Though working out at home can save you money on gym memberships in the long run, you’ll still have to spend money upfront on fitness equipment. One way to lower the cost of setting up a home gym is to purchase used fitness equipment. Fortunately there are a number of places where you can find used fitness gear, from dumbbells to treadmills. Here are seven places to check out if you’re in the market for used fitness equipment.
Play It Again Sports
The Play It Again Sports sporting goods franchise has stores across the U.S. and Canada that offer new and used sports and fitness equipment. Prices on used gear is generally about 40-60% of what the item would sell for new. The equipment available will vary by location, and while you can check out inventory on a store’s website, it’s probably a good idea to visit in person to see what’s there. You can also sell your equipment there, too, so if you end up outgrowing those 5-pound dumbbells, you can get some money for them.
You can find pretty much anything for sale on Craigslist, including used fitness equipment. It’s where I found my Fluidity bar, and where I’ll probably sell it, too, once I decide to part with it (not anytime soon). Most people list their used fitness gear under “sporting goods,” though you may find some under “beauty & health,” too. If you’re looking for used exercise DVDs, you can sometimes find them on Craigslist, as well, but be very careful – pirated DVDs are commonly found here, so buyer beware. Oh, and if you do end up buying used fitness equipment from someone you found on Craigslist, stay safe — meet him/her during daytime hours in a public place, and go with a friend.
Like Craigslist, you can find a variety of items on eBay, with “Fitness, Running, & Yoga” items listed under “Sporting Goods” (you can also use the Search feature to search for items). Some items are sold via auction, where you bid on them, while others you can purchase right away (i.e. “Buy It Now”). Details like shipping costs and return policy will vary by seller, so make sure to read the fine print on the item listing. You can also check out the feedback and ratings for each seller to make sure they’re someone you won’t mind dealing with. You can also find used or new exercise DVDs on eBay, as well, but as with Craigslist, pirated copies are sometimes sold here, so if you decide to spring for the latest Beachbody set, choose a high-rated seller with a generous return policy.
If getting free stuff excites you, check out the Freecycle Network, a network of over 5000 local groups whose members give away items to others in order to keep them out of landfills. You’ll have to be a member to reply to those posting items, but fortunately membership is free. Finding used fitness equipment here is hit or miss, but it’s worth keeping an eye on once in a while just for the opportunity of getting exercise gear for free. Transactions are generally local, which means you’ll be meeting up with others if you do end up acquiring equipment this way, so standard safety rules apply – meet them in a public place during daylight hours, and take someone else with you.
Amazon – it’s America’s online superstore. If you can’t find it here, they probably don’t make it. Not only can you find a multitude of brand-new exercise gear here, but you can also purchase used fitness equipment, as well. On the product information page you’ll usually find a link to a list of used items available for purchase; information shown on the list includes price & shipping, condition, delivery info, and seller info. Occasionally the used item will be fulfilled by Amazon, which provides another layer of protection, and you can always check a reseller’s feedback and ratings to determine if you want to take a chance with him/her. And since you’re buying through Amazon, payment is a breeze – just put it in your shopping cart along with any other items you want to buy, and check out as usual. Ta da! Wasn’t that easy?
Want to do good when you shop? Then check out Goodwill for used fitness equipment – the money you spend there is used to help others in your community with job opportunities and other vital resources. Though you can shop online, it’s best to visit your local store in person to see what’s available, as it will probably vary day to day. Though I have yet to shop at my local Goodwill, I’ve heard and read stories of people getting some great bargains there, so it’s definitely worth a shot. You can sometimes get some valuable out-of-print exercise DVDs there, as well.
If your neighbor’s New Year’s resolution to get fit didn’t take, you may be in luck – chances are he might try to sell his seldom-used exercise gear at his next garage sale. You can find garage and yard sales listed on Craigslist or in the classified section of your local newspaper (check both the online and offline versions). Most of the garage sales I’ve been to are cash-only, but you may find some that take checks, especially for larger or more expensive items. Even if you don’t find any used fitness equipment for your home gym, garage sales can be a fun way to spend a Saturday morning.
So that’s my list of places to buy used fitness equipment – am I missing any? Let me know in the comments below if there’s a place where you’ve scored some great fitness gear!