Yep, thats the Ariens!
wow, condition looks great!
I would not hesitate to buy the machine..the only real question is the price..
The owner might genuinely believe its only 5 years old..he might have bought it 3 years ago and the guy he bought it from said "its only 2 years old!"
Whats the saying? "never assume malice when ignorance will do"? something like that..
Sounds like the current owner probably isn't the original owner..so he probably really thinks its only 5 years old...but it isnt...It's 12 years old at the youngest, could be 15 years old or so..but age becomes almost irrelevant to such a machine..Even at 15 years old, it has had much less use, and been much better cared for, than many machines half its age..
Its approximately equivalent to a new $800 to $900 snowblower..its right in the middle of the Consumer Full-size line..no light, no frills..not an economy "entry level" model..but not a top of the line "pro" model either..To buy the equivalent machine brand-new today would be about a $800 to $900 Ariens..
So..for its age...about half-price of new, $400 to $450, I still say is reasonable..
prices do vary by region however! prices are higher around the big cities..New York City, Boston, Chicago..and prices are less in the "snow belts" of the Great Lakes region and the Mid-West..where good used snowblowers are readily available..
based on the condition, I will revise my estimate somewhat..and say $400 to $500..
because it does look to be in beautiful condition..its real age might be 12 years old..but its "working age" could be 5..its the equivalent of an "average" 5 year old snowblower, and much better than an average 12-year old snowblower..
So, if you are happy with $500, I would say go for it! Its a very nice Ariens..should serve you well for decades to come..
another way to think of it..
Lets say you bought it for $500..
What could you get *new* for $500?
significantly less of a machine..and much lower quality..
a $500 new snowblower isnt very good at all..low-end..
Your $500 used John Deere would be a much better use of that $500..
Thats why I bought my 40 year old Ariens for $250..
its twice the machine a brand-new $500 snowblower is, and much higher quality,
even when factoring in the age..
edit: I just checked the ad more closely..yep..Washington DC! that's definitely a "higher price" market..
for everything, including snowblowers..
that would be a $400 snowblower where I live..but in DC, $500 is probably about right..