Exercise Equipment Hunting: For Poor People

Picture courtesy of StockSnap.io via Khusen Rustamov Photography

Are you sick of paying $70 a month for a gym membership that lets you cancel at any time – or even the $20 per month you pay to be locked in to a 5 year contract (I’m looking at you Anytime Fitness)?

What if I told you that you get could your entire at-home gym for under $20 or even for free?

You don’t believe me? I know you can, because I’ve done it. It’s not the most beautiful thing, but it serves it’s purpose and keeps me financially sound.

I’m currently building up a home gym in one of the empty bedrooms of my first house, and so far everything has been free: I have an 1980’s manually powered exercise bike that I got for free, a table that I got for free, and a television with a built in DVD player that I got for free. I don’t pay for cable, and I considered buying another Amazon Fire Stick for the room’s TV, but then I remembered this handy-dandy thing called a library card, in which I can get DVDs – you guessed it – for free, to give me something to watch while I bike.

Photo is Property of The Land of Money and Happiness

Here are some places you can scour for free or low cost exercise items:

1.) Facebook Marketplace – Finding free exercise equipment can be as easy as logging into Facebook. You can search whatever item you’re looking for in the search bar at the top of Facebook’s home page, OR select ‘Marketplace’ on the left hand part of the home page and search there. Voila, you are sure to find hundreds of people that are in the process of moving that are giving away their exercise equipment for free or for 5% – 10% of the original cost, which is a 90% savings minimum and a wonderful steal.

2.) Facebook Groups – Similarly to the Marketplace feature, there are tones of local groups that you can scour for you city, county, state, etc. A pro-tip to finding them is typing in your city’s name with ‘BUY’, ‘SELL’, or ‘TRADE’ keywords, and I guarantee something close to you will pop up. Once you’ve found the group, search for your treasures!

3.) Your Local Goodwill or ShopGoodwill.com – Goodwill now has an online platform that merges together the large Goodwill stores around the country, and you can buy items from them that way. Beware that shipping fees can be astronomical, but if it ends up being cheaper to purchase your equipment this way, it can save you money. You can also visit your local Goodwill to find everything from Dumbbells to an exercise DVD to a Nordic Track.

4.) Craigslist – Ah Craigslist, the site where you could end up with gold or absolute crap. Do your research before buying anything on here, and make sure that you actually see the item in working condition before purchasing. The site is incredibly helpful if you’re looking to go the ‘free only’ route, as it has a section titled ‘Free’ for your local page that helps eliminate any equipment that costs money. You will likely find newer equipment if you search the for sale page.

5.) Ebay – Ebay, like Craigslist, can be completely hit or miss. Your shipping will be crazy expensive like with ShopGoodwill. However, even if you pay $500 for an item including shipping charges – $500 for a Nordic Track Commercial Studio Style Exercise Bike barely used is still cheaper than a brand new one at $2000+.

The wonderful part about buying used equipment isn’t just the savings, or even the health benefit, it’s that you’re reusing something instead of it being thrown in a landfill. An item is getting a new life with you, and you’re helping the planet in the process. It’s being healthy, frugal, and environmentally kind.

Do you have a home gym? What is your favorite exercise equipment to use? Any tips you have for me on setting one up?

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