Used vs New treadmills – Which is the Better Option?

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Running Gear & Apparel
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David Dack

When it comes to deciding between a new treadmill and a second-hand one, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It’s a conundrum with pros and cons on both sides. On one hand, purchasing a shiny, brand-new treadmill offers the allure of pristine quality and the security of a warranty.

On the other hand, opting for a second-hand treadmill can save you a significant amount of money while still allowing you to break a sweat.

However, the choice between new and used treadmills isn’t just about budget; it involves considering various factors.

In today’s article, I’ll delve into the pros and cons of buying a used treadmill to assist you in making this critical decision. We’ll explore essential aspects, including cost considerations, quality assessments, longevity expectations, and more.

So, are you ready to make an informed decision? Let’s dive in and explore your options.

Pros of Buying a Used Treadmill

Let’s dive into why opting for a pre-owned treadmill can be a savvy choice for your budget and overall value.

Affordable Prices:

Imagine walking into a fitness equipment store and spotting a top-of-the-line treadmill with a price tag that makes your wallet shiver in fear. It’s a staggering $2000, enough to give anyone financial pause. Now, take a detour into the world of used treadmills, and suddenly that same model can be yours for a mere $500-$700. Yes, you read that right—a fraction of the cost that leaves your hard-earned cash intact for other adventures.

Access to Higher Models:

This cost-effectiveness can open the door to higher-end treadmill models. What might be out of reach when new becomes accessible when it’s second-hand. You can enjoy premium features and quality without the premium price.

Lower Overall Investment:

Are you uncertain about your long-term commitment to treadmill workouts? If so, a used treadmill represents a lower financial burden, making it a less intimidating investment. It allows you to test the waters without diving in too deep.

Rapid Depreciation of New Treadmills:

Just like cars, treadmills depreciate rapidly, especially in the first few years after purchase. This depreciation means that the actual value of a new treadmill drops significantly once it’s been in use.

When you buy a used treadmill, much of this depreciation has already occurred. Therefore, if you decide to resell the treadmill later, you’re likely to recoup a larger percentage of your investment compared to reselling a new treadmill. It’s a smarter financial move in the long run.

Cons of Buying a Used Treadmill

Certainly, while there are many benefits to buying a used treadmill, it’s essential to consider the potential downsides.

Here are some of the cons associated with purchasing a pre-owned treadmill:

Unknown Usage History:

One of the primary concerns with a used treadmill is the lack of a clear usage history. It can be challenging to determine how much the treadmill has been used, the intensity of workouts it has endured, and whether it has been properly maintained. Questions about mileage and previous usage may remain unanswered, making it akin to comparing a well-taken-care-of sedan driven by a single cautious owner to a beaten-up jalopy passed around like a hot potato.

Potential Wear and Tear:

Second-hand treadmills can exhibit varying degrees of wear and tear, which may not be immediately visible. Critical components like the motor, belt, and electronics could have experienced significant stress, affecting their functionality and longevity. Some sellers may attempt to offload a poor-quality or malfunctioning treadmill, leaving you with a wobbly belt and a motor that gives up after only a few days of use.

No Manufacturer’s Warranty:

Unlike new treadmills that often come with a manufacturer’s warranty covering defects and repairs, used treadmills typically do not transfer this protection to new owners. This means you won’t have the safety net of warranty coverage, potentially exposing you to repair costs.

Risk of Additional Costs:

Without a warranty, any necessary repairs or replacements after purchase will be out-of-pocket expenses, potentially increasing the total cost of ownership.

Outdated Technology:

There’s a risk of purchasing older treadmill models that lack the latest features and technological advancements found in newer models. While this may not be a significant concern for everyone, those seeking advanced fitness tracking or interactive features may be disappointed.

Limited Support and Parts:

Older treadmill models might no longer be supported by the manufacturer, making it challenging to find replacement parts or receive service. This can be particularly problematic if the treadmill requires repairs or maintenance.

Pros Vs Cons of Buying a Used Treadmill – The Assessment

In conclusion, the decision between purchasing a new or used treadmill boils down to your tolerance for risk and your specific priorities. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it’s crucial to consider your individual circumstances and preferences. Here’s a summary of the assessment:

Buying a Used Treadmill:

  • Budget-Friendly: If budget is a primary concern, a used treadmill offers a cost-effective solution, allowing you to save a significant amount compared to buying new.
  • Eco-Friendly: Choosing a used treadmill aligns with sustainability goals by reducing the environmental impact associated with manufacturing new fitness equipment.
  • Potential Maintenance Costs: Be prepared for potential maintenance costs, as used treadmills may require repairs or replacements. It’s essential to prioritize finding well-maintained models.

Buying a New Treadmill:

  • Peace of Mind: A new treadmill comes with the assurance of a manufacturer’s warranty, providing peace of mind and protection against defects or issues.
  • Latest Features: New treadmills typically feature the latest technology and advancements, offering a smooth and up-to-date fitness experience.
  • Higher Cost: While new treadmills offer benefits, they come at a higher price point compared to used ones.

Ultimately, the choice should be based on your financial situation, fitness goals, and willingness to invest time and effort in the decision-making process. Regardless of your choice, it’s essential to arm yourself with knowledge, thoroughly inspect the machine, and, if possible, test it out before making a final decision. This way, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your needs and priorities.

What to Look for When Buying a Used Treadmill

Decided to go the used treadmill route? Ensuring that you get a good deal and a reliable machine requires careful consideration and examination. Here are the key steps to follow:

Conduct Thorough Research:

Before you start shopping for a used treadmill, it’s essential to understand the model’s features, specifications, and original pricing. This knowledge will help you assess whether the price you’re being offered is fair.

Familiarize yourself with the brand, model name, and any notable features. Researching common issues or defects associated with that model is also valuable. Online forums, reviews, and fitness equipment websites can be excellent sources of information.

Inspect Carefully:

When you come across a used treadmill, don’t rush into the purchase. Instead, take your time to thoroughly inspect the machine. Check for visible signs of wear and tear, including scuffs, scratches, or worn paint.

Examine the condition of the running belt; it should be in good shape without fraying or significant wear. Test the functionality of electronic components such as the display console, buttons, and heart rate monitors. Listen to the motor while it’s running to ensure it operates smoothly and quietly. Be sure to test various speed and incline settings to confirm that they work correctly.

Ask for History:

It’s crucial to gather information about the treadmill’s usage history. Ask the seller about how frequently it has been used and the types of workouts it has endured. Inquire about the maintenance routines followed, including whether the treadmill has been regularly lubricated and serviced.

Understanding the treadmill’s history can provide insights into its overall condition and potential issues. Also, ask the seller about their reason for selling the treadmill; this may reveal any undisclosed problems.

Real-World Pricing Examples

To gauge whether the price of the used treadmill is reasonable, it’s helpful to compare it to the prices of new treadmills with used ones.

Let me explain.

New Treadmills:

Prices for new treadmills can vary widely based on brand, features, and quality. Here’s a general price range:

  • Basic Model: New treadmills with basic features can start at around $500. These models are suitable for light to moderate use.
  • Mid-Range Model: A mid-range treadmill with more advanced features like incline settings and preset workouts might cost between $800 and $1500.
  • High-End Model: Premium treadmills with state-of-the-art technology, powerful motors, and extensive workout programs can range from $1500 to $3000 and above. These treadmills are designed for serious runners and fitness enthusiasts.

For instance, a new, state-of-the-art treadmill from a premium brand might cost $2500, whereas a more modest but new model from a less renowned brand could be priced around $800.

Used Treadmills:

The price of used treadmills can vary significantly depending on factors like brand, age, condition, and features. Here are some examples:

  • High-End Used Model: A high-end used treadmill, which might have originally cost $2500 or more when new, could be found in the used market for around $1200. This represents significant savings compared to buying new.
  • Basic Used Model: A less advanced used treadmill, especially if it’s an older model, could be priced as low as $300, depending on its condition and age. These can be budget-friendly options for those looking for basic functionality.


The price of treadmills, new or used, is not a straightforward matter.

By understanding the factors that affect pricing, you can set a more informed budget and identify the best value for your needs, whether you decide to buy a new or opt for a pre-owned machine.

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