Negotiating gym membership

  • Scriven

    Posts: 61

    Apr 05, 2012 7:45 PM GMT
    So time has come to finally break down and join a gym. I'm looking at LA Fitness because they have locations all over Atlanta and I'm wondering how to approach negotiating down the initiation fees or dues. I was quoted a sliding scale about the higher the initiation fee the lower the monthly bill, but because I'm only looking at being a member for a year it doesn't make sense to pay for the higher fee/lower dues route. I know these things are negotiable, I just don't know how much to push for or what to ask for.

    Any advice?
  • rf_dal

    Posts: 380

    Apr 05, 2012 9:53 PM GMT
    I just joined LA fitness (here in LA) and I just looked on the Internet for a friends and family code, and signed up on the site myself. It was much cheaper than anything I could find from going in there. AFAIK. $30/month for all clubs in the area, courts, bring a friend, etc. Not bad icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 05, 2012 11:38 PM GMT
    When I signed up with LAF, I told them I wanted to pay $25/month with no initiation fee. Otherwise, I'd continue to go to Gold's. Done deal.

    I went into Fitness Works and did the same thing, done. But I had to give up my gym membership card (from Gold's) to them. I happened to have an old one sitting around, so that's what I gave them, even though it was cancelled a year prior.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Apr 05, 2012 11:48 PM GMT
    Huh. I didn't realize this is one of those things you negotiate on (I still go to my university gym). Good to know. icon_smile.gif
  • studflyboy87

    Posts: 194

    Apr 15, 2012 1:33 AM GMT
    Try this. Find 1 or 2 comparable chain gyms around you (24hr fitness, golds gym) and 1 or 2 local gyms that have a few less amenities and cost a little less. Check them out and get their pricing. Then come in to LA Fitness and tell them that you have been looking around at other local gyms (tell them which ones) and tell them you are interested in checking out LA fitness.

    When they take you on the tour and ask you what you are interested in, tell them you're only coming here to lift weights. The membership counselor will try and sell the extra pricing they want to charge you with amenities like the swimming pool, newly remodeled locker room, sauna, spa, basketball court, racquetball courts, cardio rooms, and various other things that those other local gyms might not have. If you only show interested in the weight room, they will realize they can't charge you top dollar, otherwise you will choose one of those smaller and cheaper local gyms that may not have all those amenities.

    Once the tour is over, they will give you the prices (high initiation and low monthly fee, medium initiation and medium monthly fee, or no initiation and high monthly fee). Based on what you know about similar gyms in the area, come up with a low ball price (usually their lowest monthly fee and no initiation) and see if they will give it to you. Make sure you tell them that you are ready to sign up right now, this very second, if they agree to your price.

    Membership counselors are paid on commission, and it's not necessarily proportional to the price you pay. In other words, they typically will get a similar commission whether they sell you a gym membership for $30/month or $40/month, but obviously they will get no commission if you choose another gym. So they are more motivated to sell you a membership, and not as motivated to sell you the most expensive membership.

    If you haven't talked to the sales manager, you probably aren't getting the lowest price you can get. They will sometimes tell you that a certain price is the least their computer allows them to offer you, but there are always other rates. They might be able to give you a student rate. If you work for a corporation, they may be able to give you the corporate rate (even if your company is not on their list of employers who get a discount). I've even had a friend get the "current member who is about to cancel his membership unless we offer him this amazing deal" rate. Just keep asking and they can find something for you. Don't be afraid to negotiate. It's very normal at the gym for two people to pay 2 completely different prices for the same service. It's all about how you negotiate.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 15, 2012 3:45 AM GMT
    Ask them what the join fee would be for the lowest monthly payment.
    Multiply the lowest monthly payment by 12.
    Offer to pay that amount in full for the year with no join fee.

    Voila. Cheap membership. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Buddha

    Posts: 1765

    Apr 15, 2012 3:49 AM GMT
    lol. My boyfriend had some luck when joining my gym. The manager who we first talked to said there was an intiation fee, then there was membership fee, and an administration fee, and it would cost about 55 dollars a month. But when we went there to register there was this other guy who was like "Man you're getting so ripped off." and he didn't charge initiation, membership or adminstration fee and signed my boyfriend up for student membership even though he was just unemployed. So yeah I don't think those things are entirely set in stone.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 15, 2012 3:53 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidAsk them what the join fee would be for the lowest monthly payment.
    Multiply the lowest monthly payment by 12.
    Offer to pay that amount in full for the year with no join fee.

    Voila. Cheap membership. icon_biggrin.gif


    This. Do not pay an initiation fee, ever.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 15, 2012 4:00 AM GMT
    I went to LA fitness and asked if I could have the same deal $25 a month, premier member and no initiation fees like i did before. They said no but then called me right away as I was approaching the front door. I pay $5 more than what i did but oh well, not a biggie.
  • prime02

    Posts: 236

    Apr 15, 2012 4:03 AM GMT
    I work in a gym in the membership department.. for lower end gyms, you can ALWAYS negotiate. High end gyms dont negotiate as much because they're more corporate.

    If the person is a bad sales person.. just stay silent when he presents, usually makes them nervous and they offer more. Dont write your number or email, cause they will contact you all the time haha.

    They can always do $0 initiation and a free month. that's pretty easy to do