Buyer beware

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WFfarm

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We always pick up what we buy. If it's not what was represented, it doesn't get on the trailer.

We had a young bull we bought and brought home, but wasn't until a few days later could see he was only had one fully formed nut. When we called the seller, he apologized and took him back with a full refund. He hadn't noticed it. We bought back a older feeder heifer who dropped a calf in our customer's feedlot the next spring. It isn't hard to be ethical and fair when cattle dealing.
 

simme

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The stockyard owner, the auctioneer and the order buyers all are in a club that meets weekly. Being in the club has benefits. A person that sells a few times a year is not in the club. Issues arise when the yard owner or employees also buy cattle. Might be a small pen that never goes through the auction. Whether accidental or intentional. They have to be assigned to somebody at some price. More prevalent at some places than others. Same as purebred cattle auctions and the political process - sometimes there is more going on than is apparent.
 

Warren Allison

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The sale barn & buyer have a copy of my spreadsheet on my calves prior to the sale and I'm always there. I do provide the sale barn with the same info on my cows/bulls, but they're primarily cull and no way will I be at the sale; I may or may not bust out in the ugly cry, and that's just awkward for everyone.
About 20 years or so ago, I got to buying some Brahma x Chianina cows from a man that was using them in a 3-way cross to produce bucking bulls. 1st year I got some I bred them to an Angus bull, and got big ole black calves with a little bit of ear,. that brought top dollar at the sale. Forgot why now, but the 2nd year and the rest of time I bred them to polled Charolais bulls, and got big ole white calves that probably weaned 100-150 lbs bigger than the Angus calves. With the dock for not being black, those steers didn;t quite bring as much per head as the black ones. BUT... the heifers? I had a copy of of the Brahma and Chianina's papers for each cow. I would also take a copy of the Char bull's papers. Would have all three in a folder for each heifer. When one of them came in the ring, I would stand up and read the bloodlines for that heifer. Now I doubt anyone there knew anything at all about Brahma and Chianina bloodlines,( including me) and probably only a few recognized the Char bull's. But people went nuts over them. Every time I carried them, they would end up being the top sellers that day. They'd bring more than a reg Char heifer, and certainly more than reg Brahma or Chianina heifers. It was because this 3 minutes I spent copying three sets of papers, and the fact that I would stand up and speak for them, that they paid more. It was just simple marketing 101. And there was nothing illegal, immoral or unethical that neither I nor the sale barn did.
 

Warren Allison

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Quite a few people involved in the cattle business have figured out a lot of angles and a lot of ways of making money. Those folks that buy and trade are there at the auctions at all the sales and know all the ins and outs and how to make a little extra or save a little.
True. And there is nothing illegal, immoral or unethical about them doing that.
 

SBMF 2015

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how it would benefit a commissioned sales person to try to lower the price!
Not lower the price. Run the bid. And that's only the top of the ice burg.
I have seen cattle sales magically shrink by 20% because the buyers just weren't there that day. I've seen cattle sold/bought early in a sale and them resold later in the day after the sale picked up. I've seen the advertised group of bred cows sell, and the next group in not a whisper of where they came from. Just hope no one is paying attention and piggy back them off the last groups reputation. I've seen cattle bought and sold under false names.
If a sale barn puts a high floor in the market for feeder cattle it doesn't take very long to get the reputation that, that is the place to sell feeder cattle. If a sale barn gets hung with 30% of a feeder sale they usually have orders to fill so it doesn't matter. And the extra commission they get on both sides is a plus. Commission from the seller at the sale and commission on the order they filled.
Sale barn manages and barn order buyers have the advantage and the burden of being at every sale. They are there for all the deals and they know how to turn that into profit.
 

SBMF 2015

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Take notice to the order buyers typing a text message on their phone. Then watch the auctioneer suddenly appear to receive a text on his phone...happens alot.
The ability to buy online has made that even worse. They don't have to pretend to catch bids that aren't there, it's just the "internet bidding"
 

A.J.

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Actually, sale bans like any other kind of auction, make money from a percentage commission on the sales. So, dunno what kind of game you think they play, or how it would benefit a commissioned sales person to try to lower the price!
I wish our local market was that way. They charge the same commission per head whether they bring $80 or $800, so they don’t have that incentive to help make sure they bring what they are worth. The bigger the run, the more money for them that day regardless of what they bring.
 

Warren Allison

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I have seen cattle sales magically shrink by 20% because the buyers just weren't there that day. I've seen cattle sold/bought early in a sale and them resold later in the day after the sale picked up.
And what is dishonest about that? How can a sale barn control what buyers show up on a given day?
If a sale barn puts a high floor in the market for feeder cattle it doesn't take very long to get the reputation that, that is the place to sell feeder cattle. If a sale barn gets hung with 30% of a feeder sale they usually have orders to fill so it doesn't matter. And the extra commission they get on both sides is a plus. Commission from the seller at the sale and commission on the order they filled.
Sale barn manages and barn order buyers have the advantage and the burden of being at every sale. They are there for all the deals and they know how to turn that into profit.
Again, what is unethical about that?
 

Warren Allison

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I wish our local market was that way. They charge the same commission per head whether they bring $80 or $800, so they don’t have that incentive to help make sure they bring what they are worth. The bigger the run, the more money for them that day regardless of what they bring.
Except that it is in their interest to get as much as they can for every cow run through, so that cattlemen will take their product to THEIR barn, and they will have a big run every week.
 

MurraysMutts

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Tuition is high, in the school of life. :)
I've always preferred John Wayne's version.
Life is tough, even tougher if your stupid....
🤪
The small farms definitely are able to provide an individualized level of care that's tough for the big farms to match, but I find it tends to be balanced out by some of the advantages of the big farms. The end result is care that looks different, but not inherently better or worse. Large farms can afford to have the vet out frequently, and they tend not to have management decisions clouded by emotion on the cow level. A guy milking 50 cows is going to occasionally have a hard time making the decision to part with a worn out cow on time, because "Bessie Mae deserves one more chance". The guy managing 2000 cows is not agonizing over whether to give 26899 another chance, it's just a numbers game.

Of course, poorly managed large farms are harder to stomach because the scale of them just makes it look so much worse. When you go to a 50 cow dairy and one of the cows looks like hell, you can look past it. Scale up to 2000 cows and that one cow turns into a pen of 40, and it makes you want to call the SPCA.
Well would ya look at that Bessie?
We internet famous!
Screenshot_20210810-155346_Gallery.jpg


Sales barns are great fun around here!
I advise ANYONE interested in buying cattle to visit a few and PAY ATTENTION.
Dont buy anything. Just watch a while.

You HAVE to. Otherwise you will get had!

The best way to keep a barn honest, like anything else, is do it yourself!
 

SBMF 2015

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And what is dishonest about that? How can a sale barn control what buyers show up on a given day?

Again, what is unethical about that?
I noticed you left out everything else I mentioned.
LMA's motto is true price discovery. That's kinda hard to do when the sale barn buys and resells cattle in the same sale. Also having the ability to hold cattle back out of a sale doesn't look good.
would you rather take your calves to a sale were you are competing against your neighbors or your neighbors and the sale barn for the buyers money.
 

TCRanch

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The stockyard owner, the auctioneer and the order buyers all are in a club that meets weekly. Being in the club has benefits. A person that sells a few times a year is not in the club. Issues arise when the yard owner or employees also buy cattle. Might be a small pen that never goes through the auction. Whether accidental or intentional. They have to be assigned to somebody at some price. More prevalent at some places than others. Same as purebred cattle auctions and the political process - sometimes there is more going on than is apparent.
I'm definitely not in the club, but as a general rule, I only sell calves once a year & culls 2-3. The exception was when I had spring & fall calves (no more, thankfully!) or, based on advise from our CPA, held calves over & sold 2 lots the following year.

I do know some of the employees buy cattle, but they're the ones in the ring and they're bidding along with everyone else.
 

wbvs58

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Once went to a stockyards one day that was featuring a cowherd dispersal. I bought the first two little groups of cows sold, and intended to try to buy a few more. The very next lot they sold, I tried to bid on but the owner of the yards that sits up next to the auctioneer, quickly pointed to someone else on the other side and they were knocked off immediately. It defied logic in that when I was buying baby calves there, they would always seem to look my way after I had bought some, but on the day with those cows they completely redirected attention at that certain point kind of like a made up deal of some kind.
You mustn't make enough noise.

Ken
 

Ky hills

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You mustn't make enough noise.

Ken
That's a whole other story at other stockyards with a particular auctioneer. I think he is used to mainly having order buyers in attendance and rarely has anyone in the other seating sections buying. Sometimes have to make a big commotion to get your bid took.
 

Warren Allison

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I noticed you left out everything else I mentioned.
LMA's motto is true price discovery. That's kinda hard to do when the sale barn buys and resells cattle in the same sale. Also having the ability to hold cattle back out of a sale doesn't look good.
would you rather take your calves to a sale were you are competing against your neighbors or your neighbors and the sale barn for the buyers money.
Negative. .You just only replied to the reply I made on one of your comments, Go back and you will see I replied to them all. I;d quote one of your sentences,m reply to it, quoite anopher and reply to it...all in one post. You only quoted and replied to my 1st one.
 

Nesikep

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A good auctioneer can sell anything.

"That's a good ol gentle cow there, gotta little gimp in her getalong but a few groceries and she'll drop you a calf in a few weeks and you can double yore money!"

(lame in her left front hoof, broke tooth, pins/hooks way too visible, maybe bred/maybe not, pushing 15 years or better..)
You just described the old cow I put through the sale today! 2004 model, she's a big girl, in full condition I'd say she pushes a ton, probably 17-1800 now, might be bred? Don't mess with her calf for a week or two, she gets REAL excited, docile after that though
20210807_093806.jpg



We got an early start to learning about cattle buying, when we started we bought a dozen bred heifers from a "friend"... they looked big to us, but seeing that the calves we bought from the same place were 350-500 lbs at weaning, I don't see how the bred heifers were more than 900... and they were bred to any old bull, lost 3 calves and 2 mommas the first year out of the 12, then lost a few more to pneumonia... half of them came with pinkeye, which once we cleared up we have never again had a pinkeye case. half the cows were prone to vaginal prolapse, had bad hooves, bad udders, and some were horrible to work with
30 years later I think I've gotten rid of the most of the problems, it's rare I have any hoof or prolapse issues now, most udders are really good, now I can work on getting consistency and what I like looking at

I wish I'd have started with a herd of heifers like this momma, I just put a weaning blab in the calf at 160 days (pictured at 150) so momma can put some condition on before winter, she needs it.
20210722_103147.jpg
 

Nesikep

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Same buyer buys my calves and the next day when I picked up the check, the auctioneer (also a friend) told me the buyer kept texting, asking when mine were coming through. Well, that, plus the auctioneer pointed to me, sitting in the front row, and announced they were mine while listing their vaccination history. I don't see anything unethical about that if you establish a relationship and sell healthy, preconditioned calves.
I've tried selling preconditioned calves and found absolutely no benefit to it.. I do try and be present when my calves go through the ring, and in many cases I've video'd it, I have the auctioneer's cell number, My first gelbvieh bull was from his ranch, I tip my hat to him when I enter the seating area of the ring and greet him
 

BC

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I wish our local market was that way. They charge the same commission per head whether they bring $80 or $800, so they don’t have that incentive to help make sure they bring what they are worth. The bigger the run, the more money for them that day regardless of what they bring.
I bet your neighbors would squeal like pig with its head caught under a gate if they went to a % commission after being on a set amount per head. Most of the sales here in northeast Texas sell on a 3.25% of gross commission. Down in Brute's country the sale barns charge 4%. Our friends in Louisiana pay 5% (at every barn it is a state set fee)
 

SBMF 2015

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Negative. .You just only replied to the reply I made on one of your comments, Go back and you will see I replied to them all. I;d quote one of your sentences,m reply to it, quoite anopher and reply to it...all in one post. You only quoted and replied to my 1st one.
I still don't see where you replied to these;
Not lower the price. Run the bid.

I've seen cattle sold/bought early in a sale and them resold later in the day after the sale picked up. I've seen the advertised group of bred cows sell, and the next group in not a whisper of where they came from. Just hope no one is paying attention and piggy back them off the last groups reputation. I've seen cattle bought and sold under false names.
 

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