Once motivation levels drop owners usually want to get rid of their equipment because it takes up too much room and is a constant reminder of the non-exercise routine they now find themselves in.
To make sure you pay what it’s worth, we have compiled 4 questions to ask yourself to avoid the classic pitfalls of purchasing second hand fitness equipment and to ensure if second-hand is right for you.
1.Have I tested it?
You know what your goals are and what fitness equipment you need to achieve them. Whether it’s an exercise bike to ride in front of the TV or treadmill to walk off that burger at lunch, don’t be tempted to buy something without testing it first.
It may look bright and shiny in the photo on TradeMe but does the fitness equipment actually work? It could very easily be broken and need some work to ensure it is safe to use. Check for excessive wear, cracks and rust and if it still has a warranty in place, it could come in handy.
2.Do I know when it was last serviced?
Beware of the classic one liner, “This machine has hardly ever been used.”
Whether fitness equipment has regularly been used or not, products with moving parts will always need servicing. For example, nearly all treadmills require regular lubricating between the running mat and running deck. If not lubricated, friction builds up and control boards and motors blow up. Treadmill control boards and motors are the most expensive components to replace and often cost more than the purchase price of the treadmill itself.
Even if the treadmill has sat idle for months, the lubricant needs to be applied prior to use as it is a silicon based product which evaporates over time.
When considering second hand fitness equipment don’t ask how much use it has had…..ask when it was last serviced!
3.Can I find replacement parts easily?
The biggest issue any fitness service department faces is sourcing spare parts. Most fitness products are manufactured using custom made componentry, therefore it is often impossible to buy a standard part to replace or repair the equipment.
Before you purchase a second hand piece of fitness equipment research the market and check well established fitness equipment brands.
It is prudent to stick with one of the recognised brands. If possible find out who the distributor for that brand is and check if they have parts available.
Be prepared to be surprised at how few distributors carry spare parts and how expensive some components are. We regularly hear tales of people securing a bargain on a piece of equipment to later find out one part may be triple the cost of the original purchase.
4.Do I understand what I am buying?
Whether buying new or second hand the more you research and know about the product the better your purchasing decision will be.
Research and look out for fitness equipment buying guides for new products, these would also apply to used products. As with any piece of fitness equipment, higher quality componentry lasts longer.
When enquiring about second hand products draw up a checklist of questions regarding the main specifications of the product. If the seller can’t answer any of the questions it is a good indication they don’t know the product very well.
It has been our experience fitness equipment owners who don’t know much about their products tend to be the ones who don’t realise the importance of servicing or maintaining it.
If in doubt, always ask a fitness equipment expert .