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Buying and Selling Your Model Horses

**I can't give you an estimate of the value of your model or your model horse collection. Thanks for your understanding.**

Highly desirable "Touch-ability" Display Carton, 1968-1970 "Decorator" model, ~1963-1964 Model horse set complete with tack and rider

Please check references on any hobbyist you don't know before buying or selling to them. Places to check references include the Yahoo group Model Horse Hobby References (MHHR), Model Horse Blab's Transaction Board and the Model Horse Transaction Board on Facebook.


Model Horse Values

The value of a model horse depends on several factors, including condition, rarity, and popularity of that mold and/or model. You can get an approximate value for your models from online auctions as well as books like Felicia Browell's Breyer Animal Collector's Guide, Fifth Edition (which is updated as the Breyer Animal Quick Reference), and the The Model Trading Post Insurance Guide 2016. For a detailed look at what goes into a model's value see How Much is My Breyer Model Horse Worth? by Triple Mountain Model Horses.

Condition: The prices you will see listed in price guides are for models in good condition, with some minor ear tip, tail, and hoof rubs and/or factory problems such as overspray or blurred markings. If your model has a lot of scratches, a seam split or any type of break it will have a much lower value. A very rare model (see below) may still fetch a high price in poor condition, but common models in "played with" condition simply don't have much value, even ones twenty or more years old.

Rarity: If a model was available for many years (the bay Running Mare and the palomino Family Arabians, for example) its value will be much less than that of a model that was issued only for a year or two. Decorator, Woodgrain, and Just About Horses' Connoisseur Models are all examples of models with small runs that retain their value well over time.

Extras: If a model came with a hang tag, certificate of authenticity, ribbon, blanket, or other item it is generally worth more if those accessories are included.  Unlike in other hobbies, however, most model horse collectors prefer their models out of their original packaging so that potential buyers can see any hidden factory flaws or box rubs. Some collectors do value having the original box and collectors manual, if there was one, for very old models and for those that are a part of a gift set such as Breyer's Holiday Horses. Use your best judgment when considering what to hang onto and what to throw away.

Buying Model Horses

You may already have a dealer nearby (check your tack and toy stores along with the retail chains listed in Special Run Distributors) for new and recently discontinued Breyer model horses. Classic and Stablemate scale models are commonly found in the retail chains, with Traditional models more common in the western wear and tack stores. Listed below is a variety of Internet sources selling Breyer model horses and you may also find some good deals at Amazon.com, along with free shipping. Even allowing for the cost of shipping you may find that you'll get a better deal through the Internet although you won't be able to see the model in person before you buy it.

If you're just coming back into the hobby after a long time away it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of models available; there are thousands of discontinued models for sale, and more than a hundred more are released each year. Unless you're independently wealthy or just won the lottery you'll need to decide what you'll focus on, such as one or a handful of favorite molds, breeds, scale (Traditional, Classic, etc.) or colors. You should also try to be patient, even when you find a model for sale that you simply must have. Unless your model is extremely rare there are bound to be others out there just like it, so take time to decide if its condition and price are right for you before you commit to a purchase. Remember, breathe! Don't let someone talk you into buying something just because it's a "great deal." It's only a great deal if it makes you happy to own it!

Selling Model Horses

Many people, when they find out that the horses they collected as a child are considered valuable today decide to sell their model horses. There are many way to sell them, but first go back and read my section on model horse values. The biggest problem most childhood collectors have is that their models were (gasp) played with, and now have many scratches, chips, and even breaks. Dirt and scuff marks may be removable--see my Model Horse Vet Care page. Everything that remains after cleaning affects value and you need to have a realistic idea of what your collection is worth before you begin. Collectors are very particular and you'll need to be able to accurately describe your model's flaws--"good condition for its age" simply won't cut it if you want to get a decent price.

Once you know what condition your models are in you'll need to identify what you have. While it's possible to just take photos of your collection and sell the lot on a site like eBay you'll get a much better price if you can accurately describe what you have and what condition each model is in and do even better if you sell them individually.  If you don't know what you have use this site to figure it out. With extremely few exceptions every Breyer model known is described on these pages and the site is set up to help even a complete novice identify what she/he has. If you try to identify your model yourself you'll learn more about what you have and may even decide to return to this wonderful hobby! If you are absolutely stuck you can email me for help. I won't identify your entire collection for you (and don't provide estimated values at all), so please don't ask.

As soon as you know what you have and what condition they're in you're ready to advertise your models for sale. The most popular way to do that is by online auction. Be as accurate as you can regarding the condition of the model, and be sure to provide photos of multiple views of the model if possible. The photo(s) must be clear enough to show the condition of the model and large enough to make out details. Use as low a starting bid as you can and be prepared to answer questions during the auction period. You can also use sales lists or other methods to sell your models, and I've listed some of these resources below. If you don't want to sell your models yourself or want to sell them in a single lot I suggest contacting a dealer who works on consignment.

Once your model sells be ready to pack it well and ship it out as soon as you have received payment. People know each other within the hobby and the best way to sell models in the future is to develop a reputation as an honest, reliable seller. Good luck!

Buying and Selling Resources

Authorized Dealers: For buying new and recently discontinued models authorized dealers may have what you're looking for. A few dealers also buy and sell older ("vintage") model horses. Some of the retail chain stores that I've found Breyers in include tack shops, Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us.

  • Breyer now sells models online at list price. Starting with "Delia" in October of 2008 Breyer also sells Web Special models from their site that are available nowhere else.
  • Authorized Dealers - A listing of mail order and Internet dealers, including those who buy/sell on consignment.
  • Special Run Distributors - Breyer frequently releases models that are available only through a certain store or distributing company, most of which are listed here.

Online Buying and Selling:

  • eBay - Thousands of Breyer listings and high traffic make this site very popular but listing fees can be high.
  • Model Horse $ales Pages - MH$P offers text and photo ads at little to no cost. It has a much smaller reach than eBay but is well known within the hobby.
  • Haynet Exchange - The most active email list for the buying, selling, and trading of model horses. Listings are free.
  • Model Horse Blab - Blab has free basic discussion forums. There is a section for the posting of models for sale and wanted available to paid members.
  • Social Media - Models are now frequently sold through user groups on sites like Facebook and Instagram. These groups are free to join and use but have little or no buyer protection. You can find these groups using that site's search engine. Be sure to check references (see above) before entering into any private transaction and use a protected payment method such as PayPal (avoiding that company's "Friends and Family" payment option).
  • Craigslist - This free online classified is a good way to buy and sell locally, avoiding the hassles and perils of shipping.

Antique Stores/Collectible Shops/Garage Sales: Probably the most fun way to find what you need. Careful hunting can turn up some amazing bargains but be careful of how much you pay, especially in antique shops; in my experience many models there are grossly overpriced. Having a collector's guide with you when you shop will help determine what's a fair price.

Live Model Horse Shows: these competitions almost always have "for sale" tables. This is probably the best way to buy when you want to be absolutely sure of a model's condition and is a great way to sell your models without the hassle of shipping.

**I can't give you an estimate of the value of your model or your model horse collection. Thanks for your understanding.**

Good Luck!


This website, including all photographs and original text, is Copyright 2001-2016 Janice Cox. It is not sponsored by Breyer Horses, which is a division of Reeves International, Inc.

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