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Best Time To Buy A Snow Blower
August, September, and early October are the best months to buy a snow blower, say experts such as Consumer Reports and Snow Blowers Direct. There are other times of the year when you can find bargains on snow blowers, but late summer/early fall offers the best balance of price and selection.
A snow blower — a good one, anyway — is not a cheap machine. Do you feel like the only options are to either keep shoveling snow or go broke?
Are you looking for the best time to buy a snow blower that will spare your back and your wallet?
If budget is a big concern for you, you’re in luck. I’ve written this guide to help you understand the best time to buy a snow blower.
I’ve got options here in descending order, from when to get a wide selection with decent discounts to when you’ll find those rock-bottom prices.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Or Fall: When Can I Get The Best Deal Of All?
When is the best time to buy a snowblower? Intuitively, it isn’t late fall or early winter.
It seems that many people rush to buy a snow blower as soon as they catch word of snow headed their way. With high demand, manufacturers and retailers can charge their maximum prices.
So, what should you do? Wait until demand is at its lowest? Snow blower experts agree that waiting until the last minute (like in the spring) isn’t wise.
The trick to saving money on a good snow blower is understanding how retailers and manufacturers manage their inventory. Both try their hardest to only make or sell what people will buy during the peak season.
As a result, it can be difficult to find any snow blowers after winter, much less good ones. In fact, the best snow blowers often disappear as soon as January. By February, if there are any snow blowers still in stock, they’ll likely be of low-quality.
For The Best Price And Selection, Buy In Summer Or Early Fall
Manufacturers make snow blowers during May, June, and July. As a result, many experts recommend August, September, and early October as the best months to get a snow blower.
You’ll have a wide selection to choose from and the relative lack of demand means that prices will be lower.
Others recommend shopping even earlier. Snow Blowers Direct, a popular online snow blower retailer, recommends getting a snow blower in May or June, right when new models are released.
The Magic Of Backordering
But what brick-and-mortar store sells snow blowers in the middle of summer? If you go to your local Home Depot during these months, you’re sure to only find lawn mowers.
The trick to getting around this is called backordering. When you backorder something, you buy something that the store intends to sell but doesn’t have in stock. The store then orders that item from a manufacturer.
Using this method, you can save money on a brand new model. Or, to save even more, you can backorder a model from last year. According to Backyard Workshop, manufacturers mark down prices on their old models to make room for their new ones.
An alternative to backordering is buying your snow blower online. There are online retailers who sell nothing but snow blowers and related gear. And besides these, there are less specialized sites where you can score a deal in any month. I’ll explain online options in more detail later.
For Rock-bottom Prices, Try End-Of-Winter Sales
If you really need to save money, you can take a chance with end-of-winter sales. Some experts name the end of winter — especially January — as the best time to get a snow blower, explaining that you can find deals as good as 50 percent off.
You may have fewer models to choose from, but you’ll have a wider selection than you will have in the spring.
But not everyone agrees with this advice. Snow Blowers Direct warns that “all the good stuff is gone in January”, explaining that whatever you find will be what other people didn’t want.
But when you really need to save money, less popular brands and models may be worth settling for.
Come springtime, however, most experts agree that your selection will be too narrow and whatever’s left will probably be junk. You could get around this by using a chain store’s website, as another location might have the model you want. Still, keep in mind that you might only be allowed to buy it in-store.
Can I Predict End-Of-Season Sales?
Unlike the snow blower manufacturing cycle, end-of-season sales can be hard to predict. Here are some tips:
- Snow Blowers Direct buys seasonal leftovers from manufacturers and then sells them at low prices.
- SnowBlowers.net has learned from sales associates that Home Depot may have sales in February, March, or April, and Lowes may have them as soon as January.
- According to ImBringingBloggingBack.com, snow blowers sometimes go on sale during Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend.
Oddball Options: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, And Warm Winters
You may also be able to save money on a snow blower during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and unusually warm winters. If you get an unusually warm winter, fewer people will buy snow blowers. In theory, this should cause retailers to lower their prices.
Of course, Black Friday and Cyber Monday only come once a year and warm winters are sporadic. Additionally, snow blowers with Black Friday or Cyber Monday discounts tend to be less popular models and brands. But hey, the more options the better.
A Few Weeks Without Snow May Also Help
A lack of snow can occur even during a cold winter. Backyard Workshop argues that 3-4 weeks without snow in January or February may lower prices on snow blowers.
During these months, retailers feel the pressure of spring approaching. When there’s little-to-no snow, they may cave into anxiety and lower prices just to make sure their snow blowers sell. This can lead to huge markdowns that may or may not be advertised, so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled as though you were watching the stock market.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that retailers will take the risk of lowering prices. This method is a gamble and is best for people who want to replace snow blowers they already have.
Should I Buy A Snow Blower Online Or In-store?
There’s no definite answer to this question. You may be able to get a better deal online than you would from a brick-and-mortar store. Keep in mind, however, that many retail chains offer online ordering and may have deals as good as their more specialized competitors.
As we mentioned before, online ordering is a way to get around brick-and-mortar stores’ limited inventories.
Additionally, sites such as Craigslist, eBay, and Amazon allow shoppers to find deals at any time of the year, negotiate with sellers, and save A LOT of money by buying used or refurbished items.
Keep in mind, however, that it’s risky to buy from sellers you don’t know. Also, you may be faced with the choice to buy a snow blower without a warranty.
If you decide to buy from a little-known seller on eBay or Amazon, use your internet street smarts by fact-checking and reading customer reviews. If you intend to buy a used snow blower over Craigslist or eBay, Youtube user Donyboy73 explains how to inspect it for quality.
Out of these three sites, Amazon is the most similar to a regular retailer. There, you can easily find trusted snow blower manufacturers such as Briggs & Stratton, Toro, and Ariens so you won’t have to risk it with third-party sellers.
By the way, Amazon lists its top-selling snow blowers here.
Final Tips For Your Snow Blower Shopping Journey
- Results may vary by climate: If you live in a place with long, snowy winters, retailers will roll out their snow blowers sooner to meet earlier demand. And, of course, the opposite is true for areas with shorter winters.
- Warranties don’t care when you buy your snow blower: Unfortunately, warranties begin at the purchase date, even if you don’t use your snow blower for many months after you buy it.
- You might be better off buying a snow blower at regular price: If you are looking for a snow blower because you don’t currently have one, it might not be worth it to use a shovel while you wait for a deal. After all, isn’t the point of saving money to make life easier?
- The wrong snow blower is never a bargain: Not only are there differences between brands, but there are different types of snow blowers designed for different uses. If you need a two-stage snow blower, buying a single-stage would be a massive waste of money.
If you aren’t sure what type of snow blower you need, check out my article where I explore a few specific models in depth. If you hesitate between an electric machine and gas one, here’s the post that will help you to decide. Similarly, here’s the post explaining a difference between a snow blower and a snow thrower.
Any snow blower could pay for itself by increasing your productivity. You’d have more time and energy to make money at work or save it by doing things yourself. Additionally, shoveling snow might not save you money if you hurt your back.
As I explained before, shopping online can help you find deals that aren’t available locally. So even if there’s going to be a huge snow storm next week, you don’t have to wait any longer to save money on a good machine.
The best time to buy a snow blower depends on whether quality or price is your higher priority:
- If your higher priority is quality, shop in late summer or early fall.
- If your higher priority is price, try post-seasonal sales.
You can also get a deal at any time of the year on sites such as Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist. Just be sure to use caution with lesser-known sellers and used machines.
Do you know another way to get a deal on a snow blower, or do you have any questions for me? Let me know in the comments.
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