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If you are considering buying a treadmill you need to take into consideration a number of factors that will determine the quality of the machine. You want to avoid buying a cheap treadmill, because they are not built for endurance and will probably breakdown after minimum use. Treadmills under $800 dollars are not built for endurance and performance and you will get an inferior workout and your machine will not last.
So what do you look for when buying a treadmill, and should you buy your treadmill from a dealer or on the Internet?
Buying a Treadmill from a Retail Store
The obvious advantage when buying a treadmill from either a large retail store or fitness equipment specialty shop is that you to try it out. You can try out all of the features, compare the belts and their impact, and get a feel for what works for you. But this comes with a cost. You are paying for two costly expenses. First, you have to pay for the retail overhead costs. Most retail fitness equipment stores are in prime locations. This cost of the building adds significantly to the price of the treadmill.
Second, when buying a treadmill you are paying for the commission to the salesperson. And since he is on commission you can't always be certain he is going to provide you with objective information. Together the retail costs and the salesperson's commissions can add up to 10% - 15% to the cost of your treadmill. If you feel a need to try it out then you just need to factor in that cost.
Buying a Treadmill Online
When buying a treadmill online you can save considerable money, but you have to be an educated buyer. But the reality is treadmills are like computers. They are composed of many of the same features and components. If you know what you are looking for in a treadmill, and you are familiar with the features you want, then you can easily shop and compare online. In the process you avoid having to travel all over town comparing prices and features. The whole process can be done at your desk.
These are considerations when buying a treadmill online:
Check to make sure the treadmill is a name brand, backed buy independent ratings and reviews. Also, check for customer testimonials, if available.
Make sure when buying a treadmill, it is built with quality components. Like computers, treadmill manufacturers built using similar parts. Make sure that the parts are reputable and that the overall construction meets or exceeds the standards required for your needs.
A warranty says a lot about the quality of a treadmill. Companies are not going to offer an exceptional warranty if the machine tends to breakdown in a short period of time. Warranties are a consistent factor in the quality of a treadmill. If the warranty is exceptional then it makes sense that the treadmill is built to last. Make sure you buy treadmill that comes with a reasonable in-home repair warranty. A one year repair warranty is a good indication. If you plan to buy a budget treadmill consider an extended warranty.
Make sure your treadmill is backed by exceptional customer service. Treadmills are complicated pieces of machinery. They do break. Whether if you buy online or at a retail store, make sure the company has an excellent customer service record. Online company reviews can be found at Shopping.com and BizRate.com.
When buying a treadmill do not get caught up by the salesperson. Do your research. Compare prices, features, reviews, ratings and warranties. That will give you a good indication on what to buy whether online or off.