The last three years in snowmobile sales have been like nothing we’ve seen before. While overall sales numbers were nothing close to the prime of the early 2000s, all the snowmobiles produced were sold. In-season buying disappeared for a few seasons, and snow check was the only way to get a new sled. New sled prices and availability are the most significant influence on the used sled market, and it pulled prices up abnormally high. We knew this would not last forever, and we see last season as a transition back to what we were accustomed to pre-2020.
Often, a great time to buy a snowmobile at a discount is when the season ends, and sales for the 2024 models begin. Many snowmobilers became accustomed to this and often purchased it at the end of the season. During Covid times, this disappeared completely. Leftover 2023s are readily available. A quick search on Snowmobile Trader shows over 3,700 new 2023s currently available. That’s more units we’ve seen in a long time!
Rebates and discounts
For the past few seasons, it’s been MSRP or, in some cases, over. That’s starting to change. The best way to get money off a machine is through Manufacturer rebates. Remember, dealers have little margin on new snowmobiles and can only move so much till they are in the red. Snowmobile manufacturers have much more room to move on price and more levers to pull to help move outdated inventory. When they start offering discounts, that’s when you save the most.
The most considerable influence on used prices is new prices and availability. Over the past few years, we saw used prices go up to the moon, and they were selling. Those days are over. The price between a new sled and a used one must have a decent space with rebates and leftovers readily available. That will put a lot of pressure and bring used prices down. Also, higher interest rates mean fewer buyers will be in the market as they cannot be insulated like new units with manufacturer-set rates.
What’s changed forever
Some manufacturers revamped their Snowcheck lineup, and now all follow the premium models during Snowcheck only. Some manufacturers pre-covid offered premium models in season, but that is no longer the case. If you want the best, you’ll have to order in spring or keep your eye out for a snowcheck order a customer walked away from. These snowmobiles are rare and highly desired, so deep discounts aren’t expected.
We welcome this return to normal with snow check deliveries being on time, no more commodity charges, customers being able to upgrade mid-season, and people able to buy affordable used snowmobiles. It’s been a tough slog the last few years with shortages, but we snowmobilers know how to adapt and weather any situation!