It’s 5:30 p.m. on a weekday and in the back of your mind you know that you should probably work out. Finally, you get enough resolve to change out of your work clothes into some gym clothes.
Do I have enough time to drive to the gym? You glance at the clock on your phone and realize that you don’t want to deal with the rush hour traffic.
Maybe I could jog outside? You take a step outside only to be met with humid, mosquito-laden weather and you instantly start sweating. Or, maybe it’s winter time and you’re not mentally prepared to feel like your fingers and toes are slowly succumbing to frostbite. Maybe not.
It’s times like these when having a home gym starts to sound like a really attractive option. Starting a home gym can seem like a daunting task when you start looking at all of the different options (and the accompanying price tags), so many people start off slow and buy a piece of used equipment.
Whether it’s a treadmill or a rowing machine, there are ways to make sure that your used equipment purchase doesn’t end up as a coat rack within the year. If you’re in the market for used cardio equipment, here are some things to look out for:
Mistake #1: Not asking enough questions (or the right questions)
It can be a little nerve-wracking to make sure you’re asking all of the questions you want to ask while making a big purchase – especially when it comes to used equipment. Unfortunately, most of the time you have to take the answers you get at face-value and trust that it’s the truth, but it helps to ask the right questions. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of questions to ask yourself before you buy and to ask the seller when you decide to buy:
- What is my budget?
- What kind of fitness equipment will fit me the best?
- Do I plan on running or walking more?
- How many people will use this equipment?
- How will I transport my new fitness equipment?
Ask the seller:
- Do they offer financing options? Delivery options?
- How often was the machine used?
- How often did they perform maintenance on the machine?
- What kind of maintenance did they do?
- Do they still have the original manual?
- Was the machine bought new or used?
- How old is the machine?
- How many people used the machine?
- Was it mainly used for running or walking?
- Is there currently any warranty on the machine (or any warranty available?)
These questions can serve as a good starting place and will vary depending on whether you’re buying from an individual or a dealer. Use your best judgment!
Mistake #2: Buying from an unverified seller
We know it can be tempting to buy the first piece of fitness equipment that you see online, but it can pay off buying from a verified used equipment dealer. Between Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, LetGo, and even run-of-the-mill thrift stores, you can come across a lot of equipment that looks good to the eye but may cause problems down the road.
Verified fitness equipment dealers typically do all of the dirty work for you before putting used equipment on the floor. Between cleaning, refurbishing and checking the electronics, a lot of the guesswork on the quality of the machine has been taken care of for you. Specialty fitness store associates are surrounded by different fitness brands that they know inside and out. If you’re looking at two treadmills that are around the same price, a fitness expert will be able to tell you which treadmill has the softer landing pad or motor longevity.
Besides having the comfort of knowing your machine will function properly, some dealers also offer delivery and payment plans. This can prevent a lot of headaches if you don’t have a vehicle large enough to stuff an elliptical inside or if you’ve had your eye on a really nice piece of equipment that’s just out of your budget.
Mistake #3: Not knowing the true condition of the equipment
Any piece of equipment can look halfway decent after a good clean, but that doesn’t mean it won’t break on you after a few uses. If you’re looking at used cardio equipment that uses electricity, don’t hesitate to ask to plug it in.
If you’re buying the equipment from a home, look around to see if there are any pets or ask if they frequently have animals around. Pet hair has a tendency to clog up parts of the machine that can affect performance. Similarly, if the seller has small children, there may be a chance the equipment has suffered some sticky spills. Don’t be afraid to be thorough in checking the quality before purchasing.
(For the curious cats, here’s an inside look at what you get when you order delivery with us.)
Buying used equipment doesn’t have to be a complicated process. It’s a great way to start your home gym without worrying about breaking the bank and a lot of used equipment is in great condition. The most surefire way to guarantee your new fitness equipment doesn’t turn into an expensive coatrack is to make sure that you’re buying equipment that fits you, your budget, and your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to ask the right questions or try out different pieces of equipment until you find one that suits you.
Want more information on our own used equipment program? We can offer delivery and financing on our new AND used fitness equipment. Our used inventory is constantly being added to, so you’re bound to find something that works for you. Check it out here: www.JohnsonFitness.com/used-exercise-equipment