Buying a Discount Treadmill? Is it Really a Bargain?

 Have you ever noticed how many treadmills are being sold at a discount prices? Of course, that is part of commercialism.  For example, when was the last time you paid list price for a car or jewelry?

What motivated me to write this article is the fact that discount Treadmill is a very popular search term.  People are looking to get the best deal possible when they purchase a treadmill.   That makes sense, since even a moderate priced treadmill can run from $1,000 – $2,000.

So how do you tell when a treadmill is being sold at a discount?

First, by comparative shopping.  You find a particular model that satisfies your needs and you shop around.  Depending on the quality of the treadmill, you compare prices at the various mass retailers, large sporting goods stores, specialty fitness stores and online.

In addition, you look for special offers like free shipping, added accessories and extended warranties.  Regarding shipping, some businesses may drop off a treadmill on your curve, while others will bring it into your house, set it up and remove the packaging.  Considering the weight of some models, that can add considerable value.

Discounts from Buying Online

More and more people are going online to purchase a treadmill.  Are they really saving money?  Yes and no.   Yes, you can save money from not having to pay sales tax if you purchase from a business that is not located in your state.  You can also find discounts online that are better deals than you would find in retail stores.  Also, several manufacturers sell direct on the Internet, thus cutting out the middleman.

In contrast the large sporting goods stores generally sell for the same price online as they do in their store.   Furthermore, many treadmill manufacturers set a minimum price that any and all dealers cannot go under, regardless whether they sell online and off.

Discount Prices vs MSRP

Regarding the manufacturers  suggested retail price, that is a number that has nothing to do with reality.  It is deliberately inflated in an attempt to make the real selling price less intimidating.  Both manufacturers and retailers play serious games with their prices.

For example, one online retailer that sells private labeled treadmills lists the MSRP at double the real selling price.   They attempt to suggest you are saving as much as 50%.  But in realty their private label treadmill is sold for the same price as the manufacturer’s models.  Another popular treadmill sold online promotes discounts at 15%-40% off.

With all this slight of hand with prices how do you determine the real value?

First, you decide how you are going to use the treadmill, and determine what features would satisfy your fitness goals.  For example, if you plan to use the treadmill for walking and want the machine to last for more than 90 days, you want certain minimal features.  If you plan to use it for running, than you need upgraded features.  Here are some of the features you want to compare:

  • Motor size
  • Deck size
  • Roller size
  • Electronics
  • Console
  • Programs

In addition, you want to compare the warranties.  The warranty says a lot about the overall quality of the machine and the components.  You also want to research the reputation of the manufacturer.  You want to buy from a company that is synonymous with quality.  You also want to do business with a company that stands behind their treadmills.

When buying a treadmill do not get caught up in marketing hype of discount prices.   Instead look for the best value in your price range.

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