If you're buying a treadmill, chances are you've done lots of research already. You probably know exactly what makes up a high quality treadmill and have an idea of which features you want in your unit.
But even with this knowledge many people still fall prey to slick treadmill deals that end up costing them in the long run.
In order to keep that from happening to you, here are 3 essential buying tips to make sure you choose the very best treadmill for you.
#1) Not All Treadmill Brands Are Created Equal
I recently had a gentleman e-mail me asking for advice on which treadmill he should buy. He had narrowed it down to 3 choices:
Choice #1: Brand A: 2.5 HP motor $999
Choice #2: Brand A: 1.75 HP motor $899
Choice #3: Brand B: 2.0 HP motor $1099
He asked me which treadmill I would buy. He was clearly leaning towards Choice #1.
This was the natural choice for most people and it makes sense: get the most for the least. Or get the most motor power for the least amount of money.
However, my answer surprised him. I told him if it were my choice, I would go with Choice #3: Brand B for $1099. Here's why:
Although the motor power is lower than Choice #1 and the price is higher, Brand B makes an overall better treadmill. Why?
Brand B has a reputation for making high quality treadmills and backing them up with extensive warranties, including 10 years on the motor. It can afford to give such lengthy warranties because it knows that it makes a quality product that probably WON'T break down - even in 10 years.
Brand A on the other hand offers a 90-day motor warranty. What does that tell you about the quality of parts?
Although motor power is a good feature to consider when buying a treadmill - you have to be careful. Look at it in the context of the whole treadmill - including the brand.
Not all treadmill brands are created equal. Some treadmill brands use extremely high quality materials. Others well, don't.
Make sure to look beyond just the bare numbers when choosing a treadmill. Look at the whole picture to find the best treadmill for you.
#2) Don't Always Believe What The Salesperson Tells You
Get it in writing. This isn't to put down any salesperson - but they are human. They do make mistakes, and sometimes this can end up costing you.
I had another lady e-mail me asking for advice on choosing a treadmill. She'd narrowed it down to several and was leaning towards one in particular (let's call it Treadmill X).
She had been told by a salesperson in the store that this Treadmill X (for $899) came with a lifetime warranty on the motor.
This lady was smart. She was looking at the whole treadmill picture. The price was excellent. The motor power was average (1.75 HP). And who can pass up a lifetime motor warranty?
But wait a minute.
I was fairly familiar with this treadmill brand and knew something was off.
This particular treadmill brand never gives lifetime motor warranties - ever. Not even on their commercial treadmills. So why would they offer a lifetime motor warranty on one of their economy treadmills?
I voiced my concerns to her and wasn't surprised to hear back a couple of days later that the salesperson had actually been mistaken about the lifetime warranty.
If she had bought this treadmill simply based on what the salesperson said, she might have gotten a nasty surprise - especially since this particular treadmill brand is known for being extremely costly to repair.
Don't always trust what the salesperson says. Make sure to get it in writing before you buy!
#3 Forget the Price Tag - Look at the REAL Price Of The Treadmill
Price is probably one of the most important factors when buying a treadmill. But sometimes the price of the treadmill can be misleading.
For example, let's say you're looking at Brand A in a store with a price of $799. Pretty good price right?
A much better deal than Brand B - sold online - at $999.
But look closer at Brand A. Brand A only comes with a 90 day parts and labor warranty so you need to buy added coverage. You pay $50 for a 2 year extended motor warranty.
So Brand A's total cost is now $849 (with a 2 year motor warranty)
Brand B is still $999 (with a 10 year motor warranty already included)
Overall, you figure that Brand A is still the better deal since it's cheaper.
But look closer. You need to pay shipping costs for Brand A. Shipping costs from most stores usually run you about $150.
Brand B, since it is sold online offers free shipping (most online treadmill sellers do).
So Brand A's total cost is now $998 (with a 2 year motor warranty)
Brand B is still $999 (with a 10 year motor warranty)
With Brand A, $799 has gone to buy the treadmill, $50 has gone to buy the warranty and $150 has gone into shipping.
With Brand B, $999 has gone to buy the treadmill (warranty included).
So which treadmill do you think actually gives you the most value for your money?
And don't forget that many online treadmill stores don't charge sales tax. The store that sells Brand A does. That technically makes Brand A MORE expensive than Brand B.
So when comparing treadmills, make sure to consider the TOTAL COST of each treadmill before you buy.
By keeping these 3 tips in mind when purchasing a treadmill:
- Not all treadmill brands are created equal
- Don't believe what the salesperson tells you - get it in writing
- Look at the REAL price of the treadmill
you'll be well on your way to choosing the best treadmill investment for you. Good luck and have fun!
Kathryn O'Neill is the chief editor for Treadmill Review, a website focusing on the home treadmill market.
For more buying tips, and brand reviews,visit http://www.treadmillreview.net