Tell me your tack swap tales!

I’m kicking around the idea of organizing a tack swap/sale this winter, and I need your help! I’ve never hosted such a thing, but I think it would be a fun activity for the local community to see each other outside of competition season. And, of course, to clean out tack trunks or fill them with new-to-you stuff!

I’d love to have everyone who wants to sell something have their own little area instead of trying to tag things and keep track of them on someone else’s behalf. It’d also be great to make it a big, festive event with lots of people, lots of stuff, and food!

Have you ever organized or participated in a tack swap/sale? How did you get the word out? Was it free? What kind of venue hosted it? How was it set up? Any horror stories?

If you’ve been to a tack swap to swap/sell stuff, how did you stay organized? What did you like about the sale? What didn’t you like?



Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

11 thoughts on “Tell me your tack swap tales!”

  1. There are a couple of people that organize tack swaps at their home barns. The first year or two can be really rough with a lot of sellers and not so many buyers or visa versa, but then word gets out and they just grow and grow. Most people charge for tables as well as for food. Almost all of the tack swaps around here charge an admission fee for people coming in and donate to the local 4H group, but that might be too involved for your first go. The only horror stories I have ever heard is people having things stolen off their table. It can be hard to keep an eye on your table as well as interact with somebody trying to buy something in a very busy tack sale. Thankfully that has never happened to me!

    1. I like the idea of charging a small admission fee that would be donated to a local youth organization like Pony Club or 4H,but you’re probably right that it might be too involved for the first go! Thanks for your input!

  2. I have participated in many. We have a few here yearly. I pay $15 for a table and then sell from it. I usually end up spending all the money I make on things there LOL

    Have it at a community center, rather than a barn. Somewhere warm with lots of coffee and snacks to buy! Invite tack stores who want to liquidate old stock. Then advertise like crazy on FB!!

    1. I definitely like the idea of having it somewhere that’s out of the elements; winter here is usually fairly mild, but I wouldn’t want to reschedule because it poured rain or something. I would LOVE to bring the store’s mobile unit filled with old stuff that needs to be liquidated- I’m going to look into that!

  3. I have participated as a seller in a few tack sales. I paid $20 for the table and it was to benefit the 4-H group that put it on. Also, I would find a group to sell food/drinks as a fundraiser. People love food haha. You could keep the food simple, but I will say I have heard of a HUGE tack sale in a neighboring town that offers a big breakfast fundraiser that morning and people love to go not only for the tack sale but to eat the delicious waffles LOL!

  4. I’ve shopped at them and helped organize them. A few things:
    – marketing is key, both to get people to exhibit AND to get buyers. absolutely blanket the area with flyers and social media messaging
    – it can be a really great thing to tie it together with charity somehow: $15 per table and the proceeds go to a Pony Club OR have a bin/table where people can put things they don’t want to take home – and everything from that goes to a local rescue
    – I used Square to sell to people who used credit cards and was happy with that
    – if you have it in a place where this is possible, I’ve seen people charge $25 extra for someone to bring in a truck, trailer, or tractor to sell
    – agree with everyone else who suggests holding them inside in the winter in a community space

  5. I like the idea of paying $10 or $15 for a table and then each person/group handles their own money. I went to one that was a fundraiser and it was a bit of a nightmare. I had a $200 pair of boots go “missing” so I lost out big time. You had to ticket all of your items, register and drop off stuff the night before, then be there at the end of the sale day to pick up stuff that didn’t sell and pick up your money. There was no charge to go, but they took 20% for the fundraising.

  6. I find these things are always harder to organize than they seem – everyone always seems to be excited with lots of things to sell, but then when push comes to shove nobody is ever ready or maybe the stuff is too disorganized or whatever. Kinda like herding cats haha. Plus in my area we have so many good consignment shops many sellers with stuff of value just go directly there. It’s always a popular idea tho so hopefully if you can get everyone together on it, it’ll work!

  7. Blah. I volunteered for one that a local charity was running. EVERYTHING people brought to sell was dirty. Turnout was horrific (but so was their marketing of the event). The charity had to rent the space, and I think they ended up barely breaking even (seller bought booth space). I did get a great pair of brand new heritage riding glove for $5 when they are usually $40.

  8. Our club just had a small one this past weekend. We advertised it on local horsey facebook groups and timed it so it would be in conjunction with a riding event at the show grounds. We’ve timed it in the past with lunch at the opening day foxhunt, as well, which also worked alright. People were responsible for setting up their own tables (we provided tables and space) and selling their stuff, and paid a $10 donation to our club to do so. I liked that our club basically just did the advertising and provided the tables and space…the people were responsible for selling their stuff! We also had a ‘tailgate tack sale’ in the summer which was super low risk, basically we just charged people to park and sell their stuff on our grounds and just took care of advertising it 🙂

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