Paying seller

Hello all,

I have a simple question. How are we best paying sellers these days for horses? I found old threads that say wire transfer is best, or personal check. Are there quicker, yet still safe methods nowadays to pay out of state sellers?

When I got my gelding in 2020, I had wired a down payment and then paid cash for the remaining upon pony delivery (high four figures); seller preferred that or a cashiers check. For a higher price tag, I would think a cashiers check or bank wire would be a pretty safe bet.

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I use Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) for everything now, both domestic and international, incoming and outgoing. The fees are very low. As a seller, I would only take a personal check for a very small amount or a horse staying in my barn.


Thank you! Do both parties need to have an account with Wise?

Last horse I purchased I paid with PayPal. Before that was always wire transfer or cash.

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Cashier’s check.


I was wondering if PayPal was a safe option. It would be mid to high 4 figures.

I don’t use Wise (transferwise) like Tha_Ridge for horses, but for purchases saddles oversea with my vendors. i have for a few years with no issues. It really is easy and not a ton of fees. If the horse is overseas, most people are much more familiar with wire transfers than us Americans.

You need an account for Wise, but I don’t think the receiving party does. It is directly deposited into their bank account. The account is really easy to set up.



I know a lot of people use PayPal (and I certainly have before), but technically, buying or selling animals with PayPal is prohibited and I do know folks who have had their accounts locked or banned, so it’s turned me off it a bit.

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Wiring is safest and most secure for all parties involved.

Last time around we just used our bank (Chase). And honestly, it was really easy. The hardest part was double checking account numbers to make sure we had everything correct. I think the transfer fee was like $20–miniscule in comparison to the actual transaction.


Wire transfer is safest and most common.

I paid for my last one (OTTB) through PayPal though and since it was a one-time thing, I had no issues with it. He was relatively cheap though, I don’t think I’d do that for anything higher cost.

I have purchased 2 horses from a breeder I know well, and both horses stayed with her after I paid, so I used a check for them. Not something I would do in other circumstances.

Wire transfer is tried and true.

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I used venmo for one that was under the venmo limit.

I used a wire transfer for another, and paid the difference between my transfer limit and the purchase price with chase quickpay. I will say that I went to the bank in person after I sent the wire transfer because it was going out of the country and I wanted to make sure it didn’t get flagged as fraud. Sure enough, it already had. I was little embarrassed explaining to the very nice bank teller that yes, that money was for a horse…


Stupid question…is Wise just for sending transfers abroad?

Nope! You can do same currency transactions too.

For higher end horses, wire transfer or cashiers check.

I’ve had friends that are in the sales business also use venmo, Zelle and PayPal, but that is lower priced horses

in today’s world a standard check drawn on a regular checking is processed in less than 24 hours, even between Fed districts,

I have deposited several high five figure real paper checks into my regular old checking account expecting the old time 10 day Hold on the funds (from the days of when the paper check had to run through the Federal Reserve system from district to district )… to have the funds fully credited and usable the next day

The breeder that we have bought several horses from accepts a personal check

However if there are questions between the parties a wire transfer is by far very simple

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Question - since there is so much fraud out there I assume the recipient of a cashier check can call and verify authenticity? (Just wondering as a senior member of family seemed to be be on the scammers mailing list, receiving very real looking checks, but at least she did not know how to use email so missed out on the Nigeria prince offers.)

And how does that work for wiring money as far as transfer of the horse and transfer of the money? (Wiring does not seem to be instantaneous… so at some point somebody is likely going to have both horse and money? I guess I have heard too many bad horse dealer stories…) thanks for your patience!

It’s not instantaneous—it’s usually next day. I don’t really deal with buyers who come with a trailer and leave with the horse the same day.