when to start looking for off-season yak

I’m looking at a new model yak, and know that there aren’t any used versions around. I can wait until next year to own it if it means getting one at a better price off season. I’ve heard that some dealers lower their prices by 50% in the off season, though this seems like quite a bit to me. Are prices really dropped by that much? When should I start looking for the yak used? I’d like a discount, but wouldn’t want to wait too long until there aren’t any left. thanks.

Depends where you live…

– Last Updated: Jul-25-16 11:30 PM EST –

In the south the winter is the busy season.
You can get somewhat of a deal when shops sell off their rentals in the summer to make room for new stock.

If folks would take a minute to fill out their profile they would get better answers..

average margin
From what I have seen, most dealers run on a 30-40 margin on boats. So a 10-20% discount is actually often a lot for them to offer.

If the boat model is continued from year to year without any significant upgrades, then large discounts would be rare. But there may be some discounts toward the end of the year as the dealers often bought (at least from the big manufacturers) on terms, and need to pay off the debt so they may want to move the boat to get cash from it. Could be almost any time now that this starts - as the 2017 models will be launched at Outdoor retailer in a few weeks, and then the manufacturers go out and try to book 2017 pre-season orders.

For smaller manufacturers where the dealer had to pay cash up front, discounting is more rare.

You’ll never see 50% off, it’s far more than the dealer’s pay for the boat, they aren’t selling them at a loss.

Bill H.


– Last Updated: Jul-26-16 7:20 AM EST –

Off to college paddlers sell a few boats. Try Craigs list for schools your area. Advertise wanted kayak.

Accessories discount online 1-3

Individual sales peak before and during late spring.

Kayaks sell during winter esp if the economy is off. What you will see there is commercial sales will sell way before holiday or seasonal sales unloading old inventory before going under with new unsale able inventory

The Tupperware evolution ? Are TW paddlers keeping or selling ? Some are 'outdoorsmen' yet without storage space.

We are assuming many will 'trade up' ...

There are 'enough' to go around...

New hulls ? Maybe 1-3 online. REI , major field n stream outfitters ... all poly hulls.

Main factor buying new is cannot find one used n have cash. Except for ultralights not much difference between used n new.

50% discount extremely unlikely

– Last Updated: Jul-26-16 11:22 AM EST –

Most I have seen is 20% off, for a first-quality, unblem, not-a-defective, not-a-demo boat.

Discounts would more likely run 5 to 15%. I have seen REI discount by 15% for sales.

Beware of defective boats being called "demo" or "blem." Defective might be unfixable.

I used to work for specialty outdoor outfitters, as well as other retailers, and I can tell you that the profit margins on the items that outfitters stock are lower than at department and big box stores. You are unlikely to ever see a 50% discount, particularly on a late model boat, at a dealer. As has been explained, margins are VERY low on kayaks. Depending on the make, it can be as low as 15% and never more than 35% (and dealers generally have had to pay a fee for shipping as well, which can add 5% to their cost.) The few times that the shops where I worked sold something below cost, we generally reserved that kind of deal for a loyal long term customer. In some cases it was better to donate a valuable item that had not sold to a non-profit or charity organization than to sell it at a loss.

The reason for seasonal sales is usually four-fold: first, to make physical room in the inventory space (warehouse space is costly); second, to avoid having to pay tax on costly inventory at the end of the fiscal year; third, to raise cash to pay for other types of incoming seasonal merchandise and fourth, to move models that have not been popular so that cash can be used to buy ones that do move.

The best discount I ever got on a recent model kayak was 30%, which was essentially a break even price for the outfitter that was offered to me as a long time patron of the shop.

If you have your heart set on a pretty popular model, your chances of a bargain price are slim. If you are interested in something a bit more unique, you might be able to negotiate a better price. Bear in mind that many outfitters will give you a discount on the accessories (paddle, PFD, skirt, etc.) if you pay full price for a boat and this can add up to a nice discount. And buying for full price at REI earns you 10% of the price in credits towards gear in the following year.

Also, “Seasonal” depends on what your geographic location is. In northern inland states, there are few kayak sales over the winter, while coastal and southern regions have a market year round.

Furthermore, kayak models are not like cars. There is not a big concern with “this year’s model”. In fact, there are people who seek out older boats that may have been discontinued or altered (in newer models) by their manufacturers because they like those older features.

Overall, a 20% discount on a new kayak is a very good deal.

Or you could …
There are some kayaks that are not sold through dealers. They often have sales on new boats and once in a while they might have a used boat that will sell for a very good price. These are generally very high end boats, but because they are sold factory direct, the price is competitive.

If you are interested in this caliber of boat, check nckayaks.com and see what they have. You just missed a very good sale, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a look.

close to 20%
is possible at REI but in kayak ? maybe…

I acquire the idea REI is given to moving merchandise where a large franchise outfitter may pile the leftovers into a lot…they have a lot…n wait for spring. Dig hole cover with sticks…

what is a poly blem ? a thin spot contaminated with ? chipotle ?


Max of 20%
I was able to work with a dealer and get a 20% discount on his next large order. He would order in October and Receive by late December. The Yak companies want things out of their inventory before the end of the year. They were able to give him good terms (120 days) and if a boat was immediately sold, he was fine with me ordering anything he could get for 20% off. Less profit, but no risk.

In late September of 2014 I bought two Current Designs kayaks from a local dealer. They were 2014 models but had been in his inventory all summer. I got a 20% discount off each boat.