Over the last few years, I’ve purchased a few different zero-turn mowers and I’ve managed to find some really nice deals by using a few tricky methods for finding the right mower and negotiating the best deal.
I hope this post will help you to find the right used zero turn mower at a low price.
Understand What the Going Rate Is
This is probably the most important thing you need to figure out before you go looking for a mower. If you’re not sure what a specific mower should cost, you won’t understand whether you’re getting a good deal.
Unfortunately, this can take some time and experience in the market will be very beneficial. If you’ve been looking at different advertisements on a range of different mowers over a long period of time then you’re much more likely to have a good sense of what you should pay for a certain mower. Then of course, spotting a bargain is much easier.
To throw some numbers out there…
Typically, the some of the residential to start out at around $3000. Then as you go up to a little bit higher end residential/low end commercial you might be in the neighbourhood of $4000 to $6000 depending on the features of the model. From here the main factors that will influence the price is the brand and the deck size. Deck sizes tend to range, often within each particular model.
If you want more information on how much a zero-turn mower costs – I’ve written about that here!
Choose Your Time to Buy Wisely
Choosing to buy in the winter or fall maybe a great idea if you’re looking to get yourself a good deal. This time is at the end of the season when many lawn mower owners may be looking to upgrade their equipment for the next season and looking to sell. During this time there are less buyers in general so you’ve got a better chance of a lower price than trying to buy in the spring when there will likely be much more competition.
Only Buy Slightly Used
Getting a slightly used mower at a significantly less price than retail is always certainly the best way to go. There maybe a few advantages to buying new, but you’re likely to get way more for your money when buying used.
If you buy used and you’re not too picky about specific models, you can often find good models made by the best quality brands going at a reasonable rate. If you were to buy some of these ZTR’s new, you should expect to pay a lot more.
It’s definitely possible to find ZTR’s in great shape that cost several thousand less than the new price.
How “used” really depends on your budget and your personal preference. If you’re mechanically minded and you don’t mind spending the time to do mechanical work on a mower then you may prefer to get something with several more hours on it.
For me personally, I wouldn’t bother getting something with too many hours on it. I’d prefer to get something that I can depend on without carrying out constant maintenance repairs. Repair costs and engine replacements are too costly for me to worry about. If you’re running a lawn care business, you’ll need to think about the potential down time you may get too.
Don’t Be Brand Loyal
I like to stick to some of the well-known brands. They tend to be high quality and they’re easier to get repaired if you have a problem. I’d recommend sticking with brands like Scag, Exmark Hustler and Gravely. I have experience with these and would always recommend them to anyone but I’m pretty sure going with some of the brands would work out well too.
Don’t decide “you’re a Scag Guy” or a Exmark guy, or whatever else. If you choose this approach you’re really going to narrow down the market and find far fewer low cost options. You want to be able to recognise the benefits of all the different brands and be open to getting something that you haven’t tried before.
The most important thing to remember is that you’re looking for a deal rather than a specific brand.
Buy From a Private Seller
It’s very unlikely that you’ll find a mower shop that’s undervaluing one of their mowers. At a mower shop, the employees are professionals and tend to have a lot of experience in the market. This means they’re highly likely to know what they going rates are for different mowers.
If you do find a mower at a very lower price, it may mean the shop knows something about the history of that mower that you dont.
There is certainly nothing wrong with buying from a retailer. They might be able to give you some good advice and may be able to throw in some discounts on other gear/services, but if you want to get a super low price on a ZTR, you’re much more likely to do so shopping privately.
TOP TIPIf you decide to buy a used ZTR from a shop, it’s good to get leverage by shopping around in multiple different stores. You could go in the different stores and say “I found this mower for X amount in another store today but I wondered if you were able to beat that deal. The shop then recognises that it needs to come up with a great price in order to get you to buy. If you can get stores in competition with each other and competing for your business, you’re way more likely to get a lower price.
Avoid Taking Out a Loan
Sometimes it can be tempting to get a small loan so you can purchase that top of the range ZTR. Maybe you’re looking to start out a lawn care business and you’re confident about the future. While it may seem like a good idea to be aggressive in driving your business forward, you’re going to end up having paid a lot more for that same ZTR. If you take out a loan over say seven years, you could easily end up paying an extra 20% for that mower after interest.
I generally try and steer people away from going into debt just to get a brand-new top of the line mower. You’re far better off staying within a sensible budget that is in line what you can actually afford.
Don’t forget that the value of your ZTR will drop over time too!
Where to Find Used Zero Turn Mowers for Sale
You can get on Facebook marketplace by going through the Facebook app on your phone or on a desktop. Recently I’ve been starting to see several ztr’s coming up on Facebook marketplace that I haven’t also seen on Craigslist so there may be an advantage there. One of the best things about Facebook marketplace is that you don’t tend to get as many scams/spam. Overall I’ve had a pretty good experience using it – not just for mowers either!
One of the best ways to find a good deal on Facebook marketplace is to set up some alerts by ogling the switch. You can set up different search terms and filter by price and location. Facebook will then notify you if something pops up match your search so you don’t have to constantly be looking. Also, you’ll be the first to know if a mower comes up which gives you the best chance of getting a lower price.
It’s pretty common o (less on more expensive mowers) that someone isn’t quite sure how much they should be charging for a certain mower so they’ll often severely undervalue. If you can swoop in immediately, you’ve got a great chance of a good deals.
This is another great place to check for used mowers. One of the best ways to find good deals on craigslist is through the free CPlus app. You get better ways to search and filter than on the Craigslist website. Furthermore, you can set up notifications.
Being honest, I haven’t seen a lot going on eBay but it’s still worth checking. The website has pretty nice way to filter and who knows, it might have exactly what you’re looking for.
Lawnsite.com has a marketplace here where members of the site are able to buy and sell used equipment from one another. On this marketplace, no commercial/dealer posts are allowed.
I haven’t been able to find amazing deals on lawnsite because people who use the site have to be members so they’re usually pretty clued up when it comes to lawn care and they know the value of their ZTR’s pretty well. In any event, it’s handy to check regardless.
How to Negotiate a Good Price for a Used ZTR
It’s pretty easy to find a good deal on a ZTR but I want to get the best deal possible. Here are some of the things that have worked for me in getting the best deal that I’ve found myself or from others.
- Obtain Bargaining Power. Unfortunately, there’s not really a Kelley Blue Book for lawn mowers than you can rely on to get an idea of the price before you go to look at the lawn mower. However there are helpful sites such as and . In a lot of these cases, the price stated is typically quite a bit lower than the going rate. This is actually a useful thing for you because you can use this as bargaining power. If you’d like to buy a certain mower you can show the seller these prices and ask for a discount. If you are able to give a reason to why you are asking for a discount, it’s much more likely that the seller will agree to drop the price.
- Be willing to pay cash. If you can withdraw money out over time since you know you’re buying a mower, you’ll be ok because the ZTR will typically cost quite a bit more than you can withdraw in one day. If the bank is closed, you won’t be able to make the purchase. Whenever you put in an offer to buy a ZTR you could say to the seller that you have z amount in cash and you’re aware that’s lower than asking price, but cash is ready and see if they’re willing to accept
- Be patient. If you want a ZTR immediately, you only have the options that are available right now and those deals might not be the best you can get across a longer time period. Instead, it’s better to keep your eyes open, build up some experience and then pounce once you find a great offer.
Final Tip – Test Drive ZTR’s Before Buying
If you’re looking at purchasing a zero-turn mower, I strongly suggest that you make sure it’s one you like. If you’re running a lawn care business, you’re going to be using it all the time so you’ll want to make sure it’s what you need before you make a costly mistake.
I hope you find a great deal on your next ZTR. Whenever your looking out for your next purchase be sure to follow these tips to get the best value. Good luck!