Here are a few simple tricks to look into a buyer who is interested in your horse.
First and foremost… research the buyer!
Why Research a Buyer?
Well, if you care at all about who your horse goes to, this is a good way to find out information about them. A horse is a living, breathing, feeling animal. They are expensive to maintain. They are sensitive. Please be careful about who you sell your horse to – because it’s ultimately your choice who you sell to, and your responsibilityto make sure it goes to a good home!
How to Research Online
Take each piece of information you have on them, and Google it. I suggest you do this in a few different ways outlined below. One single search will not show everything you’re looking for.
Searching by Name
Example Name: John Smith
Go to Google and type in: “John Smith” including quotes and hit enter. Of course, this will bring up every John Smith on the Internet, so adding a bit of a qualifier might help.
Type in: “John Smith” + “state” <–state being whatever state or province you live in
Using quotes in your search process really helps narrow down the results you get, as does using the plus (+) sign.
Typing in “John Smith” got me 8,660,000 results.
Typing in “John Smith” + “Colorado” got me 2,140,000.
Better yet, typing “John Smith” + “Colorado” + “horse” netted 61,100 results! See how narrowing down your search with just basic information in quotes can really help narrow your search? Try this on the buyers name, and see what comes up! You may find nothing – which I suggest is a fairly good sign – but you also may find out information that would make you decide not to sell your horse to that person.
Of course, I’m not saying go through all 60+ thousand pages of information, but definitely scroll down reading the headings and information on the first few pages of results. If you see anything about abuse, neglect, crimes, etc. maybe take a closer look. And by the way, if you hold the “Ctrl” button (command button for you Mac users) while you click on a link, it will open the page on a new tab. Doing this allows you to then close that tab when you’re done reading (ctrl+w) and you’re back at your main search page.
Searching by Phone Number
This is an excellent way to look up a person online! Take their phone number, put quotes around it similar to what we did above (“411-555-1515”) in the search engine and hit enter! A phone number is almost like a fingerprint online. If they’ve put their phone number anywhere, this will lead directly to them. What this will net is any ads the potential buyer may have posted that included their phone number. These ads could show that your potential buyer is actually a guy who buys horses to send to slaughter. These ads could show that the potential buyer has sold other horses, allowing you to see what kind of activity he’s been doing (like finding cheaper horses and “flipping” them for a quick buck), etc.
This search will also hopefully bring up any website the prospective buyer might have. A website could tell you a lot about that buyer.
Be sure to try this trick with any phone numbers you have, including cell and home numbers.
Searching by Email
There are two things of note here; one is that the buyers email can tell you a couple of things, as well as searching for the email will tell you things.
Looking at the email itself… what is the domain? If it is firstname.lastname@example.org then Hotmail is the domain. What does that tell us? That tells us that it’s a possibility that the buyer doesn’t want you to know his “real” email. Lots of people do use free domains like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc. for their day-to-day email addresses – but on average if a person has Internet access they generally have a “real” email they use – such as through their Internet provider (example email@example.com).
The other thing you can do is search for the buyers email address online similar to what we did above with the buyers name.
Type in “firstname.lastname@example.org” in quotes and hit enter. This generally will not need any further qualifiers like state, etc. as it is similar to the phone number in that it’s almost like a fingerprint!
What did you find?