How to Buy Used Gym Equipment: 6 Simple Steps & 4 Helpful Tips

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Building your home gym with a versatile range of equipment is no small deal as you must shell out ample money to procure them. A set of good-quality dumbbells, treadmills, or even barbells costs more than you can imagine, and buying them is not a feasible option for all.

But don’t get disheartened, as there is hope to those of us suffering from budget constraints—in the form of used home gym equipment.

Get smart and choose the right used gym equipment to develop a great home gym that’s fully functional yet set on a modest budget.

But don’t make the mistake of hurrying down to any corner garage sale as fitness equipment is a big investment that needs to be done right to ensure that it lasts longer.

6 Simple Steps to Buy Used Gym Equipment

I’ve suggested the most important things that make your buying process easier and more effective.

#1. Frequency of use

We buy things out of necessity or desire, but before buying anything, I request that you think not once or twice but a couple of times thoroughly whether or not you will be using the machine that you buy regularly or not.

It’s not a new feeling when we wish to have something that we see at the gym or our friend’s place, maybe the elegant elliptical or the sturdy weight plates.

It is also possible that we have bought a couple of them too but later realize that they have never been used often. They mostly sit in one corner of the room or even get thrown into the attic.

So, before jumping to conclusions and buying something, I suggest that you try any of the equipment that you wish to buy for some time.

Simply because you saw a great treadmill in one of the fitness magazines that was recommended for rapid weight loss, it is not necessary that you must buy it immediately.

Some others feel that cycling every day on the elliptical will lead to an overall improvement in their fitness levels.

They would have never tried it even for once but rush to the store out of excitement or take a New Year’s resolution in the spur of the moment they buy a piece of exercise equipment.

You could even see them fill their wardrobe with a new range of athleisure wear or gym clothing! But, there is never a guarantee that you would be using the equipment unless and until you’ve worked out using it.

The only way to ensure regular use is to make sure that you buy something you’ve already used, even better if you’ve used it for a longer period.

In a nutshell, you must be familiar with the type of equipment that you are buying. After all, you are spending your hard-earned money, and it is reasonable that you use the equipment you buy.

#2. Space Consideration

Once you’ve made up your mind on buying a piece of exercise equipment and have also decided which one to buy, it is necessary to make sure that you have enough space to set it up and use it.

For instance, some machines, such as the ellipticals, occupy space horizontally as well as vertically.

If you wonder how an elliptical occupies much space vertically, I must remind you that you need to consider the maximum height you would be reaching when you pedal. So, your ceiling height should be high enough for this.

The elliptical is only an example, and there are ample other machines that fit this description.

Before buying something that doesn’t fit your ceiling height and finally throwing it away in the garage, it is better to be proactive and get your available space measurements right and buy any home gym equipment that fits this measurement.

The second major point to consider is whether you would get the equipment into your house if it is fully assembled. Can you make it through the staircase and set it in your basement?

There have been many instances where many of you would have set the equipment in your bedroom or living room and shifted it to some other room. How many of you have suffered the tiring work of taking apart and reassembling the entire unit together?

Whenever you plan upon buying a large piece of equipment, it is better to think well a couple of times before running issues like space restrictions.

Above all, when you plan on buying something large, do you have the capability to bring it to your home in the first place? So, once you know what you wish to buy and realize that you can bring it to your home, it’s time to consider a couple of other points.

#3. When to Buy Used Gym Equipment?

We can decide upon becoming healthier or set new fitness targets any time of the year, but when it comes to buying used fitness equipment, you must pay attention to what time you plan to buy the machine.

New Year (January) is the time of the year when we are reminded of the state of our health, make resolutions that mostly involve fitness and health, and take crucial steps to improve fitness levels by enrolling in a gym or setting up a new home gym.

The next busiest time of the year is the holiday season where people purchase new treadmills, barbells, and more as they get more time to work out and see to their health goals.

It is a well-known fact that as the demand for goods increase, so does their cost. Hence, the pricing of used equipment is at the peak when it’s January, March, April, or May.

But what about other times of the year? The demand is deficient. Even most of the individuals who’ve bought their desirable fitness equipment during January, March, April, or May have forgotten their goals altogether.

The machines might now be a coat stand or could simply be collecting dust.

So, it is best to buy a used piece of fitness equipment from late spring to early summer as there is a greater number of equipment available for sales but without many people interested in buying them.

It is wise to follow the golden rule of ‘Strike when the iron is hot.’ There is no shortage of used home gym equipment available for use but what’s rare is to get your desired equipment for your desired cost.

Be patient and make a purchase at the right time rather than running straight away to the corner shop and buying all you need.

I’ve seen many people buying home gym equipment at a particular cost only to find that the machine’s pricing has decreased even further a week later or so.

A word of caution when you are doing online shopping—the used equipment might look amazing, be priced very cheaply, and look as good as new on the website.

But when you see the product in person, it is smelly and awful. So, prepare your mind to walk away in such instances.

#4. Find the Best Place to Buy Used Gym Equipment

There are ample ways to shop, but you must figure out the best way to get what you really want and know where to look for it.

I know many people who always stick to checking out one or two places they are familiar with—maybe scroll through eBay and Craig’s List sitting in our home’s comfort.

But, I must tell you that you are missing ample good deals if you don’t look beyond these sites as many better places offer much better deals.

1) eBay

Though most of you would be familiar with eBay, the most important thing here is to shop for items that are “local pick up only.” It is always better to choose listings that allow you to see the product first before purchasing.

This policy is not only for purchases made via eBay but holds good for every other place that you’ll look into.

2) Craig List

Though many of you might be regular users of this platform, this is not my personal favorite. I don’t say that you don’t find good products here, but you need ample patience to pick the right one.

This is mainly because most of the stuff sold is garbage, and the people selling it are unresponsive. But it is also true that you can find excellent quality home gym equipment too.

So, you can try your luck if you wish to.

3) Play it Again Sports

Are you interested in looking for smaller equipment such as weights, benches, and bars? If so, you can definitely have a look into PIAS and even expect to be surprised by another whole range of smaller items that you’ve not come across until now.

Even if you don’t find what you’ve been searching for, there is a quick change in inventory now and then, and hence, you can always come back and check again.

4) Letgo and OfferUp

Online shopping has become extremely famous, and apps have started ruling the world. We’ve got an app for everything—from tracking health and shopping to playing games and purchasing stuff.

In such an app-based world, Letgo and OfferUp exist as two of the best apps that could be used for buying used fitness equipment locally. The best thing about these is that both the apps are free, and once you start using them, be sure to realize that there are ample others in the city who are fans of them.

5) Used fitness equipment retailers

If you are a search master, finding the top-rated used fitness equipment retailers in business must not be a big deal.

Even otherwise, do a quick Google search, and I am sure you would land up with a couple of famous names, including Primo Fitness, Push Pedal Pull, Johnson Fitness (previously called Second Winch), and many more like this.

6) Yard, Garage, and Estate Sales

Though all three of them help you find some of the best in town used equipment, the last one is my personal favorite as there is a higher probability of finding higher-quality items and better brand names than the other two.

The general fact is that all three of them can yield you equally beneficial products if you are ready to get down into the field and do your search effectively.

7) Pawn Shops

If you have had an unused piece of gym equipment lying for a long time in your place, probably, you might have visited the pawnshop to give it away in exchange for some hot cash.

So, you could find a whole range of equipment here, but they also tend to be overpriced, and hence, you must be careful when you procure stuff from a pawn shop. Be sure to negotiate and reduce the pricing as much as possible.

Whatever might be the type of equipment you wish to purchase, keep one thing in mind—never buy anything before trying it out, or at least you must be able to see or touch it physically.

When I say try it, you must try using every functionality available in the equipment. For example, if you are buying a treadmill, walk, run, and sprint on it, check out the inclination options and try out all the control panel options.

Like how you test drive for a car, don’t be gentle with how you handle the equipment but ensure that the machine is in good condition by checking all of its functionalities.

When you are done with this, it’s time now to inspect the product for any damages and wear and tear, if any.

Check whether the bolts, nuts, and screws are in place. There are high probabilities that the equipment might have some hard cracks—check for them, especially at high-stress locations.

Above all, sniff it and see whether the equipment is smelly. Don’t worry about someone giving you a glaring look as, finally, you would be owning the machine paying a heft amount as a purchase price.

A word of caution to you before making the payment to the owner—ask him/her a couple of fundamental questions:  How long was the machine used? Was it a first-hand purchase? Where did you buy it? Was the machine used regularly? Why are you selling it?

If you are buying it from a retail store, you must ask the following questions:

  • Do you offer a warranty on the product?
  • Was the equipment previously used in a commercial or home gym?
  • Where did the equipment come from?
  • Under which condition is the equipment classified?
  • Can you purchase a warranty for the product?

Used: Someone had been using it for an unknown length.

Refurbished: Though the product was not in usable condition initially, the retailer had repaired it

Serviced & Cleaned: Though the used machine needed touch-ups, it was in perfect working order, and none of the parts were broken before the sale

Demo: The machine you would be purchasing was a demo machine repeatedly tried by customers. Demo machines usually come with more offers and warranty periods.

Floor Model: The machine you use now was a display item that was not frequently used to become a demo product. Such products might have a warranty as well.

Returned Item: The product that you choose was a returned product that the customer did not like. So, it is better to question why the product was returned. You also get a warranty for these kinds of items.

Remanufactured: The product was rebuilt from scratch as these are good deals. When you buy such products from a reputable store, they are in good shape and even look similar to a new piece of exercise equipment. Such products have only a limited warranty.

While some stores offer a basic warranty and the equipment’s costing, some others offer a longer warranty when you pay an additional amount for extending the warranty period.

It is generally seen that people don’t wish to shell out extra money for an additional warranty, but it is better to stay safe than to stay sorry.

#5. Do Your Deep Research

Once you know what you want and are done with the shopping, it’s time to research. Take out your smartphone and look into the three most important things. Suppose all of them have a green tick, then go ahead with the purchase. Else, walk away.

As a first step, if you are not familiar with the brand, Google it for reviews. Ensure that it is a trusted brand as numerous unknown local brands don’t last long due to time, even if they pass all your tests.

Once you know about the brand, check for reviews on the machine. Check Amazon and Google for reviews considering what’s being told with a grain of salt.

Always look for the majority opinions—if a lot of people recommend it, you can boldly go ahead with the purchase.

Once both of these are done, it’s time now to check for the pricing. You might know where you should check for the pricing, and in my opinion, eBay is one of the best sites for this.

Use eBay’s “advanced” search functionality as it is quick, easy, and necessary to buy your merchandise.

If the price you quote for the purchase, and if the seller’s pricing doesn’t match, you need to discuss with the seller and even show them the equipment’s pricing trends.

Whenever you speak, be polite and let them know that you value the opportunity to look at the model physically. Meeting them in person and having a friendly discussion can considerably reduce the machine’s cost.

If the seller quotes a price that’s way below what the exercise equipment is worth, pause, think and decide. The deal could be a perfect one sometimes but do your research before deciding.

In general, anyone selling their products quotes more than the product’s worth. So, it never hurts to bargain as much as possible, and I promise that you always get to pay less than the original quote price.

#6. Place Your Order / Make Your Purchase

Hurray! This is the final step, and now you can get all excited as you have selected the product, and you only have to place the order.

Before paying, see whether the seller has a PayPal facility as you can easily transfer money without paying by cash.

But, take care not to click the “friends and family” option (though selecting this might save some expenses) because only when you don’t click this can you contact PayPal in case of any problem.

If you are buying it from a store, I suggest that you don’t hesitate to spend extra bucks on an additional warranty.

Else, you would be spending more on repairs which cost way above than you would generally expect as most of the equipment (any equipment for that matter) parts are expensive.

Why Should You Consider Buying Used Gym Equipment?

A second-hand product is never the same as a brand new one, which is a well-known fact. This might be a myth in the case of used gym equipment as searching in the right way and buying the right piece of equipment can be extremely advantageous to you.

If you are in shortage of money and would like to reap maximum advantages by spending minimal amounts, you should consider buying used gym equipment.

Any new piece of fitness equipment costs more, and you must be ready to spend a significant amount of money. But, when you purchase a piece of used gym equipment, the primary benefit you get is saving loads of money.

Even if you decide to refurbish the machine, the final cost would be much lesser than buying a new one.

4 Tips for Buying Used Gym Equipment

#1. Consider the basic condition of used gym equipment

It is commonly observed that most of the used gym equipment falls under any of the three following conditions—working condition, serviced and cleaned, and remanufactured.

Depending on the condition, the pricing of the machinery also changes. When you buy the machine as it is (working condition), you are saving loads of money, and I suggest that you, for this type, if your requirement is nothing but sustaining a healthy lifestyle.

If you want something more, it is better to go for machines that belong to the serviced and cleaned category. Taking care of worn parts that might otherwise cause breakage of the machinery helps you extend the machine’s shelf-life.

But, if you are looking for an extended shelf-life with maximum functionality, it is recommended that you choose a ’remanufactured’ machine. Such a piece of equipment looks as good as new as the mechanical parts are changed, and even the powder coating looks great.

Remember, a remanufactured machine’s quality depends greatly on the manufacturer’s reliability and quality of work.

#2. Decide what kind of equipment you need and what brands/features you should look for

You might be familiar with treadmills, weights, and ellipticals, but once you start analyzing the various types of exercise equipment available, you are in for a surprise here.

There are ample types of exercise equipment available out there, gaining some knowledge about all the different equipment that could help you decide what is best for you.

The most familiar machines used by most of us include ellipticals, treadmills, exercise bikes (upright or recumbent), and strength equipment (such as free weights).

Once you know the various machines, it’s time to have at least a basic knowledge of these machines’ important features.

Never question why you should understand these features, as I promise that knowing about them would help you later on when there are any issues with their functionality.

Some of the common features available in machines such as ellipticals, treadmills, and exercise bikes include multiple resistance levels to choose from based on your desired intensity level, heart rate monitoring, incline/decline functionality, and various preset programs.

This knowledge also helps you when you are testing any machinery for purchase, as you can ensure that the piece is functional and working.

#3. Set a Clear Budget

Some of us start looking out for products with a set budget in mind, while others don’t have any fixed budget.

But, if you ask me, it is always ideal to look out for advice and guidance, and above all, set a clear budget in mind when you are looking for any piece of exercise equipment.

By doing this, you reduce the unnecessary amount of time that would have been otherwise spent on going through each of the models and comparing them.

Now that you know what you need, there could be only a fixed number of models that meet your requirement, and your job becomes easier and less time-consuming.

This way, you get to go through each of them carefully, make a well-thought choice, and reap greater benefits using the exercise equipment.

#4. Find highly trustworthy and reputable Used Gym Equipment Seller

The Internet is filled with sellers, and companies fight it out against each other to capture the consumer’s hearts. If you are a novice to the market, there are higher chances that you might be easily duped by the fancy words, attractive freebies, and more offered by retailers.

So, with many individuals and companies selling used gym equipment, how will you select the optimal one for your use?

Again, how can you be sure that the seller delivers exactly what he/she promises? If you cannot be sure of this, there is no guarantee that you would not be wasting so much money on something that’s supposed to last long.

Hence, it is better to be proactive and take some precautionary measures to ensure that the organization or the individual you are dealing with is truthful and legitimate.

It is always better to choose a retailer ready to welcome purchasers to their warehouse, test all the range of equipment, and choose their desired one.

Some retailers are even ready to take you through each of the three conditions, explain which model belongs to which condition, and give their expert opinion in helping you choose the right piece of equipment depending on your health targets.

Final Thoughts

All of us love to possess a new piece of fitness equipment, and there is nothing wrong with it. If you can afford it, please go ahead and purchase your choice of machinery right away. But, I would also like to state that sometimes it makes more sense to buy used machines.

In such instances, following the 6 simple steps listed above carefully without neglecting any of them would help you choose a good piece of fitness equipment that’s durable, strong, lasts long, serves your purpose, and justifies your expenditure.

The tips above also come in handy when you are in confusion, and hence, going through all of the points would make you knowledgeable and give you the confidence that you are making the right choice.

We spend our hard-earned money, and hence, new or old, any piece of machine that you buy must serve your purpose and help you achieve better fitness benefits in the long run.

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