As the demand for fitness equipment continues to explode, many have turned to buying used residential or commercial exercise equipment on websites like eBay, Amazon and Facebook Marketplace and at retail used equipment stores like Play It Again Sports.
There is nothing wrong with buying used equipment and you can find a great deal price-wise. Many home exercisers have used their equipment as a clothes hanger for years and the piece may be in excellent shape with little wear-and-tear.
Used commercial equipment can also be a great buy. These machines are well made and are built to last. Many times, exercise facilities switch out their equipment because the warranty is up, but there is not necessarily anything wrong with the equipment.
However, you do want to exercise caution (pun intended) and follow these tips to make sure you get a machine in good working order. If you are ordering online, you may not be able to try before you buy but there are several questions to ask either way.
- Ask if the warranty is valid and if you can get a copy of it in writing.
- Determine who is going to assemble the equipment and the freight cost to ship it.
- If something is terribly wrong, can you return it?
- For cardio equipment, see if you can get the mileage or time logged on the machine.
- Ask the age of the machine. In general, most manufacturers stop producing parts after 7 years.
- Obtain the serial number and call the manufacturer to see if parts are available and if there is any service history on the unit. If parts are hard to find, this will be a problem for repairs and may drive up your repair costs.
- If the manufacturer was not involved with previous repairs, ask what parts have been replaced and who serviced it.
- Determine if the equipment was used residentially or commercially.
- If it's a treadmill, when was the last time the belt and deck were replaced? Does the deck have the capability to be flipped? Better treadmills allow a deck to be flipped for double the wear life. If the deck is extremely worn, it can be very expensive to have a new deck shipped.
If you can physically test the equipment:
- Check the overall function of all parts of the machine.
- On a treadmill perform a “stomp” test. With your feet on the side rails, get the treadmill up to 3 mph. With your dominant foot and holding onto the side rails, try to stop the belt by stomping on the treadmill with about 50% force. if the belt stops and the front roller turns, you may have a problem. If not, the belt and roller should be ok.
It is always wise to have a trained service professional check out your used piece of equipment to make sure that everything is in good working order. Call us for a tune-up today!