A gym membership is one of those extra expenses I used to think was a luxury. Why not just go for a free run? Or better yet, stay home and eat potato chips. In the past few years I’ve started to exercise a lot more and realized that for a lot of people It’s more of a necessity. When you exercise you don’t just feel good you’re also investing in your future health.
Two years ago I was fortunate enough to find an amazing deal on a gym membership. Since that time I have been dreading the day it expires and I have to go out and find a new deal. Well that time has come folks. Ive been trying out some ways of saving on my new membership and I’d like to share them here.
1. Shop Around
I think the biggest mistake you can make is to just renew at the gym you already go to because that’s your gym. There are so many gyms around and you should check out the competition to see if you might like going there. If the gym you have been going to is going to charge you $20 more a month than a new gym it makes a lot more sense to switch. Most important of all, you should make it known that you’re shopping around. That could very well be a bargaining chip for you to get them to waive fees or lower the price.
2. Take Advantage Of Free Passes
When my gym membership expires at the end of the month I plan on taking advantage of the various “free week” passes the other gyms in my area offer. It’s kind of fun to change up the routine and go to another gym. I could very well turn several weeks of free passes into a free month. At the end of those trials I can go to my old gym and say I won’t rejoin unless the price stays low or I can go to one of the trial gyms and sign up with them.
3. Ask Your Company
Many companies offer discounts on all kinds of things including gym memberships. The company I worked for previously offered discounts on everything from our cell phone bill to car insurance. Ive used this method for lots of things outside gym memberships. Its a fantastic way to get an exclusive rate.
4. Look Out For Coupons
As a smart shopper I’m always looking out for extra deals and promotions. Groupon often has coupons for gyms in the area. You can also find promo codes for some of the bigger chains by doing a simple Google search. Since we are close to the New Year, when everyone becomes a gym rat for some reason, gyms will be running specials to get your business. It’s a good idea to wait until the end of the month to sign up. Gyms will have sales goals for new members so at the end of the month they’ll be in a pinch to get customers.
This is my final and most important nugget of advice. Remember that the price is always negotiable. There is nothing written in a contract somewhere that says they have to charge a specific price. I want you to pretend your in the swap meet haggling for a piece of antique furniture. My strategy would be to tell them you’ve been offered a lower rate at another gym and see if they’ll match it or waive initiation fees. You have to be willing to walk away if they don’t give you a good price. The worst thing you can do when bargaining is have them think this is the only gym you’ll consider. It’s like buying a car. If they know you need the membership they’ve got you by the balls.