Where to Buy Home Exercise Equipment?
What is the best kind of place to buy home exercise equipment? This article discusses the pros and cons of each source – retail, online affiliate, online manufacturer, and online dealer.
Buying used equipment can get you the best, and worst, deals. Prices are often half those for new machines. However, like buying a used car, it’s very difficult to know what you’re getting. Virtually all new equipment comes with a warranty. Extended warranties are also available with new equipment and this option can nearly eliminate the risk of getting a bad machine.
The highest quality exercise equipment is sold in specialty exercise equipment stores. These stores are likely to represent several different manufacturers and have a knowledgeable staff to help you through your buying decision. Best of all, you can try out the equipment and get comfortable with it. These specialty stores have to pay their rent and salespeople so tend to charge high prices.
There are also discount stores, department stores, and warehouse stores that sell equipment. However, the salespeople are much less knowledgeable and many times the equipment is for display purposes only. That is, look at it, but don’t use it!
Retail stores may have to order the model you want. Specialty stores will likely deliver to your home, but others may not without a separate payment.
There are ads all over the Internet enticing you to click here to buy the latest treadmill. Typically, the user is then led to the manufacturer’s web site, where he can order directly from the manufacturer. If you buy, the original site gets a percentage of the purchase price from the manufacturer. Customer service is handled by the manufacturer. This is a good source of business for the manufacturer, but why not buy directly from the manufacturer?
Many of the larger manufacturers now have their own e-stores. Those that don’t, typically don’t because they don’t want to hurt sales through their retail channel. Customers can order directly from the manufacturer and often get good prices. This can work well, but sometimes the manufacturer will offer only the models that they haven’t been able to move through retail stores. Other manufacturers will collect sales tax. Current law requires them to only to collect sales tax from residents of the state where the manufacturer is located. However, in anticipation of possible tax law changes, some manufacturers collect it anyway. Some manufacturers have terrible customer service!
At first glance, online dealers can be difficult to distinguish from online affiliates. However, instead of the user clicking through to the manufacturer’s site, the user stays on the dealer’s site. The online dealer functions more like a retail store than an online affiliate. The online dealer typically represents more than one manufacturer, processes the order there on the dealer’s site, and provides customer service in addition to that of the manufacturer. Manufacturers often give their best prices to dealers because of the sales volumes the dealers produce. The dealers can, and often do, pass these savings on to their customers.
By Robert Braun