Farriers' Roundtable

What is the best way to handle a situation where a new farrier in the area is undercutting everyone’s prices for shoeing and trimming?

Q. What is the best way to handle a situation where a new farrier in the area is undercutting everyone’s prices for shoeing and trimming?

A: There are two ways to look at this — one from the client’s viewpoint and the other from the farrier’s.

From the client’s viewpoint, you need to be able to show that they are paying for your knowledge, skill and care of the horse. Let your clients know that you spend time and money going to clinics to increase your knowledge, skills and abilities. Also, the client needs to understand that this is a business, and the cost of your service encompasses all areas of running a business. Your skill level, the cost of running a business and profit margins should dictate what you’re going to charge in your area.

From the farrier’s perspective, someone who is undercutting farriers in the area probably has a poor opinion of his or her own work. Also, a farrier who is undercutting prices does not know what it costs to run his or her own business. Being cordial and polite to these individuals is the best course of action.

As farriers, we should be trying to help one another, not just in the work itself, but also in the pricing of our work. Sometimes just reaching out to younger farriers or farriers who are not charging enough for their work can help. Explaining to them what it takes and what it costs per job can do more…

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