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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.
Look at the Long-Term
Prioritize long-term value over immediate price discounts, experts say. Getting the best deal on cardio equipment is not always about paying less up front. If you are willing to negotiate, manufacturer reps will often include added-value options in order to close a sale.
"You can never have too many friends in the industry, but in the end, they all have bottom lines," Clayton says.
Manufacturers can only discount a product's price to a certain point before the deal stops making sense for them.
"Things are going to break. An extended warranty can add a lot of value," Gibson says. "In a facility where cardio equipment gets used 16 to 18 hours per day, that extra coverage will surely pay off in the long run."
1. Buying equipment from too many vendors. Variety is good, but it also means stocking more parts and potentially relying on a wider group of service technicians, all of which end up being more complicated and costly.
2. Buying used without knowing the source. Do not purchase used equipment unless you know where and how it was previously used. Avoid pieces that were used in high-traffic facilities and those that are out of manufacturer's warranty.
3. Choosing the first financing program you are offered. Just because a vendor tells you that a program is the best available doesn't mean you cannot find better. Every financier has something different to offer, so shop around before committing.
4. Buying too many "fad" machines. It is easy to get excited about the next big thing. Be sure to test a few machines in your club before committing to a larger order.
5. Failing to negotiate added value. Once you have the best price, do not stop. Ask about extended warranty programs, entertainment options or service training for someone on your staff. Do not leave money on the table by passing on added-value negotiations.