Private Treaty vs Public Auction

Many new breeders buy cattle at public auction thinking that they are getting a good deal. Further, many breeders believe that selling these cattle at the Longhorn auctions is the best and easiest way to market. While there may be advantages to buying/selling cattle at auction, we firmly believe that private treaty sales are still the bread and butter of this industry.

When you buy cattle private treaty you are buying an animal based on more than what you see in the ring and a short blurb of information in a catalog. You can see the animal in their natural surroundings and may even be able to see their sire, dam, siblings, and offspring. You can ask questions about breeding history, medical problems, and all of the other things that will let you make an informed decision. As a seller, it is to your advantage to establish the one-on-one relationship afforded by private treaty sales. If you handle the sale in a professional manner, provide a good product, and stand behind what you sell, you will have a client for life who will recommend you to anyone else they know who may want a Longhorn or two. This is not true of selling at an auction. Many times the new owner and seller will never meet.

Once private treaty buyers have gathered all of the information about an animal or group of animals, they can make the decision to buy on their own time. You can think it over, ask questions, etc. From the seller’s point of view, the time taken by a prospective buyer may be just what that buyer needs to decide that they don’t want a cow. They want five cows, a few heifers, and of course, they will need a bull.

This brings us to our final point. When you buy private treaty, if you encounter a problem down the line, you have a name and face to call not just a name in a catalog. According to our investors, our practice of standing behind each and every animal we sell is what keeps them coming back and allows them to feel comfortable referring new investors to us. We do not see the actual purchase as the end of a relationship, but merely the beginning.

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