Trying to figure out when is the best time to buy a snow blower can be a bit of a minefield.
Some people will tell you to buy one in the middle of the summer, others will say as winter comes to an end is your best bet and many will say just before we get into fall is the sweet spot.
Naturally, it is difficult to know who is right!
So to help you out, I have done extensive research into the matter and rounded up the opinions of many experts and you, the people who buy snow blowers.
Without further ado, let’s get started…
When is the Best Time To Buy A Snow Blower?
Both experts and snow blower users tend to agree there are two good periods to buy snow blowers. Late winter to early spring (end of January to mid-March) will see the best discounts as stores try to get rid of units. Then late summer to early fall (August to mid-October), will see prices slightly up on late winter/early spring, but with a much wider selection still often discounted.
I have decided to break this article down into two sections.
One section will focus on the views of individuals who have bought snow blowers, and their accounts of when they got good deals.
The other will round up what certain expert figures in the industry say, and when they believe is the best time to buy a snow blower.
What the Public Say
As Winter Draws to a Close is a Good Option
A popular time to buy a snow blower for many is as winter draws to a close, so any time from early to mid-February through to mid-March.
The consensus is that, by this time, many retailers will start reducing the prices of the snow blowers they have in stock, as they don’t want to store them over the spring/summer.
“I bought mine on clearance in March or April. That is the best time as winter is coming to an end and stores want to shift their stock.”
“I’ve had the most success at finding the best snow blower deals in late winter and fall.”
“My best deal was in the February sale at Home Depot. The store manager wanted to free up space for new lawn tractors and slashed snow blower prices by 75%.”
“I’d say were are at the prime time now. Retailers will want to sell a unit, rather than stashing it away for the summer.” Posted in March.
These are just a few quotes I found that reflect the general opinion of the public (or at least the public who visited the forums I found!).
However, as one caveat, if you leave it too late, or if it has been a winter with particularly heavy snowfall, you might find that many stores have sold out of snow blowers earlier than anticipated and come February there are no good deals available.
Late Summer/Early Fall is Better For a Wider Selection
The other view that was quite prevalent on the forums I visited, was that late summer and early fall is also a good time to get a reasonable deal on a snow blower.
However there was one thing to note here.
Generally it was felt that the prices might not be as low as if you look to buy a snow blower as winter draws to a close, however the range you have to choose from will be better.
From mid-August to mid-October (depending upon the weather and the area you live), you should see retailers bringing back out any stock that didn’t sell the previous season AND new models for the seasons ahead.
“August or September is the best time to buy, this is when stores are starting to get restocked for the winter season”.
“I got my ‘last year’s model’ a couple of weeks ago. I was in Menards and they had a whole number of last year’s models significantly reduced. Seems like they pull them back out in the fall and then sell them at a reduced price”. Posted in September.
“I am seeing loads in stock now, but this will change dramatically as soon as snow appears on the forecast…” Posted in October.
“October is the best time, especially if you want a good selection to choose from. Spring prices might be cheaper, but there will be less choice.”
The word of caution, if buying at this time, is to make sure you are not buying one of last season’s models at the same price. You should get a discount.
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Feedback on Other Times to Buy
Outside of these two time periods, a few people did report getting good deals at other times of the year.
A few people posting on the forums I visited commented that they got very good deals right in the middle of summer, but admitted that whilst the prices were low, they had much less choice.
So that answers another oft-asked question, are snow blowers cheaper in the summer? Yes they are but the choice will be much more limited.
The other time to wait for could be the traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals at the end of November.
The problem here is that, depending upon where you live, the snow might have already come by then, and again, not every model will be on offer, so you might be left with the choice of no snow blower or a snow blower you don’t really want, but are tempted to buy just because it is cheap.
The view of the public was that there are two good windows for buying snow blowers:
- February and March
This period seems to offer the best prices, but selection might be more limited depending upon the amount of snow that season and when you decide to buy in the period.
- Mid-August to Mid-October
This period will have the widest selection of both unsold models from last season and new models for the upcoming season. But whilst the prices are still good, you might end up spending more than if you buy in February or March.
What the Professionals Say
Snow Blowers Direct
Jon Hoch, founder and CEO of Snow Blowers Direct, one of USA’s biggest dedicated snow blower retailers, was quick to pinpoint when the best time to buy a snow blower is
“If you are looking for a deal and the best selection it’s best to start looking just before the snow season starts in August, September and early October. If you wait much later than that you may find a good price, but the selection will be a lot less,” he said in an interview with SnowBlowers.net.
Hoch’s views in the interview do slightly contradict what the Snow Blowers Direct website itself says.
It says that finding snow blowers in stock in January or February is difficult, as all the good stuff is gone, saying you might find a snow blower in stock in February, “however, you won’t find anything worth buying”.
They go on to state:
“The best time to buy a snowblower is in May or June after the new models are introduced. This way, you can backorder a brand new model at a discount price instead of settling for some leftover that nobody wants.”
Of course, it should be noted that this is in relation to their business, which is selling snow blowers online, as opposed to walking into a store and making a purchase.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) develops industry standards for power equipment both in the USA and across the globe.
Its Executive Vice President, Kris Kiser, shared his insights in the same interview, saying:
“You don’t want to wait until it’s too late, because availability will be low. The timing of when retailers will bring them out can also depend on where you are. International Falls, Minnesota, for example, gets snow very early so product likely comes out early.”
“Like any consumer product it is seasonally marketed. During the off-season you may find a snow thrower that has been discounted, the retailers tend to move their stock off the floor so you may not find them during the off months. The upshot is that if you wait until April or May, you may not find any, but there may be sales on the ones you do find.”
The Reader’s Digest takes a similar line, saying there is rarely inventory remaining by March in the snow blower world.
They suggested starting your shopping for a new snow blower in the summer for “the best savings on a wider selection”.
Whether they had read the article on the Snow Blowers Direct website they also say the best month to buy a snow blower is “as early as May, when you can preorder next season’s model at a discount”.
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Single Girls DIY
SingleGirlsDIY.com is a popular website with a focus on fixing problems in, and taking care of, your home and garden.
Kimberly, the owner of the website, says she has found the best time to buy a snow blower is at the end of winter.
She too agrees with several members of the public who say it is the best time to find good discounts on snow blowers that are being cleared out to make way for spring and summer gardening tools.
She is also of the mind that early fall is another good bet, with better variety although slightly less competitive prices.
The Consumer Reports website, is in no doubt when the best time to get a good deal on a snow blower is:
“January can be the sweet spot for snow-blower deals, particularly if you’ve had a mild winter in your area” says Courtney Pennicooke, CR’s market analyst for snow blowers. “The selection is still pretty good, and you can often save money as retailers start making room for grills and lawn mowers.”
Finally, the self-proclaimed “DIYers best friend” website Family Handyman, gets around 10 million visitors a month accessing its plethora of digital resources.
They say the best time to look for a snow blower is from 1 October, when retailers are fully-stocked with the latest models, usually with pre-season sale discounts still in place.
There is a bit more variety here, but to summarise the views of the experts as to when is the best time to buy a snow blower.
- Jon Hoch, founder of Snow Blowers Direct: August, September and early October.
- Snow Blowers Direct website: May or June.
- Reader’s Digest: May
- SingleGirlsDIY.com: At the end of winter, or early fall.
- Consumer Reports: January.
- Family Handyman: From 1 October.
Saying with any certainty when the best time or best month to buy a snow blower is, is not that straightforward.
However, from the views of people who buy them and the people who make and sell them, there seem to be two generally acknowledged sweet spots for buying a snow blower:
- The end of winter/early spring (late January to mid-March)
Depending upon where you live and the type of winter you have had, the period from the end of January to early to mid-March seems to be a good time to buy a snow blower. This is when retailers are trying to clear space for their spring or summer items, so don’t want snow blowers clogging up their stores. However whilst prices tend to be at their lowest in this period, the selection might be more limited.
- Late summer/early fall (August to mid-October)
This is when retailers will have their widest selection, encompassing both any leftover models from the previous season and new models for the forthcoming seasons. Whilst prices might be slightly up on late winter/early spring, you can still get some nice pre-season discounts and a good snow blower.
One thing we can say with certainty is that the worst time to buy a snow blower is when you need it!
As soon as snow appears on the forecast prices will go up, and you will have no choice but to pay a premium to blow that snow!