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When I was researching buying a bike this spring, I asked about the 2003 models and found that prices were only marginally lower. I ended up with a 2004 Blast and have no complaints.

The other day I'm in a store and they have the Cinder Cone (1 up from Blast, at least 200-300 more when I looked at it) for cheaper than what I payed for the Blast. If this is normal, why in the spring of the following year the bike is priced higher than in the fall?
 

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Yep, it's normal.

Let me put it this way. If you buy a product (e.g. car, bike, iPod, etc.) when that product is first released, and essentially at its highest demand point, the price will almost always be higher. New model year bikes, for your example, usually hit most shops in late winter / early spring and are usually at their highest prices from that point until the middle of summer because that's when people get the bug to buy a new bike. It's called the law of supply and demand in supply-side economics.

Towards the end of summer, most shops begin to start putting them on sale to clear room and because the demand for bikes is beginning to wane. This is especially true of the bike/ski/snowboard shops who need to clear floor space for their winter sports gear. The last thing a shop wants is to be full of last year's inventory when the new stuff comes out. As a result, it's in their best interest to lower the price a bit (and lose some margin on a bike) to get it out the door.

This is the reason that I've bought my last two bikes in Fall/Winter and not in Spring/Summer.

EB
 
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