Fitness equipment hard to find as pandemic surges

Like many of us each year, you may have had a New Year’s resolution to exercise more and get in better shape. However, this year is not like all other years. This year, most people are not willing to go to the gym. And for good reason too. With gyms operating at minimal or zero capacity and the coronavirus discouraging people from going anyway, home workout equipment is still seeing high demand and a struggling supply.

Just take a look at some data that we pulled from Google Trends.

Toward the beginning of the pandemic, interest in dumbbells skyrocketed. It has since tapered off, but still remains significantly higher than normal. We can also see a jump in interest that started as the holidays approached and that is continuing into the New Year.

Interest in exercise bikes has also increased as a result of the pandemic. Exercise bikes are seasonal, meaning that we expect to see a spike in interest every year around January. To the left of the chart, we see the line coming down from the 2019 spike. In the middle of the chart, we can see the 2020 spike. Starting in about March, however, interest spikes again and to new and abnormal heights. A very high level of interest in exercise bikes continues into 2021.

The equipment I want is out of stock. What can I do?

Getting your hands on fitness equipment from popular brands at retail price is a difficult task. Hot items like Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells and Concept2 Rowers are almost always out of stock. When they do come back in stock, it is for only a brief moment. Check out our tips on how to get past this problem:

Get notified when the product you want is back in stock

For many products, the only realistic way to snag one at retail price is to catch a restock as soon as it happens. You may only have a minute or two to complete checkout before the product goes out of stock again.

Some online retailers have a notification functionality built in to their websites. When a product is out of stock, you may see a section that prompts you for your email address so that you can receive a notification when the item is back in stock. Unfortunately, this functionality does not exist for most retailers.

Another option is to use Restockify online product trackers to get notified as soon as an item comes back in stock. Our trackers are accurate up-to-the-minute and aggregate data from multiple retailers. We are currently working on adding fitness retailers and products, so stay tuned.

Consider alternate brands and similar products

While many name-brand products may be out of stock, there are plenty of similar products that you can find on the market. Take for example adjustable dumbbells. The Bowflex 552s, Core Home Fitness Adjustables, and POWERBLOCK Elites are all out of stock. However, the following adjustable dumbbells are all available at the time of writing this post:

  • RUNWE Adjustable Dumbbells – These adjustable dumbbells go up to 50 lbs per dumbbell and even come with a barbell attachment for additional workout options.
  • Unipack Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbbells – This set of cast iron dumbbells maxes out at 52.5 lbs per dumbbell.
  • Click2go Adjustable Dumbbells – Another set of dumbbells with a barbell attachment. This set maxes out at 55 lbs per dumbbell and it has great reviews thus far.

Buy used instead of new

Many times, used is just as good as new. It is not uncommon for brand new products with damaged packaging or an opened box to be resold as used. You can easily find these options on Amazon or eBay, even when the product is out of stock in the new condition.

On Amazon, navigate to any product listing page and look for the link that states: “New & Used ([count]) from [price] + [shipping].” Click that link and you will see the offer listing page for that product. Scroll through or filter by condition to look for reasonable offers. Just make sure to pay attention to the condition details before purchasing. You generally want to purchase items that are marked as “Very Good” or “Like New.” Here is the offer listing page for the Bowflex 552 Adjustable Dumbbells. Take a look there if you are interested in purchasing a used set.

On eBay, all you have to do is search for the product and then scroll through the listings or filter by condition/price.

If possible, adjust your budget

If you really need the item in new condition, you may just have to bite the bullet and shell out some extra dough. There are always individuals out there looking to make a quick buck by reselling hot items above retail price. Sometimes these resellers are your only option. You can find them very easily on Amazon, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace.