Should I Buy a Treadmill Near Me or Am I Better Off Online?
This is a very good question and one that we seem to be getting quite often these days. Is buying a treadmill from a store near you a better option that buying one online? Or is the opposite true.
There is no clear cut definitive answer here, but we will give you the benefits and drawbacks to each to help you make a better decision. As a general rule of thumb however, you are better off buying your new machine online, and it’s not only because of the better treadmills deals and sales that are available. There are other reasons as well.
When most people refer to “buying a treadmill near me”, they are usually talking about either a small fitness equipment store, a specialty store like Dick’s and Modell’s or a big box retailer like Walmart, Target, Kmart or Sears. Fitness equipment stores usually carry the higher end brands with a few mid tier ones mixed in. The speciality and big box stores usually carry the lower and mid tier brands, with a couple of higher end names thrown into the mix.
Just to give you a general idea of what this looks like, let’s consider a few of the better know fitness equipment stores, specialty Stores and big box stores to see what they currently carry:
Johnson Fitness & Wellness: AFG, Matrix, Horizon, Octane, Landice, LifeSpan, Bowflex, Vision
GymSource: Precor, TRUE, Cybex, Octane
Fitness Showrooms: Bodycraft, Life Fitness, SportsArt, Spirit
Dick’s Sporting Goods: AFG, Horizon, Sole, ProForm, Schwinn, FreeMotion, Bowflex, Stamina, Marcy
Modell’s: ProForm, Marcy, Gold’s Gym
Target: ProForm, Marcy, Gold’s Gym, Stamina, Sunny Health, Endurance, Pro Gear
Sears: NordicTrack, Life Fitness, ProForm, Weslo, AFG, Sunny Health, Stamina
Kmart: Weslo, ProForm, Exerpeutic, Nautilus, Phoenix
Walmart: ProForm, Ancheer, Weslo, Gold’s Gym, Sunny Health, Nautilus, Exerpeutic
Sam’s Club: ProForm, Weider, Exerpeutic, Weslo
Costco: ProForm, Life Fitness, Xterra
So between all of these entities you can find a wide range of brands, from cheap treadmills under $500 to ones costing $2,000 and up. But there are several things to keep in mind, depending on what exactly you are looking for.
Buying a Treadmill For Sale By You…When it Makes Sense, When it Doesn’t
Let’s look at a few different scenarios…
1. You’re looking for a cheap treadmill near you for very basic use…
If price is the only concern, and you’re looking to spend less than $500, then you’re probably going to be better off getting your treadmill online. You can find some cheap options at Kmart or Target, but keep in mind that oftentimes they are older or obscure models, and replacement parts and reviews might be hard to come by.
Also, prices tend to be a bit higher in-store as they need to keep the inventory and it takes up a lot of space. As such, it will be much easier for you to go to Amazon, where you will find dozens of options in the sub-$500 range, with competitive pricing as well as in-depth reviews so you can compare one to another…you certainly can’t do that in a store near you.
2. You’re looking for a mid-range treadmill, like a Sole, Horizon or a NordicTrack.
You may have noticed that a few of the retailers we mention above carry NordicTrack, Horizon and Sole treadmills, three of the most popular mid-range brands on the market today. However, again you are often dealing with older models, especially for brands like NordicTrack and ProForm that have hundreds of different models come out. So although you might be getting a pretty good deal near you, it might be a three year old treadmill that doesn’t have the latest features and capabilities.
A lot changes with each model year, and you just might find that you’re missing out on a feature that you really would love, like Bluetooth workout tracking, touch screen technology or advanced cushioning.
So here again, we would advise to look online to not only find the latest models, but also take advantage of discounts and sales that are only online. For example, NordicTrack treadmills are discounted throughout the year online, during holidays and various occasions such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They also have free giveaways and free iFit subscriptions…things you will not find offline.
3. You’re looking for a commercial grade treadmill, like Life Fitness, Matrix and Precor.
Now here is where you could make the best argument for buying a treadmill on sale near you. These companies have a smaller model range, and usually the ones featured in the stores are the same ones they sell on their websites. And prices tend to be similar as well.
Plus, you have the unique advantage of trying the treadmills out, which is key especially if you are spending over $2,000 on a treadmill. Stores like Johnson Fitness & Wellness (which acquired Leisure Fitness and 2nd Wind Equipment a few years back) actually make Matrix, Horizon and Vision exercise equipment, so they can often give you some of the best deals. Gym Source has their 30% off sales periodically as well, so if you buy during those times you can definitely save a lot of money.
Buying from a local fitness store can also give you peace of mind, as if anything goes wrong you can simply give them a call or pop over for help.
You can however buy all of these high end treadmills online, and you can often find some very good pricing. So you don’t need to find them for sale by you, but even if you do end up buying online for one reason or another, at least you can try the treadmill out first locally.
Treadmill For Sale By Me vs Buying Online – The Bottom Line
When it comes to buying a new treadmill, in most cases you will be better off buying online as the selection is more diverse, the models will be the latest ones as opposed to several years old and the prices will likely be lower. Plus you’ll often find sales online that you just can’t get offline.
For the higher end brands sold at specialty exercise equipment stores, including Life Fitness, Matrix and Precor, you might want to try the treadmills out locally and compare prices to what you find online. Deals can be found in both places.
Buying a used treadmill for sale is a different story entirely. A local entity might have some good refurbished treadmills available, or you may find something on Craig’s List or Facebook that turns out to be a great deal. We’ll cover that topic as well, but the information in this article refers to buying new rather than used.