As we approach the cooler time of year – at least for Florida — my wife and I look to get out of the house more than usual. By that I mean take more walks, do more exercise or even try something totally new. Lately, we discussed mountain biking. (Yes, it’s still called “mountain biking” here even though there are no mountains per se!) The idea of hitting the trails on a cool Saturday afternoon and cruising through the woods sounded like so much fun to us. We immediately started checking out local bike shops to see what we could afford on our “exercise equipment” budget.
Exercise equipment can be very expensive
Then it hit us… Bicycles are expensive. Like, VERY expensive. From what we could find, they start at the bare bones models for about $450 and can go up to $3,000 and much more! What?! And that’s just for one! So, for us, making the investment in cycling is a little intimidating. What happens if we spend a ton of money on new bikes and then decide it’s not for us… or just don’t really care to hit the trails like we thought?
How to save money on exercise equipment
The answer? Buying a used bicycle. After some online searches we found that there is a HUGE market for all kinds of used and refurbished bikes online. You can save as much as 40 to 60 percent off new prices in some cases. Not only that, but Craigslist, Facebook Market, and eBay all have tons of exercise equipment such as golf clubs, tennis rackets, baseball/softball equipment, frisbee golf… and cycles, of course. Many people buy new and then lose interest in their exercise equipment — or life happens — and they need to make a change. This creates a financial opportunity for both parties: one needs to free up some cash, the other needs a certain piece of exercise equipment on a budget.
What to do before you buy used equipment
Here’s a few things you should do before you pick up your used exercise equipment:
- Do your research: Read up on the brands and products specific to the sport you’re looking into. Say you’re taking up tennis – make sure to research the different types and brands of rackets. You never know which may have a known problem or is a great performer! There are millions of reviews for virtually anything you can buy.
- Read online reviews: Sometimes you should take online reviews of exercise equipment with a grain of salt. But overall, they are a very valuable resource. Look for products with more than just a handful of reviews and that look to be legitimate customer feedback, for example on Amazon.
- Check YouTube for unboxing videos and product reviews: This can give you a “real” idea of what to expect with certain products. Unboxing videos are a bit cliché, but can still be a great way to see what a first experience with a certain piece of equipment is like!
- Visit local stores for gently used equipment: Chains like Play it Again Sports sell used items like treadmills, weights, bikes, golf clubs and lots more. Just remember to check carefully for damaged or missing parts before you buy.
If you’re looking to start a new exercise adventure but need do it on a budget, these tips should help get you rolling. Buying used exercise equipment can make a lot of sense financially – especially if you aren’t quite ready to jump into a huge commitment right at the start. Used equipment can help you meet your fitness and health goals without breaking the bank. Why pay a fortune when you can use someone else’s failed New Year’s resolution to your advantage? Take the money you saved… and invest it instead!