How to Sell Used Exercise Equipment

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Buying home exercise equipment is an investment in your health. If that equipment is going unused or you've replaced it with a new gadget, you might as well turn it back into money. Clean, well-maintained exercise equipment will always sell faster than a machine that's clearly been stored under an inch of dust in the garage. Depending on what you have and its condition, you can expect to recoup anywhere from about one-tenth to one-half of its retail cost.

Prepping for Sale

Give your exercise equipment a thorough cleaning before you offer it up for sale. Wipe down handles, frame and upholstery with a soft rag moistened in a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Check the owner's manual and perform any maintenance you may have been putting off, especially cleaning wheel tracks and lubricating any moving parts.

If you're dealing with a cardio or weight machine, grab the frame and give it a shake. If there's any wiggle in the structure, tighten the assembly bolts until it's solid. And finally, mend any rips and tears in the upholstery. Your options range from using a DIY vinyl or leather patch kit, to replacing the entire cover yourself or hauling your equipment to an automobile upholstery shop for a professional repair job.

Consignment and Used Gear Shops

For instant gratification, take your used workout equipment to a buyer/reseller like Play It Again Sports, 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment or Big Fitness. Which items they'll buy vary according to buyer demand, but high-quality home exercise machines, free weights and home cardio machines are usually good bets.

If the shop staff doesn't want to buy your equipment outright, they might consign it for you. You won't see payment until the item sells, plus a small delay for them to cut the check. Remember that the shop will take a portion of the proceeds.

Where Else to Sell

You can also sell used exercise equipment on Craigslist, eBay and other online classified sites. Try to stick to local buyers only, because shipping heavy exercise equipment can be a costly nightmare.

Garage sales are another option, although you might not get as much for your items. Experts advise pricing your garage sale goods at anywhere from one-tenth to one-third of the retail cost. Gauge your exercise equipment prices against what a similar model costs now, not on what you actually paid for that treadmill or weight bench back in the day.

How to Advertise

When you list your exercise equipment for sale, make sure you include the brand, model name, model number, condition and any key features. For example, instead of posting that you have a "NordicTrack treadmill for sale," post that you have a "NordicTrack Commercial 1750 for sale, 3.5 hp engine, 15 percent incline to 3 percent decline, great condition and only 3 years old." Also make it clear from the start whether you are willing to deliver or if you expect the buyer to pick up. Finally, include pictures of the actual item, not just a stock image from online, so that buyers can see its condition.