Is buying an expensive piece of exercise equipment from healthfitnessdepot.com a bad idea?
March 24, 2011 1:58 PM   Subscribe

Is buying an expensive piece of exercise equipment from healthfitnessdepot.com a bad idea?

I'm interested in purchasing a Concept2 rowing machine. Amazon has the one I want for $900 (I have free shipping on my account), healthfitnessdepot.com has it for $700 with free shipping. You know the saying, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Anyone have any feedback on healthfitnessdepot.com?
posted by Specklet to Shopping (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
200 dollars off doesn't sound too good to be true. Are there any ratings or reviews that you can see? I've bought several big ticket items online through retailers I'd never heard of, worried a bit, but ended up coming out fine.

If you buy with a good credit card, remember that you can always dispute the charge if things don't go satisfactorily. And when it arrives, remember to inspect it for damage, and refuse to take delivery if it doesn't look ok.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 2:13 PM on March 24, 2011


Best answer: I have no direct experience with them, but their website screams "Stay far, far away!"

For instance, if you want to pay with a credit card...
If you're a first time customer and want to pay by credit card please send us the following: front and back of your credit/debit card, front of your driver licence and proof of address (Water, phone or other utility bill matching you shipping/delivery address) along with your order request.
It just feels like bad news.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:15 PM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Buying exercise equipment new is generally a bad idea. Most people buy exercise equipment new, never use it, and sell it cheap a year or two later. There are two Concept 2 rowing machines on Craigslist in my area today, for $500, one claiming to have never been used.
posted by IanMorr at 2:17 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Whoa, I totally didn't see the request for all kinds of information with credit card purchase. Thanks for pointing that out. That alone makes me want to avoid them.

I know that buying new is not optimal, but there are no Concept2s on Craigslist here in Portland, and although I'm willing to wait a little while to see if one pops up, I don't have great hopes...
posted by Specklet at 2:25 PM on March 24, 2011


Put a want ad in craigslist Specklet.
posted by zephyr_words at 2:33 PM on March 24, 2011


Response by poster: Can do, zephyr, but there's already one or two up there.
posted by Specklet at 2:48 PM on March 24, 2011


I am gonna go out on a slight limb in a different direction.

I am going to guess that the operators are just old or out of touch. I think they themselves have been scammed before and they are very suspicious about online retailing. The facebook/twitter/flickr/linkedin links at the top just lead to those services' homepages. When they talk about payment, they talk about some greendot moneypak thing I have never heard of (but seem to exist and be legit).

I think what we sense as scammy (and granted, it does seem suspicious) might just be them trying to cover their own ass in a really awkward, out of touch way. I you have other, better options, pursue them. Otherwise, maybe try to spend 5 minutes on the phone with these people. If anything feels weird, then screw it, if they sound out of touch and say that they have been burned in the past, keep probing.

Just a thought
posted by milqman at 3:16 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you're a first time customer and want to pay by credit card please send us the following: front and back of your credit/debit card, front of your driver licence and proof of address (Water, phone or other utility bill matching you shipping/delivery address) along with your order request.
This is just them attempting to deter fraud, most likely because they've had too many chargebacks. It's effective but it also burdens the customer way too much.
posted by Kupo? at 3:21 PM on March 24, 2011


Best answer: A WHOIS search on the domain name shows what seems to be a real person (or parent company?)'s contact info in Arkansas, which to me backs up the suggestions that they're legit but out of touch with new web technology.
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:31 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


As with cars, the correct answer when talking about fitness equipment is: consider used.

Concept2 is the rower favored by crossfit gyms.

One positive thing about the lack of territories in the crossfit affiliate ecosystem is that there is no management of where affiliates can set up shop, and they often end up right next to one another driving each other out of business.

As a result you can *frequently* find these things on Craigslist cheap.

There are three listed right now in my area.
posted by rr at 3:45 PM on March 24, 2011


Response by poster: Good point about being out of touch with newer web technology.

rr, I'd love to buy used, but as I mentioned up-thread, there aren't any up for sale on craigslist in my area, and in fact already want ads for them. I'm not willing to wait for more than a couple months for something used to come along.
posted by Specklet at 4:51 PM on March 24, 2011


the point about CL is to look in different localities and maybe go for a drive.
posted by rr at 4:52 PM on March 24, 2011


Response by poster: I'm ahead of you, rr. Looking in 8 counties. Not willing to drive a four-hour round trip to save a couple hundred bucks, minus gas.
posted by Specklet at 5:01 PM on March 24, 2011


No experience with healthfitnessdepot, but can give you some Concept 2 advice. I've got a Model C with 2 million meters on it and it looks like new. The Crossfit gym I go to has a couple of Concept 2s that probably each get 2 million meters a year for the last three or four years and, while showing some wear, are still going strong. There isn't much difference between a new one and a used one -- they are just that bombproof. While I wouldn't hesitate to buy a used Concept 2, I would prefer to buy one from an individual rather than one that had seen service in a gym or a rowing club. Besides the craigslist option mentioned up-thread, one other option is to buy a slightly used one after an indoor regatta or (sometimes) a big crossfit competition that has a rowing event. You'll save on shipping, get a slight discount, and get a Concept 2 that has been used for one or two days. One of the colleges in my metro area hosts an erg sprint event every winter and takes pre-orders for the Concept 2s that will be sold after the event.
posted by kovacs at 7:11 PM on March 24, 2011


If you post a want ad, I bet you'll be inundated with offers.
posted by Slinga at 8:37 PM on March 24, 2011


On Craigslist, since I didn't make that clear.
posted by Slinga at 8:37 PM on March 24, 2011


Best answer: Run far, far away. I've been looking for an elliptical and this place had a great price. While Green Dot is legit, they do have this right on their website:

Beware of any offers that do not accept credit card payments and asks for you to purchase a MoneyPak and provide the MoneyPak Number in an email or over the phone.
• When using MoneyPak with PayPal for eBay or other online merchants, transfer the money to your PayPal account first before paying the merchant. DO NOT email the MoneyPak Number directly to the merchant.


Which is exactly what they ask you to do.
posted by tmwescott at 7:46 AM on March 25, 2011


Response by poster: Thanks for the answers, folks.

A bit frustrated though: I didn't ask if I should buy used, or how craigslist works. I know these things. And although the suggestion to look for rowing events is a great one, I know to do that too.

I'll avoid healthfitnessdepot and continue my hunt for a used one.
posted by Specklet at 9:09 AM on March 25, 2011


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