Tips & Guidelines for Writing Buyer Letters

Livestock Exhibitors it’s that time of year again – Fair Time!

Within the long “to-do” list for preparing for fair are writing letters to potential buyers. You have worked very hard and have spent countless hours working with your animal preparing for the Sumter County Fair. You are almost ready but now you need to write your buyer’s letters. Not the most favorite part of your livestock project! Like the hundreds of other livestock exhibitors you want to get the best price possible for your animal and a big part of that is getting buyers to come to the fair and bid on your animal. Good buyer’s letters help not only you but all the entrants at the fair because the buyer you invite may not only bid on your animal, but they might bid on other exhibitor’s animals as well.

So what is a buyer’s letter and why do we have to write them?

A buyer’s letter is a letter that a 4-H member sends out to potential buyers before their county fair to tell the person a little about themselves and their animal, and to invite them to the fair and livestock auction. As a livestock exhibitor it is your responsibility to invite new and returning buyers to the sale. A buyer’s letter is like handing them a formal invitation but with information specific to your project. New buyers or returning buyers that are happy with their letters are more likely to come to the sale and pay premium prices. The more buyers you have the more they bid against each other and your sale price goes up!

Items to Include in Your Buyer’s Letter:

1. Know who you are writing to
a. Owner of a business, family members, friend, etc. Important when addressing the buyer’s letter.

2. Information about yourself
a. Tell them your name, age, and introduce yourself. This helps the buyer know whose letter they are reading. When they get to the fair it will help them make a connection with you. Some buyers are more likely to bid on animals raised by people they know.

3. Information about your project and club
a. Some buyers like to hear about your animal, how you raised it, and what 4-H club or FFA chapter you belong to. They may choose to bid on your animal based on your club/chapter affiliation if they recognize your club/chapter from your activities that they have heard about.

4. The Sumter County Fair Dates
a. This helps the buyer because they will know when the fair is and that way they can attend the fair. If they have fun and enjoy themselves they would be more likely to come back. If they don’t know the dates of the fair then they won’t know when to come and look at your animals.

5. The Livestock Sale date, time AND location
a. In order for the buyer to bid on your animal they will need to know when the auction is and where it is. If you can’t get them to the auction then they can’t bid on your animal and you won’t sell it as easily.

6. Tell them how they can participate as a buyer
a. They can come to the buyer’s dinner the night of the show.
b. They will receive a Sumter County Fair Buyer’s Guide and Dinner Invitation if they have purchased in the past.
c. If your buyer has not purchased in the past please notify the Fair Office and they can mail your buyer a Buyer’s Guide and Dinner Invitation.

7. Inform them where they can get more information
a. Buyers can always contact the Sumter County Fair Office to learn more information about the fair and the livestock sale.
b. Mrs. Nina 352-569-6851

8. Thank them for previous participation if they have purchased from you before
a. If you do this, it may motivate the buyer to come back and bid again. It lets them know you appreciated them purchasing your animal last  year.

9. Personalize the letters
a. This is good because most buyers like letters that are signed by a real person and not photocopied letter, and also they like their names on the letter not just Dear Buyer. The more individualized a letter is, the more likely a person is to read it.

10. Consider adding a picture or yourself and/or your animal
a. This can help people see what your animal looks like. Some people think that pictures of animals are cute and this may help them decide to bid on your animal instead of somebody else’s or not bidding at all.

For more information please contact the 4-H office at kagers02@ufl.edu or 352-569-6874.

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