Buying a treadmill? You’ll probably want to research before you buy – including reading treadmill consumer reviews.
Consumer reviews are very popular on the Internet at places like opinions and Amazon. And they can give you an overall idea of the strengths and weaknesses of certain products.
But there are some major pitfalls to them that most people don’t realize.
This article will outline some of the major problems with treadmill consumer reviews – and some other features you can look at to find the best treadmill for you.
So what’s the problem with Treadmill Consumer Reviews?
First of all, the numbers can give you the wrong idea.
Most people read reviews of several different units before buying. They may notice that one has more negative feedback than another.
Logically they assume that the one with less negative feedback is better than the one with more negative feedback. That’s where the mistake is made.
Here’s the thing. In the fitness equipment business, certain brands or manufacturers are larger than others. They make and distribute more machines than the smaller brands. This will skew the results that you see with consumer reviews.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to decide between Treadmill A or B.
Treadmill A is made by a large company which sells 10,000 units per month.
No machine is perfect and all treadmills will have some level of customer dissatisfaction. A high quality machine will have lower level of customer dissatisfaction than a poor quality one.
Let’s assume that Treadmill A is a high quality machine with a very low rate of dissatisfaction of 1%. That means that out of 10,000 machines, only 100 customers will be unhappy and will leave negative reviews.
Now take Treadmill B. It’s made by a smaller company and only sells 1,000 units per month.
But Treadmill B is not as high quality and has a much higher customer dissatisfaction rate of 5%. 1000 treadmills x 5% = 50. So 50 people are not going to be happy with their purchase. So you’ll see 50 negative reviews.
Machine A – 100 Negative Consumer Reviews
Machine B – 50 Negative Consumer Reviews
So you, as a discerning buyer, logically assume that Treadmill B is better since it has less negative feedback.
However in actuality, B has a 500 times higher customer dissatisfaction rate than A. So it’s actually the worse machine.
That’s an example of how the numbers of negative versus positive reviews can be skewed – and how many buyers can easily choose the worse treadmill.
There are a couple of other things to know when reading consumer treadmill reviews:
#1 – Reviews can be written by people working for that company – or even the competition. Trust me – it happens – more often than you think.
#2 – People are much more likely to complain than praise. It’s a shame but it’s human nature.
This again skews the results. So you may have a treadmill that gets 10 negative reviews. But there are 10,000 people who are perfectly happy with their machine and they never leave a review.
So while there’s nothing wrong with reading consumer treadmill reviews as part of the overall picture before you buy, you really can’t judge the quality of a machine solely based on consumer reviews.
So how can you find a high quality treadmill? Here are 3 key factors to look at:
1) Price – The market is so competitive that manufacturers don’t have a lot of margin to play around with their prices.
Because of this high competition, the market is really very efficient. This is actually a good thing because it means prices are coming down to the lowest levels in years. Manufacturers are squeezing their margins in order to compete.
However it also means that in general, you get what you pay for. A $600 treadmill is just not going to have the same quality of construction as a $1600 unit.
If you want a higher quality machine, built to withstand heavier use, be prepared to spend a bit more. It may actually be worth it in the long run, when you consider the cost of repairing the cheaper unit.
2) Warranty Coverage – The warranty coverage is a huge indicator of the quality of construction. Servicing warranties cost money. Manufacturers know this.
So when they give a long warranty, it’s because they don’t think they’ll have to repair those units during that time frame. When they know that a certain treadmill is not built well – they don’t want to pay for servicing them. So they slap a short warranty on them.
3) Details of construction – If you want a great treadmill, examine the details of construction.
For example, Treadmill A may have a 1 ply treadbelt whereas Treadmill B may have a 2 ply treadbelt. It isn’t hard to figure up which one will last longer.
Treadmill C may have a 2.5 HP motor and Treadmill D may have a 1.25 HP motor. Again – not hard to decide which is the better machine. By looking at certain details of construction, you can often see which is the stronger machine.
So those are 3 effective ways to find your best treadmill. Again, consumer reviews are not bad – they can actually be very informative.
Just don’t make your final decision based solely on these reviews. Remember that the numbers can be skewed – and may lead you to the wrong conclusion.
Vienna Miller writes for http://www.TreadmillReview.net a site offering the latest treadmill brand reviews, product ratings and money saving tips.
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