Seller Tips

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Take Note of Maturity Before Cutting

Noting the maturity of your hay before you cut will help you better describe the maturity of your forage when you list it.  For instance, for grasses, how much have they headed out?  For legumes like alfalfa, how far into the bloom stage is it?  Are the plants fine-stemmed or coarse-stemmed?

Utilize Your "Unlisted Stock" Feature

Using the Unlisted Stock tab on your My Inventory page, you can post the details, pictures and test results of each forage as you put it up so you don't have to try to remember those details or find them later.  Then, when you are ready sell, you can move the quantity of the bales you choose to a Fixed Price Listing or Auction and all the details, pictures and test results will be there.  This will also allow you to track your inventory with storage location throughout the year.  Bale quantities will automatically be updated as bales are sold.

Document Storage Locations

If you are a grower that brings in multiple crops of hay throughout the year, you know how quickly bales stack up and how easy it is to forget what is where when it comes time to sell.  We encourage sellers to document and mark off which bales are which, so when it comes time to sell, you can be confident of what each lot consists of.

Choose Optimal Listing Type

TruBid give you the option to sell your forage as a fixed price or auction listing.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each and there are times you may want to list have some quantities listed in a Fixed Price listing and others quantities listed in an auction.

  Advantages Disadvantages
  • Able to get maximum price during times of high demand
  • Able to sell products quickly when needing cash, when or needing to free up space
  • Buyers are limited to buying specific lot quantities
  • Risk of an item selling for a lower price than desired
Fixed Price
  • Buyers can purchase any quantity they choose
  • Able to offer volume discount pricing to encourage buying larger volumes
  • Can adjust item pricing at any time
  • Potential to miss out getting a higher price during times of high demand

Build a Wide Customer Base

By continuing to post your forages on TruBid even if you may have other buyers will build your customer base.  If a buyer wants to continue to buy through you they can simply do a search by your name to find and purchase any forages you have for sale.  This not only grows your customer base but also will increase the demand for your product.  Being able to help load or provide delivery will also help broaden your customer base.  As your customer base grows, you may want to consider using volume discount pricing to get more income when selling smaller quantities.

Strive for a Higher Seller Rating

We are planning to implement a Seller Rating system in the future once a significant number of sales have been processed.  Sellers who have achieved a higher tier ranking status will have the highest level of trust from buyers which will increase the demand for their products and expand their customer base.  Currently, all feedback on sellers is tracked internally.

Choose the Best Time to Sell

As with any market, prices are always driven by supply and demand.  For example, in the northern states, first crop sales are often lower due to the abundant supply early in the season and typically lower quality.  However, if you have the ability to store your first crop until winter, when supply is lower and demand is high, you will likely get significantly more.

Get Your Hay Tested

If you have medium to high quality hay, getting it tested will usually be well worth the additional time and expense as there are many buyers who want to know exactly what they are getting.  Sampling and testing hay is the only way to get an accurate nutritive value of the forage.

Choose Appropriate Lot Size

When selling via Auction, the lot size you choose can be important.  To accommodate different buyers, you may want to sell your product by breaking it down into different lot sizes since not all buyers are looking to buy a semi load of bales.  You will want to consider the following questions when choosing your lot size(s):

  • Are you able to deliver?  What is your hauling capacity?
  • What would be a convenient size load for various types of trailers?
  • Are the typical buyers in your area large or small operations?

Know Your Estimated Bale Weight

Bale weights can vary greatly due to baler tension, bale length/diameter, and moisture content.  In order to make price comparisons, it is extremely helpful for buyers to know estimated bale weight.  Offering a Tru-Weight Guarantee on your listing will increase the price buyers are willing to pay for your forage.  Keep in mind, as bales dry out they may weigh less than they did when baled. 

  • Small Squares - If you are selling small squares, we suggest you purchase a fish scale to get an average weight on your bales.  Inexpensive digital scales can be purchased on Amazon for as little as $9. 
  • Big Square & Rounds - Estimating the bale weights of big square and rounds is not as simple.  Unless your baler has a built in scale, we suggest either bringing a few bales to an elevator or coop to get weighed.

Get Good Pictures

Listed below are things to consider when taking pictures of your forage (especially hay). 

  • Capture Color - When purchasing dry hay, many people want to see its color.  The ideal time to take a picture is right after baling before any bleaching or fading occurs.  If your hay is already bleached out, take a close-up picture while pulling some hay back to expose its color under the surface.
  • Get a Close-up - Get a close-up picture in order to illustrate the texture or consistency of your hay. 
  • Show How Stored - Take a picture that shows how the bales are stacked and stored.  Many buyers may be interested in seeing what kind of storage/stacking method is used (especially outside) as that can often make a difference in how the quality is upheld.

Be Honest & Transparent

If you don't know how to answer a specific question prompt when you post an item for sale, just check "Not sure" and enter in why you are unsure in the comment section below.  It's OK if you don't know, but people will want to know why, otherwise it may raise suspicion in their mind why you didn't answer a question.

Treat Your Customers Well

Treating your customers well pays off!  Finding buyers is one thing, keeping them coming back to you is another.  When you have a broad customer base seeking your product, it creates demand.  Demand drives up prices and your products sell faster. 

Things you can do to increase the odds of them coming back to you is by showing them:

  • Courtesy & Respect - Being friendly, courteous and respectful goes a long way.  Nothing drives a customer away faster than being gruff or short with them.
  • Responsiveness - Give timely responses to texts, emails, phone calls and reimbursements.
  • Flexibility - The more flexible you can be for pickup times and dates will provide more convenience to your customers.
  • Accommodation - Assisting in loading or tying down loads is a great way to go the extra mile with your customers.
  • Appreciation - Show appreciation to your customers.  Thank them for their business and maybe even throw in something extra once in a while to your long term, repeat customers.