Best Time To Buy A Jet Ski – It’s Not What You Expect!

The Absolute Best Time To Buy

The best time of year to buy is in August or September.

Those two months will be the golden months to get a great deal.

Why, might you ask?

That is when the manufacturers release the new models for next year. So if it’s 2023, they’ll be releasing the 2024’s around August to September 2023.

Why August or September?

August or September are not set in stone as being the time to purchase.

What determines it is when they release the new jet ski for the new year. For all we know, they could change it up and release next year’s models in June, so keep that in mind.

For the most part, it’s always been between August or September.

Right before the release of the new models, the manufacturer wants the dealers to sell as many of the last year’s models as possible so that they’ll buy the latest models. With that in mind, the manufacturer cranks out better rebates and warranties that you don’t see often.

But There’s A Catch!

While it’s often that the manufacturer will release some great promotions during August or September, it doesn’t mean it will be great all the time.

Sometimes the market is good, and many dealers don’t have much stock, so they don’t need to give many incentives. We saw this in 2020 to even now because of the world shutting down.

Other times the market is bad, and dealers have a lot of inventory, so they need to give great rebates. We saw this during the 2008 recession and a few years after.

Just like the stock market, it’s not best to time the jet ski market. Some years are good, and some are bad.

What controls when it’s the right time to buy is often when no one is buying.

Like in the winter months or off seasons. You’re going to find the best time to buy when the season is ending or is in the off season. The catch is that when it’s the off season, it’s not the best time to ride a jet ski, as it’s usually cold. Though, you can get some gear to make riding in the cold not so bad.

The Curveball

The good news is that you’ll get curveballs sometimes. Either before the season starts or in the dead heat of it, you’ll find that manufacturers will come out with some great promotions.

Make sure to know the promotions before buying a jet ski, check out the manufacturer’s websites here…

I’ve seen some crazy good promotions given in the middle of the jet ski season, either because sales were slow or sales were good. The jet ski gods decided to sell – sell – sell!

Don’t Forget The Dealers

It’s not just the manufacturers that can determine the deals, but also the dealers too.

Some dealers get models they can’t simply sell and if another dealership won’t buy it, they’ll discount it to customers. You also have some dealerships who have a lot of competition around them and price the jet skis to move.

Most dealerships have a floor plan, meaning they finance the models on the floor.

After a certain period, the finance company starts to charge interest and then the dealership often wants those model to be sold.

The models that are the most trouble for dealerships are the leftover models. While still new, the dealership has carried over the model to the next year. The manufacturer will often have rebates, but it’s not guaranteed. I’ve seen a few jet skis that simply won’t sell, so figure those models out to get the best deal.

When Do They Ship The New PWCs?

New jet skis get shipped to Australia first, as their summer is the US’s winter.

For the US, new models can come in as soon as January, but many new models can still be shipped out until the next year models start to ship.

Dealerships are allotted so many units, and if the dealership doesn’t have the one you need, they can often get it from another dealership.

The best way to get your name on a jet ski is to leave a deposit.

Worst Time To Buy?

There is not a bad time to purchase a jet ski, but you can time the market wrong. Just like everything in life, when there is more demand than supply, prices go up. If you want a jet ski that has a lot of demand but little supply, you’re usually not going to get the best deal possible.

But why do they do it like that? Well, you may not want to pay that much for the watercraft, but the next guy will since the demand for it is so high.

The right timing can also play in your favor. Every region will have different promotions, so the person in Tennessee will have different promotions than the person in New Mexico. It’s important not to worry or concern yourself with what others are getting for their jet ski but concern yourself with what’s selling and not selling if all you care about is the price.

Note: If you really want a jet ski, and it's the heat of the season, and the dealership has it in stock, then buy it. I've seen many people try to time it right and when they usually wait the models are gone for the rest of the year, and another one can't be located. Just like money, time is a precious resource, but one you can't get back. Sometimes it's better to bite the bullet and buy now and enjoy the summer with your family than it is to find that one golden nugget of a good deal. Also, these things don't get cheaper later; they always go up in price every year. 

Do Prices Go Down In The Winter?

Most people don’t drive jet skis in the winter, so dealerships tend to lower prices around that time.

While prices go down during the winter months, it’s not always a guarantee.

If demand is still high, like seen during the early 2020s, jet ski prices will stay high.

During normal times, jet ski prices tend to go down in the winter as demand is low and dealerships are looking to make money.

Buy In Winter – Where To Store?

If you buy a jet ski during the winter, you might be wondering how that goes, and how do you store it?

It was common for customers to buy a jet ski during the winter as that was when we had the best deals or the customer simply was not ready for it until next year.

For new jet skis that were pre-sold, we marked them as such and kept them in the crates. You want to keep them in the crates because it keeps the clean, and they’re winterized.

The customer would pick a date, often giving a week or two heads-up, and take deliver then.

Often, the trailer would not get assigned yet and if they did not have the jet ski in stock, they would still mark it as sold in their systems.

Overall, the dealership will gladly store your new jet ski until you’re ready to take deliver next year. This was especially true if you paid for them in full. Though, the financing will not happen until you take delivery.



I began working at a jet ski dealership in 2007, initially in the parts and service area. I then transitioned to the technician side before eventually joining the sales team in 2013. I've done it all! While in sales, I created this website in 2014 to assist others with their common questions about watercraft. I now manage this site full-time, where I answer common questions, offer advice, and assist others with their PWC needs.

I've owned several watercraft and continue to buy, sell, and repair them. Currently, keep my Sea-Doo Spark as my main PWC. Additionally, I have developed tools like a used watercraft value calculator, a pricing calculator, an hour calculator, and more to better assist my readers.


    • The biggest brands of now are Sea-Doo, Yamaha, and Kawasaki. There used to be more like from Honda, TigerShark, WetBike, and Polaris.

  1. Looking at either the ex deluxe or the vx limited. I live on the inter coastal so will be using on that mostly. Is ex deluxe able to handle rougher water smoothly ?

  2. Any advice on which machine would be the most comfortable for a taller rider (I am 6’6″)? I am waiting for some good deals anytime.

  3. If you had the option between a 2020 GTI 170 and a 2019 GTX 155 similarly equipped ( stereo) which would you choose? Would you expect the pricing to be about the same given the latest model year and more HP compared to the lower HP but larger hull and “ luxury “ model GTX? Any insights would be helpful.



    • I honestly go with the GTX 155 especially if you’re taller as the GTX body has more legroom. The hull does ride nicer and things like engine mounts on the GTX make things smoother. While I don’t see or think the new engine or new GTI body will give any issues but the GTX body and 155HP engine is proven. Plus, a dealer is more willing to bend to move a leftover model.

  4. Any idea how the currentVirus situation might impact Dealers and pricing? Thanks for a great and informative site.


    • Buy now. Dealers are starting to get hungry and when things get “back to normal” you’ll see a mad rush because people have been in their homes and want out. The season might even be longer than usual because school schedules are messed up and the season has been pushed back.

      • Thanks, another question if I may. We are looking for a machine that will primarily be used for basic running around at moderate speeds ( we are both older) but would like it to have the ability to pull our sons ( in their 30s) and also our grandkids on tubes, skies and wakeboards. Actually I have 2 questions first will the 130hp SeaDoo be enough power or will the 170 be significantly better. Second in the 170 models would the GTI be sufficient or do you really need the Wake model for getting someone “up” . As I understand it the only thing the Wake model adds is a ski launch control.

        Thanks again!


        • The 130 would get you by but that 170 will be better in the long run if you’re pulling adults. The SKI Mode is helpful if you’re doing pulls all day long but if you’re doing it occasionally it’s not worth it. Touring mode and cruise control are fine if you don’t have SKI Mode. I would save the money and go with the GTI SE 170 over the WAKE in your situation.

  5. Makes sense! Thanks. Hey another question.. when looking up used prices on NADA or Kelly, or even PWC…. the prices they list are always much lower than what is on the market around here! Been looking for 2014 VX Deluxe or Cruiser.. and the NADA prices are like around $5700-6700. But on Craigslist and Market place on FB they are all going for like $7000-$8000! I have emailed some people a copy of the NADA prices to pro e how out of range they are… hoping they would go down on it. But they rarely budge, maybe $500 less. WHY??? So fustrating!

    • Looks like a seller’s market right now. They’re basing the pricing on what other machines like what they have are going for. Plus, the NADA and Kelly Blue Book are only guides to about where those two companies think they should be (its still a good starting point). Then people will always have a bias on their own machines; the best thing to do is point out the flaws of the machine and let them know it’s going to cost money to fix such and such. September and October are also very awkward months. Its still warm and plenty of time to ride so you’ll see the people selling used jet skis wanting top dollar still as the guys who want new ones are at the dealerships looking at the stuff that just came out in these months. I would wait til December as it will become more of a buyers market as people will be in a need of cash. If you want one now the new ones will have the best promotions so that the dealers with leftover models will want to move them to make room for the new stuff. I don’t want to push you to new but Sea-Doo does have some really good promotions going on now.

  6. What is best time to buy a used one from individual? Right before winter or during winter? Seems like people would be done with them by end of summer and dont want to winterize them and take up garage space till next year.. if they have lost interest in them.. or want to get something newer..? We are in Texas… so maybe Sept/ October?

    • Right before Christmas or even Thanksgiving would be the best time to buy used because people will be looking to make some holiday money.


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