BUYING USED OR NON-CURRENT MAY BE YOUR BEST OPTION

Due to the unavailability of brand new 2022 sleds at dealerships, it causes problems for those who didn’t pre-season-order a sled earlier this year. If you’re one of those folks you’re probably saying: “No kidding!”

For sure, the chances of getting a current model year sled from a dealer right now is pretty slim; so, if you’ve decided it’s time to get rid of the old steed and replace it with a new one, you might be snookered!

Frankly, even the people who early-ordered are expecting challenges just taking delivery of the new model they slapped a deposit on six months ago because of parts shortages.

Dealers have almost no new in-stock sleds because they simply couldn’t put in orders for any. If it wasn’t pre-sold, the OEM wasn’t shipping it.

So, what are the possibilities? Believe it or not, there are still some brand new 2022 and non-current 2021 – even 2020 sleds sitting in crates at dealers. Not many… but some.

These 90-percent new but not current models (2021 & 2020) may not look like a bargain – because you can’t expect big discounts when demand is so high, but you might be surprised how happy you’d be with one of them, providing they aren’t too far off the mark from what you expected.

Shopping for a new non-current sled this season may involve some compromises. For instance, you may have to buy a sled with bigger or smaller displacement than you wanted. You might have to look at a new-in-the crate sled that’s one or two years older than you originally wanted. You may have to change brands or even settle for a used sled. Most likely you’ll have to search outside your immediate area and even drive a few hundred miles to find something. You might have to look across the border – or in another state or province.

If you’re really intensely serious about getting a new sled and are willing to check out a non-current one, you might want to do an internet search of dealers within a 200-mile radius of where you live. Better yet, if you have a good dealer or know one, they may be willing to check out regional inventories to see if there’ s an unsold sled for you somewhere in the dealer pipeline. You may even have to pay the dealer a fee for his extra digging to find you one, but it’s still pretty cheap for his time and influence – and after all, he is doing work on your behalf.

If you’re looking for a late model used sled you may have more luck. Some sled owners who early ordered a 2022 model may have held onto their old sled as a parachute in case they couldn’t get clear delivery of their new one. As the 2022s slowly keep trickling into dealers, some of those good used sleds may not be sold or spoken for yet. If they were trades, the dealer will want to roll them over pronto. If they weren’t trades, and the owner is going to advertise the old one for sale, you need to check the online ads – daily!

Frankly, we’ve found there are a fair number of late model used sleds for sale on various websites. Prices are higher than last year but still, you can negotiate with the private seller and maybe cut a deal.

Also, there are always buyers who ordered a 2022 sled and for some reason (lost job, financial reversal, illness) can’t take delivery. This actually happens more often than you think and it’s worth keeping in touch with local dealers to see if anything comes up. Get your name on a waiting list at a number of dealers at least.

Our research has discovered there’s more of a supply problem in Canada than in the USA. Canadians will have to ante up the exchange on their money and likely still pay close to list price for the sled they want if they buy it in the US.

We’ve found some branded dealers will sell to a cross-border buyer and others, because of their dealer agreement with the manufacturer, will not. Before you commit to a trip, give a call to a cross border dealer and find out if he’s able to sell to you.

When it’s crunch time like it is now, you need to show some innovation and be diligent in your search. You also need to be realistic about the price you’ll be paying. Prices are going to be higher than you expected – and bargains will be tough to come by.

The good news is you’ll be riding this winter and when you order your next sled in a year or two, the one you bought this year will likely bring a higher than expected price.

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