Why Can’t I Find Any Home Gym Equipment For Sale?

As of this writing it’s been about three months since COVID-19 hit and sent the entire world into home quarantine. Everything shut down from restaurants to retail stores to car dealerships. Of course, gyms across the country were forced to close as well, and that left many people wondering how they were going to stay in shape.

We wrote an article when this first started about staying in shape during Corona, with some suggestions for what you could do to exercise if you did or didn’t have an elliptical, treadmill, bike or other cardio machine at home.

For those of us that are fortunate enough to have equipment at home, the transition hasn’t been so bad. Of course, most of us don’t have nearly as much equipment as a gym or health club, but we’re able to make do with what we have. Maybe an elliptical trainer, a flat bench and a few dumbbells. Sure it’s not ideal, but it works. Add in some Youtube videos or other online fitness routines and we stay in shape during this time until we can get back to the gym (hopefully sooner than later)

For others who didn’t have any gym equipment at home, it wasn’t an easy transition. Many people were used to going to the gym 3, 4, 5 days a week, and save for the occasional fire alarm or power outage, could bank on the fact that they’d be able to go there any day they’d like to work out, use the spa, lunch in the cafe, swim or whatever else they enjoyed doing at the gym.

Since we all had no idea when the gyms were going to reopen, and given the fact that they would likely be some of the last places to do so, there was a mad rush starting in mid-end of March to buy gym equipment. And since the stores were closed, all of that took place online.

It was kind of like Black Friday or Cyber Monday all over again, except there were no real deals to be had besides the regular sales that companies tend to have. Keep in mind that January is a huge month for exercise equipment and as the year goes on that demand decreases until about November when Black Friday and Cyber Monday come along.

By the end of March, everything typically slows down. Most people who wanted an elliptical or other cardio machine bought it in November, December or January. There is some leftover demand in February but by March it all usually eases up. So in March inventory is not a real issue for NordicTrack, Sole, Bowflex and the other elliptical companies. Coronavirus changed all that.

UPDATE: We took a look at elliptical inventory a year later. See what’s available now!

All of a sudden everyone was scrambling to buy ellipticals, treadmills, bikes, rowing machines, weight benches, dumbbells, yoga mats…you name it. Those who were first to the scene were able to get what they wanted relatively quickly. But after a couple of days, weeks in some cases, inventory started to drop. Most of the entry level ellipticals and other cardio machines were gone, as those were obviously the most affordable.

Brands like NordicTrack, ProForm and Bowflex had more inventory than most, as they are the largest sellers and typically have a lot in stock. But over time even the big players ran out of stock. They were forced to bring out other models, some not typically available, some usually reserved for in store sales only. Other smaller players completely ran out of stock. Companies like Life Fitness, sellers of commercial grade ellipticals, sold out of all but the top of the line models. But at $4000 +, those were tough sells even during a pandemic.

I myself tried to buy dumbbells to supplement the ones that I had. Dick’s sold out quickly. Walmart too. I ended up having to pay a premium just to get a set of 60s. The demand was just so high that companies that did have inventory left jacked up their prices considerably. Facebook Marketplace and eBay were flooded with ads for people selling their dumbbells for a 100% markup or more.

So where are we now? What’s the situation in the middle of June 2020?

You can definitely find ellipticals and other gym machines and equipment for sale, but you’ll likely be waiting some time to receive it. Although the world is slowly opening up in phases, there are still a lot of manufacturing and distribution issues that need to be sorted out…and that could take some time. Some equipment is shipping in June…a lot of things are shipping in July and August. So if you were looking to get something right away, you may be out of luck.

If your budget is a bit more open, you may be able to find a higher end elliptical available for immediate sale, as those are less popular due to the fact that a) they are more expensive and b) many people lost jobs and can’t afford to buy those higher end machines now more than ever.

For the entry level machines, you just have to keep checking. There are some ellipticals at NordicTrack that ship mid July. The popular Sole E25 , ships at the end of July. ProForm has a few models in stock that ship in mid July as well.

So it looks like the earliest you can expect to receive a high demand elliptical trainer is the middle to end of July 2020. As far as when things will return to normal, it’s impossible to say at this point. It’s also going to be difficult to determine what the demand for home gym equipment will be going forward. Typically as the weather gets better and more people are outside, demand for in home gym equipment goes down. However, gyms remain closed at the moment and many people are unsure about whether or not they will go back to the gym once it does open back up.

You also have the potential for another flare up (which is already happening in some states that have reopened) which will no doubt have an effect on the home gym equipment market.

What’s the Bottom Line?

If you’re looking to stock your home gym, you’ll just have to be patient for now. Inventory seems to be fluctuating so try to check manufacturer and retail websites as often as you can. If you’re able to set alerts that’s a good idea, so you’ll be one of the first to know if an elliptical or other machine is back in stock.

If you can’t wait, it seems at the moment that you’ll have to spend a bit more, as there are some mid-level and high-end ellipticals available for sale that will ship within a few weeks. And keep in mind that if another outbreak does occur, demand will only increase…so the summertime might be an ideal time to buy a new elliptical.

We’ll be tracking this issue so stop by again for updates on how the Coronavirus is affecting sales of ellipticals and other gym equipment. As I’m sure everyone else is, I’m really looking forward to the day where this whole thing is just a memory.