Exercise Equipment Stores

With technology having such a large presence in the retail market today, there are a lot of different places you can choose from to buy exercise equipment. I’m going to focus on the advantages and disadvantages of three different kinds of exercise equipment stores: brick and mortar stores (retail), online dealers, and online manufacturers.

First, the brick and mortar stores. The two biggest advantages of purchasing from a brick and mortar store is customer service and the ability to see, feel, and try-out a piece of equipment before buying it. Even with the technical new age, people still like dealing with people face-to-face. It’s easier to get good customer service from someone you have shook hands with than from a computer. If you have questions about equipment, have problems/breakdowns with equipment, or need suggestions from an expert, then the response from a live salesperson is much more immediate and personable. Also, if you are the type of person that likes to “kick the tires” before buying, then brick and mortar is definitely the way to go. The biggest disadvantage to buying at a brick and mortar store is that the prices tend to be noticeably higher.

Second, is online dealers. Since the advent of the internet, buying online has gotten more and more popular. Now, with a generation coming of age that grew up using the internet, online sales are expected to continue to grow. The two biggest reasons for buying online are price and convenience. Since online dealers don’t have to pay rent, salaries, and benefits, they can afford to price their products much more competitively. Online consumers also like the fact that they don’t have to drive from store to store looking for the best deal. They can shop from the convenience of their own home without ever having to brave the elements or pay for gas. The disadvantages are, of course, that the customer service usually isn’t as good (although there usually is some via phone), and you can’t see/try the equipment before you buy it (although, some online dealers offer 30 day satisfaction guarantees).

The third kind of exercise equipment store is online manufacturers. The advantages to buying straight from the manufacturer are similar to that of buying from an online dealer. There is the convenience of buying from home, and often times buying directly from the manufacturer means even lower prices than buying from an online dealer. The disadvantages are that the customer service is very minimal to non-existent, and the variety is usually very limited. Since manufacturers don’t want to hurt their retail channels, they will often times only offer models that haven’t sold as well in the retail stores. So while the price may be tempting to many, you might want to think twice before purchasing directly from the manufacturer.