Got storage? Lower auction prices signal deals on used units

Publish Date: 
Nov 4, 2013

LAUREL, Md. - The powersports market is entering its annual slow phase for used vehicles, and prices at recent auctions reflect this trend, according to Rickey Beggs, managing editor for Black Book.

However, it may be a good time for dealers with the cash and the storage space to stock up on vehicles for next spring.

"Prices have been soft throughout most of this year, and with the drops this month the market can best be described as sluggish," Beggs reported. "We expect to see continued weakness over the next month or so before dealers begin to stock up for spring."

The snowmobile segment was the only one showing an increase -- albeit a modest one at 1 percent. "As the weather turns colder prices may climb, but over the past few winters this segment has significantly underperformed expectations," Beggs said.

Cruiser prices at the auctions dropped 5 percent, with off-road bikes declining an average of 4.6 percent. Scooter prices dropped 4 percent and dual-sport vehicles 3.4 percent. "Street bikes are down a touch less than 3.3 percent," he noted.

ATV and UTV segments performed better, with ATVs averaging price drops of around 2.2 percent and utility vehicles 1.8 percent off, he stated.

Personal watercraft was down slightly, with a 2 percent drop.

Last month there was a relatively high percentage of "no sales" and "if" bids. "Even though prices are down versus last month, the percentage of units getting sold has gone up," Beggs noted. "Sellers appear to be letting go of these units for less money, rather than trying to hold onto them as we head into the winter months. This could be a good time to stock up on inventory for next spring if you have the cash and storage space."

Posted by Mary Slepicka