Previously we talked about fitting, and getting animals clean, fitted, and without distracting backgrounds.
While this photo isn’t ideal, the pose it very attractive, from a different angle (perpendicular to him) this would be a great pose.
Your Jobs before an Auction Sale
Now let’s talk about YOUR job! Ask yourself some key questions.
Just because we are paying a sale manager to make, print, and do the actual sale. Who are you going to send it to? What percentage of those people will actually be looking at the time you’re selling?
Have you discussed the vet needs for certifying your cattle for out of state or out of the country shipment? Knowing who your potential buyers are will help you be prepared so they can take the cattle home immediately, or within a week of the sale.
It’s wise to give the sale manager as much information as possible about each animal. The more your potential bidders know about the animal, the easier it is for them to decide which animals are best for them. Do you have a supplement that you will give the winning bidder with the registration papers so that the new owner will know the vaccination schedule you have used, and any other pertinent information, like due date of bred females, and testing done for the bulls.
Do you want 3 bidders or more per animal? If you have 10 animals in a sale, that translates to 30 bidders MINIMUM!
Do you have a mailing list of former customers who may be interested?
Do you have a waiting list of people who want your cattle?
Are you looking for bidders to be new, and have never seen your herd before? How will you find them?
Is Social Media one of your methods of connecting with people? Since some do not allow animal sales, how will you get peoples interest enough to have them call you?
What about your website? Is your catalog on it?
Do you have a minimum bid? or is it a free for all? Is your sale a stockyard type sale in a ring, or are animals being sold strictly over the internet? How about a quiet auction? (where auctioneer runs the bidding, but there’s no loud speakers)
Will you, or your employees be hanging around your cattle at the stalling area so you can talk to the bidders as they walk around? Sometimes they have questions that will help them decide which cattle they really want and how much they are willing to pay last minute. While you are there, you might pick up manure and make sure fresh clean feed and water are provided often. When you are actively busy with your animals it’s obvious you care.
Do you hang a stall card with the lot number and details above the animal? Or hang a copy of the registration certificate, and if EPD’s are available that they can be seen on the spot without looking them up. How about the catalog photo too? Your animals might have gained a few pounds and look even better in person than that photo. That impression may show them how well that animal is doing.
PRIVATE TREATY SALES:
These are a little different than an auction sale. People are on a more intimate level, and are there so they can privately interact with you. There’s no bidding, so your set price is all you will get. That can be just fine too. A vast majority of cattle are bought and sold private treaty. Whether a pen of feeder calves, or even a single cow or bull. The buyer doesn’t have to go to a public place, and they see your operation first hand.
How will you price your animals?
What method of viewing cattle will work best?
What bio-security measures will you take?
Does your general liability insurance cover such an event? Do you need to put up liability waivers for guests?
Should you still fit animals like for an auction sale? YES! if possible for breeding stock. For feeders, or groups, it may not be necessary.
Will you want to build a catalog before the private treaty event?
While I don’t have all the questions or answers, these questions will help guide you, and get you thinking. I wish you success in your upcoming event!