Does it make economic sense to buy a used elliptical machine? Seems like a good way to save money… right?
For example, if you can buy a used Precor EFX 5.23 Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer for $1,999 plus shipping on Amazon, while a brand new one would set you back $2,999, would that not be a good deal? Precor produces first class elliptical trainers and has a solid reputation with thousands of happy customers. So, what possible negative could there be?
Keep in mind that even the best products break down periodically. This is especially true of exercise equipment and even more so if that equipment has been used by dozens of individuals with different workout techniques (like in a fitness club), or by an individual at home who simply lost interest in taking proper care of the machine.
For many people, laying out $2,000 for something that no longer has a warranty can be a risky proposition. Here is a quote from the Precor warranty manual, which, by the way, is typical for manufacturers of elliptical machines:
“The warranty period commences on the invoice date of original purchase. This warranty applies only against defects discovered within the warranty period and extends only to the original purchaser of the product…” The original owner gets a lifetime guarantee for the elliptical frame and welds, plus a 10 year guarantee for parts and wear items together with a one year warranty for labor. But, this applies only to the original owner because the warranty is not transferable.
Now, there is nothing wrong with buying an elliptical trainer that has been used before. In fact, more than likely things would work out fine. But, we are all creatures of emotion and, when it comes to exercising, it is too easy to get caught up in the belief that this fabulously life changing machine can transform our body into the gorgeous vision we have of ourselves.
Before you know it, you buy the darn thing… only to have buyers remorse later on when the flywheel begins to squeak, while at the same time you are starting to get bored with using it.
Elliptical trainers are heavy and take up space. Even if you have one that folds up, it can be a cumbersome piece of equipment. The used elliptical can be shipped for a reasonable price within the contiguous 48 states, but make sure you understand what shipping really means. This is equally true for new machines, but with used equipment you will probably be dealing with an individual rather than with the original manufacturer.
I am referring to the probability that when this 200 pound piece of steel finally reaches your residence it only gets as far as your front door. Then, you discover that it will cost more money to move it into place, plus assemble it for you. While this is not unusual or even unfair, it is still something that many people do not anticipate, so consider yourself forewarned.
In summary, elliptical training is truly incredible for the right person. It combines the best of stair climbing, cross country skiing and running and it does so in a low impact, variety rich workout. Runners will benefit from the limited impact movement as a complement to their running. Older users will appreciate the fluidity and ease of the motion.
So, if purchasing a used elliptical machine will give you the opportunity to extend your life and enjoy it even more, then by all means go for it. Just make sure you have all of the details before committing your money.