How to Finance Gym Equipment for Your Home or Business
Gym memberships aren’t cheap, but neither is buying the equipment and building your own. Depending on what kind of set up you’d like to install, prices can vary quite a bit. Besides the cost of the equipment itself, there are also the surrounding expenses to consider, like installation, rubber mat flooring and machine maintenance.
We’ve calculated roughly how much a small business or personal gym will set you back and spoken to the professionals about more ways you can save. Keep reading to learn how much you should spend on your gym, how to finance gym equipment and a few tricks to cut costs along the way.
- How much does gym equipment cost?
- How to save money when buying gym equipment
- How to pay for gym equipment
- The bottom line
How much does gym equipment cost?
As you’ll see from the table below, the total cost of buying gym equipment varies wildly. A lot of this variation has to do with your personal preferences. For example, if you need the best treadmill on the market, you may end up paying closer to $9,000.
Your costs will also depend on whether you buy gym equipment new or used. Many gym owners and aspiring home-gym owners stock up on their gear through online stores or by shopping Facebook’s marketplace and Craigslist.
|Average costs for gym equipment|
If you decide to shop at the higher end of the market for all new equipment, a full gym with the gear listed below would cost you roughly $16,900. But if you went with the cheaper alternatives, you might only spend $1,895. According to Brian Tai, owner of Bowtai Fitness in Fairfax, Va., this number is still pretty high, especially if you’re only building a home gym. “In my experience, the average person is probably only willing to spend about $1,000-$2,000 on a nice home gym setup,” he said.
How to save money when buying gym equipment
Know what you want and need
It’s a good idea to know your goals for the gym before you buy anything. Is this a home set up for you and a few friends or a small fitness center that you’re planning to open professionally? This may affect what kind of equipment you shop for.
For example, pay special attention to the grade of the equipment you purchase if you’re planning to open a gym professionally, even if it’s a small one. While buying residential gym equipment might save you a bit of money at first, the quality simply isn’t the same as commercial fitness equipment — which is built to last longer with more users.
Buy gently used equipment
Looking at the average cost of new equipment, it seems impossible to spend so little on a complete set up — unless you shop for used equipment.
“There are used gym stores everywhere, from stores you can walk into to places online,” explained Amanda Hoover, owner of A Better You Fitness in Charlotte, N.C. “You can always go there for much cheaper options, and most items are gently used or came out of gyms where they just upgraded to the latest and best.”
Websites like USed Gym Equipment and Fitness Equipment Empire are some of Hoover’s favorites for shopping gently used gear or trading equipment. She also likes to shop hyper-locally to scout the best deals and often searches for the gear she needs on Google or Facebook to see if anyone nearby is selling.
Consider peripheral costs
Beyond the equipment itself, there are also the peripheral costs to consider — things like installation and other purchases you might want for your gym, including rubber floor matting and fans or an AC unit. And if you were worried about reading all the manuals and installing the equipment yourself, consider paying a professional to help out.
While some gym equipment companies like Precor offer their own installation packages when you shop with them, other companies like Thumbtack and Amazon Home Services will help you install whatever equipment you have, no matter where you bought it. Prices vary depending on the size of your set up, but Amazon starts their pricing at $169 for three hours of installation.
Be mindful of maintenance needs
You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the maintenance schedule of any equipment you buy. Although this might not affect your upfront costs, it could affect your budget later on as you work to maintain your equipment — whether at home or for your business.
Keeping on top of machine maintenance can end up saving you money in repairs later on. Precor has a great tool for tracking machine maintenance on anything you buy with them.
How to pay for gym equipment
Small business investors
If you’re planning on building a small for-profit business out of your new gym but need some capital to get there, it might not be a bad idea to consider getting a few investors on board. You can do this by leveraging your network connections or even reaching out to family and friends interested in new business ventures.
Small business loans
Another great option to consider as a new business is taking out a small business loan. These loans are offered through various banks that partner with the Small Business Administration (SBA), and they come in a variety of lending packages: from term loans (dished out in a lump sum and repaid in monthly installments) to business lines of credit or even commercial real estate loans.
Many of these loans have longer repayment terms (sometimes up to 20 years) and require a minimal down payment — making them a relatively affordable borrowing option for entrepreneurs.
A third possibility for small business owners interested in saving money on equipment startup costs is to consider renting or leasing. Rather than fronting thousands of dollars before your business even earns a cent, you can negotiate a leasing program with a major equipment provider and space out payments for your gear over a period of time. As you start earning more money as a business, you’ll be able to pay down the amount left on your lease.
Finally, if you’re starting a gym just for you — but still need a little help — you might consider applying for a personal loan. A personal loan is unsecured, meaning you won’t need collateral to qualify. That does mean your credit is heavily weighed when determining your eligibility for funds and terms you qualify for. To get your best rates, you’ll need excellent credit.
Ideally, however, you won’t take on debt for gym equipment. If you’re comfortable with a loan, carefully consider the kind of monthly payment you can afford to make.
The bottom line
How ever you choose to finance your gym equipment, spend the time to do some planning beforehand. If you’re buying anything beyond a few sets of weights, it’s a good idea to map out your goals and make sure what you’re buying is up to the task.
If you aren’t planning on turning your gym into a small business and can’t afford the initial investment, ask your vendor about installment payment plans or shop for more affordable used equipment. You can always budget for your equipment the good old fashioned way too — by setting aside a set amount every month until you have enough to buy your gym wishlist items outright.