Since I flew out to Chicago to co-host TECH cocktail 2 on Thursday night, I made a weekend out of it and visited family and friends in the area. On Saturday, I made a trip out to the country and visited some of my relative’s latest arrivals, which happen to be two pregnant quarter horses named Lucy and Belle (shown to the right). I inquisitively wondered where you might purchase horses of this kind. Is there an online classified advertising site devoted to horses for sale? In doing some quick searching online I learned of the following options:
- Equine.com is probably the most well established and best option as it appears to offer the most search results. Its advanced search features allow users to really narrow down search results based on very specific criteria.
- Horseville.com uses a craigslist-like plain and simple design to offer a super advanced search functionality which rivals that of Equine.com. Results include photos and sometimes videos, as well an inline family background or bloodline charts since most horse buyers are looking for a certain pedigree.
- 2BuyHorses.com offers very light classified listings however some of the listings have multiple photos.
- Horsecity.com, is a site that is not solely devoted but is a few steps away from being a “social network” for horse related products. They offer a primitive blog which is powered by the open-source project called drupal. Its classified ads offer some interesting advertising features which include the addition of a video clip to an ad which might be useful if you want to see a horse in action. In addition, Horsecity.com offers a pedigree search which could come in handy when searching for a specific breeding bloodline.
- Quarter Horse Directory or QHD.com offers classified advertising spots that are extremely primitive and resemble table cells with all capitalized ad text without any photos – pretty ugly user experience compared to these other options but I presume it still gets the job done.
- Horsetopia.com offers a number resources and classified listings with up to six photos. In addition horse ranches or breeders can create a profile page which displays all of their current listings.
I also turned to craigslist.com to see if I could find any classified advertisements and found none in the Chicago area. Next, I visited Edgeio, the classified listing site which looks along the edge of the web for listings. Edgeio had one page of Illinois listings when I searched for the term “quarter horse” and most of them came from a site called EverythingEquus.com a site that I did not find via other conventional search methods. I am no equestrian so I wonder if there are other solid options I failed to mention?
Of the current offerings I would have to say Equine.com offers the largest selection and most advanced interface design which sets it apart from the other current horse classified site options. The horse classified business online is extremely segmented which leaves a huge opportunity to create a horse classified listing aggregator site to allow a user to find all of the various sites and listings in one set of search results. Similar to how Zillow.com came out of nowhere to plant itself in the think of a competitive real estate sites, the online horse classified business landscape could change very quickly with the introduction of a solid web 2.0 offering. Classified advertising sites online do not need to be flashy to be successful. However, I must mention I did find that most of the web sites esthetically resemble “old school” web or web 1.0. In addition, none of the above offered RSS or syndication feeds.
Bottom-line: There are number of niche sites devoted to online horse classified advertisements but there is a lot of room for improvement and opportunity for innovation in the space.