Purchasing hogs online is a bigger undertaking than purchasing, say, a pair of boots online. You can’t box a barrow back up and send it back like other online purchases. It is a long-term commitment, whether you are an exhibitor, an ag teacher buying for students, or a parent buying for young exhibitors.
With any long-term commitment, you would take the time to get to know the person you are buying from first before making a decision. It is no different with getting to know the seller when buying online. Here are a few tips to help you quickly get to know the person you are doing business with behind the screen.
CALL THE SELLER
The number one thing you can do is contacting the seller by phone. A face-to-face conversation is not always practical when buying online, so a phone conversation is the next best thing. A simple phone call will tell you a lot. Whether or not they take time to take your call, call you back in a timely fashion or how thoroughly they answer your questions will tell you a lot about how they run their business and if they are someone you want to work with.
OFFER GOOD INFORMATION
After you get them on the phone, introduce yourself as a potential buyer and tell them a little about yourself. You may let them know about things like where you are from (don’t forget your state too since your buyer may be out of state), the show where you are exhibiting (county or major?) and the judge, if you have that information. All of these things are important as you purchase and helpful for your seller to know as well. They are also easy things you can share and tell about yourself, in case you get nervous.
Stay tuned for an article later this month about what questions to ask about the pigs themselves!
When browsing a seller’s profile or website, pay attention to the previous champions they list. You may be able to contact the exhibitors as a reference for the seller. As a previous buyer who did well, they can give you a good idea about what it was like working with the seller. It never hurts to ask your seller too if they have any previous buyers you could talk to about their experience. They worst they can say is no.
Getting to know a seller really requires you to look further than just the screen. Ask around and talk to fellow exhibitors, ag teachers, and parents about previous sellers they have purchased from. They will sometimes be your best resource for helping you find a breeder who matches up with your personality best.