‘Let the researcher beware’ of online fitness equipment

“Let the buyer beware”: A widely quoted principle that one buys at one’s own risk.
“Let the researcher beware”: That’s my take on people who rely on the Internet to shop around for product reviews.
Occasionally, you will find legitimate, unbiased product reviews, but most of the time they’re not much better than spam — set up to boost up a particular product. Companies either have their own employers write reviews for their goods and services, or pay others to do so.
When it comes to fitness equipment, in talking with Bryan Dorksen, co-owner of At Home Fitness in Arizona, he said researching online fitness reviews can all too often cause consumers a lot more harm than good.
“Think about it, people aren’t writing pages and pages of reviews out of the goodness of their hearts,” Dorksen said. “They’re doing it because they work for the company, or they’re being paid to do it.”
In the case of fitness equipment, Dorksen said the best lines of major brands are not widely available online.
“In each state, the major brands offer exclusive rights,” he said. “The largest retailers have the top picks from the top brands.”
That means many of the fitness products that wind up being sold on the Internet are ones that major retailers didn’t choose to sign on with. The “supposed” great internet deals could be likened to the grade-school kid who was picked last for the kickball game – in this case because the fitness stores didn’t want to carry them and they spilled over to the Internet.
Bryan is proud that At Home Fitness is a company in Arizona that does get top draft picks for its stores and online catalogs, with top fitness lines available at all their superstores in Arizona:
* Scottsdale (6969 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, zip 85254 (480) 951-6951);
* Ahwatukee (14647 So. 50th Street, Phoenix, 85044; (480) 940-1022;
* Gilbert (2810 S. Market St. Gilbert, 85295); (480) 855-6044); and
* Chandler (4320 W Chandler Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85226; (480) 268-0637).
“We have 36 brands of fitness equipment, the best brands and the best fitness sales people in Arizona,” Dorksen said. “We’re the largest fitness retailer in Arizona.
“Whether you’re looking at home gyms, treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, or lots of other types of equipment, I invite you to come into one of our stores and talk with one of our highly trained sales associates. We do an excellent business and have the luxury of being able to be very honest with customers. We are not always the right destination for everyone and we are a high-end fitness store, but because of the way we do business we have a lot of satisfied customers.”

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com