Shopping for a treadmill? Be a smart shopper and don’t be deceived

As a consumer, it is very important to make smart buying decisions.  When buying fitness equipment like treadmills, bikes, or ellipticals.  If you choose smart and buy a good quality machine for your conditions of use, it will be a better investment long-term as the chances of needing repair goes down.  Many people are swayed by reviews, but just keep in mind, there are a lot of “fake” affiliate marketing sites that act as third-party reviewers but are actually websites being paid by companies to help them write these reviews.  The most important thing is to try before you buy, the “proof is in the pudding.”  Look for treadmills with a sturdy, durable frame and a cushioned deck.  Also, trust your gut.  Read this article below written by Jason Purcell for more information on affiliate marketing sites, a tool used by many fitness manufacturers, to get the most value out of your purchase.

Over the last couple of years the internet has changed a lot of things in the health and fitness industries.  It is important to understand what consumers find when doing “research” using merely search engines and so called “review” sites.  For example, just search for the brand Sole Fitness and see over 75 affiliate sites listing this product as the best thing since sliced bread.  But don’t let me get ahead of myself and let’s do some more research into what this means.

Do a Google Search for Treadmill Reviews or Elliptical Reviews.  Most of the first 3 pages are filled with marketing sites that look like review and rating sites and fitness blogs promoting certain key manufacturers that of course advertise with them.  Here are a few off the 1st page.

These are examples of Affiliate marketing sites.  These are not experts on fitness equipment.  They are simply websites that make money telling the customer great things about products they get PAID a commission on (usually 8-10%  plus click and other fees).   This is a deceptive practice that many customers don’t understand.  The reason Sole and others get so many great reviews is because the sites reviewing them get paid big dollars (some of the owners of these websites clear well over ½ million dollars per year.)   Companies such as Sole also employs bloggers who will infiltrate chat rooms on sites like Runners World…pose as consumers and tell everyone how great their Sole Treadmill is.

On most of these websites there are links somewhere (usually buried at the bottom) that disclose they get paid to promote certain brands.

Look for the words (Disclosure or Earnings disclosure)  a sample is below: currently has affiliate relationships, where we receive commensurate payments from a number of manufacturers, either directly or through third parties like Amazon. Some of the brands include NordicTrack, ProForm, Reebok, Epic Fitness, Smooth Fitness, Sole Fitness, BowFlex, LifeSpan, LifeCore, Horizon Fitness, Live Strong, Precor Fitness, Fuel Fitness, Schwinn, Stamina, Eclipse, Spirit Fitness, Merit Fitness, Yowza, Healthrider, Weslo and Image.

With the above brands and with other brands where we have no affiliate relationship, we attempt to be objective in our ratings. Our goal is to match the appropriate exercise equipment to a user’s fitness goals. When appropriate, we will suggest alternative products that are a better value. When models or brands are on sale and/or discounted we try to bring that our customer’s attention.

This arrangement makes it possible for us to offer some of the most detailed information about treadmills found on the Internet. It also offsets the costs of maintaining this website. If you have any questions you can reach us – info <at>

I believe that the more you understand the “internet game” the better prepared you will be to handle consumers who are being deceived.  There are lots of good products available to consumers.  However, the deceptive practices of many of these sites should be exposed so you, as a consumer can make more informed decisions.  Specialty retailers carry certain brands for a reason.

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