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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  08:53:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
I have been patronizing the same feed store for nearly 20 years now, going elsewhere only when they are out or don't carry what I need. It is an independent store and a Purina dealer, though it carries other brands of feed.

A few years ago, all 4 of the horses I had at the time were getting a complete pelleted feed, along with a little hay. So every week, I'd go to the feed store & buy 6 bags of feed (and this stuff wasn't cheap), plus bedding, etc. One week, I went in at the usual time, only to find that the store had sold ALL of the feed I used (some 30 bags) to one lady, who was not even a regular customer. Fortunately, I had a little left, and was able to make do by increasing my horses' hay.

But I did have a few words with one of the store owners, and asked him why, when he knew I would be in every Saturday, did he sell all of the feed I used to someone else?? He said she wanted it, and what else could he do...I answered that he could have told her he had only 24 bags available, since he knew I would be counting on being able to buy 6 bags a week. Now, this guy has a degree in animal husbandry, and knows you cannot just suddenly change a horse's feed. I told him that I wanted to continue to do business with him, but that I needed a consistent supply of the feed I used, and that if I coudn't count on him to supply it, I'd have to start going elsewhere & using another brand. He seemed very contrite, and said he would try hard to see to it that such a situation didn't come up again.

In return, I've always given him advance notice if I am going to start or stop using a certain feed, so that he will have an idea of what to order. All has since gone pretty well, except for the bedding situation...and I do realize that changes in bedding are nowhere near as critical as changes in feed!

But...the truth is that I could buy feed & bedding cheaper just about anywhere else! That got me to wondering...what do the rest of you do? Go where you can get the best deal, or support local independent businesses, even if it costs a little more?

EZ2SPOT

ree7
Advanced Rider

USA
164 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  09:40:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit ree7's Homepage Send ree7 a Private Message
For years I've used the Purina dealer, mainly because I figured Purina mills would be most consistent with their feed and had many choices on nutritional formulas etc. BUT... the owner of the feed store acts more like a disgruntled clerk. He sits on a chair behind the cash register, frowns when someone comes in, to questions about feeds and feeding he answers "I don't know, read the tag on the bags." He seems 'put-out' if someone actually buys something so that he has to get up and help load it. I have a hunch he knows nothing about animals. Although they have the largest selection of tack, did me no good since I had questions concerning the use of some tack, and he had no clue. (which brought me to horsesaddleshop.com)

So this last month, I switched over to a small feed store (which is actually 20 miles closer to me) that sells feed from a small local miller. When I entered the place, the owner greeted me with a smile and a "What can I do for you?". I told her I had an aged horse that I needed to feed, and she told me about the choices they had, explained the rations, gave me her suggestions and then told a story of a client that is pleased with that particular feed in keeping her five aged horses in great shape.

The owner raises horses and cattle. Is helpful and acts truly concerned. I purchased her feed suggestion, and even if the bag is not fancy and big-name, Cody has gained weight, his coat is starting to shine, his over-all condition has really improved and he seems happier.

I know that if I have a question about anything, I can just pop in there for a cup of coffee and discuss it. Feed store runs are no longer a dreaded chore. The cost of feed is less than I was paying before.
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  10:50:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
Ree7, it sounds like you got a better deal all around! Better service, and a better price...

With the feed store I go to now, the service is very good, and the two owners are fairly knowledgeable. One has horses, the other doesn't. The only problem I've had was related above, where they knew I used a certain feed that couldn't be easily substituted, yet sold all they had to someone else, forcing me to do without.

I've not really had anymore problems, but I AM paying more than I would elsewhere. About the only other option nearby is TSC, where they seem to know nothing, and the service is not that great. I figure I will stay with the Purina dealer, unless something should happen again where they sell all the feed I use, to somebody else!

EZ2SPOT
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fracturedbones
Clinician



3424 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  11:51:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit fracturedbones's Homepage Send fracturedbones a Private Message
I think you do what suits your needs the best. A 20 yr relationship...would have bugged me too.

Small feed store 4 miles from me and gets most of my business. Convenient, better quality hay same price as others, nice people, good advice. They have run out of certain hays and bedding when big shows come to town, PITA to have to drive to the other stores. They will sell to the first customer too. Couple other stores much farther, each with it's own flavor. One an upscale track/show crowd place (spend too much money !!) like walking into a catalogue, the other the "old west" type with neato stuff and cheaper bedding but screws up the orders. Then there is Pet Smart, cheaper than anyone for supplements, shampoos, wormers, etc.

I try to save where I can, small store gets 90% of my business for hay/bedding and stuff too lazy or time crunch to drive and get. Bet they'd be more likely to cut me a break if in a jam than a big place since they see me every week. When my shed is finished and can buy in bulk, probably will get the bedding from other place , have everyone deliver (and stack!!Yeehaw!) and Pet Smart for supps, grooming.

There was talk of the small store losing it's lease (to build houses on it most likely) prime land. I would have called the city and started rabble rousing....I do like knowing who I deal with and familiar faces. But in order to survive, my $$ goes to biggest bang for buck usually.
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  12:35:58 PM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
This is dear to my heart. We have a feed store right here in town! Well, let's say the pace is set by the owner. I've seen him dress out employees (either very sarcastic or just snotty) and the end result is to make them feel stupid. One of the women who works there is not only marginally civil, but not knowledgeable. She told me originally that I cannot store hay on wood pallets or it'll rot and mold. Everyone else I know stores it that way. Their hay is overpriced, and they will not deliver (even 3 miles away) unless you order two tons. Further, they have a price break on shavings if you buy 10 bales/bags. However (awwwwk?) she told me I have to pick it all up in the same trip. Now that didn't mean I pay for 10 and then pick them up a few at a time. That meant I can't take 5 of them in my van, bring them home, unload them, and come right back for the other 5. (It turns out I could probably carry 10 but still not sure about that in terms of room). Nope. Can't even let them lie on the ground outside the trailer container for 1/2 hour. "My way or the highway." And let's be snotty about it while at it, and if possible, let's make you feel as uncomfortable as possible also, and a bonus would be if you look like I'm making you feel stupid to boot. I bought something there (30-day return) and brought it back 32 days later. Unopened. "Nope, 30 days, that's it." Now there may be a bookkeeping reason for this, but struck me as very inflexible. But that's how they are. "This is how we do it, period." Also their prices on hay are high.

I contacted a grain place a couple towns over, and though it's inconvenient, I just told him I was disgruntled with my local place. I asked him how much hay was rquired for delivery. (Ten bales.) Where's his price break? (One ton.) Delivered and stacked? (Of course. And for delivery, the 10 bales can be hay, shavings, whatever you want.) He comes to this town every Thursday, just let him know by then.

We got into discussion because it became obvious I wasn't the only one who found the local place just downright rude. He said they are his best source of customers. Said they literally DRIVE customers to his store. Now this is pretty amazing, not only do I buy my stuff from him but there's a stable down the street (multiple horses). He does also. We're both within 3 miles of the local place. Oh, the latest is I bought a bag of dog food from the local place. Well, I got the right formula but got Puppy. (Newly switched to it so wasn't used to bag color.) I brought it back for a switch, and got this deadpan look. "Well, it says "PUPPY" right on the front.) She sort of rolled her eyes. I wasn't complaining, wasn't blaming anyone, just said I'd bought the wrong stuff. (??? Sheeesh!)

I really try to buy locally if at all possible. But there comes a point. If a local place doesn't EARN your business with the most rudimentary courtesies, then there's no loyalty due. I don't have to be treated like royalty ("Customer is always right, etc.") But dang, I do have to be treated with civility. It's just never a pleasant experience being in their store. So local or not, I ditzed 'em.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  1:27:37 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
I used to get my feed at a grain elevator about a 15 minute drive from me... great service, good price, and friendly people. They warned me long before it happened that they were going out of business and the place was put up for sale. So, I started doing business with another place I knew about but was a longer drive. I've been doing business with them ever since. They're a lot like the place Ree has described... very friendly, willing to listen to what's been going on in your life, and a few compfy chairs to sit down and visit if you wish. I just call them up in the morning, tell them what feed I want and the quantity, and they have it sitting on the loading dock ready to load when I get there. I just stand and watch while one of the guys loads it in my truck.

I know I could find hay a whole lot cheaper and closer to home than where I get it, but I've been doing business with this man for over 20 years, now, and he helped us during really hard times when we first did business. That was during the '88 drought here in the Midwest. Hay was so scarce, people were guarding what they had because of others stealing it right out of their barns ! I contacted my supplier, and he had to go up into Canada to get it. There was nothing available within the surrounding states (I'm in northern IN) or even in WI or MN! He literally saved our hineys. I've stuck with him mainly for convenience. I can call him up, tell him what kind of hay I nead and how much. He'll return my call and tell me when he'll deliver. There's been many times I've come home from work and found the hay stacked in my barn and a bill taped to one of my grain barrels. It might cost me more, but it's definitely worth it.

When it comes to things like wormers, fly spray, grooming or tack cleaning supplies, I usually go to TSC... sometimes for things like stable halters, bits, reins, girths, breast straps, etc. For things such as saddles or driving harnesses, or specialty items like a specific kind of bit, reins, headstall, etc., I go to a tack shop over an hour's drive from me. Oh, there is a tack shop that's only a 10 minute drive, but it doesn't have near the selection and tends to be a little pricey, so I really don't mind the drive to the one I prefer. Also, I like to drive my horses in harness and pulling a 2-wheeled bench seat jog cart. The place I prefer is in the heart of Amish country and carries a full line of supplies for the driving horse. No one else in the area does this. So, we make the trip up that way a few times a year.

So, would I drop any of these services if I found something better? You bet I would. Why? Because it's business and not friendship. If you run a business, you usually need to know the difference if you're going to stay in business. You must offer the best you have to the public, friends included, but if your friends go somewhere else and you can't meet the competitor's services, then it shouldn't have any affect on that friendship. If it does, then it wasn't a very good friendship in the first place. Everyone I've ever dealt with has understood this with no hard feelings. My horses are my first concern, and I'll do anything to give them the best my hard earned money can buy... and with how little I have of that to spread around, I can't let sentimentality get in my way. I have to go what I can afford and make sure it's the best that my budget can take.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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fracturedbones
Clinician



3424 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  1:35:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit fracturedbones's Homepage Send fracturedbones a Private Message
Used to have my horses in another town. Guy I buy hay from now has another store there. His brother owned a feed store there too...guess the brothers had a falling out somewhere along the line and got their own businesses is the rumor. I bought from both places, usually the brother since closer to horses. His attitude put me off when first buying there, but was convenient. Many people thought him indifferent, strange, cranky, unfriendly. Not a salesperson, real quiet and up to you to state your need. No small talk. Took time to know him, maybe an extra sentence each visit! Found out recently how many people he extended credit to (hay bills in the thousands) and I was really surprised!! Guess he'd seen it and heard it all...all kinds of people with all kinds of financial problems when it comes to horses. Never asked for ID with check kind of guy. Trying out a saddle? Give your phone number and bring it back, no deposit. (used ones on consignment). He knew someone who knew you if you did business, enough for him. Think people mistook his demeanor for being snooty or grouchy.

Was there months ago and decided to pick up hay. He looked really frail, must have lost at least 30 pounds. He just said "Been kind of sick". But there he was trying to load me up rather than waiting for his guy on break or letting me help. Found out few weeks ago his "kind of sick" was stomach cancer and he died probably a month after I saw him. Wonder how many people still owed him $$?

Sometimes more beyond the "face value" of stuff...though doesn't go for all people. You wonder why people would be down right rude at risk of losing whole business though...unless the hay business that profitable you can afford it!!

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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2006 :  1:40:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
We use to have a feed store that closed so now we have a hardware store selling grain and they are not horse people. It's a huge store and hard to get help some times if what you need it beyond carrying out stuff. I waited for over 30 minutes to talk to the guy that does the ordering. I feed SafeChoice, which they are pretty good about having on hand and I was feeding Beet Pulp, special ordered it through them to keep money in town. I was the only feeding it as far as I know and told him to order 3 bags a month for me until I said other wise. I was very good about going in a month before I stopped feeding in the spring to tell him to not order any more until fall and I would go in a month ahead of when I wanted to start feeding it again. One time he ordered 3 extra bags after I said to stop and I was kind enough to go in and buy them and use them so that they weren't sitting on them and so that I knew that I wouldn't be buying them 6 months later in the fall. About two months ago he forgot to order more. He knew that I was feeding a sick, touchy horse that I couldn't alter the diet on quickly at all. I had to drive an hour and a half to get a bag and he swore it would be in in a week. 2 weeks later it came in and it was different stuff with molasses which I stressed was the whole point of the special order. I had enough to switch her over and she wasn't the one that needed no molasses so I bought three bags totle them to get me the stuff without molasses again. She switched over, was happy and then went down hill. Stopping drinking enough water, wouldn't eat all of her grain. I had to take her off it totally, have an IV ran into her...I was not happy. Plus it was the same amount as the old stuff but a 40 lb bag instead of a 50lb and at any other store would be about $2 cheaper then the old stuff. He called me up to tell me he got the old stuff in again. I wasn't the one to talk to him so the other day when I was there I check it and it's the new stuff without molasses not the old stuff and costs MORE. I told him that they needed to understand that you can't just change diets quickly. He said he can't get the old stuff. But I know every other dealer can? It's not the first time they did it. I was feeding XTN and they just up and quit getting and it and refused to get it.
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2006 :  8:27:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
Fractured, interesting story about the feed dealer...and proof that you can't always judge a person by a first impression!

Stormie, I agree, it is a big problem when dealers don't seem to really understand the differences between various feeds, or the fact that a horse can't be fed just anything the store happens to have in stock.

I used to feed complete feeds (by this I mean the ones you don't need to feed hay with) because it was easier (though more expensive) for me to handle than going to get hay, loading it in my truck, unloading it, & then stacking it by myself. I did feed some hay, but just enough to give them something to chew on at night. Part of the reason I went back to a hay & grain diet for the horses was because I could not always count on being able to get as much of the complete feed that I needed. MOST of the time, I could, but the store was sometimes out, and, like I mentioned at the top of this thread, they once sold their whole inventory of this feed to someone else, even knowing that I needed a certain number of bags a week and could not easily substitute anything else.

Maybe I've been lucky, but I have never had a feed dealer be rude to me...unknowledgeable, yes, but never rude!

EZ2SPOT
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missy
Beginning Rider



USA
123 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2006 :  03:17:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit missy's Homepage Send missy a Private Message
Great topic for me! I own a tack shop and I am slowly going out of business. I have developed some great friendships with my customers. I used to sell Blue Seal feed. I drove an hour to get it then bring it home and unload all the bags into my storage shed (no forklift)I had what I thought were loyal customers until a TSC opened 10 minutes away. I realize that they can sell the same thing for less than I can because they deal in huge quantities but it really bums me out to lose my business to a large retailer. I do understand that people are on a tight budget but what gets me is I stopped selling feed 18 months ago and a customer came in about a month ago and asked for his usual feed. I told him that we no longer sold feed and he started on a rant that he was a loyal customer and that I should have what he needs because it is more convienient for him to stop at my store than TSC. I told him that we stopped selling feed 18 months ago and said to him that he must have been getting his feed elswhere for all that time. He admitted that the 2 bags of feed a month that he bought from me was just when he didnt feel like driving the extra distance to get feed elsewhere for 25 cents a bag cheaper.
I had another "loyal customer" that had been looking at a $800 saddle that I had for sale. She said that she would be back next week if she decided to buy it. She came back the next week and showed me a saddle she had purchased at Quarter Horse Congress. It was the exact same saddle that I showed her for $800, She said she paid $1200 for the one she bought. Go figure.
I do have horses and have had horses for most of my life. I do not claim to have all the answers and my customers know that if I dont have an answer I will try to find them one.
I have opened my store late at night for people who forgot some last minute things before a trip.
I do appreciate loyalty and would never be rude to a customer. I had a man who had an account for his ranch with my store and always was in on a day that my sister was woking. He came in one time when I was working and he told me that he was a good customer and I was not to wait on him because he didnt deal with "little pee-on workers" like me, he only dealt with the store manager. He was very suprised and quickly changed his tune when I explained that I was indeed not the store manager but the store owner! His face sure turned red!
To sum up, I believe in supporting the local business whenever possible even if it costs a little more. I do think that in return the store should be polite and always try to keep the items that you consistently purchase in stock.
I always made sure to thank my customers for their purchase and support.
Thanks for letting me vent.
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2006 :  04:53:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
Good to see a response from a retailer...I think it just sums up the fact that respect & loyalty have to work both ways...

Sorry you are going out of business...it is unbelievable what some people will do...someone not coming in for at least 18 months and then calling himself a regular customer, or someone actually paying MORE for a saddle elsewhere!

EZ2SPOT
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2006 :  7:10:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
I am willing to drive and pay more if I have to to get what I want without issues. But I also shop around when it comes to large $$ items like saddles. I couldn't dream of paying $400 more on a saddle!!! That is just off the wall crazy. But it shows how expos can fairs really turn on the shopping button. I know people that don't need a thing but feel that they have to buy something just because it's the Expo. Ok I admit I spend more then I should at them but if I found nothing to buy I would buy nothing. My trouble is that every one has bits for sale so I end up coming up with enough weight in the back of my car that I have pray the muffler makes it home! lol
I have turned down good deals because people where hard to work with.
When I was shopping for the Haflinger saddle I checked online and in every store in MI, WI and Minn that I could find numbers for. One guy in WI claims to beat any price on saddles but was very hard to get a hold of. I had to call many times and he never called back. Then when I did get to talk to him he told me(no lie) "Well little girl if you call around to everyone else and then call me last then we can deal. Until then ya ain't getting a price from me." I told him he was the last one I was talking to and when I told him the lowest price I was quoted he got all mad and said if I could get one at the price, which was crazy so he knew I couldn't then I should just order it from them. Then he wanted to know who it was. I wouldn't tell him of course and I called Len back and order the saddle, had it two full weeks sooner then the company told him it would be in. I had to drive over 2 hours but I got it $200 cheaper then any other place, got to meet a great horseperson who knows how to handle running a store. He was also very helpful about putting me in touch in the company that makes the saddle and when I lost one of the sliders he got one shipped out to me right away.
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  07:18:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
Market forces normally will decide the future of any retailer. Price is only one factor. Some people value service over price up to a point. Any retailer that has a competive price and good customer service will survive as long as they supply a product for which there is a demand in their market place.
Most long term feed store / tack shops survive because they are competative in price and do offer superior customer service. It is hard to compete on service alone.


Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  09:32:40 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
Unfortunately what Hook says is all too true. I'm seeing it with our local hardware store. They are a lot closer than Walmart, very nice personnel, it's certainly quicker in and out; and last but by no means least, it's a LOCAL small business. However... what DO you do when your great intentioned supporting of a local business adds 40% onto the cost of what you need to buy?

Case in point, I wanted a good quality combination padlock for our gate. I went to the hardware store and bought one -- $19.99. Several days later I was at Walmart, passing by what I realized was padlocks. What caught my eye was the exact same padlock (brand, model, packaging, etc.) was sitting there... $12.97. That's pretty substantial, and only one item.

It's a real quandry. Pretty easy to stray when your local business is rude or ridiculously inflexible; then they earn what they get -- nothing. But when you like everything about them except that they can't compete in price... well, it's just sad. Your choice is to lay out 20% - 40% beyond what you can easily buy the same thing for --OR-- find yourself being part of the slaughter. Not a pretty choice.

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Dixiesmom
Beginning Rider



145 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  12:25:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit Dixiesmom's Homepage Send Dixiesmom a Private Message
I am shocked at all the bad customer service you all have to put up with in the feed store business!! I dont really have much to compare with. We have a local feed store here in my little town that sells all kinds of feed, small amount of tack, and guns. I have been going there for about a year now and am really good friends with the owners. Actually, they are who I bought Dixie from. I only buy my horses feed, Strategy, and shavings when I need them. I buy my dog and cat food at Petsmart. We have a Petsmart with a stateline tack department in it and I LOVE shopping there!! I find the customer service is very friendly at petsmart, just not very knowledgable. Randy and Kerri, the feed store owners, are both friendly AND knowledgable. In the past I would just buy a cheap bag of sweet feed where ever I could, but since switching to Strategy I have noticed a huge difference in the horses weight, coat and overall health.

Melissa

Dixie--black & white paint mare, 3yrs in April
Pete--roan missouri foxtrotter gelding, 21yrs in April
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  1:19:57 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
I know this is probably going to sound terrible, but when you're pinching pennies, you do what you gotta do. When I've gone somewhere like TSC, or Petsmart where the people are not as knowledgeable about horses, I'll sometimes go to a tack shop where the people understand my needs and ask a bunch of questions. Once I have the information I need, I'll tell them that I'll have to think about the purchase with them (if I'm satisfied with the info), before going back to TSC (or wherever) to buy the very same thing at the cheaper price. And if it goe unfavorably, I'll tell the tack owner that it wouldn't work for me and thanks for their help.

Do I like doing things this way? Not really. But when my money is tight, I have to go with the best bargain... period.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Chuck
Forum Admin



USA
1265 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  3:25:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Chuck's Homepage Send Chuck a Private Message
quote:
I know this is probably going to sound terrible, but when you're pinching pennies, you do what you gotta do. When I've gone somewhere like TSC, or Petsmart where the people are not as knowledgeable about horses, I'll sometimes go to a tack shop where the people understand my needs and ask a bunch of questions. Once I have the information I need, I'll tell them that I'll have to think about the purchase with them (if I'm satisfied with the info), before going back to TSC (or wherever) to buy the very same thing at the cheaper price. And if it goe unfavorably, I'll tell the tack owner that it wouldn't work for me and thanks for their help.



So you are using the tack store's customer service and time, then lie to them so that they feel better, and then purchase from their competitor which doesn't have customer service?

Chuck

Horse Saddle Shop

http://www.horsesaddleshop.com
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  5:48:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
Rh, the problem with this approach is that eventually the tack store would end up having to go out of business from lack of sales, and then who would you consult?

Most of the time, there is not that much of a difference in prices...so if I can get something locally from the places I usually patronize, then I do. If not, then I'll look elsewhere, and then go for the lowest deal. Even then, the difference is usually only a few bucks.

EZ2SPOT
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  6:28:16 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
Chuck; I didn't lie. I did think it over. And if the info went against what I wanted the item for, I don't buy it there or at the discount store. Also, it's very rarely that I've had to do this.

Almost anyone bargain hunting does this no matter what the merchandise or the store. It's not limited to tack shops but about any type of store you care to mention. Haven't you ever gone to several stores to price an item and then bought that item at the lowest price no matter what store it was? I see no difference between that and buying at a tack shop. It's the exact same thing.

EZ; The store was one that's been in business for over 30 years. It finally did shut it's doors just this year, but they had been thinking about doing that for some time, and it was no big surprise to anyone.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Chuck
Forum Admin



USA
1265 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  6:53:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Chuck's Homepage Send Chuck a Private Message
quote:
Haven't you ever gone to several stores to price an item and then bought that item at the lowest price no matter what store it was? I see no difference between that and buying at a tack shop. It's the exact same thing.


Sure I do, but that is very different than:

quote:
When I've gone somewhere like TSC, or Petsmart where the people are not as knowledgeable about horses, I'll sometimes go to a tack shop where the people understand my needs and ask a bunch of questions. Once I have the information I need, I'll tell them that I'll have to think about the purchase with them (if I'm satisfied with the info), before going back to TSC (or wherever) to buy the very same thing at the cheaper price. And if it goe unfavorably, I'll tell the tack owner that it wouldn't work for me and thanks for their help.

Which I very much consider lying. You start you explanation of intending to purchase from TSC or Petsmart, but first you want someone who whas a better understanding of the product and your needs to tell if the product would work. You had no intention of buying from them, you just wanted assurance or a recommendation. You then say your going to think about it, only to placate them, and if the info is good, you make your purchase from TSC or Petsmart. I believe that using words to mislead is the same as lying.

Chuck

Horse Saddle Shop

http://www.horsesaddleshop.com
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  10:17:03 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
Well, there have been a couple of times this has backfired on me and the tack shop actually had the better deal.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Saddletramp
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
2546 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  10:24:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit Saddletramp's Homepage Send Saddletramp a Private Message
Also, RH, there is the very likely possiblity that while a sales clerk at the tack shop was giving you an education on whatever you needed, they could have used their time better (and more profitably) by helping an actual purchasing customer.

They were there when you needed them for an education, but you turned your back on them, and now that they have or are, closing, it's no big deal to you....it was no surprise, according to you. Try plugging your own job/career choice into the equation...is there no loyalty involved anywhere there? Does your place of employment expect some level of loyalty from it's clients? If your employer could not count on the loyalty of clients, eventually it trickles down to the employees. In times of down-sizing, it's not the owner/manager/CEO who gets canned first....the canning starts much lower in the ranks.

And, to help your own pocketbook or frugality, did you ever consider adding the cost of gas to your equation....you were already IN the tack shop, they had what you wanted (since you were getting info about it) and yet you used more gas to leave there and ultimately drive somewhere else to purchase the item....

And don't even get me started on what a huge waste of time it appears to be....for both the tack shop and you.

I'm with Chuck on this one....RH, you went into the tack shop knowing that you were not going to purchase from them, that you were only going to glean whatever info/advice/opinion that you could from them with the full intent of purchasing elsewhere.

-Saddletramp

"She never moved the stars from their courses,
but she loved a good man and she rode good horses"
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  10:40:20 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
The tack shop I mentioned did not go out of business for lack of business. They had plenty of clients and had been in business since back in the 60's. They were getting tired of running it. It had nothing to do with me or any of their other customers. Their main business where they are making the big bucks is in trailer sales. So, they closed the western store to concentrate on selling trailers. I also bought every single horse trailer I've ever owned from them and have sent them prospective clients.

Sorry I started something that's obviously not acceptable here. It wasn't my intention to start a rucus, and I wish I'd never brought it up. Okay? Sheesh!

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown

Edited by - Red Hawk on 01/21/2006 10:45:11 PM
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Saddletramp
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
2546 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2006 :  10:51:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit Saddletramp's Homepage Send Saddletramp a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Red Hawk

Well, there have been a couple of times this has backfired on me and the tack shop actually had the better deal.



"backfired" ...gives quite the negative impression at the prospect of actually buying from a tack shop.

Quote by RH: "I know this is going to sound terrible....." Yep, you were right on the money with that one.

-Saddletramp

"She never moved the stars from their courses,
but she loved a good man and she rode good horses"
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2006 :  8:27:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Actually I think most people at some time have done this to some degree without thinking of it in the same terms. I went to one car dealer and got a ton of info about the cars I was looking at. I then went somewhere else to buy my car. I didn't go to the first to get info just to shop somewhere else but that is what happened. Because I got all of the info at the first place the second really didn't have to spend much time on that part of selling me a car. Price was a factor in why I choose the dealership I did but main factor was the amount of trade value I got for the old car.

Was what I did so wrong? I did not go to the first place for the soul reason of gaining information but in the end I did do the same thing that Hawk is talking about. Shopping around is no crime. Some stores are very high priced, way more then they need to be.

Not saying I would go to a tack sale for the soul reason to gain info on something I want to buy somewhere else but sometimes that does happen and you don't even know you are doing it.
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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2006 :  10:07:45 PM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message
I think we all comparison shop and try to find the least expensive price but that's different from knowing you aren't going to buy from a particular place yet take up their time.

To answer EZ's original question...

I used the same feed store for years & could call ahead if I wasn't going to be there before they closed & they'd leave what I wanted on the front porch for me. I'd pay them the next time I had a chance. Since I no longer go past it on a regular basis, I seldom get feed from them.

I try to get to TSC because it's pretty much one stop shopping... horse feed, dog food, cat food, bird food plus lots of cool stuff that I can't live without.

It's more convenience driven for me.


Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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