Knowledge, Service, and Experience
Location and Price
When purchasing fitness equipment, choosing a store that specializes in fitness equipment as opposed to a store that sells tires, hardware, dishwashers and many different departments – seems to make the most sense. Let me explain a little more in detail because knowledge is everything.
The Specialty Store Difference
- Knowledge; At a special equipment retailer you will be getting educated staff who only deals in fitness equipment and fitness accessories. The employees at the fitness store learn and study everything there is to be known about the various items they have in stock.
- Demonstration; At the fitness store you will also be able to try out the equipment. This is critical before making any major purchase decision. Having the knowledgeable staff guide you through the programming on the workout apparatus makes a big difference.
- Delivery; If you like the look, feel, price and footprint the model takes up in space – your next decision will be on how to get it home and set up. Don’t worry. For a small fee, Spartan Fitness can have it delivered and set up in no time flat. Delivery might be a good idea, as trying to get a big piece of fitness equipment home in your own car can be a tall task.
- Set-Up; Getting installers (who put together these units on a daily basis) to set it up for you will save you time and frustration. I have heard in some cases people on their own taking 6 weeks to put together a home-gym. The Spartan Fitness guys do it in less than 2 hrs often.
- Options; Specialty stores will also have a lot more selection and choice, to meet all your fitness needs, whether it is cardio, strength, or studio accessories. Most will have service departments to deal with warranty and maintenance issues.
I will first start off with the only 2 positives I know for shopping at a department store or big box store…the price and location. Yes, I said it.
Generic big discount stores are 75% of the time cheaper than specialty stores – but the comparative products are 2 different brands. Let me just remind you that not all products are created equal. Some are made to last and many are not.
Many of these big box department stores are located conveniently to urban areas. In fact you might have a choice of many different options within a 5 mile radius. These stores are many times open at convenient times for late-night shoppers. I personally have wandered into the fitness department at 11:45pm at times.
It Boils Down to…
When you shop at big box or department stores for fitness equipment, don’t expect a high level of service. Typically you will be getting a department staff that often times will not know the details of the product. They may or may not know the prices or even be available for any questions.
If on the rare occasion you get someone from appliances over to help you, clearly you can’t expect this staff member to know everything in the department store. Why bother even? You probably know more than them!
At these stores, it is very rare I see any large fitness product available for demonstration. Clearly they do not want people trying their products out. This might reveal less than quality features that will surely dissuade any customer from buying.
Why not know for sure what you will be getting and save yourself time and money.
By Nancy DiMarco, Spartan Fitness Mississauga