OK so this is not a complete list and some may seem a little patronising (I think the concept is probably patronising in and of itself) but here are 20 tips to help you save model horse pennies this year!Have a wonderful 2014 everyone.
1. Have a spare model when painting
When painting a custom keep another smaller prepped model spare. This way you can use up excess paint mixes without them getting wasted. Particularly good if airbrushing or completing a model that requires you to mix colours. In fact the same also goes for tack making, keep those scraps in a box and use them to make tack for smaller scales!
2. Plan your spending and save
Take a look at what models you really want to buy. If you know you'd love to finally get that resin painted then why not be determined to save up for that instead? Many banks offer instant access saving accounts which may not offer great interest but are a brilliant way of saving a little bit when you can. Many artists and companies will let you know what is being offered throughout the year. Look at what is on offer and write a list. If something is being released mid year that you really want save up for it from now.
3. Use social media wisely
This goes with the one above but also goes in terms of selling models. You can use social media to many advantages, from finding out that your favourite sculptor will be releasing a new model in June (giving you time to plan and save) to using it to seek out bargains, sell your models and ask fellow hobbyists if they have seen a model you're after for sale. Many bushiness also offer special social media promotions (the like the picture and share promotions are common) so you can get money off and win prizes as well!
4. Bulk buy and share orders
If you are planning on ordering items (particularly from abroad) why not get together with other hobbyists to bulk buy? Or wait until there are several items you are after. This can be great in saving in shipping (particularly on sites that charge fixed International shipping rates such as Breyer direct) but can also help reduce customs charges as they include the postage in the price as well. Make sure you know and trust the people you are dealing with and get the money before you order (or make sure you get good references if you are giving people money). A little maths is usually involved but this is easy to do on a computer!
5. Make your own
Go on, give it a go! Alright so maybe its not going to be top LSQ but its a start! The more stuff you make yourself the more money you can save. On a personal note I tend to make all my own bridles, although I can't make saddles. That saves me money on buying tack! I always try out making my own pieces first. Most of my resins are painted by me, although I left it for years before I started to do so (and ruined some of my first ones), but it saves me a lot of money and I've ended up with some pieces that I love, they mean more as well because I know the work that I put into them. Look online for tutorials to help you out or ask fellow hobbyists for advice.
6. Love what you have
Make a resolution. No new models until you've photographed, documented and written pedigrees for all the models you have! Or maybe no new models until you've made them all rugs and headcollars. Setting yourself a limit such as this will not only help you get those jobs done that you have been putting off for ages but also save you money.
7. Delete your saved searches, emails of new releases and avoid sales pages (you can even block these on your computer).
Sometimes you just need an extra barrier in your way! OK so these are easily removed but if you give yourself another barrier then this will help you resist temptation. Deleting that favourite seller from your eBay email updates will also mean that there is no temptation.
8. Move to email subscriptions
Many paper magazines and clubs now offer email alternatives. Having the paper magazines is lovely I know but you may be able to save money by switching to online accounts.
9. Utilise free selling methods
eBay is great for sales but their fees just go up and up (as do many other sites). Start to try and use as many free sites as possible, MH$P allows you to post a certain number of ads for free, Facebook is completely free to use as are many forums. There are also lots of other free selling sites and you can always sell items through your own website as well.
10. Make your own supplies
Its very easy to make your own jump rings and buckles by bending wire and a lot cheaper. You can make saddle trees using cut up cans (although be careful)! and pipe cleaners. This is particularly good if you are just making pieces that aren't for live showing (although if done well they are perfectly good for that)! Experiment with what you have lying around and look online for help. There was a time before ready made supplies and many will help you make your own and give you tips and tricks. But for now remember that a toothbrush can easily be turned into a very good broom!
11. Enter free photoshows instead of other shows
Photoshows can be just ask fun and there are plenty of free ones around. Maybe instead of entering that live show you could try photoshowing instead? Its a lot cheaper and just as fun to see your horses winning. Many free shows even offer prizes!
12. Stocktake your supplies
Take some time to go through all those bits and bobs you have lying around (whether hobby supplies or just boxes of tack and props). Look at what you have and see if there is anything new you could do? You could probably create several great set ups just from the stuff you having lying around!
13. Delete that PayPal app!
Take only cash to live shows and make it difficult for yourself to PayPal over money. I am definitely a victim of smartphone ease, I have many an AA that are with me thanks to technology! Take a limited amount of cash (what you can afford) and leave some away from the rest for raffle tickets. Putting money from items you sell into a separate pocket or handing it someone who has come with you also helps!
14. Dig out those oldies
Those old models are just as good as the new ones! Last year I attempted the 'live show project' the aim of which was to live show every model I owned. I didn't complete it fully (mainly due to their being not enough shows for all my foals)! but I did get a good way through. The result was over 100 BMECS qualifications many for models that I wouldn't have even thought about showing previously. Write a spreadsheet with the breed classes on and list all the horses you could show underneath, make a note of who you take. This is a great alternative to just buying a new model!
15. Have some immature fun
Photostories and YouTube videos are fun. They are. Trust me. So go and make one! You don't ned anything expensive (just a camera) and you can have a laugh with the models, takc and props you already own. Having fun with what you've got instead of seeking out new editions is a great way of deterring yourself from spending
16. Have a clear out
Go through that body box. Lets face it you really aren't going to finish that decapitated horse from 1992, seriously you aren't. Sell it. Someone else may be able to love it! The same goes for old magazines, hobby supplies, tack and other bits and pieces you have lying around. Even models! Remember one mans trash is another mans treasure! When it comes to body boxes or projects make a resolution that you will not start a new project until you've finished your old ones!
17. Avoid the final minutes of eBay auctions
The adrenaline rush, the pretty item, the knowledge that you really really want it. All of these can end up with you spending waaay over your upper limit. Go for a walk and leave your smart phone at home when the auction is about to end. Come back and find out whether you've won. If you didn't there will be another model!
See if people will trade for something you want or need. Many artists will trade for bodies (or other models) and many people will be happy to trade. But don't be rude, some people need the money or may not like what you have to offer. Don't contact people and ask them to trade when they've specifically said they don't want to. And always always always check references! This is a very easy way to get stung so make sure you do your research.
19. Take supplies to live shows
Take a packed lunch and a flask of tea or coffee with you in the car. It will avoid you stopping to buy food. Also fill up somewhere local and cheap (use petrol price finder to find the cheapest station). Above all avoid motorway service stations! Everything there is overpriced.
20. Set a price limit on your search
And finally. Here is a great tip especially for eBay searches. If you find you go on eBay in search of bodies or supplies and end up with a £200 resin then maybe this one is good for you. Instead of just searching for 'Breyer' on an open search setting a spend of say £20 will help to limit what you see. If you can't see it you won't be tempted. Always make sure you read the postage prices before you click buy as well! Also in bulk lots work out how much each individual model will cost you. Also make sure you always read the description so you know what you are getting.
Feel free to add your own tips in the comments section below or let me know how you get on with these ones.