Every fall, this question comes up more times than, “What oil should I run?” as sellers prepare to make room for their new snowmobile arrival or simply clearing the garage for more space. Typically, I wince after reading the question and the smart-ass in me replies, “Whatever someone will pay for it.”
There is truth to the answer – I see sellers get ridiculed for their higher than normal asking prices, but in fairness, some of that ridicule stems from trying to sell thrashed junk. But some of the asking prices make sense.
From my vantage point, I think selling prices on QUALITY, EXCELLENT CONDITION used snowmobiles is going to take a big jump up this season, and not one of us should be shocked when it happens. Hear me out…
I’ve stopped laughing at the person who says, “I’m not buying until the rebates are out.” Let me tell ya fella, those days are over, and have been for a couple years. I’ve learned anyone making that comment has been out of the sport for quite some time, but it makes me happy knowing they are looking to get back in.
With the on-going supply chain drama, the majority of us who Spring-ordered are going to get our snowmobiles. (This goes for any brand). What will be in question (also for every brand) is the ability to buy, and availability, for the person who wants to purchase an in-season unit. I’m going to go out on a limb and say all OEMs won’t have in-season units this year.
“Snowmobilers are stupid…I is one!”
The Perfect Storm
Here’s where things get interesting. Speaking for most of us in the Midwest, we’ve faced a drought this summer. (It’s been drier than a popcorn fart) Let’s assume we get hammered by snow this winter and the above lack of in-season units plays out. What happens? Demand for snowmobiles shoots straight up. I’ve always joked when saying, “Snowmobilers are stupid.” It’s the truth, and you should know, I is one! Point being, when it snows, and there’s great riding to be had, money seems to be no object when we want to purchase a snowmobile…right now!
Currently, dealer inventories for new and used snowmobiles are at all-time lows. When we can’t buy a snowmobile through a dealer quick enough, this my friends, is where the used market will sky rocket.
What Models Will Demand Value?
This site draws readers from all over the globe, so you’ll have to evaluate your market accordingly. Speaking for the Midwest, here are a few used models/categories I see, and have seen, jump up in price.
Youth and Entry Level – Snowmobiles like the ZR120 or ZR200 are hotter than Jennifer Aniston right now. Don’t be surprised to see nice shape ZR200 asking prices breach their original MSRPs ($4500+). I saw it several times last season, and am starting to see it now.
Because a ZR200 will be hard to obtain, I see clean, well-maintained entry level snowmobiles shooting up in price. Anyone with smaller fan-cooled sleds like a Jag 340/440, Z370/570 can expect to sell for a little more. Those are typically $1500, 20yr old snowmobiles, but when you factor in “justification”, purchasing those types of units for $2500+ starts to make sense if you can’t get a used ZR200 for under $4500.
Performance Trail (ProCross Chassis) – For all of you with clean, well-maintained 5yr+ old snowmobiles in the 600 and 800cc categories, prices have generally hovered around $4500-$5000+. Add in demand factor during winters peak, and it won’t be out of the question to see those prices jump towards the $8000 mark. Especially, if it’s an RR or XC model.
Condition is Key – Like anything, just because a market turns hot, doesn’t mean every snowmobile is more valuable. Let’s face it – Junk is Junk, and should be valued accordingly.