Buying a treadmill? Chances are you’ll want to comparison shop to find the best deal for you. Looking at all of the options available can often save you hundreds of dollars.
But where can you look?
There are in general 3 places you can buy your tread mill. This article will outline what you should know about each. You’ll learn the advantages and disadvantages – to help you find the best treadmill buy.
#1 Department Stores
Department stores like Walmart, Sears, and Target sell a variety of name brand treadmills in their sports and fitness departments.
What you should know: Although these stores may appear to offer several different brand names they are almost always produced by one manufacturer – Icon Health and Fitness.
Icon is one of the largest treadmill manufacturers on the market today and produces such brands as Proform, Weslo, Epic, Image, Nordic Track, Free Spirit and Reebok.
These treadmills have lots of neat gadgets like CD players, TV’s, iFit compatibility and more. However, they are not necessarily known for high quality cushioning, stability or durability.
They also typically offer short warranties. For many of the cheaper treadmills, 90 days on parts and labor is all you get. If you want a longer warranty you’ll have to pay extra for it.
Salespeople at these department stores are often not very knowledgeable about treadmills, fitness or how to choose the right treadmill based on your personal needs. So if you need to buy from a department store make sure you do your homework before you go.
Also, at a department store, you’ll usually have to pay extra for shipping and delivery of your treadmill (around $150 – $200) so that’s also an extra cost to consider.
#2 Specialty Sports and Fitness Stores
These are stores like Fitness Depot, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sport Chalet etc.
What you should know: These stores typically offer you higher end treadmill brands like Precor, Landice, Trimline, Star Trac, Keys and more.
You technically get a larger selection at these stores because the treadmill brands are made by more than 1 giant treadmill manufacturing company.
Sales people are typically more knowledgeable at these stores and can tell you more about the treadmill models, what you need, etc. However be careful as these salespeople are often on commission and may try to pressure you into buying a higher priced machine than you actually need.
You’ll also typically have to pay for shipping and delivery of your treadmill when you buy at one of these stores (which could cost you $150-200 depending on the size of your treadmill). However if you hit these stores on a sale, you may be able to get a discount or free shipping.
#3 Online – Direct From the Manufacturer
Buying a treadmill online is an option that is growing in popularity with buyers. There are both online fitness stores and online treadmill manufacturers.
What you should know: Online manufacturers sell direct to the consumer, in effect skipping the middleman of the store. Consequently customers can save up to $800 on a brand name treadmill.
Buying online is also easy and convenient since you can research treadmill brands and prices from the comfort of your living room. You have a much larger selection of treadmill brands than either option above and can thus make a better buying decision.
Another bonus is that online distributors typically offer free shipping which can also save you a couple hundred dollars. There are no pushy salespeople to deal with so you can take your time to decide without any pressure.
The downside of buying a treadmill online is that you don’t get to walk on the treadmill first. Many people get around this by trying them out at stores first and then buying the treadmill online (if possible).
Or you could do the research and invest in a high end treadmill brand with high ratings from experts and users. (Several treadmill websites will list any expert awards or user reviews for you to read.)
So those are 3 main places to buy your treadmill. Regardless of where you buy your tread mill, remember to take your time, have fun and consider your own personal workout needs before buying.