Today I received four sheets of paper concerning an upcoming consignment cattle sale. These pieces of information come almost weekly. I am often asked to "promote the breed by consigning one of my best animals". I am not convinced that all consignment sales really do promote the breed. They only promote the breed if it is professionally managed and good prices become the result.
As I read down across the information about when the cattle must arrive, the deadline for entries, the cost of the nonrefundable consignment fee, the requirement of original registration papers, the transfer to be paid by the seller, the sale management is not responsible for loss of health, life or theft of my animals, I must provide my own breeding guarantee for both males and females, all persons must attend the sale at their own risk, you must provide individual health certificates, every animal must be pregnancy or fertility tested, a semen test certificate is required on bulls, no proceeds would be dispersed until after "all purchase checks have cleared", the order of sale will be determined by sale management.
As I read all of the stipulations to be a player in this sale, I felt somewhat like the suspect under a large light being interrogated in a police station. I was being told all of the things required of me and how many dollars it would cost. Nowhere in four pages of information was I told the following . . .
The following is what I think every cattle owner should know before they consign to a sale:
- How modern is the facility? Is the sale manager experienced at marketing?
- What special arrangements are planned that will guarantee the consignor a good price?
- Will a complimentary lunch be served for buyers and consignors?
- Will poor cattle be sifted from the sale to protect the over all appearance and quality?
- Are other events held near the sale date to attract buyers? Who is the auctioneer?
- How professional will the catalog be, color cover, econo print or a US government recycle type Smudge O' Graph?
- What percent of the consignment fee is used for promotion of the sale???
- Is the consignment fee enough to do a full blown PR program?
As I look over these pages of requirements, to be the consignor, I found no answers to my questions. Therefore, if you come to this consignment sale you will not see any of our cattle.
Am I missing something here?
Due to many of these factors, we do not find it difficult to understand why many of the livestock consignment sales are not doing well. More and more people are privately selling their own cattle just like it was done in the good ole' days.
If you have an interest in purchasing cattle and would like to look the seller straight in the eye, take a trip to Dickinson Cattle Company and see for yourself. Seeing is believing. Cattle are for sale at all times privately, with all the questions answered and there are no consignment fees. Give us a call.