The founder of a new Web-based hay classified advertising and online auction service says his site has been busy. "The majority of my current registered users are looking for hay," says Stephen Hardison of www.bid4hay.com, which premiered just over a month ago. "I wanted to create a community where hay buyers and sellers could come together."

The site allows for hay searches by state and zip code or by hay-quality attributes. It lets users limit searches to specific mile ranges and users can register for free.

Hardison urges classified sellers to provide as much information as possible about their hay. "Detailed descriptions are essential to assist the sale," he notes. "For hay this includes the lot type, such as bales or tons, lot size, bale size, percent protein, TDN, RFV and other special traits that the marketplace requires." Classified ads have a fixed price stated when listed, based on the amount of time the ad will run.

To get the most from the site's live online auction feature, Hardison says, producers holding auctions should set finish times convenient for potential buyers. Sellers can set a minimum price (reserve) and a buy now price, which effectively ends the auction. However, bidders have the option of bidding up to the buy now price and beyond, if necessary. Auctions are free to list. Once a sale is made, the seller is charged a 5% fee based on the successful auction price. "Once a bid has been accepted, it is considered a binding, legal contract between the buyer and the seller," Hardison explains.

The site also deals in related farm items ranging from baling twine and net wrap to bee hives, pasture leases, livestock and antiques, for example. Learn more by contacting Hardison at 817-713-9446 or email admin@bid4hay.com.