It’s finally time to pull the trigger on a new snowmobile… Well, maybe right after you sell your current sled. Lucky for you, the used sled market is usually hopping in the fall. Your target market is snowmobilers after all – and we’re head over heels for any forecast into the distant future promising copious amounts of snow to come.
There are two ways to part with your current ride: A private sale or trading it in to a dealer. Depending on the market you’re in and what you’re looking to turn your used sled into (cash vs. a newer sled), one route might be more advantageous to you than the other. The tips below apply to both.
Clean it up
Nothing turns a buyer off more than seeing a sled with remnants of last season’s final trek through melting snow and muddy trails still plastered to the hood. Give the old steed a thorough rub down both inside and out.
Take great photos
Good photos get attention. Regardless of where you’re posting your buggy on the block, make sure you’ve got crisp photos with good lighting that provide an accurate representation of the condition of your sled. Showing wear items that are typically of concern to buyers (track, skis, clutches, etc.) will go along way towards weeding out the serious from the not so serious inquiries.
Sell at the right time
Early fall is a great time to sell your sled. As we mentioned, people are enthusiastic about the season to come and demand is high. That first cold snap or first flakes of the season can turn up a turn up a plethora of suddenly eager impulse buyers, so make sure your sled is ready to go when the market is hot. Those looking for a sled as the season is well underway are more often than not your bargain hunters. If you wait too long don’t expect to get top dollar.
Make sure it runs
There aren’t as many people as you might think looking for a “project” to start their winter. Sleds that are perfect sell quick and for top dollar, where as sleds needing work get discounted quickly and can linger in the garage. Take the time to do any repairs and touch up work to assure you attract the largest possible pool of buyers. You want your sled to need as little work as possible for the next buyer. The second a buyer starts noticing items that need attention, they start subtracting dollars from your asking price.
Be honest about condition
A sled with a cracked or scratched side panel is not “mint.” Don’t “forget” to mention a ding in the a-arms that you managed to bend back into place. Snowmobilers are just about as detail-oriented group of people as you’ll find on the planet – especially when it comes to buying one. Investing a few dollars to fix damaged parts can take your sled from “fair” condition to “excellent” in some buyers’ minds. It’s at least worth pricing out the fix.
Price it right
There’s no fault in wanting to get as much as you can for your used snowmobile but be realistic. Between Kelly Blue Book and NADA Guides you should have a fairly good idea of what your sled is worth. If your sled is only a year or two old keep in mind you may also be competing with OEM rebates on non-current models. Some can range up to $4,000 depending on the model and the year.
Be ready to find a new riding buddy
Someone is buying your old sled. The same sled you once fell in love with when you bought it. The person buying it is feeling the same way, and if they’re buying that sled, they’ve probably got similar riding interests as you. Be prepared to swap stories and share fond memories as you consummate the deal over a cold one… and maybe make plans to meet up in that favorite riding locale too!