Frankly Speaking: Price Cutting Hurts the Farrier Industry

Have you ever had something like this happen to your practice? A farrier tells a prospective client who already has a farrier that they can do it cheaper. The marketing plan is based on pricing that undercuts the rates of you or another farrier to persuade that client to switch to their practice

Even with today’s high demand for farriers and efforts in price-setting education, there are still those who rely on undercutting prices to gain business, failing to see how it sets them back long-term and generates resentment among peers. To be clear, not those whose rates are lower than a local standard, but farriers who actively seek business by telling the client they will beat the current farrier’s price. This isn’t a new problem — it has been around for generations.

A Snapshot of History

Corpus Christi, Texas, farrier Virgil Conde sent me a half dozen issues of The Horseshoers’ and Blacksmiths’ Journal from the 1920s. These are terrific reads, covering various aspects of farriery, but also blacksmithing tools and techniques. You may find an essay on shoeing trotters next to an article on repairing a farm implement. Reading through these issues provides an interesting view of the industry nearly 100 years ago. At times, articles show emerging trends that would shape horseshoeing — some recognized, others ignored. For example, an Iowa farrier implored colleagues to avoid the “unfair” and “dangerous” practice of traveling to clients and remain operating solely out of the home shop.

Looking at history…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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