20k horse and a 25k horse or a 25k and a 30k is the skill of a negotiator, not some great talent one has and the other does not.
I do think there could be a substantial difference between a 5k or under horse and a 10k horse. But once you get over that? Negligible. You need to go to at least 10k brackets to mean anything.
But you also have a bigger problem-there is no way to know what a horse actually sold for (except at an auction). It's not recorded anywhere. Most people are not going to tell one and all what they paid...or they can let people assume what they paid based on a published asking price, especially if it's more than they ended up paying. In other words, both buyers and sellers can lie about what was paid even if they share...and most don't share since it's really nobody elses business.
Don't think this is a good school project for you since there is no way to research any factual information. Teachers don't like that. You could use auction statistics from breed sales or even performance oriented sales. Or you could research what owners actually spend to get a horse to each level in it's career.
Find something with concrete fact you can research for your research project.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
Thanks for all the responses. I know this is really, really broad, and it would be helpful if I could give you more details. But, the point of this assignment is to assess people's expectations in subjective markets. It's all about people's different views as to what money can buy. I thought the horse world would be an interesting market to look at because unlike more regulated industries (i.e. the auto industry), there's no book of standards to refer to when pricing a horse. I'm trying to determine whether there's a "standard" at each price level or whether the whole market is completely subjective. I don't want to include too many constants for fear of skewing the results.
I didn't mean for this to be so confusing or complicated. To give you an example, if I were to answer my own question, one answer might be something like:
Under $5,000 - OTTB, unbroken young horse, older lower-level schoolmaster
$5,000 - $10,000 - greenbroke young horse, OTTB entering retraining, age 15+ lower level schoolmaster
$10,000 - $15,000 - young warmblood; promising young horse evented at starter or BN a few times; dependable, novice packer
$15,000 - $20,000 - successful young novice campaigner with scope for more, exceptionally moving young horse, Training level packer
$20,000 - $25,000 - promising training level campaigner with scope for more, Preliminary level packer
$25,000 - $30,000 - preliminary competitor with scope for more
$30,000+ - scope for intermediate and beyond.
Also, because the point of this project is to assess people's expectations, I can't really look through dreamhorse and equinenow, etc., to come up with my answers. I promise I'm not trying to go about my homework "the easy way!"
But, in assessing peoples expectations, wouldn't you need to make sure those people were in a position to actually know what the price ranges of completed sales are in comparision to the actual talents of that horse? Wouldn't you need to ask those who have actually bought and sold in each of those ranges?
Strikes me you would need to go to ask actual owners, buyers and sellers and not depend on "unvetted" responses from lord knows who that may be based on nothing, rumor or fueled by internet suppositions? For example, I could assume an alter here on COTH and throw a price out there and my expectations and you might include that...without any way to know I don't Event much less buy or sell Event horses and prospects or have a clue about pricing to within 5k.
Don't see how that is going to prove or disprove your idea that any kind of "standard" expectation either exsists or does not.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
OK, under those goals, I'll respond (but note that there are several types of horses in each category). Also, note that where I am, there are a huge host of horses in the higher ranges and real differences between the 30k horse, th 50k horse and the 70k horse.
$5,000 and below a) fairly recently OTTB with maybe 30-90 days training with someone who does primarily OTTB. b) pony/hony suitable for a tough kid, but not a total packer. Capable to novice level with the right person, but not beyond. c) older schoolie type that may need some maintenance and can't go above about novice. d) warmblood weanling/yearling of good but not astonishing breeding.
$5,000 - $10,000 a) non-warmblood breeds that are at BN level, maybe novice level if owned/ridden by an amateur not a pro. b)unbacked warmbloods of reasonable quality c) green, but will eventually be a lower level packer types with good gaits and conformation
$10,000 - $15,000 a) young TBs not with a top pro that are starting their eventing career and look as if they can continue up the levels b) lots of horses that are essentially topped out at novice c) older horses still able to compete training or even preliminary, but require maintenance and often come with checking of buyer by seller and expectation of lifetime home d) fancy unbacked youngsters
$15,000 - $20,000 a) young TBs with a pro that are starting their eventing career and look as if they can continue up the levels. By starting, probably hasn't done any full recognized events yet, definitely only BN if so b) lots of horses that are solid citizens at the training and preliminary level, but won't necessarily win c) older horses that are retiring from the upper levels, but are very well trained and require only moderate maintenance to teach someone the ropes d) fancy green broke youngsters
$20,000 - $25,000 not really very different from the category above. I think at this level more of the difference is who is selling and exact location than real differences in the horse
$25,000 - $30,000 a) young horses that are solidly going novice or training that look like they can go on, but maybe aren't true upper level or are a bit tough on the flat b) many, many training and preliminary level horses being ridden by amateurs and young riders c) horse in their teens that have several good years left at preliminary or maybe even intermediate, but require some maintenance and are not going to be winning everything at those levels d) really fancy youngsters that have competed a little, but not much
$30,000 and above everything better than above
I have bought approximately 30 horses in the past 14 years, all intended to event at some level. I have only bought in the 2000-10000 range, but have shopped with many friends across all of the ranges so have some clue of what is out there
[QUOTE=findeight;6690473]But, in assessing peoples expectations, wouldn't you need to make sure those people were in a position to actually know what the price ranges of completed sales are in comparision to the actual talents of that horse? Wouldn't you need to ask those who have actually bought and sold in each of those ranges?
I don't think the person's knowledge or expertise is the point -- it is the market she is researching -- and the market involves individuals in the market on a scale from very experienced to complete novices.
She might want to include a question or two that assesses the respondents self-perceived level of knowledge/experience (remember that itself is relatively subjective). Then she could include categories such as perceived level of experience, or amateur vs professional, or some possibly more objective scale such as how many horses bought/sold over a lifetime to use in her analysis as well.
But it sounds like an interesting study...good luck.