How to Buy (and NOT Buy) Used Fitness Equipment

Everyone likes a bargain. And buying your fitness equipment Used (or “pre-owned” as the car industry has coined it) will certainly save you some money on the initial purchase. But are these pieces really the bargains that their price tags make them out to be? Let’s take a look at the two possible categories of used fitness equipment — from commercial settings and from home users.

Commercial fitness facilities are businesses. That makes sense, right? And to remain in business, these facilities need to maximize profit. One half of the profit equation is to keep expenses in check. No commercial facility is going to replace its equipment with expensive new models until either 1) the current units are so outdated that advances in biomechanics have made them less safe than newer options, or 2) the amount of use to which they have been subjected puts them on Death’s doorstep. You’ve heard: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” right? In commercial facilities, that saying translates to: “If it’s still usable, don’t invest substantial money to replace it.”

For home used equipment, however, the unfortunate reality of many pieces is that they did not get the use their original owners had hoped to give them. The buyers most often started out with the best of intentions on pursuing their fitness goals with great frequency. But far too often, that enthusiasm soon wanes. We have purchased two-year-old “used” treadmills and ellipticals from homes and, after checking the odometers, found that the machines had less than 10 hours or 25 miles on them. The most common range of usage we find when checking the used equipment we buy is that the average piece has the equivalent of 2-3 months of the expected 3 or so hours per week. Since high quality fitness equipment is built to last 10-15 years, those products are just reaching their break-in periods.

At Premier Fitness Source, we never resell equipment that has come from a commercial facility. We tried the refurbishing route, but discovered that (after repairing the parts that had already failed) there were often other components at the end of their lifespans. Most resellers of commercial fitness equipment will claim that their products came from Senior Centers, hoping you’ll believe that those products incurred minimal wear. Don’t be fooled. If those products still had long life expectancies, those facilities would still have them in use.

Our position on used equipment is that we will only buy and resell high-end products (no cheap, entry-level, Internet quality items) from home users. We may have commercially rated pieces that the original user wanted for home — but never commercially owned pieces. In our Premier Fitness Source stores, you can try before you buy to be sure that each piece is smooth and functions according to manufacturer specifications. And unlike most used equipment sellers, we can offer long warranties on every product we sell, ensuring your peace of mind. With our used products, you really can take home a bargain!