Should I Buy My New Treadmill at Sears or is That a Bad Idea?
Many visitors have asked us about Sears treadmills, and in particular whether or not they should buy a new machine from the retailer, or if they are better off going another route.
So here’s the lowdown from what we have learned over the years…
Sears actually carries quite a range of models, from the very basic to high-end, at relatively competitive prices. And their biggest advantage is that they offer home delivery and assembly, which can be a big deal when you’re talking about an item that can weigh more than 300 pounds.
With one of the more recognizable names in the retail market, Sears is certainly a viable option and often you can find good deals on brand name treadmills. That being said, there are also some considerable challenges to dealing with Sears and they are worth taking into serious consideration when you are paying anywhere from $800 and up for a new treadmill.
Sears Treadmills – Things to Consider
Let’s start with that selection. As we said, there is a rather broad range of models available at Sears, with names like NordicTrack, Sole, ProForm, AFG and Life Fitness…but everything isn’t always what it seems. In fact, Sears tends to carry many older and/or exclusive models and service on these models can be dicey at best. With shipping and assembly fees added in if you don’t pick up the treadmill yourself, you could easily end up overpaying for an out of date unit.
Even if you do opt to go into the store, while a large selection is a good thing it can be difficult to wade through all of those options yourself. Unfortunately, Sears doesn’t do a particularly good job of training its sales staff, so if you haven’t done your homework first, it could end up being a very frustrating experience. And it’s tough to do your research on a treadmill that isn’t available anywhere else.
What tends to draw most people in with Sears is that promise of delivery and assembly. Even though it comes at a sometimes considerable price, it is an expense that many people are willing to shoulder for the convenience of not having to pick up, carry and assemble their treadmill themselves. They can also take away an old piece of equipment for an additional fee.
This all sounds great…but when it comes to buying Sears treadmills, it’s not as great as they make it sound.
There have been horror stories about the difficulties of dealing with Sears’s delivery, from the inconvenience of scheduling delivery times to less than helpful delivery people and unsatisfactory customer service response on the phone. The bottom line is that what appears on the surface to be a quick, easy and convenient way to purchase and install your treadmill can end up being one giant headache.
Is there a better option for buying new treadmills?
Truth be told, these days you are typically much better off buying online directly through the manufacturers themselves for a number of reasons. For starters, you can get some really great deals, especially during holidays and special sales, when brands like NordicTrack and ProForm discount new treadmills up to 50%.
Also, you’ll find only the most current models, so you’re getting the latest the companies have to offer, which means more features, capabilities and the latest technology incorporated. You can compare all of them to see which ones most appeal to you, and check out reviews to see what users have to say about them.
Another good option is an online retailer like Amazon, which carries an equally wide selection with free shipping, extended warranty and delivery options. They often feature good discounts like the manufacturers, and their customer service is much better than Sears so if anything goes wrong you are much more likely to get satisfaction from them, and perhaps even a credit towards your next purchase for the inconvenience.
A third option if you are not into buying such an expensive item online is to go through a specialty retailer such as Gym Source or Leisure Fitness. These are companies whose sole focus is gym equipment, so they are much better suited to ensure a good shopping experience with well informed staffs and the latest in treadmills and other equipment. The only downside is they tend to only carry the higher end brands, so if you are looking for an entry or mid level treadmill, you won’t be able to find it.
So to sum it all up, Sears treadmills can be decent, and they do carry a lot of models, but you are probably better off going directly to the manufacturer, to a place like Amazon or into a specialty store if you’re looking high end.