When buying used fitness equipment, you want to take all the steps you would take if you were purchasing new equipment. In addition, there are several things you want to be especially careful to check. If you do all the standard “new purchase” tests, as well as the suggested “used fitness equipment” checks, you are more likely to make a purchase that you will be satisfied with.
First, just as with new equipment, you should try the used fitness equipment before you buy it, if at all possible. Obviously, you can’t always do this, but when possible, you should try to simulate real use. Put on the ice skates and stand up in them. Try out different speeds on the treadmill.
Second, you should check all printed material. This includes the warranty and any information about replacement parts or other types of manufacturer support that is offered. Also read instructions or guidelines for use. Make sure the used fitness equipment is meant to do the job for which you want it. Of course, this is obvious with something like ice skates, but with a product called a “home gym” or something similar, its exact scope of use may not be entirely clear from looking at it.
Regarding the items that are particular to used fitness equipment: you want to first make sure that all the parts listed on those instructions and guidelines are actually included. If they’re not, consider how much that detracts from the value of the equipment, whether or not they’re replaceable, and whether the price of the equipment is a fair reflection of the fact that some pieces are missing.
Second, check, wear, damage, and repairs. If the equipment is refurbished or repairs have been made, find out if new, factory parts were used. Also consider whether the wear or damage is superficial or whether it may affect the fundamental operation of the equipment or lead to further breakdown. In connection with this, it is important to know whether the manufacturer of the fitness equipment is still in business, because this may control whether you are able to get replacement parts easily or at all.
Finally, if you have found that the warranty is no longer in force or will soon expire, consider this in light of how much you stand to save by buying used. Weigh the benefits of buying used, which may include savings on shipping as well as list price, and ask yourself if the savings are worth it. Even if the savings are abundant, be sure that you don’t let the fact of a sale lure you into a purchase of a piece of equipment that is not what you really wanted or needed. If the purchase does not result in more time spent exercising, then no matter how substantial the savings, you haven’t received the benefit you wanted.