Who doesn’t love to bag a bargain, no matter what the economy’s doing?
Smart sellers know that saving money never goes out of fashion. To keep your business in tighter-belt times, they put their creative teams to work, devising clever ways to keep you driving—if not into town, to their Web sites. The result is one of mutual benefit: You get a fantastic deal, and they get a sale.
Here’s a collection of horse-world vendor sites that we visit frequently to sleuth out savings. These sites make it possible for you to grab good gear at below-retail prices, without taking that hit at the fuel pump. Check ’em out!
Snatch up unbelievable deals on high-end show couture and tack at this new consignment site managed by participants in the Quarter Horse breed-show realm. You’ll find excellent deals on gently used show clothing. Keep a close eye on the clearance section, too, creatively named “The Final Go.”
If you ride English, don’t miss this site. Sign up for Bit of Britain’s e-mail reminders of new products and outstanding discounts, including the Weekly E-Saver Sale feature. The red Tent Sale link will take you to majorly discounted, nonreturnable clearance items that fit in any tack room.
For those stepping up into breed-level showing, Clotheshorse Connection is a must-check-out site. Shop an extensive array of consigned tack and clothing, hand-picked for the discriminating competitor. Some of the gear is brand new!
Sales. Closeouts. Outlets. Equestrian Collections offers several opportunities for shoppers to enjoy up to 70-percent discounts on quality English apparel and tack for riders of all ages and sizes. Check out the “Budget Looks” section, where you can put together a $1,500 A-circuit look for under $400.
A good deal is a smart deal—one you don’t have to repeat when you inadvertently buy the wrong thing. While you can’t make purchases directly on the site, you can compare items and find links to multiple online vendors to get the most out of your tight budget. The site also lists tack shops in your area where you can purchase the item. Big bonus: This site offers well-researched consumer-ed articles to boost your knowledge of various product categories before you buy.
Hobby Horse Clothing Company takes immense pride in outfitting “pink collar” exhibitors with trendy duds made in the U.S.A. Even the limited-edition items, which sometimes sell out so fast online the colorful paper catalog becomes obsolete before it hits your mailbox, will make your checkbook smile. Early shoppers to Hobby Horse’s annual Broken Hearts Sale get to stock up on basics for next season at fabulous prices.
Coupons delivered via e-mail from horseloverz.com, an online discount superstore, help keep your next shopping total smaller. The site has heavy ties to eBay through the popular equine-equipment seller Equiteric. Stock up on useful basics and entry-level show gear at either location.
If you need it, Karen Sullivan either has it, or can get it for you—fast. A complete offering of tack and clothing, plus an excellent selection of custom jewelry, will keep you scanning the site frequently. The inventory has blossomed so much that a small retail shop has been established to house the plentiful items.
Prepare to be blown away by the great deals offered in the daily e-mails you’ll receive when you add your name to Rod’s mailing list. The company lists daily specials and sneak peeks to upcoming sales, giving you a head start on getting the right size, color, and design of a needed sale or clearance item.
Pay close attention to the item listings when you visit Sergeant’s Western World’s site (upper right red-tag icon on the main page). Save up those coupon codes from Sergeant’s catalogs to get instant savings on those much-needed basics. Sale items are updated frequently—but don’t dilly-dally, as the items on this popular industry-staple site go fast.
It’s hard to find better deals on jeans, boots, and hats. Daily e-mails alert you to short-term sales, or remind you if a sale is almost over. The bottom of Sheplers’ home page features quick links to the Clearance Corral, which offers discounts as much as 75 percent on thousands of goods. Best yet, get them to pay you — check out the details of their simple Affiliate Partner program to make a little extra cash, courtesy of your own Web site visitors.
Show Me Again is the largest consignment show-clothing site, leveraging its deep connections into showing’s elite tier to bring you one seriously cool look for a seriously bargain price. Don’t be afraid to call or e-mail with your specific shopping list—it’s sometimes hard to get the company’s entire inventory online. This site is a primo source for gently used (make that barely used) one-of-a-kind creations by seamstresses who require a hefty deposit for the privilege of being on their client list.
Consider yourself warned. If you want a functioning keyboard after visiting Showtime Show Clothing’s Web site, you may need to wear a bib. Gaze longingly at the totally drool-worthy $2,000-plus show ensembles that can only be described as works of art. Then, spend even more time sifting through clearance, used, and consignment show clothing and tack offerings. The wares change fast, so visit often.
Three things make Schneider’s Saddlery site a must-shop stop. First, check out the industry-unique saddle leasing and financing plans, which allow you to slip into your dream saddle at a low monthly cost. Second, the liberal use of coupon codes can save you dollars on shipping, or provide a nice discount on your order. Third, get paid for shopping. Earn 4 percent of your purchases back in Bonus Bucks, mailed quarterly when certain thresholds are met.
Save as much as 75 percent on new English and Western gear, as well as clothing for practice or the show-pen newbie. Check out the Scratch & Dent section for the best deals. Be sure to sign up for e-coupons, delivered directly to your e-mail address.
If the free-shipping offer on all clothing adds a little cushion to your budget, then the Bargain Basement offerings will add a lot of cushion. Specializing in mid-price-point basics with flair, The Wire Horse’s site features frequent updates, and regular additions to the clearance section.
Do you have a child or grandkid to outfit for that first show? You have quite the challenge ahead of you, from dealing with an ever-growing little body, to the risk of unexpected shifts in interest. With its unique and colorful mix of custom and consignment selections, Unicorn Show Clothing allows you to outfit kids, from size 2T to 16 youth, beautifully and affordably. Let future show-pen superstars pick their favorite colors and designs on this fun site.
With no local tack shops in her area, Contributing Editor April Fingerlos quickly learned to find bargains online to keep her show gelding well supplied. She’s become the go-to person for finding the best deal on any needed item.