getting good deals on riding lawn mowers

Hi, all,
I'm thinking about getting a riding lawn mower to help with my ~0.6 acre lawn. After reading a bunch of internet reviews, I'm thinking about getting a John Deere L110 although it's a little pricier than I was originally intending ($1500 max, original limit).
I'm wondering a couple of things:
1. Will I will be able to get a much better deal than the list price if I wait until the end of the season?
2. Should I be considering used mowers? And if so, any tips on how to get a good deal? There are so many models/options available out there, I feel no confidence in being able to accurately say how much I should be paying for a used mower. (In particular, last week I saw a ~1987 Honda HT 3813, 2 cylinder, liquid cooled, with bagger attachment, at a garage sale for $750. No idea how many HP or what the cutting diameter was. Seemed to my amateur eye to be in good condition. It may still be available, for that matter--would it be a good deal.)
Thanks for any help,
John
***** John's newsgroup motto: "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." --Prov. 15:1 *****
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I bought a used JD SRX70 and absolutly LOVE IT.
It was advertised in the local paper and turned out to be located on the next street over. He bought it two years before (about $1750) and she was asking $750 after he passed on. It's been going strong for me now for over 5 seasons.
I went the 'used mower' route before and really don't like the 'unknown' and possible 'nasty surprises' of going this route. What you usually find is somebody elses problems.
My 2 cents.
(¯`·._.· £ãrrÿ ·._.·´¯)
And if so, any tips on how to

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Sounds like good advice to me. I've bought a bunch of used mowers and even though I service my own and have experience I still will only go bargain price with a stranger and never top dollar, even from a "friend". And, BTW, I've still gotten burned a time or two anyway. I would figure on spending another hundred for fix-up after I got it - ya know, maybe a bearing, tie rod end, belts, tire (slow leak), battery, blades, fuel filter, general tune up, or whatever. But I would rather take a chance buying from a widow - better chance that the reason to sell is not because the machine has a problem.
There is a general guideline (not sure off the top) but something like - mass market machines lose 1/2 thier value in 3 years and the better ones take a few years longer.
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On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 22:51:50 GMT, Srgnt Bilko wrote:
[snip]

Thanks for the comments.
Anyone know about my first question-- do places that sell mowers discount their prices at the end of the season?
John
***** John's newsgroup motto: "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." --Prov. 15:1 *****
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One thing you should know is the John Deere 100 series is not up to par with the standard residential line that John Deere's quality is known for. It's basically a model designed to be sold at places like Home Depot to compete with the cheaper Cub Cadets and Toros being sold at places like Lowe's. This is not to say the 100 series won't last you for many years, because it is still a very nice mower that is far superior to off-brand riders in the $1000 range. The L110 is definitely worth the money. I bought my Snapper just a few years ago for $2200 before Home Depot and Lowes started selling the Cub Cadets, Toros, and John Deeres in the $1500 range. If I had it to do all over again today, I would definitely be looking very closely at the 100 series Deeres at Home Depot.

Maybe, you never know what Home Depot is going to do with sales, however the new John Deeres seem to be selling quite well so I doubt they will be dicounting them much, if any. Sometimes if you're lucky you can catch a display and/or discontinued model at the end of the season but these usually don't last long.

I've always stayed away from used mowers. The seller is obviously selling the mower for a reason, and if you don't know the seller you won't know what that reason is. Some people sell mowers because they've moved and their mowing needs change, but some people sell them because they have mechanical problems that might take you a few days to discover. $750 for a mower that is 17 years old seems a bit steep for me. The Honda deck and frame are build to last many years, but you might be looking at an engine overhaul or replacement that can bring a used mower close to the price of a new one.
If you want to save a bit of money, you might look at mowers with a 38" deck. My lawn is about the same size as yours and I have a 38" rider. I spend most of my time going around trees, shrubs, and flower beds so the 38" works very well for me. However, if you don't have many obstacles and don't plan to add any, you may want the 42".
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On Tue, 13 Jul 2004 12:38:41 -0500, RoyDMercer wrote:

Thanks for the additional info.
Now that you've brought it up, let me ask a couple of additional questions about John Deere models. My local John Deere store has a number of used mowers for sale, but since the model numbers are outdated, I can't find any info on them at all from the J.D. website. So I don't have any idea how good the models might be--whether they are very high quality mowers, or cheaper (but presumably still fairly good) ones like the 100 series.
Here are some of the used ones they've got in my price range:
unknown year, model 175, $1500 unknown year, model 185, $600 1999 LT155, $1690 unknown year, LT155, $1399 2000 LT155, $1800 1998 LT133, $700 unknown year, LX172, $1495 unknown year, LX173, $1500 1991 LX 176, $950 1997 LX176, $1625 unknown year, LX176, $1299 1998 LX178, $1600 unknown year, LX180, $550 2000 Sabre, $950 2000 Sabre 2046, $1350
If anyone can shed light on these particular Sabre, LT, or LX series models, I'd certainly appreciate it.
I assume it'd be safer buying a used one from a dealer than from a classified ad. Taking a $1800 L110 as a baseline for comparison would any of these $1500-1800 used models be something I ought to give serious consideration to?
Thanks again,
John
***** John's newsgroup motto: "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." --Prov. 15:1 *****
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Not from personal experience - but my nephew (a mechanic who I partner with) laughs at his father-in-laws Sabre.
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"RoyDMercer" wrote

You're correct on this. I work for JD, we do not get an employee discount on this model. They discourage us from purchasing through HD/Lowes and the kind.
For any of the manufacturers having their less than standard equipment in these places, it's kind of a catch 22 situation. The end user never realizes the true quality of the manufacturer, which can lead the consumer away from their product ever again.
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