During my University days, I was in shock at the semester’s end when all types of furniture: desks, tables, chairs, dressers were thrown curbside like trash. I was really inspired by just how nice used items were (and often for free).

I applied the same resourceful attitude when I became interested in health and fitness. I took the same approach and started looking for ways to save a few bucks (or get items free). Here are some tips I want to share:

Online buying:
eBay has always been my go to when searching for new and used fitness apparel and books. I found an article a year ago explaining the best days for selling items on Ebay. This really stuck with me and I try to bid when the item is statistically proven to sell for less. I have had the best savings on fitness items by picking midday Monday and Tuesday ending auctions and bidding right before the auction ends.

Thrift shops:
One advantage to thrift shopping is previewing the item before buying. I have great success shopping midday the first open day of the week. Also, do some research about how the company is structured. Our Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store is 100% volunteer run so the prices are lowest.

Custom fitness equipment suppliers, fitness repair and maintenance companies:
This is a resource I became aware of this month. They typically take away old equipment when installing a new item, then sell the old equipment for cheap. I have seen anything from power racks to 5lb dumbbells at these places. Unfortunately, most are pick up only, but provide great savings nonetheless.

Digital and newspaper ads:
One of my favorite places to search is Craigslist. Often heavier fitness items will be listed free for pick up in cooler seasons. Can’t find an item in your area? You can always ask about shipping with PayPal payment. To find out of state deals, simply perform a web search for the item description + the word “craigslist.”

Garage, Community and estate sales:
I have the best luck at larger events vs. individual sales. One tactic I have found that works well is combined pricing. Requesting larger items be held so I can continue looking establishes a commitment to buy. Once I have all my items, I ask for a group price. The worst case scenario: they decline and I pay full price.

Have a tip that is not listed here? Please share!