Pump up your research of equipment

Lynne M. Centeno

With many people still spending much of their time at home during the pandemic, some consumers are seeking to bring the gym environment home too. You can easily create your own home gym, with equipment such as a treadmill, stationary bike, weight machine, etc.



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While there are many options, it is also important to be cautious and research carefully before making an expensive equipment purchase. You do not want to purchase a product that does not meet your expectations or will go unused over time, and you also want to avoid any potential scams.

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The Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas offers these tips to consumers when purchasing athletic equipment:

 Check out the business with the BBB. Research the company that you are purchasing from and make sure that other customers were happy with their product. Visit BBBHouston.org to find reports on businesses selling gym equipment. You can read BBB complaints and customers to get a feel for any possible customer service issues before you buy.

 Avoid products that claim to focus on one certain area. Some products claim that they can burn off belly fat or tone legs. Be skeptical of these types of work out items. Experts advise only with a consistent routine that works the whole body can results be achieved.

 Buy what you will use. While the “newest and trendiest” work out machine may seem like a necessity, if it is not practical for everyday use, it is probably not worth the investment. Make sure that buying decisions fit with your personal daily routines and help you reach the results you want.

 Read the fine print. It is important to do the math when looking into purchasing workout equipment. What does “three easy payments” really add up to? Also, be aware of deadlines when trying a “free trial month.” Look for hidden fees that may not be included in the cost like shipping and handling or restocking fees.

 Don’t be fooled by the fit models in the advertisements. Be aware that the “satisfied” customer in the advertisement may be a result of the product in conjunction with a good exercise routine and healthy eating habits. The before and after results may not be proof that the item works.

 Be cautious online. Be wary of ads on various online marketplaces that link to websites where products are being offered at steep discounts, especially when you are asked for payment by wiring money or paying with a prepaid debit or gift card. Also, only seek out local transactions on these types of sites and inspect the equipment before buying.

The Better Business Bureau is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Visit www.bbbhouston.org or call 713-868-9500. Leah Napoliello is senior director of Investigative Services with the BBB of Greater Houston and South Texas. Send questions to Leah Napoliello, Better Business Bureau, 1333 West Loop South, Suite 1200, Houston, TX 77027, or e-mail [email protected] Include your mailing address and phone number.

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