Weather blamed for snow-blower shortage

It's getting tougher and tougher for people to get their hands on a snow-blower because of the demand that the weekend blizzard created. At least one dealer says it hasn't created higher prices. He says dealers typically buy snow-blowers according to how many they sold in the previous year, but the blizzard created so much demand, that they can't keep up.

John Davies has a DJ business to run, and customers expecting him for weddings and other events.

“They don't want to hear that you're snowed in,” he said.

Davies says he tried almost a half-dozen stores looking for a snow-blower, and couldn't get a $900 model for at least a week.

“It's a little frustrating because we're willing and able to pay for it,” Davies said.

He says he and his wife didn't talk about buying one for a while, and ended up forgetting about it until it was too late.

“I'm sure there's others that got stuck and snow bound.”

He says a neighbor helped him clear his driveway after the blizzard.

“We got caught with that this year,” Davies said.

At Pinehurst Hardware Hank in Eau Claire, the only snow-blowers around are the ones that are in for repair. The owner says he over-sold the 35 he bought for this year and others he ordered later, all because of the weather.

“You make your best estimate and you get more when you need more,” Alex Bourdage said. “It takes time for it to be made and delivered back from the factory.”

His customers are now buying snow-blowers that will arrive on about January 10.

John says he's just keeping his fingers crossed that his snow-blower shows up before too much more snow does.

“It's nobody's fault,” he said. “But your own?” we asked him. “But my own, yep,” he said.

Another hardware store, Ace on Birch Street, said it had about five snow-blowers left at about 3:45 Tuesday afternoon. A manager says after those sell, customers would have to wait about two to three weeks so it could order more.

Pinehurst Hardware Hank has 60 snow-blowers in for repairs and isn't taking in any more right now. It says its customers can expect that service to resume in a week.

A Menard, Inc. spokesperson released this statement on snow-blower sales in Menards stores:

“All of our area stores are well-stocked with winter weather supplies including snow blowers. We realize that our guests often need certain things right away whenever a storm hits. We pride ourselves in being prepared with additional inventory whenever we’re faced with a weather emergency.”

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  • by MO on Dec 16, 2010 at 08:41 AM
    Why a snowblower? We've been talking about it for years but never get one. So, you have to break your back, sweat like a pig and hurt for the next week....but I'd rather pay a young kid to shovel a little bit, or the guy down the road (like we did) who has been laid off. It the ease, I know...but pay the kids/adults to do it. They make money, you don't have to drop 900.00 at once. It's a win/win.
  • by Scott W Location: Eau Claire on Dec 16, 2010 at 08:28 AM
    This story eminds me of George Carlin's bit from the Hippy Dippy Weatherman.... "Tonight's forecast: Dark. Continued dark throughout most of the evening, with some widely scattered light towards morning."
  • by Snowed-In Location: Eau Claire on Dec 15, 2010 at 02:13 PM
    Why is the snow storm blamed? You know it is going to come around at least once a year durning the winter. It should say that people waited until the last minute to get snow throwers/blowers, therefore causing a temporary outage. Also, don't blame it on retailers who keep their inventory low because the last few years the snow came in managable amounts. As a business, why would you want to keep a heavy inventory just to dump them at lower prices when the season was over. Maybe people will plan better next time and then there will be no "shortage".
  • by lefty Location: right here on Dec 15, 2010 at 01:13 PM
    Its like blaming a lawnmower shortage on the grass.

  • by citizen on Dec 15, 2010 at 11:45 AM
    Check Craiglist, there were several posted locally. Expect to pay cash. Dont delay with responding as things go FAST.
  • by resident on Dec 15, 2010 at 11:37 AM
    There ARE snowblowers for sale, and lots of them. You just have to check the various online sites available with postings locally. CL has many.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 15, 2010 at 10:10 AM
    No sympathy from me to those still snowed in and whining that they can't find a snowblower to buy. You don't buy snowblowers in the winter. You buy them in the off season, like I did. Saved a lot of money, too.
  • by Clint Location: Eau Claire on Dec 15, 2010 at 08:17 AM
    I know the local John Deere Dealers told me they are sold out of mid sized and bigger snow blowers but have a shipment coming in next week. I cant get one one, but I am on their list but I will have one in a week or less now.
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