Preparing for the Auction

Market Your Project! Send Out Buyer Letters

Why Send a Letter?
  1. Why should you send a letter if you already have a buyer lined up? Having multiple buyers bidding on your project at auction gives you the best chance of a higher price sale price.
  2. It is NOT YOUR PARENTS RESPONSIBILITY TO FIND BUYERS! You should MARKET YOURSELF to make the biggest impact on the sale price of your project!
Writing your Letter
  1. Make a list of 10-15 possible buyers for you to send letters to with their names and addresses
  2. Write a letter to a buyer inviting them to the Auction Sale at AgFest – Take note of where your project will sell during the sale.
  3. What items should be in your letter?
    • Name, Age, Club
    • Project you are taking
    • How many years in this project
    • The Location of the Sale (Stockton Fairgrounds) Day of the Sale, Time of the sale!
    • How to contact you – make sure your name and address and phone number are on it!
    • Sign your name
  4. If you are selling a Replacement Heifer – let them know the sale is on Friday instead of Saturday
  5. How do they register as a buyer if they are a new buyer
  6. The difference between Custom and Resale
    • Custom means they will pay the entire price of the bid, plus any processing charges, cut and wrap charges and they will have it for their freezer!
    • Resale – they will pay only the amount over the resale bid – so if the resale on a Goat is $2.00 a lb and they bid $10.00 they would only pay the difference of $8.00 per lb.
  7. Options – if they don’t want to buy your animal how else can they help support you?
    • Add On’s
    • Agricultural Educational Scholarship
Items that Add Interest to Your Letter
  1. What you are learning in your project
  2. Challenges in your project this year
  3. Why you are interested in this project
  4. A recipe that will enhance your project – especially if it is something that they may not typically buy –like maybe a lamb, goat or rabbit
  5. Why your project animal would be something they would want to eat
  6. Include a photo of you and your animal.
  7. Show Dates – invite them to come and watch your market or showmanship shows
  8. Set up a personal meeting with them so that you can tell them about your project
  9. If you are in the Sale and are a Market Turkey – let them know that you are later in the sale – so coming at noon for lunch would be a good option! That way they don’t get there at 9 am and you don’t sell until 2 pm! But if you are a Market Beef – you want to be sure they are there at 8 am – so they are ready to bid on that animal at 9 am!
Sending Your Letter
  1. Hand-written or Typed? You can do either one. While form letters tend to be a little easier and sometimes easier to read, it is best if you can make each letter to each buyer personal in some way so that the buyer knows you are reaching out directly to them.
  2. Hand-delivered or Mailed? If you can hand deliver to the buyer – this gives you a personal one on one with your potential buyer so that they can ask you questions. If you had a buyer last year – maybe make that extra effort to thank them in person and hand deliver your buyer letter this year!
  3. When to send these out? AgFest typically has postcards that we print up and send out in March with a Save the Date. If you can get some of those and send those out to new buyers with a small note that tells them what you are raising and to save the date, that’s helpful for them to get their interest. You should send your final letters out anywhere from 14-30 days prior to the Auction.