What is in this article?:
- Health Club Operators and Manufacturers Share How to Get the Best Deals on Cardio Equipment
- Options for Independent Purchasers
- Is Used Equipment Your Best Option?
- Look at the Long-Term
From navigating the maze of manufacturers to negotiating price and financing options, purchasing cardio equipment for a health club is a complex process. Fortunately, industry experts are sharing some time-tested advice on how to secure the ultimate cardio equipment deal.
Options for Independent Purchasers
The challenge for many independent purchasing groups is coordinating everyone to purchase at the same time. Often, minimum purchase requirements exist, which takes away the flexibility in brand and type of equipment an operator might have access to, he says.
"In theory, they can work, but it requires a lot of coordinating and advance planning," Clayton says. Still, for owners of small clubs, a purchasing group can offer better deals.
Gold's Gym's global vendor program gives franchisees access to six brands at special pricing, along with the potential for volume refunds at the end of the year. Clubs can make purchases at any time of year and still take advantage of the savings they might receive if they were placing a larger order, Hicks says. This is one benefit to being part of a larger franchise group.
Buying used or refurbished fitness equipment can save a club operator thousands of dollars over purchasing new. However, buying used can be complicated and can quickly turn into a nightmare if done carelessly.
When purchasing used equipment, club owners should look for well-maintained, late model equipment with little-to-no high-traffic use, Clayton says. Look for light traffic facilities that closed their doors shortly after purchasing new equipment, or work with manufacturers to take trade show equipment off their hands at a discount after a show, he says. Always make sure the products are in working order and negotiate an extended warranty to cover potential defects.
Hicks suggests purchasing used equipment to replace key pieces in between larger equipment overhauls. Buying used might be worth it, if it is truly a solid refurbishment and it is an upgrade to what you have, he says.
"But don't make it your 'A' equipment," Hicks adds.