For the cash conscious owner, used exercise equipment can be a great option - if you know what you're getting into. Before you start shopping it's vital to understand the different levels of used exercise equipment on offer.
There are three main options, each offering their own advantages:
The cheapest route is to buy used exercise equipment from an individual, for example a gym that is going out of business. These will have had no upgrade or replacement work done on them, and will not offer a warranty.
Obviously this is a risky proposition, so before parting with any cash be sure that everything is in good condition and the price is right. If you do your research and choose wisely, you can pick up a real bargain, but you also run the risk of ending up with some defective items.
Alternatively, you can look at refurbished or remanufactured items. Machines less than 2 years old are typically refurbished. This involves giving them a basic clean, and replacing any broken components. The equipment may therefore look a bit used depending on its original condition.
Remanufactured items are typically a bit older, but will have been disassembled, had any worn or broken parts replaced, then the metal work is sandblasted and repainted. Both refurnished and remanufactured items will have a limited warranty, and thus offer the opportunity to buy a pre-owned model in good condition, but for far less than the cost of new.
Whichever option you choose, it is essential that you test the machines. Be sure they stop and start properly, run smoothly, and that any electronic displays work properly. Be sure to keep machines running for long enough for any potential problems to show up.