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Getting in shape has a whole range of benefits. People often feel happier, lose weight, increase their energy, and improve their general health. Yet, a gym membership can be expensive. A better option could be to buy your own equipment and work out from home.
There are many different options to find exercise equipment without breaking the bank. At a recent negotiating seminar for gym instructors and athletes, attendees listed some of the ways to find the best equipment at a fraction of the market costs.
1. Buy Off-Season
According to Business Insider, every January about 80% of adults make fitness-related New Year’s resolutions. As a result, demand for exercise equipment skyrockets from December to February.
According to Bodybuilding.com, over 63% of people who make exercise-related New Year’s resolutions drop their workout programs within the first month. As a result, sales for exercise equipment drop significantly by March.
At the same time, people who haven’t been using their equipment start selling them off to recoup their money. Spring break and spring cleaning are great times to negotiate great deals on new and near-new exercise equipment. According to a study by Livestrong on retail trends for exercise equipment, June has the lowest sales and can be the best time for scoring equipment at low prices.
2. Contact Equipment Manufacturers
Some of the top manufacturers of gym equipment put on frequent promotions to sell off older models at discounted rates. The seminar attendees shared that top brands may also have exercise equipment that has been returned by people renting the equipment. These included Precor, Star Trac, Life Fitness, and Cybex.
While these may be older models and secondhand, the equipment is usually in great working order. Equipment may even be refurbished to replace wear and tear.
3. Buy at Garage Sales
A garage sale can be a fantastic place to find high quality, barely-used exercise equipment. You can talk directly to the owner and hopefully negotiate to buy at a fraction of the cost.
A garage sale is also a great place to talk to the person who used the equipment. You can get an idea of whether the equipment helped the previous owner meet their fitness goals. This can be a better way of seeing if the equipment might benefit you than talking to a store salesperson.
4. Negotiate for Showroom Models
When you walk into your local sporting goods store, you’re likely to come across display pieces. Display pieces, or showroom models, give customers an idea of how the equipment looks and feels to use.
Over time, a display piece may show signs of use. The equipment then can’t be sold as new nor be returned to the factory. Store owners often discount the showroom model when the store upgrades their stock to a newer model. As revealed by some of the seminar instructors, many store managers give great discounts on this equipment if you make an offer.
5. Ask Your Local Gyms
Most established gyms have older equipment stored away. Also, gyms that have recently undergone a space redesign or management change may have some used older equipment.
Ask the gym manager whether there is unused equipment the store may be willing to sell. If so, the gym manager may be able to offer you a great discount to buy the equipment that’s taking up storage space. You can negotiate even lower prices if the equipment requires some cleaning or repairs.
6. Negotiate Free Shipping and Setup
Some of the negotiation seminar attendees reported enjoying discounts on shipping and handling charges, especially when buying online. Browse through sporting goods websites to find low shipping fees and/or free assembly on delivery.
Newer stores may also offer free shipping to entice new customers. Talk to the store manager and figure out how much discount they may be willing to give on delivery and assembly.
7. Compare Competitor Prices
Find the best prices by comparing what different retailers are charging for the same equipment. Knowing the price tags of competitors should give you some leverage during negotiations.
Armed with your price comparisons, ask to speak to someone with the authority to provide discounts. Compare not only the equipment’s purchase price but some value additions such as after-sales service, warranties, shipping, assembly, and the store’s refund policy.