So, that old lawn mower isn’t worth fixing anymore? Guess it’s time to buy a new one. But this is a big investment, and you want to find the best deal. Luckily, season and availability play a big part in mower prices, and you can take advantage of that. Let’s find out, when is the best time to buy a lawn mower?
Overall, early spring is the best time to get a deal on a lawn mower. It’s important to start shopping as soon as the season starts, so you don’t miss out on the great variety of mowers available and exciting promotions.
Do Mower Prices Vary By Season?
Like most products, there is some seasonality to lawn mower prices, but it might not work exactly the way you’d expect.
For example, one might assume that since everyone buys mowers during the spring at the start of mowing season, waiting until later in the year (when demand is lower) would be in your best interest.
Not necessarily. Horticulturist Arthur Davidson, a member of our expert panel, shares that “typically there is a window of time when mowers are available. Many retailers have specific orders in for your area. Once the supply gets low or out, they do not reorder for that store.”
So wait too long, and there might be very few mowers left in your area, which could actually drive up the prices.
Digging Deeper Into Seasonal Pricing Trends in the Mower Industry
The lawn mower market, like so many others, fluctuates according to supply and demand. The higher the consumer demand for mowers at a particular time of the year, the higher the prices are likely to be.
But unlike many consumer staples that are stocked with regularity, mowers are ordered by retailers seasonally, and often that order is for the full season. This is true for American-made lawn mowers, and those made overseas.
So waiting to buy a mower over the winter when demand is low probably will backfire (speaking of which, if your mower backfires, here’s what to do).
If you are thinking of buying a mower over the winter, consider doing so online instead of in-person. Online retailers like Greenworks often have some killer Black Friday and holiday deals you can watch out for, but they run similar sales in the spring, so you don’t really need to wait.
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My Advice: The Best Time of Year to Buy a Lawn Mower Is…
The early spring is the best time to buy a lawn mower. March and April usually offer plenty of mower deals.
This might be a bit of a surprise, as there is high demand. But the supply is also enormous, and retailers have a lot of mowers to sell.
Retailers are also motivated to capture as much market share as they can during this period of surging demand, and buying a mower in the spring will usually allow you to find great sales and the exact models that you want.
Early spring is the best time to get the perfect lawn mower at the best price. If this is when you want to get your mower, the earlier you get into the stores or look online, the better.
That is why the retail stores offer great sales early in the season, to attract customers who suddenly realize they need new equipment.
My Best Advice
Don’t wait too long to find the mower you want to buy, and don’t wait for a sale. As I’ve mentioned – there’s a limited supply of mower inventory available each year, and if you wait until too late in spring, you’ll probably find that all the best mowers have already sold out.
You don’t want to end up with a mower brand that you should avoid.
Yes, you may find mowers at low prices at the end of the spring. However, that gamble isn’t worth the risk for most homeowners. What will likely happen is that you’ll find yourself settling for one of the least popular and possibly lower quality mowers.
If you miss out on the early spring deals, I recommend waiting until the mid to late autumn to go mower shopping. When it comes to the fall, some experts say that October is a good month to get your mower.
The downside may be that you’ll have a limited supply to choose from, but if you buy online in the fall, you may get early-bird deals on next year’s models.
Should You Buy a Lawnmower in the Summer?
Look, the reality is that if your mower breaks or stops working, it’s the right time to buy a new mower – even if it’s the summer.
But if you’re planning ahead, I do not recommend buying a mower in the summer. In my experience, late May through early September offers buyers the lowest inventory, the fewest sales, and the highest prices.
If you buy a mower in the summer, you’re certain to pay more than you need to, but as I said – sometimes the timing is out of your hands and you need one when you need one.
If You Have to Buy, When is the Best Time to Buy a Lawn Mower in the Summer?
As I just explained, you should try to avoid buying a mower in the summer. But if your mower died a hero mowing that thick summer grass, look for a sale around the holidays.
Memorial Day (late spring) and Fourth of July holidays tend to give the marketing department of local box stores and online retailers an excuse to offer some lower prices.
When is the Best Time to Buy a Lawn Mower Online?
Just like with brick-and-mortar shopping, you should consider supply and demand cycles when online mower shopping.
More people are looking to purchase a new mower online in the summer, when they’re doing maximum mowing and their old mowers give out. At the same time, most of the best mowers will likely be sold out at this time of the year.
Overall, the early spring and the fall are deemed the best times of year to shop for a mower online. Some experts even think that the fall edges out early spring out.
That’s because of the clearance sales that come in September. In that month, mower retailers tend to offer clearance prices on the models from the current year.
A limitation of buying a mower on fall clearance, however, is that you probably won’t find the most popular models on the market.
If you do plan to shop online for a mower, I’d recommend that you consider Greenworks.
I own their 25″ self-propelled dual-blade electric mower (pictured) and it changed my mind about battery-powered mowers (which I sort of rolled my eyes about for a long time). Let me tell you, this thing is GREAT and rivals my reliable (and beloved) gas-powered Honda in many categories.
You can take 10% off any Greenworks order with promo code LAWNCHICK, and that discount can really mean significant savings on some of their high end self-propelled or riding mowers.
When is the Best Time to Buy a Riding Mower?
But what about riding mowers, including zero turn mowers? Well, like with regular lawn mowers, the early spring is the best time to invest in your new riding mower.
If you want to purchase a riding mower, I recommend that you start visiting hardware stores and showrooms in March. That is when the new models will start flooding in, and there’s something to be said for getting to sit on and touch and feel a riding mower before you drop a big chunk of change.
As there will be such a strong supply of mowers, even with high demand there will be special promotions.
Remember, buying a riding mower is a significant investment. As these mowers cost thousands of dollars, you want to make sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Other Tips for Getting the Best Deal on Lawn Mowers
Clearly, understanding seasonal cycles and supply and demand is one of the most important things you can do to get a great deal on your next lawn mower.
But there are other tips too, and I’m going to go through them here.
Consider Used Mowers
As long as you do your research and due diligence, buying a used mower can be a great way of getting a deal. However, if you end up with a lemon, that is obviously a big waste of money.
Make sure that you understand mower lifespan. You don’t want to buy a used mower that is too old, or it won’t be worth the investment.
Don’t buy a used mower without checking it over and trying it out. When you turn it on, make sure that the engine starts smoothly, and that there isn’t any stalling or smoking.
Before you look for a used mower, check out my guide to buying a used lawnmower so you understand what red flags to watch out for.
Shop on Holidays and Holiday Weekends
Remember I mentioned that you can get deals on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July?
Marketers love holidays because it gives them an excuse to email you.
Circle Labor Day and Father’s Day on your calendar as other potential dates to score a deal.
Yes, those holidays are during times of the year that aren’t good for mower shopping, but you just might find some deals on those specific days.
Know What You’re Looking For
Do some thinking about the specific features that you want the most in a mower. If you have your heart set on any special extras, such as mulching capabilities, you should decide on this in advance.
That way, you can specifically look for the best prices on those mowers.
You should think about your yard size, too. If you have an enormous lawn, you might want to consider a riding mower. If your smaller yard has some hills, you’ll want a self propelled vs a standard push mower.
Consider Open-Box Mowers
Ever bought an open box computer or device to save money? You can do the same thing with mower shopping.
An open box mower is exactly what it sounds like. Its box has already been opened, and there can be different reasons for that.
For example, a customer may have purchased the mower, opened the box, and then returned it.
Sometimes purchasing a floor model that customers have sat on or tried out at the retailer can net you a deal as well.
Look at Refurbished Mowers
A refurbished mower is a mower that had some kind of defect that a third-party company or even the manufacturer themselves repaired, so that they could sell the mower.
If there’s a reputable small engine repair shop in your neighborhood let them know what you’re looking for. They might have the perfect mower for you, and even if they don’t have something, they could keep their eyes open and let you know when a good option becomes available.
Frequently Asked Questions on When to Buy a Lawn Mower
You probably still have some questions related to the best time to buy a lawn mower. Below I’ll answer some of the most common FAQs here, but remember you can always contact me, or leave a comment at the bottom of this article.
What is a lawn mower’s life expectancy?
Lawn mowers vary in how many years they last. In most cases, you can expect a lawn mower to last between 8 and 10 years, as long as you give it the right maintenance.
If you don’t maintain your mower properly, it probably won’t last anywhere near that long. In fact, it may only last about 4 or 5 years.
On average, higher end (more expensive) mowers tend to last longer than more affordable ones.
When we think about mower lifespan in terms of hours, high end mowers can last at least 500 hours of use, and often last longer than that.
By contrast, some inexpensive mowers may last as few as 200 hours.
How often should you buy a new lawn mower?
How often you should buy a new lawn mower depends on your specific mower and how long it lasts.
Know what kind of mower you have and its expected service life, and you will have an idea of when you will need to get a new mower.
If you’re finding yourself having to do frequent repairs to your mower, the cost may be no longer worth it. Keep an eye on how many repairs you’re having to do and use that information when deciding whether it’s time to get a new mower.
If you have a top-of-the-market mower, you can probably expect to have to replace it in about eight to 10 years. If you have a more affordable one, however, you may find you need to replace it in as few as 5 years.
I’ve personally owned my Honda self propelled mower for 9 years and it’s still going strong.
Personally, I don’t view mowers as disposable, and like most of my equipment and major appliances, I try to maintain them well and keep them out of the landfill — we’ve got enough junk getting thrown away.
How Do You Know If You Need a New Lawn Mower?
There are certain signs that you should look out for that may indicate that you need to buy a new lawn mower.
These are if you have engine problems, you see smoke coming out of your mower (though different color smoke can mean different things – here’s what to do about blue smoke and white smoke), and/or there are problems with your transmission.
Another sign is if you have to keep putting increasing amounts of oil in your mower.
In many cases, you might be able to get your mower repaired, so that you don’t have to replace it. But overall, if you find yourself spending large amounts of money on mower repairs, you probably need a new one.
My Advice, Summarized
- The early spring is the best time to buy a lawn mower for a few reasons. At that time of year, there are plenty of sales on and the stores have the best selection of in-demand mowers so you can find the best mower for your property.
- Coming in at a close second is the fall, especially October. However, you’ll have a more limited selection of mowers on offer at this time of year, as the most popular ones will probably be sold out. If you don’t mind shopping around and aren’t feeling pressured to buy if you can’t find the right model, the fall is an excellent time to shop for a mower.
- I don’t recommend buying a mower during the winter, as you’ll find an extremely limited selection, this is the type of product that isn’t often on sale at this time of year, and brand new models are coming in just a few months (so it’s worth waiting).
- Whatever you do, unless you have a mower emergency, try to avoid buying a mower during the summer. That is the time of the year when the mowers will be most expensive and you’ll have a difficult time finding the mower that you want. If you do need a mower over the summer, look for a Memorial Day or 4th of July sale to score the best deal.
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