What Is My Saddle Worth? February 05 2013, 11 Comments

As a buyer, seller and consignor of saddles, I get asked this question almost on a daily basis.  There are several factors that have an impact on the way I price saddles for sale.

  1. Brand
    • Like or not there are brands that simply command a higher price and there are brands out there worth MUCH less than others – it all about the demand
    • Type of leather/tree
      • Calf leather will command a higher price versus grain and buffalo will fetch you a higher price over calf – these days a lot of people want “sticky/grippy” leather (I am one of those people now although when I was a teenager I rode in a Blue Ribbon saddle with a flat seat, no knee rolls and the most slippery leather ever – how in the world did I stay on?!)
  2. Size/features
    • Certain sizes fly off the shelf, for example a 17.5” 2A flap med or med/wide tree
    • Certain sizes take MUCH longer to sell, for example a 17” super long and not that forward of a flap
    • A super narrow tree may sit a lot longer than a regular one
    • Saddles with knee rolls are not in demand therefore, if your saddle does not have knee rolls, expect potentially a lower price or a longer time on the market
    • Seat depth - Some people like riding in deep seats, others like flat seats
  3. Age
    • Typically the newer the saddle the better your chances are of selling it for a higher dollar
    • If your saddle is ‘fully loaded’ with appealing features, such as being a French saddle, all buffalo in a highly sought after size, your saddle could actually sell for more than something newer with less ‘favorable’ options
  4. Retail value
    • It is imperative that your saddle is priced fairly or people go elsewhere – plain and simple
    • It doesn’t mean you have to give your saddle away at the deal of the century, but fair pricing is key
  5. Condition 
    • If your saddle has cracks, wear and/or needs repairs, it will have a pretty drastic impact on your resale value
    • Try to keep your tack clean and well conditioned at all times
    • I have yet to have a request for the aforementioned slick leather
  6. How quickly it needs to be sold
    • If you are not pressed financially then you can start a little higher and sit and wait to see what happens
    • Some sellers will lower their price if their saddle doesn’t get any bites right away
    • Potential buyers could scoop up a great deal if the seller is under pressure (for whatever reason) to sell quickly
  7. You can always email me pictures and a description and I will be more than happy to give you my honest feedback but you can also go onto eBay and research some other sites and compare your saddle (and its features) to similar saddles of the same age and condition
  8. I like to price my saddles retail value – as long as the seller makes their money, I make a few bucks and the buyer walks away with a good deal then it’s a WIN-WIN-WIN in my book!

I hope that this article shed some light on the saddle pricing process.  As always, if you have any questions about buying or selling, please don’t hesitate to contact me.