Gym haggling techniques?


  • Jul 24, 2009 4:29 PM GMT
    So I'm sucking it up. It was pay day today and I'm going to join my second gym. I'm already a member of my university's gym but it's over an hour drive so I only really utilize it when I'm on campus. So I went into an LA Fitness and they said they can offer me this:

    a) 50 down and 35 a month will access one specific club.
    b) 100 down and 35 a month with access all clubs in Florida.

    I kind of want to do option B cause I've been to various LA Fitness and have seen they all have different amenities to offer. So... I know the best thing to do is try to talk them down. What's a good technique? What worked for you?

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    Jul 24, 2009 5:13 PM GMT
    A few years back I haggled with a local 24 Hour Fitness. They had two fees, a "new user fee" or something like that and a $100 " technology - we need to update our computer database with you" fee. I was able to get them to drop the latter fee. Frankly, I just looked the salesman in the eye and told him that I didn't feel it would take $100 for an employee to key my name in - especially when I was already paying a seemingly redundant "new user fee." Ever buy a car? They're a lot like car salesmen. Be confident, give a firm handshake, and don't appear totally enamored with the place (even if you are). If you appear like you're willing to walk away, they just might accommodate your request to get another membership. The worst that could happen is that they are firm with the fees. At that point you can decide whether or not you consider the cost a value for what you're getting.

  • Jul 24, 2009 5:50 PM GMT
    Yeah, I'm going to leave my wallet in the car. I feel like this may be a better practice.
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    Jul 25, 2009 1:36 PM GMT

    Gym's every where are being battered by the recession and seem very vulnerable to customers willing to bargain. (BTW, ditto for cable, phone, ISP's. I just put Comcast over the coals and got $40 off my monthly bill for a year.)

    Things you may want to try with LA Fitness:

    1) Shop other clubs/gyms and, even if you find one you wouldn't really want to join, bargain with that one for the best deal you can get. Then present that deal to LA Fitness without admitting that you prefer LA Fitness. Any time LA Fitness tells you about about some feature etc that they have over their competitor, feign complete indifference.

    2) Present LA Fitness with your own deal and deliver it along something like the following lines: "If you can let me have the all access package for no up front fee and $35 per month, I will sign up right now." You can then bargain up to $50 up front and $35 per month for the all access package. Or, if that's what you really want and they won't budge, you can always fold and pay their price! The key advantage you hold is that the person you will be talking with will want you to sign up then and there so that they get a bonus for the sale, Use that to your advantage and remember: if you start haggling, don't be afraid to make very small steps in odd amounts. $42 upfront and $27 per month puts another $104 in your pocket over a year.

    3) Have no pride. Children are often successful in negotiating because: 1) the are unashamed of their demands and 2) they will often not budge from what they want.

    4) If you can, enjoy the bargaining. What have you got to lose?