Friday, May 1, 2009

My New Best Friend

I mentioned some time ago how the little auction yard I had been going to closed for business. It was a real tragedy for me because it was so convenient. The sheep sales were every Thursday. All I had to do was bring my sheep in, give my name and address, and by the following Tuesday I had a check in my mailbox.

The last time I put an ad in the paper it cost me about $38. (Granted, it was a long time ago.) I called about three weeks ago to advertise the lambs for sale. Basically my ad was going to read: "Dorper cross lambs. $60 each." and then have my name and number. The lady at the newspaper told me the cheapest ad I could get would cost $80. $80! I'd have to sell almost one and a half lambs just to pay for the ad!

I told her "Never mind." Is it any wonder the newspapers are going out of business? Or am I living in some sort of fantasy world? Please don't answer that.

I don't remember if Carli mentioned it to me or I just remembered it from somewhere else (or maybe a bit of both) but suddenly "Craigslist" came to mind. (And no, it wasn't because of the "Craigslist Killer.") I had never looked there before and decided "Why not?"

I posted my ad and within fifteen minutes two people called. One actually came out and the first two rams were sold! Then there was nothing for about a week.

Carli told me the best thing to do would be to take the ad down and repost it. I suddenly understood what she meant. If you aren't familiar with the site, what happens is the most recent day's posts are shown first, then the next day's and then often you have to click to view any further ads. Carli said when she is looking for something she never clicks beyond that first page.

I reposted the ad and got a little more elaborate with the wording. Basically I mentioned how the lambs were "ready to go. Butcher now or raise to size you want. Hormone and antibiotic free."

Lo and behold I had a couple of more calls. Unfortunately they didn't pan out. After four days I reposted and got several new callers and an email. One man came out with his young son and bought two rams and two ewes. He asked if I would hold them for a week or so until he got his place ready and paid me extra. No problem! This morning he called and asked for the third and final ewe. This afternoon another man came and took the final ram lamb.

Now they are all sold and I think I am liking Craigslist!

The first gentleman told me that the Famosa Auction Yard, aka Western Stockman's Market, Inc. was now selling sheep. It's closer to Bakersfield than the next sheep auction yard in Madera. I didn't have to check on that lead and with any luck Craigslist will continue to work for me!

The girls...

The boys...


PS--My only regret is that I didn't keep one for our freezer, but I'd rather have the $$. Next time...


Christy said...

I got my sheep from Craigslist. Where did you get your shephard's crook? I think it would help us a lot.

tina f. said...

We got our crook from a local feed store. If you can't find one at a store near you, you could check out Premier 1 Supplies ( Enter "crook" in the search box and some options should come up.

Anonymous said...

A friend just told me she paid $150 for a lamb for her daughter. I told her that she should let me know next year if she wants any lambs. You will get more, right? They just appear in the pens with no effort on your part?