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By Sissy Wickes
Another show season, another trip to the tack shop, another experience of sticker shock when you buy the next size up in riding coats, breeches, and boots. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars are spent outfitting your child for the ring as she outgrows her show clothes in front of your eyes. Remember when she wore her first pair of tall boots? How proud you were as you sneaked a wistful look at the beautiful pair of barely worn paddock boots now become obsolete. Another horse, another halter, bridle, bit, saddle pad. While shopping for your equine partner is fun, it is fantastically expensive.
Enter usedhorsestuff.com. For Francesca Helina, the simplest idea makes perfect sense in our equestrian world. With a background in business, Helina sought a new approach to used equipment. After months of research and effort, she designed a unique model for buying and selling used equestrian equipment. “There seemed a need to come into this market and standardize the process and make it more efficient.” While there are many ways to sell used clothing and equipment, it is often time-consuming and cumbersome on both sides of the process. With usedhorsestuff.com, Helina makes the transaction as easy and genuine as possible.
Usedhorsestuff.com endeavors to make the experience of the buyer and the seller as expeditious and satisfactory as possible. All of the items that are offered on the website are carefully screened for quality and authenticity. Helina will take riding clothing, boots, tack and horse equipment that is no more than five years old and in good condition. She does not sell any items that include a safety component such as helmets, girths, or saddles. A seller will connect with Helina through the website, give a general description of the item to be sold, and contact information. If the item meets the criteria, she will mail the seller a shipping bag with a prepaid mailing label. The seller will put the item in the bag, seal it, and return it through the United States Postal Service. Helina will receive, evaluate, and appraise the contents according to their condition and original price. The item is then photographed and presented on the usedhorsestuff.com website for purchase with a detailed description. The company takes a 40% commission from the sale, 5% of which is donated to an equine related charity.
Francesca Helina hopes to provide a reliable, efficient method to buy and sell used equestrian goods. As she states, “We want to be the ultimate resource for used equipment.” The response from the horse community in the few months since the website launched has been overwhelmingly positive. As Helina explains, “ People respect what we are trying to do.” Next time the horse or rider in your life needs a piece of tack or clothing, check out usedhorsestuff.com.
About the Author: Sissy is a Princeton University graduate, a lifelong rider and trainer, a USEF R rated judge, a freelance journalist, an autism advocate and Editor of The Plaid Horse. Her illustrious resume includes extensive show hunter and jumper experience. She lives with her family in Unionville, PA and Wellington, FL.
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