Consumers have more options for shopping than at any time in the past. In fact, you do quite a bit of your shopping online. While that’s great, there are times when visiting a retail location is a better choice. Take the task of purchasing sports equipment or equipment for a fitness centre or a home gym. Here are a few of the reasons why visiting a store rather than shopping online might be your best bet.
The Browse Factor
One of the perks of walking through any retail establishment is that you may notice something else that is not on your list but could put to good use. That’s certainly true in any of the sport equipment stores in your area.
The plan may be to pick up a nice pair of Merrell running shoes, but you also spy a selection of jump ropes. Knowing what a great cardiovascular workout jumping rope happens to be, you decide to pick up one of those as well. The store will also likely have some socks that are ideal for wearing while you run, and you may even find a couple of small weights to hold as you make your way around the block. While you do get the running shoes, you also end up with several other things that will make your morning run and the warmup before the run more productive.
The Ability to Test the Equipment Before You Buy Anything
No one will dispute the convenience of shopping online, but that convenience does come at a price. You are not able to try out the equipment before you buy it. While there’s usually the option to return the equipment if you don’t like it, that takes more time and effort. You may also have to wait for a few weeks before your money is refunded.
That’s not the way things go if you visit a local sporting equipment store. It’s possible to test that leg press machine and see if you like the way it works. The staff will also be on hand to point out the different features, demonstrate some of the ways the machine can be utilized, and ultimately provide you with some more ideas on how to get more from your workout. Those same staff members can provide answers to questions about how to set up the machine, what you will need to do to maintain it, and other things you need to know. If one machine is not quite what you had in mind, they can suggest a different one for you to try.
Returns are Easier
Perhaps you underestimated the space needed for the machine. You want to take it back and either get a refund or exchange it for something that will fit in the space. Most sporting goods stores will gladly process the return and issue a store credit you can use for other purchases. If you do plan on exchanging it for a similar machine that’s a little smaller, it will only take a few minutes to complete the process.
If you want to return a machine your ordered online, expect to wait while the vendor prepares what is sometimes known as return authorization. Once it’s received, you can bundle up the equipment and get it on the way. You may or may not end up paying the return shipping yourself. In any event, it will take more time and effort to complete the return.
Getting Help Selecting the Right Equipment
You have specific fitness goals in terms of toning certain muscles or losing weight. What will be the best exercise machine for reaching those goals? You may not know the answer, but the staff at the sporting equipment store will have some ideas.
An associate can ask some questions about what you hope to accomplish, the amount of space you have for exercise equipment, and what sort of price range you had in mind. Your answers will help the associate to identify specific machines that will help tone certain muscle groups, give you a decent workout overall, and fit into whatever space you have with relative ease. There’s even a good chance that the associate can recommend a machine that fits nicely into the budget. After you give it a quick try and learn more about the feature, it will be easy to make a decision.
There are in-store specials that are advertised, then there are specials that you only find out about because you happen to be in the store that day. Unadvertised specials may come about because the owner needs to reduce the inventory. Perhaps the special is on a machine or other equipment that was returned and is now being sold as used or refurbished. Think of how nice it would be to find out that the gymnastic rings you want are being sold at a 20% discount for today only, or that the weight bench you’ve been wanting is available for a discount if you don’t mind the slight scratch found on one of the legs. These types of specials could end up saving quite a bit of money and certainly won’t impact the function of the equipment at all.
You Get to Take the Equipment Home Right Now
Ordering online is nice, but it typically means waiting for a few days before the equipment arrives. Even with expedited shipping, it could be one to two business days before the delivery is made. Compare that to finding something you need in a sporting equipment store and being able to take it home the same day.
Maybe you want to start your new workout plan this coming Monday. Today is Saturday, so ordering online means waiting until Tuesday to receive the shipment, then spending time putting the equipment together. If you are lucky, that new workout plan can begin on Wednesday.
Now compare that to finding what you want in a sporting equipment store. You buy the equipment, load it into your vehicle, and transport it home. If there is anything to put together, that can be done Saturday evening or Sunday. The result is that everything is ready for you to begin that new workout when you originally planned.
Shopping online is great, but it’s not always the best solution. Check out what the local store has to offer. You may find what you want at a great price and be able to start using it today.