Whether you’re buying sports equipment for the kids, yourself or your home gym, it can be intimidating to walk into a store and not feel confident about what you want to buy. Some items are okay to buy used, such as football pads, baseball bats, or free weights because they are reasonably durable. However, when you get into purchasing machinery, it isn’t as easy because you need to have enough knowledge to check out all the moving parts and understand where any danger spots could be hiding.
We’ve been doing some research to help you avoid making some of the most common mistakes.
- Be sure you know your expectations and needs because buying the wrong equipment is a standard error. You’re ready to get started, and you dash out for that treadmill, vowing to get up early for a morning jaunt. Well, that happens once or twice, and then the treadmill becomes a suitable place to hang your clothes. Ask yourself:
- Do you want aerobic exercise to burn fat? Then perhaps a treadmill can meet your needs.
- Are you more into building muscle? You might want to think about free weights or equipment that allows you to change weight levels quickly.
- How do those knees feel, do you need something with lower impact? An elliptical, bike or stair climber may be better options.
- We know you’re ready to roll and you want to move forward with your decision to become healthier quickly. Be careful not to spend too much! You may not need top of the line equipment if you’re a more casual exerciser, as opposed to a hardcore athlete who faithfully works out daily. Shop around to see who has the best prices or sales.
- Size matters in this case, so are sure you know how much space you’re willing to dedicate to equipment in your home? Take measurements and carry them with you as you shop. Just “eyeballing” something could land you in hot water when you get it home, and it won’t fit into the designated space.
- Use the equipment before you buy, so you can be confident it works and is safe for your use. Nothing is more annoying than hauling it home, getting ready to roll and then it doesn’t work. If you have a buddy who knows more about the equipment options than you do, invite them to go along with you and then stop for lunch or a quick drink on your way back home as thanks.
- The latest fad is just a fad unless it meets your needs. The fact that everyone has one isn’t a good reason to jump in and buy one for yourself. Again, know your goals, and your needs, and make a smart purchase.
- Read the tiny print, be sure you understand the return policies, warranty, and if there are any “hidden” fees like re-stocking fees. Not knowing these things could lead to an unpleasant surprise for you down the road.
- Items that boast they come with a mat or a water bottle are often duds. The “free” addition serves to lure you in for that item or a possible upsell to another more expensive piece of equipment.
Remember, the term “buyer beware” wasn’t created for fun, it’s a real message and warning, so proceed with caution when making your purchases. With the internet at our fingertips, go online and read some reviews about the product you’re considering or seek input from a personal trainer or another expert.
Have you been taken in by an offer that wasn’t quite what you expected? Do you have a silly story to share about your last exercise related purchase? What equipment have you purchased lately and are you still using it, or has it become a graveyard for your old clothes? Maybe you’ve had remarkable results you didn’t expect? Inquiring minds want to know!