Last updated: April 7, 2021

You can actually sell used exercise equipment and get top dollar for it - just as long as you do it right.

Imagine getting a piece of cheap gym equipment on eBay (or one of your personal stuff that’s getting dusty in your home gym) and being able to sell it for 3X the price -- totally doable as long as it’s in good, usable condition.

I've done it more times than I'd like to admit, so I know exactly how the market works.

Here's my advice.

How Do I Sell My Used Gym Equipment?

different fitness equipment

Before we dive in, let me tell you about the first time I had to sell used exercise equipment.

Years ago, I added a folding treadmill to my home gym.

The product was great, and I had no problems with it.

But during the several months that followed, I realized that I enjoyed running around my block in the mornings more than running doors.

The treadmill ended up unused for months before I decided to sell it. And the process turned out to be more complicated than I expected.

It took me almost a year to sell my used fitness equipment, and the sad thing is, I made very little profit from it.

When the time came for me to sell another one of my old gym equipment, I decided to rethink my selling strategies.

I timed it well, researched more intensively, and looked for the best places to sell - steps that I never applied before.

And they worked!

I learned all of this the hard way, and the good news is, you don't have to.

I created a foolproof guide you can follow to make a sale for the best possible value.

Let's get to it.

Step 1: Understand That Fitness Equipment Depreciates

Fitness equipment depreciates

The monetary value of a piece of fitness equipment drops the minute it's purchased, which means its perceived value also greatly reduces.

The market is also teeming with used fitness equipment of all types because many consumers buy things they end up rarely using.

These are the reasons why most used gym equipment has poor resale value.

But there are exceptions sometimes.

With a stroke of luck, you may sell used fitness equipment at the right time and place if a serious buyer notices your item and actually wants to buy it for a reasonable price.

However, this happens almost exclusively with big dollar items like:

  • Treadmills
  • Squat racks
  • Dumbbell sets
  • BowFlex machines
  • And many more

That said, you really can't rely on luck too much. Remember that used fitness equipment sells for way less than what you paid for it, regardless of its condition.

Step 2: Know When To Sell

knowing when to sell it

Timing is everything, and this is especially true when it comes to selling used gym equipment.

Supply and demand play critical roles when it comes to the adjustment of prices in a free market [1]. That's why you need to keep these two elements in mind before putting up your depreciated fitness equipment for sale.

Here's a good case in point.

A client of mine sold her BowFlex machine years ago in April. While this sounds like good news, it turned out to be an unwise decision because she traded it for such a low price.

She knew she'd be making close to nothing from it, but she was desperate to get rid of the BowFlex that's been sitting in her garage for so long.

My client was offered such a low price because there was an abundance of used gym equipment in the market.

Usually, April is when people realize that they bought these fitness items out of impulse [2]. It's also when they come to grips with the fact that it's too late to get in shape for the summer.

This is why many are looking to sell their stuff in late spring and not a lot looking to buy them. An increased supply plus low demand equals low prices and vice-versa. 

In my experience, selling from November to December will give you better odds of selling your used gym equipment for a higher price.

That's because people tend to spend more cash during the holidays. This time of the year is also when people create their New Year's resolutions, and most of them are related to fitness.

Step 3: Know Where To Sell

The place where it should be sold

I've sold tons of my old stuff both online and offline.

And I've found that where you sell your used gym equipment can significantly influence how much you get for it.

To give you some ideas, here are the places where you can sell your items, along with their pros and cons.

Print and Online Classifieds

Your local newspaper—whether in print or online—will always have a classified ad section.

Local listing sites such as Craigslist also fall under this category. While this platform is a decent place to buy used items, it's one of the worst places to sell them.

My selling experience on Craigslist, so far, has always been unpleasant.

The moment I list my gym equipment, I get a flood of messages from people offering to sell my item for a fee.

While I found a few potential buyers on Craigslist, they negotiated the hell out of my product. Others said they would take a look at my exercise equipment but never showed up.

I would suggest finding other options before posting your item on this platform. To me, it's not just worth the hassle.

Pros
  • No shipping costs
  • Some sites (like Craigslist) don’t charge advertising fees
  • You can set the price you want for your equipment
Cons
  • Dealing with strangers coming to your home
  • Big online ad sites like Craigslist is full of spammers and scammers, so finding sincerely interested buyers might be difficult

Used exercise equipment retailer

Check if there are retailers in your area that buy and sell used gym equipment.

Some shops only buy certain types of equipment, so check their site first for the list of used exercise equipment they accept.

Usually, these include treadmills, cardio machines, elliptical trainers, free weights such as dumbbells, exercise bikes, etc.

If they don't provide that information online, you can call them on the phone or visit their store to inquire about their process and required documents, if any.

Pros
  • Some stores offer free pickup
  • You get cash for your used gym equipment on the spot
  • You deal with fitness industry professionals, so there’s no risk of being ripped off
Cons
  • They offer much lower rates than a private buyer would

Pawn shop

People usually go to a pawn shop to get a temporary loan, but some of them don't know that you can also sell your used gym equipment outright to a pawn shop minus the loan process.

Pawn shops tend to get a bad reputation because of how they're portrayed in TV shows and movies.

But the truth is, they're most likely run by someone who can tell you the accurate resale value of many products.

Pawn shop experts have more knowledge than your regular buyer on Craigslist. These establishments are also a great place to get free appraisals for a variety of items.

Pros
  • You get cash for your item on the spot
  • You deal with professionals with years of pricing knowledge
  • A pawn shop is usually open throughout the day and sometimes until the evening
Cons
  • You give up ownership of your item, which means you’ll never get it back if you ever change your mind
  • You might not get the top price for your used gym equipment because a pawn shop also considers how much it can sell your goods to others

“Sales is an outcome, not a goal. It’s a function of doing numerous things right, starting from the moment you target a potential prospect until you finalize the deal.” - Jill Konrath, Sales Strategist

Garage Sale

You can also try selling your used gym equipment at a garage sale organized by you or a neighbor.

But don't expect to make a lot of cash for your exercise machines at these events.

Note that garage sale customers are looking to buy low, which means most of them wouldn't be willing to shell out a huge amount of money.

Still, you can try selling at these places. Who knows, you might find a buyer looking for the exact gym equipment you have.

Pros
  • No need to pay for advertising
  • No shipping costs
Cons
  • Garage sale customers are looking to buy cheap

Online Selling Platforms

Selling online

Among the online selling platforms on this list, my first choice would have to be eBay.

The only downside to this platform is that you have to pay almost 12% of the sale price for both PayPal and eBay fees.

Still, you get a lot in return for your used gym equipment.

eBay is my top choice for selling anything because I know I can find many interested, pre-screened buyers who won't rip me off. eBay also provides a secure way of collecting payment. Lastly, I appreciate their easy-to-use interface.

Other platforms I can recommend aside from eBay are:

  • OfferUp
  • LetGo
  • PawnGuru

These apps are all user-friendly and can connect you with people in your area interested in buying your goods.

Step 4: Price It Right

To get the right price for your gym equipment, you can look at the sold listings on eBay to see what your item has actually sold for.

Checking eBay will give you an idea about how to price your used exercise equipment so that it will have greater chances of being noticed and, ultimately, sold.

Tips For Selling Used Exercise Equipment

Here are a few simple suggestions to help you get the most cash for your used equipment.

Tip #1: Sell to as many audiences as possible

Try listing your gym equipment on as many selling avenues as possible to widen your audience. Compare the rates and bids you get from prospective buyers so you can sell used equipment at the best price.

Tip #2: Check if your gym equipment is in good condition

A potential buyer would want to test your item, so make sure only to sell used equipment with no major issues.

Consult the manual and check if all its parts are still intact. If you've lost it, check its maker's company website to download and print a copy.

Tip #3: Make sure it’s clean

A piece of equipment that looks filthy won't attract the interest of any customer, so make sure you clean it as thoroughly as you can.

Pay extra attention to the parts that come in contact with human skin or sweat and disinfect them properly.

Tip #4: Take good photos for your online listings

Once your equipment is spruced up, take a few pictures of it from different angles, making sure the lighting is good.

Online buyers base their purchasing decision solely on the description and images you provide in your listing, so make sure they portray your equipment as attractively as possible.

Tip #5: Give a transparent description but keep it positive

A good seller is honest, and that's exactly what you should be when crafting your item description.

Be sure to detail your equipment's model, make, version, and brand. Mention how much you originally got it for, so buyers will see how much of a discount you're offering them compared to the price of a brand new one.

You can also provide links to the manufacturer's website or product page so that the buyer gets lots of useful information about your item.

Get Your Moolah By Selling Your Used Equipment

If you're one of those people whose home gyms are full of unused inventory, maybe it's time to let them go.

Before selling your item, you should first understand the concept of depreciation and how it will affect your pricing and potential profit.

You should also know when and where to sell, prepare your equipment for viewing/testing, and craft an offer that a buyer won't be able to resist.

If you follow these selling tips, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to get the best value for your used exercise equipment.


References:

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/law-of-supply-demand.asp
  2. https://brainfodder.org/science-of-impulse-purchases/

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