January 30, 2008

When Will GPS Prices Drop?

GarminNuvi350Pricing.jpg

A lot of readers write in and ask "When will the Price drop on this GPS?". Well the answer might just lie in looking back at the price trends over the last 12+ months. I've been doing this GPS blog long enough to know that there are a couple of key periods when prices will drop on existing models so that you can grab them at the right time.

If you can wait a month or so, another buying opportunity might just be around the corner in March. Now, just like any consumer electronics business, there are great sales that blow the following logic out of the water, but I am looking at a general trend.

Overall, there are three times when significant price drops happen.

1) New models hit the shelves ahead of the summer driving season - Older models tend to drop in price as a result. This happened last year in March, as the CES 2007 models hit the store shelves as CeBit show units were announced. This is all in preparation for the summer driving season which is a big GPS time of year. In the image above you can see that prices took a dive in March and that prices stay fairly steady through the summer driving season.

2) Holiday shopping season - Crazy time of year, and there is the other big price drop opportunity. The drops come in staggering jolts and at some outlets, not all, but generally it is a time of amazing discounting.

3) Just After a New Model's Launch - This isn't shown on this chart above because the Nuvi 350 was well established in the market by the time this data was collected, but usually new models launch at a pretty high price and then within 6 - 12 weeks, drop down to more normal pricing. This is just the way electronics are. For those who remember, the Nuvi 350, just known as the "Nuvi" back in September 2005, was launched and priced close to $1,000. The flat GPS market was born and the rest is history....

It is interesting to note that the prices through the summer driving season are essentially flat on this established model. It was not the case for newly introduced models as they dropped in price across the summer. Likewise, on models that compete with those new models dropped in price. So last summer, the Nuvi 200 was introduced and its price dropped across the summer; the TomTom ONE also kept pace to make sure it was competitive.

The data above was grabbed off of my Steals and Deals posts where I highlight the best deals out there on any given week. The prices reflect Amazon pricing, not always the lowest, but always close and from my reader feedback, a place that they trust. The prices are for the Garmin Nuvi 350, a unit that has been in the market for a long time and has defined high quality and high appeal for almost the entire time it's been on the market. It's been the most popular GPS on the US market for months, and at times when these big price drops happen, it's the #1 seller in all of Amazon's Electronics stores, outselling digital cameras and iPods.

Hope this helps.


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Posted by Scott Martin at January 30, 2008 8:05 AM

Recent Comments

Right now, Costco has the Garmin 360 for $249. That's a good price and I was tempted to upgrade from my Garmin i5, but I'm waiting to get a good buy on the Garmin 660 -- hopefully in March!


Posted by: Fred at January 31, 2008 9:32 AM
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