Is Selling Gym Equipment Profitable?
In today?s marketplace, there are dozens of places where consumers can buy refurbished or just plain used fitness equipment. Home gym equipment sales are not as profitable as they once were, when the craze was buying newer, better, top of the line machines for the home. Currently, fitness trends are veering away from home gym machines like treadmills and exercise bikes, towards workout DVDs featuring plyometrics and short, high impact workouts. These types of workouts actually boast higher fat burning potential than the steady state workouts fitness enthusiasts get on a machine.
In fitness centers, however, equipment like stair climbers, treadmills, recumbent bikes and elliptical trainers are still the rage. Gym owners will always need to purchase or lease equipment. If gym owners lease their equipment, they have the option to trade up for better merchandise every so many years. This incurs only a small cost to them?slight in proportion to the actual cost of purchasing all new equipment. The initial sale to gym and fitness center owners is the most profitable sale you, as a gym equipment salesperson, will make.
Smaller sales, such as those to condo or apartment complexes in need of furnishing their new or redone fitness centers are also profitable, but on a much smaller scale. If one is to make it in the industry, the large sales will make or break you.
Another thing to remember is that cutting overhead raises profits. For example, if you have an online business versus a brick and mortar business (i.e. a retail storefront), you do not pay to lease the building and warehouse, you do not pay for the building?s water and electricity, there is no insurance to worry about and things like city permits are not an issue. Online, you would just pay for hosting the site and for employees to work (perhaps remotely, from home) to answer customers? questions via phone and email and to take orders. Your merchandise would ship directly from the manufacturer, so you would not be required to warehouse it. The costs associated with an online business are much lower than those of a retail location.
A really great tip is to approach both new and already established gyms and fitness centers and make your sales pitch. For new fitness centers or gyms, offer a new customer discount. For established gym owners, ones who already order their equipment from someone else; beat their current price. You may take a loss on both of these sales, but remember, losing a little bit of money on the first sale may guarantee you a client is who loyal for years and years. If it takes a little money up front to make it down the line, it may be worth it.
As stated before, one new niche market is fitness equipment sales is in used and refurbished merchandise. This may be a way for you to get into the fitness equipment business. You can either purchase a franchise or start your own independent retail business. These businesses typically buy used fitness equipment from customers at a fraction of what they paid for the equipment new, and then clean it up and resell it, for a higher price. The profit margin is very good, and the sales potential can be huge?if you stock the right merchandise.
One other way these businesses make money is through trade. Rather than just giving money for used merchandise that comes in off the street, these customers are offered a trade in value that is slightly higher than the price they would get if they just took the cash. The customers can use the trade in value to purchase other merchandise in store. This way, you never have to give cash out, and you take more money in, creating a profit, and in the process, you get new merchandise in your store.
Owners have to be choosey about what they take in used. The merchandise cannot be broken, or out of fashion. If you take in equipment that nobody uses today, you will never sell it, and it will just sit on your shelf, taking up room. In addition, you have given someone money for it, so it is a double loss for your business. Making good decisions here is essential, because you want your store to be known as having quality merchandise that is current, so customers will shop you first, before visiting large retailers or fitness merchandisers that only sell new equipment. If you can sell customers quality items at a fair price, they will always shop you first, and will ask to be placed on contact lists that keep them updated when new merchandise enters your shop. You can email or call your clients when merchandise they are looking for comes in, and you may sell it before it even hits the sales floor.
The bottom line is that selling fitness equipment can be profitable, but you must be smart about it. Do not go into an already overpopulated market. Do your research. Approach new and established businesses with your catalog and promotions, and be ready to take a loss on your first sales to gyms and fitness centers in order to secure a loyal client. Get your name out there and network, and of course, compare the pros and cons of an online business versus a storefront retail location and new equipment sales versus used equipment sales.
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