As mentioned previously, there are many reasons to purchase fitness equipment online.
The following will outline factors that are rarely considered when purchasing equipment from a “.com” source. This oversight can cost consumers money, time and huge headaches.
Many companies offer free shipping…..to your curb. Curbside delivery has become a standard for most fitness equipment companies. Curbside is just that! The equipment is left on the curb for the customer to figure out how it will be taken inside. Many times treadmills and home gyms will be delivered on a pallet. Not only will the purchaser need to take the equipment off the pallet and move it into the room of use, but then have the hassle of disposing of the pallet.
For Instance, Lifespan Fitness offers free shipping, but only curbside. As long as you have 2 strong friends, ready to drop what they may be doing and help get the item inside, in addition to the weather being wonderful 24/7……you should have no issues. If you don’t not have those 2 unemployed body builder friends and live on Earth….you may have a bit of stress added to the day of delivery.
Free Delivery is great! Most consider delivery (at the very least) as an item being left inside a garage or to a porch. Be advised that the term delivery is not always what you would expect.
Returns and Restocking Fees:
Numerous companies will charge a restocking fee, even if a 30 day trial period is offered. Restocking fees can range from 10% to 15% of the purchase price! The majority of consumers believe a trial period is just that, a trial use period to exam the product and ensure that it serves your specific needs. The trial period with many manufacturers is anything but free!
For instance, Sole offers an “unprecedented 30 day trial period” on all of their equipment. BUT…..even if you return the item within 30 days, get an RMA number issued, package the item flawlessly and take the item to the curb as they request……you will still be charged an 8% restocking fee!
Many times the only time the restocking fee is waived is when a faulty piece of equipment is received.
READ the fine print prior to ordering and verify the “30 day trial” is risk free to your wallet.
So you’re feeling lucky that you received free shipping……not so fast if you change your mind! NordicTrack charges all consumers for the freight back to their warehouse, even if you did not pay shipping originally. This is for any reason including “Trial Periods”. The only exclusion is if the product is damaged.
If a consumer does not return their equipment in the original packaging from a company or obtain an RMA number, the purchaser will be hit with an additional 10 to 15% restocking fee AND additional freight charges. Those charges do not include any damage that may occur during shipping back to the manufacturer! Guess who pays for damages? The customer!
If a buyer receives a piece of equipment that is defective out of the box, it is the buyer’s responsibility to repackage the equipment, place it on the curb and have the item picked up. Now that does not seem too difficult an issue. If you are living in an apartment building, have no way of carrying 300 lbs. or cannot trust neighbors to leave the item alone on the curb, this can equal huge problems! The delivery drivers will not come inside a home or apartment and will only pick up curbside. This means you have the possibility of not being present and available at the driver’s whim, hoping and praying that it does not rain, have a not so honest neighbor and/or able to take a day of vacation from your job.
Nearly all fitness equipment manufactures require equipment to be returned in brand new condition. This requires that the equipment must be in the original box and have every bolt, instruction manual, sticker or piece of literature to be considered 100% returned. If every piece is not returned entirely, or the manufacturer deems there is a scratch that was made while in your home, they will charge you an additional fee….isn’t that a bargain!
We hope this overview of the pros and cons has opened your eyes regarding the purchase of fitness equipment online. We at Treadmill Doctor would love to have rose colored glasses about the huge selection of great equipment choices online, but we also get the angry emails from the customers wanting to expose the policies of many of the companies in the market.
Our goal is to make our customers as happy and as informed as possible.
We look forward to your positive experiences, and would also like to hear about any horror stories you may have experienced!