Newspaper classifieds and online auctions are full of ads for “slightly used” treadmills, stationary bikes and the like. But what do you need to know before you pick up a deal at a yard sale or on eBay? Here are few guidelines from the experts:
Do your research. Before you buy secondhand, do some digging, says Mike May, director of communications at the Sporting Goods Manufacturer’s Association in
Test it out. If you’re not buying online, get on the equipment and use it like you would during normal workout. Consoles should read properly. Elliptical trainers that work the upper and lower body should have sufficient resistance. Treadmill belts shouldn’t slip. If the used equipment isn’t in good condition, find out what the problem is and what it will cost to fix it.
Check for recalls. Log on to US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s site, recalls.gov before you bring anything home, recommends commission spokeswoman Kim Dulic. The site lets you search to see if a product or one of its parts has been recalled and can alert you to potential repairs.
Consider a refurbished machine. Companies that specialize in sprucing up used equipment abound online. You’ll typically pay 30-50 percent less than if you bought it new. Check to see if the company offers a warranty on refurbished equipment.