Buying used gym equipment can save you quite a bit of money, and especially if you're outfitting a fitness room at an apartment complex, hotel or other such facility, and need more than one or two pieces of equipment. Gym equipment is built to be tough and rugged so that it can withstand the rigors of everyday use, so most used equipment should still have years of life left on it. When you are ready to buy, note a few details you'll want to consider, so you know you get the best pieces for your needs, and that they last as long as possible.
Chips and worn wires
Check any weights for chips, or other signs that these pieces have been slammed together or allowed to drop from a weight stack. Discoloration in the metal and tiny cracks are often signs that these weights have been dropped or mishandled, and now may be weakened and prone to outright breaking.
For weight machines, check the wires along with any pulleys and cords, and look for worn areas, protective coatings that have started to crack, pulleys and cords that seem to be coming unravelled and other such damage. The machines won't work when a wire or cord snaps, leading to downtime for yourself or tenants at your facility, so be sure to check the condition of these pieces before buying any equipment.
Many name brand pieces of exercise equipment are likely to last longer than generic or off-brands, and they may even still have a warranty in force. Name brand replacement parts may also be easier to find than the parts needed to fix generic brands of equipment. Check on any existing warranties and the availability of replacement parts when considering what brand to buy, and consider if a name brand would be the better investment.
When you buy new pieces of gym equipment, you can usually find the specs for those pieces at the online sales site, or in the packaging for the piece. However, used equipment may already be unpacked and may not have such specific information. In that case, you want to take measurements, so you know that the pieces will fit your home or gym. Be sure to include clearance for the movement of certain pieces, such as leg curl machines or elliptical machines, and that mechanical pieces have clearance for proper venting. This will ensure your gym area is not overly crowded and the pieces can function as needed without risk of damage or injury.