Cross Training For Runners

Where to Find The Best Used treadmills – A Second Hand Treadmill Buying Guide

16 Mins read

Are you ready to embark on a quest to find the perfect treadmill that fits both your training needs and your budget? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Treadmills, oh, they’re a marvel of modern fitness machinery! Picture this: the ability to sculpt your body, shed those pesky pounds, and boost your endurance all within the cozy confines of your own home. It’s like having a personal trainer at your beck and call, ready to propel you towards your fitness goals.

Now, I must confess, treadmills fresh out of the factory can sometimes come with a hefty price tag. We’re talking a small fortune here, ranging from $1500 to a jaw-dropping $3000 and beyond. That’s enough to make anyone’s wallet wince in agony.

Worry no more.

There’s a secret weapon in the battle against budget limitations—the realm of used treadmills. It’s a sanctuary where affordable fitness dreams become a reality.

Buying a used treadmill is akin to embarking on a thrilling journey through the world of pre-owned automobiles. If you possess the knowledge to separate the diamonds from the duds, you can snag a phenomenal machine at an unbeatable price. It’s all about being an informed and savvy shopper.

In today’s grand unveiling, I’ll be your trusty guide, revealing the key elements to consider when venturing into the realm of used treadmills. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be equipped to make a wise and satisfying purchase that suits both your needs and your pocket.

Excited? Let’s dive in!

New VS. Second Hand Treadmills

Ah, the age-old debate: new or used? When it comes to treadmills, the decision can be a real conundrum. On one hand, buying a shiny, brand-new machine holds the allure of pristine quality and the assurance of a warranty.

On the other hand, a second-hand treadmill promises to be a wallet-friendly option, allowing you to save a pretty penny while still breaking a sweat.

So, which path should you tread upon?

Let’s crunch some numbers, shall we? Picture this: you stroll into a fitness equipment store and spot a top-of-the-line treadmill with a price tag that causes your heart to skip a beat. It’s a whopping $2000, a sum that could make your bank account break into a cold sweat.

But fear not!

Take a detour into the world of used treadmills, and suddenly that same model can be yours for a mere $500-$700. That’s right, my frugal friend, a fraction of the cost that lets you keep your hard-earned cash for other adventures.

However, tread carefully, for there are shadows lurking in the realm of second-hand machines. With used treadmills, there’s always a slight risk of stumbling upon a lemon. You see, not all sellers have your best interests at heart.

Some may try to offload a poor-quality or broken treadmill, leaving you with a wobbly belt and a motor that decides to throw in the towel after a mere few days of use. It’s a cautionary tale of buyer beware.

But wait, there’s more! When you opt for a used treadmill, you’re not just bidding adieu to the warm embrace of a warranty. Oh no, my friend, there’s another twist in this tale. You’ll find yourself pondering the machine’s hidden past.

How many miles has it clocked? Has it been subjected to gentle strolls or merciless pounding? The truth is, you’ll never really know.

It’s like comparing a well-taken-care-of sedan that’s been driven by a single cautious owner to a beaten-up jalopy that’s been passed around like a hot potato. The mileage matters, and in the world of used treadmills, it’s a mystery waiting to be unraveled.

So, what’s the verdict? The choice between new and used treadmills ultimately comes down to the level of risk you’re willing to take. With a new machine, you’re paying for peace of mind and a pristine experience.

But if you’re ready to venture into the unknown, a second-hand treadmill can be a budget-friendly adventure worth embarking upon. Just remember to arm yourself with knowledge, inspect the machine with a discerning eye, and if possible, test it out before sealing the deal.

Your Second Hand Treadmill Buying Guide

When it comes to treadmills, the brand matters more than you might think. Opting for a trusted name brand can be your golden ticket to a smooth and enjoyable running experience.

A used treadmill from a cheap and unknown brand is like a wild card in a deck of playing cards. You never quite know what you’re going to get. Will it be a diamond in the rough, or will it crumble under the pressure?

Here’s the good news.

By selecting a treadmill from a renowned brand, you’re stacking the odds in your favor. These top-tier brands have earned their stripes through years of dedication to quality and innovation. They’re the reliable companions who won’t let you down when the going gets tough.

Plus, they often come with excellent customer support, ensuring that you’ll have a helping hand when you need it most.

What’s the secret sauce that makes these reputable brands stand out?

It’s a potent blend of craftsmanship, engineering prowess, and a commitment to customer satisfaction. These brands invest time, effort, and research into producing top-notch treadmills that are built to last. They understand that durability is key, and they back it up with warranties that provide peace of mind.

So, which brands should you keep an eye out for? Let me introduce you to some heavy hitters in the treadmill world. We have the likes of Sole, NordicTrack, Livestrong, Horizon, Precor, Landice, PaceMaster, AFG, Vision, and Life Span.

These names have earned their place at the pinnacle of the industry, delivering reliable machines that withstand the test of time.

But remember, my friend, it’s not just about the brand. It’s about finding the perfect fit for your specific needs. Consider factors such as your budget, desired features, and personal preferences when selecting a treadmill.

Take the time to research different models, read reviews, and perhaps even test them out if you have the chance.

By choosing a reputable name, you’re setting yourself up for success in your quest for the perfect used treadmill.

Get The Right Horsepower

When buying a treadmill, new or used, there are a few things to pay attention to—the most important one is horsepower.

This is the unit used to measure a treadmill motor, and the higher the number, the more power the machine has.

Not all treadmills are equipped with the same motor, and since the motor is the heart of the treadmill, you’ll want a unit powerful enough to meet your training goals.

All in all, I’d recommend a model with at least 1.5 continuous horsepower and motor and decent suspension system.

For the full treadmill buying guide, check my full post here.

Choose A “Newer” Model

Imagine this: You stumble upon a seemingly perfect used treadmill. It’s got the right brand, the right price, and the right aesthetic appeal. But hold your horses! Before you seal the deal, there’s one vital factor that could make or break your treadmill experience: the treadmill’s “age.”

Why does the age of a treadmill matter, you ask? Well, my friend, it all comes down to the wondrous world of technology.

Just like your trusty smartphone, treadmills have been on an evolutionary journey, constantly evolving to offer sleeker designs, smarter features, and more advanced functionality.

Here’s the deal: The older the model, the higher the chances that it’s missing out on the latest and greatest treadmill innovations. Think of it as comparing a classic flip phone to a shiny new smartphone.

While the flip phone may have served its purpose back in the day, it simply can’t compete with the dazzling array of features and capabilities of its modern counterpart.

But it’s not just about being in tune with the latest trends. Choosing a newer model also has practical benefits. You see, my savvy treadmill enthusiast, as a treadmill ages, the availability of spare parts can become scarce.

If you encounter a breakdown or require repairs down the line, you want to ensure that you can easily find the necessary components to breathe life back into your running companion.

So, here’s a general rule of thumb: Aim for a treadmill that is no more than five years old. This timeframe ensures that you’re still within the realm of up-to-date technology and gives you a better chance of finding replacement parts if the need arises. You can usually find the age of a model on the manufacturer’s website or reliable online marketplaces like Amazon.

But hey, let’s not get too hung up on the numbers. Common sense should always be your guiding light.

If you stumble upon a six-year-old treadmill that has been lovingly cared for and looks as pristine as a freshly fallen snowflake, it’s definitely worth a closer look. Sometimes, age is just a number, and a well-maintained machine can surprise you with its durability and performance.

Additional Resource- Your guide to curved treadmills

Do A Background Check

Knowing how old the machine ain’t enough.

You need to also find out how much it has been used (or abused). For example, second-hand treadmills sold by a health club or gym are likely to have been used heavily.

So how do you actually do it?

Simple. Ask the seller some specific questions and try to get the right answers.

And please don’t be shy. Even if you’re getting the machine at a steep discount, you’re still shelling out a lot of money.

To make it easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of 13 questions to ask the assert when you decide to buy.

  • Are you the sole owner of the treadmill? (preferably yes)
  • How many people have owned the treadmill? (one owner is the perfect answer)
  • How often did you use it? (rarely is a good answer)
  • How old is the machine? (the newer, the better)
  • How often did you perform maintenance on the treadmill? (check next tip)
  • Do you still have the original manual? (If yes, then it’s perfect)
  • How many people used it? (the fewer the people, the better)
  • Was the machine bought new or used? (don’t buy from a second-hand user)
  • Where was the machine kept? (an in-home gym or bedroom rather than a dusty, flood-prone basement)
  • Why are you selling it? (Not using it often is the best answer)
  • What are the delivery options? (or are there any other hidden fees?)
  • Is there a warranty? (Less likely but worth checking out)

Check The Warranty

You’ve found the perfect used treadmill, the one that seems tailor-made for your fitness goals and budget.

But before you dive headfirst into this exhilarating journey, there’s an important factor you need to consider: warranty coverage.

While not all brands offer warranties to second-hand buyers, it’s still worth exploring your options to protect your investment.

Let’s delve into the realm of warranties and uncover the three paths you can take:

Option 1: Store-Bought Assurance

If you’re purchasing your used treadmill from a store like Play It Again Sports, take a moment to investigate whether they provide any form of warranty.

Some stores go the extra mile and offer a level of coverage that includes in-home maintenance and other nifty perks. It’s like having a trusty pit crew at your disposal, ensuring your treadmill stays in top-notch shape.

Option 2: The Transferable Treasure

Now, if you’re dealing with a private seller, don’t be afraid to inquire about the transferability of the warranty.

In some fortunate cases, the original warranty may be transferable to you, the new owner. Imagine inheriting a warranty like a precious heirloom, granting you peace of mind and protection against unexpected malfunctions.

Option 3: The High-End Haven

If you’re considering a high-end treadmill model, it’s worth reaching out directly to the manufacturer for some insider knowledge.

Send them a friendly inquiry about the specific treadmill you’re eyeing and inquire whether they offer any specialized services or support for second-hand users.

You might be pleasantly surprised by the level of assistance they provide, ensuring you embark on your treadmill journey with confidence.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: What if you discover that warranty coverage is not available for your chosen second-hand treadmill? Fear not, my intrepid fitness explorer.

While it may seem like a hurdle, it’s simply an opportunity to flex your preparedness muscles. Just be aware that without warranty coverage, you should brace yourself for potential repair and maintenance costs down the line. It’s all part of the adventure of owning a second-hand treadmill.

One crucial piece of advice: Keep in mind that if you’re eyeing a treadmill that’s older than two years, chances are you won’t be eligible for any warranty. But don’t let this deter you from pursuing your fitness dreams.

With a little diligence and resourcefulness, you can still find a reliable companion that will support your fitness journey without the safety net of a warranty.

Ask For A Service Record

Whether you’re purchasing from a used sporting goods store or a private seller, it’s essential to inquire about the treadmill’s service history. Think of it as examining a book’s pages, each one holding clues to its past.

These records can unveil a wealth of information, revealing whether the machine received proper care and if it harbors any persistent issues that could haunt you in the future.

Now, here’s the catch: While it’s fantastic to find a well-maintained treadmill, be cautious if it has undergone a series of repairs in the past six months. Just like a car that keeps breaking down, a treadmill on the brink of the “beyond repair” phase is simply not worth your time or money.

Seek a treadmill that stands strong and ready to support your fitness endeavors.

Test The Machine

The best way to check the quality of a machine is to run a test. This is your chance to unleash your inner treadmill detective, gathering vital clues about its true quality.

If a seller refuses to allow a test run, my friend, it’s time to swiftly move on to greener pastures.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to conducting a thorough treadmill examination:

Step 1: Close Inspection

Begin by scrutinizing every nook and cranny of the machine. Check for signs of wear and tear on the frame, belt, console, and other vital components. Remember, a keen eye can unveil hidden secrets about the machine’s overall condition.

Step 2: Power It Up

Activate the treadmill and gradually increase the speed until you reach its maximum limit. Observe closely as the motor kicks into action. A healthy motor should hum harmoniously, without a hint of whining, clicking, knocking, or grinding. Smooth acceleration is the key here, my friend.

Any surging or skipping sounds may signal underlying issues that could result in costly repairs. We want you to avoid that treadmill turmoil.

Step 3: The Elevation Expedition

Now, let’s explore the wonders of elevation. Raise and lower the incline slickly, paying attention to any grinding or jerking sensations. A properly functioning treadmill should glide through these adjustments seamlessly, without causing a ruckus.

Remember, jerking and grinding are the telltale signs of potential mechanical failure or calibration issues. We want your treadmill journey to be smooth and exhilarating, not jarring and unsettling.

Step 4: Test Drive Time

Hop aboard the treadmill and embark on a 10 to 20-minute test run. This is your chance to truly experience the machine firsthand. Pay close attention to any shakes or discomforting sounds that may arise during your run.

Remember, this is a partnership between you and the treadmill. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s time to explore other options.

By following these steps, you’ll become an expert at deciphering the treadmill’s secrets, ensuring you choose a reliable companion for your fitness journey.

Remember, my fellow explorer, take your time, trust your instincts, and don’t settle for anything less than a smooth, comfortable, and enjoyable experience.

Additional resource – How to find affordable running gear

Check The Belt Condition

Equipping a treadmill with a new belt can burn a hole in your pocket. And let’s face it, we’re here to make wise investments, not empty our wallets on unexpected expenses. So, when shopping for a used treadmill, pay close attention to the condition of the belt, for it holds the key to a smooth and worry-free workout experience.

First and foremost, the belt’s condition depends on various factors, such as how frequently the machine was used, the weight of previous users, and their running habits. Think of it as examining the tread on your running shoes—it speaks volumes about your running style and the miles you’ve conquered.

If you spot any red flags during your inspection, my friend, it’s best to steer clear of that particular machine. Trust me, investing in a new belt can quickly turn into an expensive affair, and we’re all about making smart choices here.

So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details of belt examination. With the treadmill switched off, take a closer look at the belt’s edges on both sides. Are there any signs of fraying or deterioration?

These are warning signs that the belt has seen its fair share of action and may not be able to withstand much more. We want you to enjoy your workouts, not worry about an unreliable belt that could snap at any moment.

But that’s not all—ensure that the running belt is centered correctly, without any noticeable pulling to one side. A misaligned belt is like a misaligned compass—it throws off your entire journey.

If you encounter any skipping or sliding during your test run, my friend, it’s time to wave goodbye to that treadmill. Such irregularities not only disrupt your running flow but also pose a safety risk. We don’t want any unexpected trips or slips on our fitness endeavors.

Remember, a smooth and stable belt is your gateway to a seamless treadmill experience. By carefully inspecting the belt’s condition, you can avoid unnecessary expenses and potential safety hazards.

Check The Display

Last but not least, remember to test the display.

A functional and user-friendly display is vital when it comes to your treadmill experience. After all, you’ll be spending countless hours gazing at those numbers, charts, and statistics, so they better be worth your while.

Picture it as your own personal dashboard, providing you with valuable insights and motivation every step of the way.

Why is the display so crucial, you ask? Well, my inquisitive friend, it’s the gateway to a world of information and progress tracking. With just a glance, you can track your running distance, monitor your heart rate, keep tabs on the calories burned, and witness the passage of time. The display may even surprise you with advanced features like counting carbs, helping you stay on top of your nutritional goals.

But here’s the catch—make sure all the functions are in perfect working order. Press those buttons, toggle through the settings, and observe how the display responds.

Is it easy to navigate? Are the numbers clear and legible? We want a display that exudes clarity and precision, not a blurry mess that leaves us scratching our heads.

Oh, and don’t forget to give the display area a thorough inspection. Look for any signs of wear or damage, as we want our treadmill to be a symbol of excellence, not a relic of the past. The display should be a shining beacon, illuminating your fitness journey with each passing second.

Now, let’s talk about control. Can you easily adjust the speed and incline settings? This is your moment to test the responsiveness of those buttons and sliders. Smooth adjustments are like a finely tuned instrument, empowering you to customize your workout according to your desires and goals.

And guess what? Some treadmills offer pre-programmed workouts, which add an extra layer of excitement and variety to your training regimen. It’s like having a personal trainer right at your fingertips, guiding you through different challenges and keeping boredom at bay. So, keep an eye out for this delightful feature—it’s a game-changer.

Where to Find The Best Used treadmills

Imagine this: You’ve set out on a quest to find the ideal used treadmill. Your heart races with anticipation as you explore various avenues, seeking the treasure that will transform your fitness journey.

Fear not, my intrepid explorer, for I am here to guide you through the labyrinth of options and help you unearth the perfect used treadmill for your needs.

Let’s embark on this thrilling adventure together, starting with the treasure trove known as second-hand stores. These wondrous havens often hold the key to hidden gems, offering great deals on pre-loved treadmills.

Pay them a visit, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the quality and affordability of the machines you find. What’s even better? You can inspect the treadmills right there on the spot, examining their every nook and cranny to ensure they meet your standards.

But wait, the journey doesn’t end there. Cast your gaze upon the local paper, where whispers of gym closures and upgrades may lead you to your ultimate prize. When fitness establishments face the winds of change, they often part ways with their trusty treadmills.

These machines, though well-loved by many users, can still serve you faithfully, especially if they bear the esteemed names of Bowflex, Proform, or NordicTrack.

And lo and behold, the digital realm awaits you, filled with promises of treasure in the form of online listings. Websites like eBay and Craigslist may hold the key to your dream treadmill. But tread carefully, my friend, for the online realm can be treacherous.

It’s a wild sea of uncertainty, where inspecting the machine in person becomes an impossible feat. Proceed with caution and consider this your last resort if all other avenues have been exhausted.

Now, let me share a secret with you—a treasure map, if you will. There’s an invaluable tool known as customer reviews. Harness the power of the internet and dive into the depths of online research.

Seek out the experiences and insights of those who have tread upon the paths you wish to venture. Their stories will guide you, shedding light on the reliability and longevity of the treadmills you have your eye on.

The Price Of a Second Hand Treadmill

The moment of truth has arrived!

You’ve carefully scrutinized the second-hand treadmill, checked its quality, and now it’s time to embark on a thrilling negotiation journey to determine the fair price for this coveted fitness companion. Fear not, for I shall be your trusty guide through this labyrinth of pricing.

Before diving headfirst into negotiations, equip yourself with a valuable weapon: knowledge. Arm yourself with the retail price of the treadmill you desire.

Take a moment to visit the manufacturer’s website or the mighty Amazon to uncover the sacred digits that shall serve as your reference point.

You may also venture into the realm of used sporting goods stores, such as the illustrious Play It Again Sports, to gather a rough estimate of the acceptable price range.

Keep in mind, dear seeker, that the reputation of the brand holds great power in the realm of pricing. If the used treadmill hails from a reputable brand, expect the seller to hold their ground and ask for a higher price.

After all, they know the true worth of the treasure they possess. Conversely, tread lightly when dealing with lesser-known brands with questionable records and customer reviews. The asking price in such cases may be more amenable to your budgetary desires.

Now, let the dance of negotiation commence! Engage the seller in a delicate tango, gracefully moving toward a price that satisfies both parties. Remember, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

As you encounter a store offering tantalizing discounts, be ever vigilant for hidden fees lurking in the shadows. The price may appear too good to be true, and alas, it often is. Unmask the secrets of the store’s delivery and set-up fees, lest they overshadow the seemingly irresistible deal.

With the negotiation complete and the fair price agreed upon, you stand triumphant in your quest for a used treadmill.

But dear traveler, this is not the end, but merely the beginning of your fitness journey. Take the knowledge you have acquired, the wisdom of this guide, and embark on a path to a healthier, stronger you.

Buying a used Treadmill –  The Conclusion

There you have it. If you’re in the market for a used treadmill—or any other training equipment—today’s article should have provided you with enough guidelines to set you on the right path. The rest is really up to you.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime thank you for dropping by.

David D.

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