As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, many consumers are finding ways to work out at home, instead of going to the gym. Setting up a home gym is a great way to stay in shape without coming into contact with others, but the equipment can be costly. What do you need to know to make good purchasing decisions and stay within budget?
How to choose and purchase home gym equipment:
Consider your physical needs. Start with your fitness needs and goals. Any equipment you buy should match up with your objectives and interests – otherwise, you may not use the equipment after the initial excitement wears off. If you have any existing health conditions, such as heart disease, arthritis, or a back injury, be sure to check with your doctor about what kind of exercises and equipment are safe for you to use.
Read consumer reviews. Once you’ve found a piece of equipment that matches your fitness objectives, is within your budget, and physically fits in your designated space, it’s time to start reading reviews. Read multiple reviews, from several retailers, and pay close attention to any comments about the quality of the equipment, and the experience with the retailer. Reference these comments when making a final purchasing decision.
If possible, test equipment before you buy. Many brick and mortar stores have display equipment you can try before you make a purchase. Make sure you can operate and feel comfortable using any equipment you plan on adding to your home gym.
Inquire about fitness equipment returns, refund policies, and warranties. New home gym equipment usually comes with a guarantee or warranty program, but some retailers may have altered these due to the pandemic. Retailers may now have special restrictions for delivery and returns so before placing an order, find out if a retailer has a return policy, if refunds are available and how they are issued, what the return process is, who pays for return shipping, how much it costs for heavy gym equipment, and if you will be charged a restocking fee.
Inspect equipment before purchasing or upon delivery. Before you take equipment home, make sure it is in perfect condition, with no defects. The same goes for receiving a delivery. If you notice the equipment is missing pieces or damaged, you aren’t obligated to accept it.
Understand in-store financing before you agree to it. If a store offers you in-house financing for larger equipment purchases, read the financing plan carefully. Find out how long the financing lasts, how much interest you will pay, and whether there is a fee to pay the balance in full early.
For more consumer tips, visit bbb.org.