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By: Tim Donaldson

Winter Blues – Why Not Buy an ATV?

For Sale By Owner ATVIt is now February and the last time you’ve seen daylight was early November. The winter grind has many of us leaving for and coming home from work while it is still dark. Once home, we shovel snow and salt the sidewalks. For most of us, winter is pounding us with Arctic blasts as we are forced to experience the solidarity of being confined indoors--the frigid below-zero temperatures being too much even for the most seasoned outdoor enthusiasts. The spring-time itch to get outside becomes overwhelming. What should we do?

How about getting ready for spring by buying a new ATV?! It will certainly occupy your time until modest temperatures return, and we’ve all heard the tales around the water cooler, pitting model versus model, so why not go out and find one for yourself and join in the excitement?

I like to call ATV purchasing process "experiences" rather than simply an experience, because it is truly such. No other word can quite describe it. Although the stories I’m about to relate may seem fantastically untrue, I assert that they are indeed 100% fact, well most of them, and that I have personally had these same "experiences." I have categorically listed them below.

Friend Experience
Your first experience will begin while contemplating the right purchase, as a whole host of questions arise:

  • Which make, model, engine size?
  • Should I get 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive?
  • How about a utility or sport quad?
  • What is better – independent rear suspension or straight axle?
  • Do I really need power steering?

As your friends catch word that you’re in the market for a quad, they will offer their helpful insights. Remember, these are the same guys that have their ATV brands pasted all over their vehicles. Some of them may even have names tattooed on their body. Do you really think that you’re going to get an unbiased opinion from a guy that has a brand name tattooed across his forearm? Let me just say that for every friend that you have, you will have as many differing opinions about what to buy.

Once you’ve decided that you are more confused now than before after talking with your friends, you will decide that it’s time to go it alone and discuss your options with the local ATV dealerships. Walking through the showroom floors, salespeople will eye you as timid prey ready to be devoured. With words from your mouth broadcasting lack of experience and technical savviness, these predators will line up for a taste of the kill. Determined to succeed in negotiating for the best value, you press on into the second of the experiences called the "salesperson experience."

For Sale ATVSalesperson Experience
Let’s face it. These people are in business to make money. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have ATVs to enjoy. However, we all want to walk away from a deal knowing that we received the best value. Here are some common scenarios:

The “I Know Less Than You Salesperson" or at least so you think. Let’s look at it this way, you are comparing two different model years of the same make. Salesman #1 says, “The 2006 model is much better than the new 2007.” Of course, wanting to know more, you respond by asking, "Why?" There’s a long pause, and finally, no answer. How can this be? This guy really doesn’t have an answer to your question. Then why did he make that comment? Each of these thoughts burn through your mind as you realize that this guy is just interested in clearing out the ’06 models.

Then, there’s the “I Will Sell You Anything Salesperson," even if it leads to your own bodily harm. A conversation with Salesperson #2 goes something like this: “Oh, you’ve never ridden before. Then you would love the new Yamaha 700 Raptor. It’s great for beginners!” Are you kidding me? Obviously, you are a little brighter than this guy gives you credit for, and you wisely decide to move on to someone else.

Alas, you have finally narrowed the search to a quad that you’re ready to purchase. Enter in, “That’s My Favorite Model Salesperson." As you contemplate in the final moments, Salesman #3 informs you that the quad you are about to purchase is his very favorite in the entire store. His fellow co-conspirators chime in and add that it is their favorite, as well. Come on, I hate to challenge their genuineness, but can you really believe the entire sales staff finds your selection to be the very best in the store? Hey! If you’ve made it this far, you had better go for it!

Envy Experience
It’s now time for all your friends to ogle your new purchase. Be prepared to allow courtesy rides when spring rolls around. Be advised that someone may actually wreck it! As everyone praises your "wise choice" decision, make sure you tell them about all the helpful information you got at!

No matter whether you buy a new ATV this winter or dream about getting “ol’ trusty” out on the trails, just remember, spring is right around the corner. See you, then!

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