7.05 - Selling options

The ability to optimise returns from the sale of livestock depends on the selling method you choose and the sale process you follow.

Livestock selling systems vary in their overall efficiency and suitability for individual enterprises or circumstances.  The methods available are outlined below.

Selling method


Saleyard auction

Livestock are transported to central saleyards and sold to the highest bidder, fetching prices that reflect the supply and demand of the market place on the day. No individual feedback.

Paddock sale

Stock are inspected on the vendor’s property by the buyer or agent and sold straight out of the paddock. Feedback sometimes on request.

Stockyard sale

Stock are weighed and graded, then priced for sale.

Over the hooks

Stock are delivered directly to the abattoir, with change of ownership taking place at abattoir scales. The terms of sale will vary between abattoirs. Generally good feedback.


Provides electronic online auctions for the sale of livestock by description (formerly called CALM). AuctionsPlus combines the best features of the saleyard system while allowing direct consignment to the abattoir or buyer. Feedback by arrangement.

Forward contracts

A contractual agreement between a seller (eg producer) and a buyer (eg processor) to supply a given product at a future point in time for a given price. In some cases, the price is fixed, thereby reducing the producer’s exposure to a fall in market price. Feedback by arrangement.

Producer alliances

A group of producers working together in groups to properly service market place requirements to the benefit of themselves, their customers, and others in the beef marketing chain. Very good feedback

Value based

Refers to the principle of being paid for the inherent value (quality and quantity) of the product to the buyer and end user.

Any selling system that provides clear signals from the retailer or consumer back to the producer and has a pricing system supporting those signals is a value based marketing system. Best feedback.