July 2023 TEXAS LONGHORN TRAILS: "Tips for Hosting An Online Only Sale"

by Holly Peacock | Sep 12, 2023


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"Tips for Hosting An Online Only Sale"

Written by Molly Clubb


July 01


The advice in this article is not for breeders participating in consignment sales and does not advise breeders to stop consigning to those types of sales. Instead, it aims to highlight an additional bulk sale opportunity for breeders with many head to sell at once The world of livestock sales has seen a significant shift towards the digital realm, and Registered Texas Longhorns are no exception. We’ve all seen the success that adding internet bidding and broadcasting to live auctions has had over the few years. As an individual breeder, hosting an online only sale can open up new opportunities for you and your buyers alike. This article will provide you with valuable tips about hosting your own online only Registered Texas Longhorn sale while maximizing your chances of success. 

What is an online only sale?

An online-only sale refers to a sales event conducted exclusively through a digital platform, where an individual breeder offers their registered livestock for direct purchase by potential buyers. Unlike consignment auctions that incorporate internet bidding alongside physical bidding, an online-only sale eliminates the physical component entirely and relies solely on virtual transactions. In this format, individual breeders present their animals through detailed listings, including photographs (or videos), descriptions, pedigrees, and any pertinent information, for interested buyers to evaluate and directly purchase or compete to purchase. These types of sales can run for a set amount of time or can be “live” with an auctioneer calling in to do audio from anywhere, not needing to be on site for their role. There is no limit to the number of head a breeder can offer for sale and some ranchers even choose to also offer semen, equipment or other types of products besides just registered cattle. The entire sale process, from showcasing the animals to finalizing the transactions, occurs online, creating a streamlined and efficient experience for both breeders and buyers. 


What are the main types of online only sales?

In the realm of online-only sales for individual livestock breeders, several types of sales formats exist to accommodate varying preferences and requirements. Here are the main types of online-only sales commonly employed by individual breeders: 

Online only, with photos (or pre-recorded video), for a set period of time: This type of sale allows breeders to showcase their livestock online over a pre-specified period, typically ranging from 2-4 days. During this time, potential buyers can browse through detailed listings, review photographs or videos, pedigrees, and descriptions, and place bids on the animals they are interested in. The sale concludes at a designated closing time, and the highest bidders secure the purchase. This type of sale is like a silent auction, where potential buyers can bid at their leisure without an intense sense of urgency until perhaps the end. There is no auctioneer or “live” bidding for this type of sale.

Online only, with photos (or pre-recorded video) for a set period of time, with extended last-minute bidding: In this format, the online sale operates similarly to the first type, with a specified duration for bidding. However, an additional feature is introduced: the extended last-minute bidding. As the initial closing time approaches, if a bid is placed within a predetermined timeframe (e.g., a few minutes) before the closing, the sale for that particular animal is extended. This allows contending bidders a chance to increase their final bid, creating a more competitive environment and potentially increasing the final sale price.

Online only, with photos (or pre-recorded video), with a live auctioneer: In this format, breeders host a live auction where an auctioneer calls in remotely (does not need to be on-site) and conducts the bidding process in real-time. While a live video feed is not mandatory, the auctioneer interacts with potential buyers through audio communication, accepting bids and guiding the proceedings while still photos or pre-recorded video clips accompany the live audio for each animal. This format adds an element of excitement and urgency to the sale, as participants can experience the liveliness of a traditional auction while participating remotely.

Online only, with live video and live auctioneer: This format is the least popular option for online sales as many ranchers do not have a set up to accommodate holding animals and running them into an auction ring, etc. Think of this option as identical to a live consignment sale, but without the in-person crowds. This option requires both the auctioneer and the internet bidding company to be at the sellers location in person. 

These different types of online-only sales provide breeders with flexibility in choosing the format that best aligns with their resources, preferences, and the needs of their potential buyers. These formats enable breeders to effectively connect with buyers and facilitate successful transactions in the digital landscape. 


Hosting an online only sale offers several distinct advantages for breeders and buyers alike: 

Increased Reach and Accessibility: Online sales eliminate geographical limitations, allowing breeders to reach a broader audience of potential buyers. No longer confined to your specific part of the state or country, you can connect with breeders from across the country. This expanded reach increases the likelihood of finding the perfect match between buyer and seller.  

Convenience and Time Efficiency: Online only sales provide convenience for both breeders and buyers. Breeders can showcase their cattle and manage the sale process from the comfort of their own ranches. Buyers can browse and bid on Registered Texas Longhorns at their convenience, without the need to travel long distances or attend physical auctions. This time efficiency benefits all parties involved, saving valuable time and resources. 

Enhanced Marketing Opportunities: Online platforms offer a wide range of marketing tools and capabilities that can significantly enhance the promotion of the cattle you’re selling. Breeders can leverage social media, email marketing, and targeted advertising to create awareness and generate interest in their cattle. They can also utilize multimedia content, such as videos and virtual tours, to showcase the unique qualities of the animals. These marketing opportunities help breeders attract a larger pool of potential buyers and create a competitive bidding environment.

Transparent and Secure Transactions: Online only sales provide a transparent and secure environment for conducting transactions. 

By embracing online sales, individual Registered Texas Longhorn breeders can capitalize on these advantages, expanding their market reach, improving efficiency, and ultimately facilitating successful transactions in the digital landscape. 


Preparing for the online sale

When it comes to hosting an individual online only sale, preparation is key. First and foremost, select a reliable online platform or auction service that specializes in livestock sales. Look for platforms that have a proven track record in handling successful cattle transactions and offer features tailored to the needs of Registered Texas Longhorn breeders. Consider the platforms pricing as well, as some will be a set fee while others will take a percentage of your overall sales revenue.

Additionally, choose a date and time that accommodates potential buyers, considering factors such as industry events and holidays. Having an individual online only sale over a weekend of a large, in person sale, may not produce the results you’re hoping for. Breeders wishing to have an online only sale must also plan ahead far enough to ensure that there is time for adequate marketing to be done - typically about 2-3 months ahead of time.

Gathering comprehensive information and documentation about the cattle you intend to sell is crucial. Provide potential buyers with detailed descriptions, including updated information on horn measurements, breeding and more.  

Furthermore, leverage the power of social media and industry networks to promote your sale and generate buzz among the Registered Texas Longhorn community. Share captivating images and stories about the cattle to engage potential buyers and create anticipation for your event. Consider sending out email blasts and text messages to also garner additional engagement.  


Creating an engaging online sale experience

To maximize the appeal and engagement of your online only sale, it is crucial to create an immersive and user-friendly experience for potential buyers. Here are some key strategies to consider:

Ensuring a user-friendly interface for buyers to browse and bid on livestock: Choose an online platform or auction service that offers a simple and intuitive interface as well as solid customer support. Potential buyers should be able to easily navigate through the listings, search for specific criteria, and place bids without any technical hurdles. A user-friendly interface will enhance the overall experience and encourage active participation from potential buyers.  

Obtaining high-quality photos and detailed descriptions of the animals: Visuals play a crucial role in capturing the attention and interest of buyers. Provide high-resolution photographs that showcase the cattle from various angles. Highlight their distinctive features, such as horn shape, coat color, and body structure. Complement the images with detailed descriptions that outline the animals’ pedigree and any noteworthy characteristics or awards. The goal is to paint a comprehensive picture of the animal and entice buyers with the unique qualities they possess.

Offering virtual tours or videos of the livestock to give buyers a better understanding: Incorporate videos into your online sale experience to offer potential buyers a deeper understanding of your animals. Video allow buyers to see the animals in motion, observe their behavior, and gain a better appreciation of their physical attributes. Virtual tours or videos provide a more immersive experience that can greatly influence buyers’ decision-making process and instill confidence in their purchase. Sellers can even add voice over to their videos for an additional layer of marketing.

Providing accurate pedigrees and health records to establish trust: Transparency is crucial in online livestock sales. Buyers place significant value on trustworthy information, so establishing credibility through accurate documentation will foster trust and confidence in the registered livestock being offered.

By focusing on these strategies you will not only attract more interest in your online only sale, but also instill confidence and trust in your overall breeding program, increasing the likelihood of successful transactions and future transactions. 


July 02


Establishing clear sale terms and conditions

To ensure a smooth and transparent online only sale, it is essential to establish clear and concise terms and conditions. By doing so, you provide potential buyers with a clear understanding of their obligations and rights throughout the transaction. Here are important aspects to consider when outlining the sale terms:

1. Clearly outlining payment and delivery options for buyers: Specify the accepted forms of payment, such as bank transfers, credit cards, or secure online payment platforms. Clearly communicate the payment. The most popular payment option is for buyers to send checks or money orders directly to the seller. While most internet auction companies will handle the invoicing for the seller, it is still up to the seller to handle everything after payment is received (such as clearance, pick up/drop off coordination, etc.). Many internet auction companies will also handle the processing of credit cards if the sale host would like to offer this as a payment option.   Additionally, provide details regarding the delivery options available to buyers, including shipping arrangements, associated costs, and estimated timelines.

2. Including any applicable guarantees or warranties: If you offer any guarantees or warranties for the registered livestock, clearly state them in the terms and conditions. Specify the duration of the guarantee and the circumstances under which it applies. This ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of the protections provided and helps build trust in the sale.

3. Setting realistic reserves or minimum bid amounts: To protect your interests as the seller but also to have a successful online only sale, it is important to set realistic reserves and/or starting bid amounts for your cattle. Clearly communicate these reserves or minimums to potential buyers, as it helps manage their expectations. Setting appropriate reserves or minimums contributes to a successful sale outcome for both parties.  If your goal is to sell every animal in your online only sale, then make sure they’re priced accordingly. Too many times I’ve seen a seller miss out on making a sale over $100 because a reserve was that close to being met. Many times, after an online only sale has ended, going back to the highest bidder won’t work to finalize a sale because the excitement of bidding online for them is over.

Quality internet bidding companies can set a variety of starting bids for your animals as well as a variety of reserves on your top animals. And online only sale does not have to be a “one size (price) fits all” type of approach.

By doing these 3 items, you create a transparent and reliable framework for your online only sale. This fosters trust and confidence among potential buyers and promotes a positive experience throughout the transaction process. 


Managing the online only sale process

Effectively managing the online only sale process for registered livestock is crucial to ensure a successful and seamless experience for both breeders and buyers. This is also why choosing the right internet auction company is key, as many of them should do several of these key tasks for you. Here are key strategies to keep in mind for managing your sales process:

Providing prompt and helpful communication with potential buyers: Maintaining open lines of communication is vital throughout the sale process. Respond to inquiries and messages from potential buyers promptly, providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions. Be attentive and courteous in addressing their concerns or queries, demonstrating your commitment to customer service. Clear and timely communication builds trust and enhances the buyer’s experience.

Encouraging pre-sale inspections or consultations for serious buyers: For serious buyers who express strong interest in the registered livestock, encourage pre-sale inspections or consultations. Offer them the opportunity to visit the animals in person, or arrange virtual meetings to discuss specific details or address any concerns they may have. Providing this level of engagement and personalized attention demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and helps serious buyers make confident purchasing decisions. 

By effectively managing the online sale process breeders can create a well-organized and professional atmosphere for their online only. These strategies contribute to a positive buyer experience and increase the likelihood of successful transactions. 


July 03


Post-sale responsibilities

The post-sale phase of an online only internet sale is just as crucial as the pre-sale and sale phases. It involves several key responsibilities of the seller to ensure a smooth transition and maintain positive relationships with buyers. Here are important post-sale responsibilities to consider:

Coordinating the logistics of transporting the livestock to their new owners: Work closely with buyers to coordinate the logistics of transporting the purchased livestock to their new homes or allowing them to be picked up. Provide guidance on recommended transportation methods and connect buyers with reputable transport services if needed. Ensure that the animals are safely and securely transported, taking into account any specific requirements or regulations that may apply. Make sure payment has cleared before releasing any animals.

Ensuring proper documentation and transfer of ownership: Facilitate the proper documentation and transfer of ownership for the registered livestock. Provide the necessary paperwork, such as registration certificates, health records, and any other relevant documents. Guide new buyers through the process of updating ownership information and assist in any required administrative tasks. Clear and accurate documentation is essential to ensure a smooth transition and legal transfer of ownership.

Maintaining good relationships with buyers for potential future sales: Nurture and maintain good relationships with buyers beyond the initial sale. Regularly engage with buyers through follow-up communications, such as expressing gratitude for their participation and checking in on their satisfaction with the purchased livestock. Cultivating positive relationships can lead to repeat business and potential future sales. Keep buyers informed about upcoming sales or new additions to your registered livestock inventory, fostering a sense of loyalty and increasing the likelihood of continued engagement.

By effectively managing post-sale responsibilities breeders can conclude their online registered livestock sales on a high note. These efforts contribute to buyer satisfaction, reinforce your reputation as a reliable breeder, and pave the way for future successful transactions. 



In conclusion, hosting a successful online only registered livestock sale requires careful planning, effective execution, and a customer-centric approach. It does take an investment of time by  the seller but working with the right internet bidding company can help ease any stress during that time.

Moreover, it is essential for breeders to recognize the importance of adaptability and embracing technology in the livestock industry. Online only sales offer numerous advantages, such as expanded reach, increased convenience, and enhanced buyer engagement. By embracing technology and leveraging online platforms, breeders can effectively connect with a wider audience and streamline their sales process. By integrating online sales strategies into their business models, breeders can unlock new opportunities and reach a broader base of potential buyers.

Hosting successful online only livestock sales requires a combination of strategic planning, effective communication, and embracing technology. By following the outlined tips above and adapting to the evolving landscape, breeders can maximize their sales potential, foster positive buyer experiences, and contribute to the growth and success of the Longhorn industry. 



Molly Clubb is the founder of Hired Hand Software, a company that provides website and marketing services for Longhorn breeders and other breeds. They also offer online sale/internet bidding/ broadcasting services through their system, Hired Hand Live. 



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