The Best Time of Year to Buy a Lawn Mower
Will buying new lawn equipment out of season actually save you any money? We’ll examine the pros and cons of buying lawn tools in and out of season.
Pros and Cons of Buying in Spring
It might seem tempting to buy a new mower in the spring when your local home center has them all polished up and on display at the beginning of the season. This is the temptation that they’re hoping you’ll fall victim to, and — as with any seasonal item — that’s when the price is likely to be its highest. New models will be on the sales floor, and you’ll probably pay top dollar for the mower you’ve got your eye on.
The pros of buying at this point are that you’re likely going to find the exact mower that you want with little difficulty, and you’ll get to put it straight to work. There’s something to be said for being able to use your mower immediately — you’ll be able to return it if you find that there’s something wrong with it. If you buy a mower at the end of the year and it sits around for six months, chances are you’ll have to deal with the manufacturer’s warranty when something goes wrong in the spring.
Pros and Cons of Buying in Summer
Summer has three prominent sales holidays that will often net you the best deal on a new mower. Memorial Day, Father’s Day and Independence Day are all major shopping holidays in the U.S. that happen during the growing season. These holidays are when the selection/price ratio is likely to be at its absolute best, and a good deal on the mower you want is most probable. The Labor Day holiday is likely to be the last big lawn tool sale of the year, but the selection will typically have dwindled drastically at that point.
The drawback to buying in the early summer is that you’re still not paying bottom dollar for the model you’ve been looking at. Additionally, there’s going to be some competition for the best deals, so you’re going to have to get to the store early on the sale day to make sure that you can get ahead of the crowd.
What About Fall?
When the fall season rolls around in your area, your home center is likely going to start trying to make room on the sales floor. Beginning in October, most home stores are clearing their spring/summer seasonal areas to start making way for the holidays and football season. If the mower you’ve had your eyes on is still on the floor, now is your time to pounce. Retailers are desperate to make room for their holiday inventory, and your new mower will probably be marked as far down as it’s ever going to go. If you’ve found what you want, you’re not going to get a better deal than the one you find in September/October.
The only real downside to buying a mower at this point is that you’re likely not going to be able to use it until the spring of next year. At that point, if something breaks or it doesn’t start, you'll have to deal with the manufacturer to get it repaired or replaced. Our advice? If you buy a mower in the fall, take it home and run it every day for a few minutes until it’s time to winterize it. This will break in the engine enough to ensure everything is running smoothly while it’s still within the store’s return policy window, then you can put it away safely for the winter knowing it’ll start right up in the spring. Make sure to fill out your registration card and send/email that back in to the manufacturer so you’ll be ready in the event of a malfunction in spring.
Is There Any Benefit to Buying in Winter?
Unless you live somewhere that never gets cold, odds are good that your local retailer is going to mothball their lawn equipment in the winter months. At this point, the selection will have dwindled to the handful of models that they couldn’t move in the first three quarters. Your choices will likely be limited to the highest-priced models that are difficult to move and too expensive to deeply discount, or to the cheapest models that are of no real liability to store over the winter months.
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