How to Buy and Sell Fitness Equipment Amid COVID-19

Kyle Bennett’s 10-year-old Giant Faith mountain bike sat in his garage unused for months. The Santa Cruz industrial designer had paid him $ 450 a year before and had completely beaten him. So he put it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

In one hour, his message received 60 responses.

Perhaps even more surprising? Its asking price was $ 600.

“The bike was gone in two hours,” he says. “A guy drove 100 miles and handed me money, no haggling. But if I had been patient, I could easily have gotten $ 1,000 for it. People were bidding. During the pandemic, people are displaying bikes at outrageous prices – and getting them. “

Today, with gyms mostly closed due to the pandemic, people are desperate to stay in shape. But they can’t get new bikes and fitness equipment. The bicycle shops are full. Buying new dumbbells and weight benches is next to impossible.

The solution: go online and buy and sell second-hand items.

There are many websites, from bike specific sites like,, and to general sites like Facebook Marketplace,,, and

Cleaning your garage has never been so lucrative.

You know that old beach cruiser with flat tires hanging from the rafters that you couldn’t empty for 50 bucks? Now water it, pump the tires, shine with Pledge and get $ 250 for it!

If you have old dumbbells and weight plates lying around, you might be sitting on a gold mine. The list price of $ 1 a pound jumped to $ 3 a pound or more when gyms closed, according to Anthony Duke, Murrieta’s physical education teacher and soccer coach, who has become an expert in weight training equipment during the course. of the past three months while buying and selling on

“Done right, that old $ 10, 10-pound dumbbell will net you $ 35 now,” he says. “Old weights that I bought online for $ 50, I sold them for $ 500. Two 25-pound bumper plates – which have the rubberized coating you can drop on the ground – got me $ 900. The trick is to make it look as good as possible.

Duke picks up the weights thrown wherever he can – other online sellers, the city dump, the trash cans, the wet corner of garages at estate sales. He paid 20 cents a pound for the weights dumped by the Yorba Linda firefighters. Then the refurbishment begins. He soaks them in vinegar, scrubs them with a steel brush and SOS pad to remove rust, paints them black, and uses greasy felt to paint the raised letters and numbers white. He’ll stuff $ 150 weight benches and sell them for $ 500.

The same strategy works for bikes. Duke’s next door neighbor Stephen Nelson, who wasn’t a cyclist in February, has turned into an expert rider and mechanic during the pandemic – buying, rehabilitating and selling a dozen mountain bikes and pleasure boats on and

“Second-hand bikes are the new ‘new bikes’,” explains the fitness trainer. “I’m going to buy beach cruisers for $ 50, clean them, touch up the paint, put on matching grips, shine the rims and sell them for $ 350 to $ 400. A legacy product like a GT Performer BMX bike with magnetic wheels from the 1980s can cost $ 1,500 or more.

ATVs can be particularly lucrative. Nelson bought a full-suspension Lapierre for $ 900, tuned it up, replaced a broken brake lever, and sold it for $ 1,750. A “crappy” full-suspension Trek from the early ’90s sold for $ 800. His biggest score was a “crushed” Pivot 429 that cost $ 7,700 new. He paid $ 1,200, cleaned it with a high pressure hose, spent $ 350 on new handlebars, grips, rear wheel and seat, touched up the black frame and derailleur with paint for model, and sold it for $ 4,000 four days later.

Common sense dictates the best deals on the market, say Duke and Nelson. If you’re looking to buy or sell, here are some expert tips:

If you sell

Spit and polish: Clean equipment sells for higher prices.

Think about Instagram: Well-staged photos with a clean background extract more. “Shots in a dark corner of your garage make it clear that you just want to throw it away,” says Nelson.

Meet the buyer in a public place. “I like meeting them at a Walgreens so they can access an ATM,” says Duke. It also protects your privacy.

Accept Venmo, Zelle and cash. (But maybe don’t walk away with too much money, if you know what we mean). Beware of checks and credit cards.

If you buy

Try before you buy: If possible, see the product in person before you bid. Avoid committing to a price without seeing the item so you can honestly negotiate if you spot any flaws.

Evaluate the seller’s motivation: Buyers can get a good deal by scrutinizing – and sifting through – quality equipment that has been poorly staged.

Consider how you will pay: Some sellers will accept Venmo or Zelle. But if they insist on having cash, go to a safe, public place.

Chat: “To set myself apart from other buyers, I congratulate the seller,” says Nelson. “I will write:” I have been looking for one since such long. Wow, I love that color and that hydraulic seat post you put on it. ‘ That way, they think you’ll provide them with a good home and tend to be lenient with the price.

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