BY JESS CLAWSON
There are many good reasons to buy or sell used tack, but biggest motivation for most of us is money. High-quality equipment for less is hard for buyers to pass up, and selling things we don’t need anymore puts money back into our horse budget.
But there are other benefits than extra spending money. Buying used tack is also great for the environment since the production of both leather and synthetic tack items require many resources, and bits are made from metals that must be mined. Giving tack new life instead of letting it languish in dusty corners of the tack room means we shrink our carbon footprint. Plus, used tack is often broken in a bit, which saves the work of oiling the new stuff until it softens.
However, buying and selling used tack has its own hassles. If you’re lucky enough to live near a tack store that does consignment, you’ll get a chance to inspect the items before bringing them home but that’s impossible when buying online. Even if you’re local to a consignment store, options may be limited.
There are tons of used tack options online, but it might be a hassle to find what you need. You’re also more than likely going to be buying from strangers, which leads to a lot of questions: Is the item as represented? Will they remember to mail it? What if they take my money and then block me (something that happens too often in Facebook sales groups)? Not to mention the hassle of wading through a lot of unrelated stuff—and broken down items—in your hunt for the perfect piece.
For sellers, posting tack in dozens of Facebook groups, listing on ebay, answering questions from people who don’t end up buying your item or make lowball offers gets exhausting.
Understanding all of these issues for both buyers and sellers, husband and wife team Julien and Victoria Henry Prince are working to bring the best of used tack sales with none of the hassle with their website, Tack Tack Room. It’s great for individual sellers, and also helps tack stores who have the option of setting up an account and listing as much of their inventory as they’d like on their own page. Tack store owners who don’t want to purchase a domain name and deal with website maintenance can simply list their inventory on Tack Tack Room instead, offering a terrific alternative to ebay or Facebook groups. Buyers will appreciate how easy it is to find items, and payment protection so they can be assured they’ll receive their purchases.
Growing up in France, Victoria began riding jumpers when she was eight years old. She had an interest in tack and equipment, and took time to learn about it. Before long, she helped riders to get the tack they needed to perform. People began asking for her input about where to sell what they had.
The couple moved to California, where Victoria found herself visiting a variety of barns as a saddle expert to help riders find the right fit for their comfort and horses’ performance. Soon, her new Californian friends were asking for help for selling tack. “They wanted to know where to sell things, how to price it, and so on. I realized we need one big online store for buyers and sellers who only want equestrian equipment. That’s where the idea came from,” she explained.
To make Victoria’s idea a reality, Julien put work into the website itself and takes pride in its functionality. “We wanted people to be able to buy and sell their tack online in a way that would be simple to use,” he said. “The search results are very accurate, and the categories are easy to navigate. If you search for a martingale, you’re only going to find martingales, so you don’t have to wade through a lot of other things to find what you’re looking for.” Plus, buyers appreciate the assurance of risk-free shopping and knowing that they’ll receive their items.
Beyond a good user interface, Tack Tack Room offers community. It has an associated Facebook page where people can share listings, ask questions, and get to know each other. “It’s an individualized and friendly approach to the process,” Julien emphasized.
Sellers can set up a profile and begin selling their items within minutes. They only need a picture of their item and a description to get started. Tack Tack Room shares their listings on Instagram and in the Facebook group and in boosted ads to help move items faster.
If a seller has multiple items to sell, whether they’re an individual cleaning out the tack room or a tack sales business, they can set up their own “tack room” within the larger site so that buyers can browse through a seller’s entire inventory. Listings are free. The site takes a 10% commission (lower than other platforms and consignment stores). Commissions are directly invested into Facebook and Google ads to help move items faster. Often, reasonably priced items sell within a few days—sometimes in minutes.
“We want people to be able to give their unused tack and clothing a second life,” Victoria said. “And we love creating a community of equestrians from everywhere, and with any kind of budget. It’s a community for riders, by riders. TTR is a tailored solution to satisfy riders on a budget who want high quality equipment. It’s easy, secure, and sustainable with a focus on giving deals to members up to 70% off.”
The site has earned great reviews from users. “I’ve sold so many things I never thought I would sell. It’s so easy to use, it makes buying and selling a breeze,” said Jane B. Another seller, Nicole N. noted that her items sold very quickly, and that “the website has been easy to use and the staff have been fantastic at answering any questions.”
Tack Tack Room is an easy place to buy or sell equestrian-related goods with confidence. It is fast, easy to use, and approachable for buyers and sellers alike. An app version will be available by early 2020 to further streamline user experience. Visit the site today to see if they have what you’re looking for, and list everything taking up space in your closet or tack trunk. You’ll find yourself part of a community of other horse lovers and a new outlook on online tack sales.
About the Author: Jess is a professional historian and educator who lives in northwestern Virginia. They completed their undergraduate degree in English at William & Mary, and did their masters and doctoral work at the University of Florida. Jess is an event rider with a passion for thoroughbreds, and has extensive experience in community organizing around queer identities, racial marginalization, and labor.
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