Whether you’re maintaining a few hundred square feet or a few acres, your lawnmower can make or break your yardwork experience. While you shouldn’t skimp on features, you can maximize the mower you get for your money by shopping strategically.
I’ve studied retail and resale trends in the lawn and garden industry. I’ve found that one of the best ways to get a great mower on a budget is to shop at the right time. So let’s get into the facts to find the best time to buy a lawnmower…
When Is the Best Time to Buy a Lawn Mower?
While you can find good deals on new mowers just about any time of year, there are some critical times when you’ll find the best prices and some when you’re likely to pay a lot more. If you’re looking for a riding mower or zero-turn mower then hitting the sales can bring huge savings on these relatively high-cost machines.
Here’s the inside rail on what affects lawn mower prices throughout the year and later in this article, I will share with you my Lawn Mower price index to show you the periods where relative pricing is lowest, so you can ‘make bank’ and save yourself a small fortune.
The snow has melted, the sun is out, and the grass is turning green and springing up again. You can’t wait to get out and start tending to your yard. This is the time of year that you’re most likely to be thinking about getting a new mower. Chances are, everyone else in your neighborhood is thinking about it, too.
This is the one time of year that you’re unlikely to run into sales on new lawn mowers in stores. At the beginning of the season, the manufacturers release their latest and greatest models, knowing that their consumers will be hungry for what they’ve got.
Take a look at the floor models in the stores near you. They’re likely to be at their highest price ever, they are brand new, after all, but take note of the ones that catch your eye. If you can wait, near the end of the season, the stores start making way for winter stock. The floor model mowers will be on sale, too, usually at a dramatic discount, so take note of them now.
There are some benefits to buying early in the season if you can get past the sticker shock. You will have the first pick of the best models and features of the season before they sell out. Plus, you’ll have a whole season to use it and uncover any potential defects during the initial warranty period. Still, if you can wait until summer, you’ll get much better prices.
Unless you absolutely have to have a new lawnmower in the spring, you can get many of the same benefits and still save money by waiting until summer. New mowers are a seasonal item, so the retail price tends to stay relatively high through the summer months. You’re unlikely to see any significant price drops until well into the fall.
However, a few outdoor-adjacent holidays are scattered throughout the summer that many retailers use as sale opportunities. Memorial Day and Independence Day are two major American holidays that are closely associated with time outdoors. People often host outdoor events and want their lawn to look its best.
Retailers take advantage of this fact by offering Memorial Day and Independence Day sales in the summer months. And while lawn and garden tools are by no means exclusive to men or parents, families often shop for them around Father’s Day. These summer holidays are the perfect time for stores to lure customers in with sales.
These typically run during three-day weekends or a bit longer, depending on the store, but when they’re over, they’re over. You’re not going to get rock-bottom deals at any point during the summer, just some decent discounts during these sales.
Your selection won’t be as broad as it was in the spring, but you’ll typically still find plenty to choose from. Plus, you’ll still have most of the season to uncover any issues before the warranty expires. Shopping in summer gives you most of the benefits of buying in spring, but with a few opportunities to save some money, too.
I’ve found that the absolute best time of year to buy a new mower is in the fall. As the weather changes, the lawn slows its growth, and people start to put away their yard equipment. Likewise, the retailers who sell mowers prepare to bring out their winter stock and need to make room for more in-demand items.
When the seasons begin to shift, August or September tends to be the perfect time to shop for a new lawnmower. Most stores will still have a good selection of mowers, although they will be the models that are in lesser demand by this point. If having the latest and greatest features in the shiniest package is essential to you, you may not want to wait this long.
If, on the other hand, your yard doesn’t require anything more than an average mower can handle, you can save a lot of money just by waiting until early fall. Even without waiting for a sale, most stores will drop the price on their remaining inventory pretty around this time.
Then, of course, you have Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping days of the year. If you’re not desperately in need of a new mower, and you’re willing to choose from the models that are leftover, you can get the best price possible for a brand new mower by waiting until after Thanksgiving.
Just make sure you take your new mower out for a test run a time or two before you put it away for the season. If you wait until the following spring to give it a whirl, you may not notice any defects before the manufacturer’s warranty expires. Even if there’s not much growth to deal with, give your yard at least one last mow if you buy a new mower this late.
Most people aren’t thinking about yard work in winter. The retailers aren’t thinking about their stock of lawnmowers either, except maybe getting rid of what’s left. Whatever is left on the floor or in the back is likely long past its “best by” date, and the stores tend to reduce their prices as low as they can go.
While you can save a ton of money by buying a new mower now, you’re almost certainly going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel. What’s left in stores is likely a mix of models that no one wanted, scratch-and-dent returns, and floor models.
Don’t get me wrong, you stand an excellent chance of running across some hidden gems at this time of year if you look hard enough. But you’re going to have to go to a few different stores to find the machine that best fits your needs if you wait for this late in the season. Just try to get it out for a test run at least once before you put it away until spring.
Lawn Mower Price Index
Accounting for all seasonal influences and promotional periods throughout the year I have been able to create a price index to give you a simple visual representation of relative lawn mower prices by month. By far the biggest influencing factor is the stock clearance period in late August, September into early October. This is the last-ditch attempt of retailers to turn stock into cash.
When Do Lawn Mowers Go On Sale?
You can expect lawn mowers to go on sale during the same times as most other things, right before and right after certain key holidays, primarily. Some holidays have better deals than others, however.
Black Friday Lawn Mower Deals
Everything goes on sale the day after Thanksgiving, and lawnmowers are no exception. As with all out-of-season seasonal items, mowers will be of roughly average quality at a rock-bottom price on sites like Amazon.com. You likely won’t find your dream mower on Black Friday, but if you don’t need anything extraordinary, you can find some great deals.
Cyber Monday Lawn Mower Sale
Cyber Monday is the internet equivalent of Black Friday. I used to hesitate to buy something as significant as a mower online, but I wouldn’t think twice about it these days. Most online retailers, whether they have a brick-and-mortar location as well or not, make returns so easy, there’s not much risk to buying online. If you find a deal on a mower on Cyber Monday, I say jump on it.
You won’t often hear about January sales from the stores themselves because that would cut into their sales leading up to Christmas. There’s a pretty significant buying slump after the winter holidays. To make up for the reduction in traffic, some retailers will quietly reduce their prices. Your best bet for finding these deals is to sign up for your favorite retailers’ newsletters.
Father’s Day Sales
Mowing the lawn is an equal opportunity hobby; neither men nor parents have a monopoly on yard work. Still, the days leading up to Father’s Day are the peak of the lawnmower shopping season.
Whether purchased as a gift by family, by the dads for themselves, or just by an opportunistic buyer, mowers sell like hotcakes around Father’s Day. I’ve found some great deals online at major retailers such as Amazon.com or hardware and tools specialists such as AMCE Tools.
4th Of July Lawn Mower Sale
When people think of Independence Day, they typically think about pools, barbecues, and other outdoor activities. When I want to host the ultimate backyard party, one of the first things I think about is getting my lawn in peak condition, and I’m not the only one.
When you’re shopping at your local big-box store for your cookout supplies, take a trip over to the lawn and garden section, too. You’re likely to find some pretty spectacular deals on the things you need to make your yard look its best, including a new mower.
Amazon Prime Day
As the biggest retailer on the planet Amazon.com has a direct effect on consumer goods. Amazon Prime Day has traditionally happened during June. Now this conflicts to some degree with the manufacturers and retailers wishing to keep prices high during the peak lawn mowing season. But Prime Day brings a short window of opportunity to steal a deal with price discounts as high as 15% possible.
Lawn Mowers Clearance
Like most seasonal items, when the season comes to a close, you’re likely to find some of the best deals on a new mower. Most stores will drop their prices as low as they can to clear out the last of their inventory. They won’t often announce these sales widely, though, so you’ll want to pay attention to their newsletters to make sure you hear when their closeouts begin.
Discontinued Lawn Mowers
Beyond just seasonal clearance closeouts, you can save even more money by snatching up the last of a company’s discontinued models. Don’t be fooled. There’s typically nothing wrong with these mowers. Manufacturers tend to release updated models every couple of years, and stores want to sell their old models to make room for the new ones.
Like the other smaller sales I’ve mentioned here, these are not typically announced widely. Check your local retailers’ newsletters often to find out about these deals.
Second Hand Used Lawn Mowers
You can also save a lot of money by buying used, but you need to be savvy about what you buy. Check pictures closely if buying online, and inspect the mower carefully yourself if buying in person. You may also want to ask about service history and whether the seller has any records of service.
Used Lawn Mowers For Sale Under $500
You can find used walk-behind mowers for under $500 with a wide variety of features online. If your yard isn’t too big, you can find gas, electric, and battery-powered mowers loaded with features in this price range. As long as you inspect the listings closely, you can get the walk-behind mower of your dreams at this price.
Used Riding Lawn Mowers For Sale Under $500
If your yard requires something bigger than a walk-behind mower, you can also find used riding mowers for under $500 for sale online. Your selection will be more limited, and you may have to go with an older model, but you can usually find a hidden gem or two if you look hard enough. On the other hand, zero-turn mowers go for $2,000+ and the more recent electric zero-turn mowers will be hard to find for under $3,000.
Conclusion: Best Time of Year to Buy a Lawn mower
Of course, if you need a new mower right now, your old one is on its last legs, for example, then the best time to buy is right now. If, however, you have a little bit of time to plan your purchase, you can save a lot of money by shopping strategically, especially if you’re shooting for a premium mower with an electric start or a self-propelled lawn mower.
I find that the best time to buy a lawnmower is in early fall. Most stores try to wind down their inventory and have reasonable prices across the board, even before they mark them down as sale items. Just make sure you take your mower on a test run before you put it away for winter to check for any issues.