Marshall Iles says his shoeing customers are demanding that he handle the products that they need. “I sell hoof sealants, hoof supplements and topical dressings because my customers are asking for advice on these products,” says the Calgary, Alberta, farrier. “I might as well be selling these products to them as someone else.
“As these products are an easy sell, you have an opportunity to educate and direct your clients toward using valuable products that can really increase the quality of the hoof and make your shoeing work easier.”
Lee DeLisle sells Thrushbuster, hoof sealers and bell boots to clients. The Greenville, N.Y., farrier finds bell boots are often needed on horses with an overeaching problem, that work in muddy conditions, that easily lose shoes or often take bad steps on rough ground.
“Clients tend to use products that vets and farriers recommend,” says DeLisle. “So if you sell good sound products that really help, the horses benefit and you can earn some extra income.”
Nigel Starkey believes farriers should cash in on the potential for increased income from selling hoof-care products. However, the Rolling Hills Estates, Calif, shoer says you should limit the number of products and only promote items that you have carefully studied and know will work for your clients. By selling a half dozen items off your truck, he thinks you could boost your overall shoeing income by as much as 20 percent.
John Trafton believes selling products is a no-brainer. “A farrier has a captive audience,” says the Brunswick, Maine, farrier. “A client can leave me a check for $100 for my shoeing work or leave me a check for $200 to cover both the shoeing work and products.”
Phil Bower of Gardners, Pa., says a major advantage of selling products is that you know your clients have purchased an essential product that’s needed to overcome a hoof concern.
Bob Gillanders, a farrier from Qullcene, Wash., finds selling products that improve hoof nutrition and maintenance results in better feet for you to work on.
Christopher Butenko sells products strictly as a client convenience. But the Graham, Wash., farrier doesn’t count on the sale of products as a way to expand his income.
Instead of selling hoof-care products, Jeff Gaughler prefers to support three major tack stores in the area. “I don’t sell products to horse owners and these tack shops don’t shoe horses,” says the Creston, Ohio, farrier.
David Hall doesn’t sell products, preferring to carry a larger inventory of shoes, nails and tools. “Many shoers sell products as a convenience rather than to make a profit,” says the shoer from Piqua, Ohio. “Selling products creates an accounting problem in regards to sales tax. In addition, you need to be careful when recommending products to clients because of legality concerns.”
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