5 Best Ways to get Cheap Dumbbells

Regardless of your motivation for building a home gym – dumbbells should be first on the list. They are the most versatile piece of equipment you can use for a wide range of exercises and for activating all muscle groups in your body.

However, most people don’t want to spend thousands on fitness equipment. Dumbbells last long, offer tons of applications but don’t have to break the budget. You can find a cheap pair of dumbbells by buying smart and expanding your search to used fitness equipment.

Finding cheap dumbbells isn’t always easy, and you can use our tips to simplify the process.

Why Are Dumbbells Expensive?

For many people, dumbbells are much more expensive than they expected. However, the price is in a large extent justified and a result of several reasons.

First, dumbbells are made with iron, which is an expensive material. The weight of the dumbbells is what determines their price so many people opt for lighter sets that are soon not challenging enough.

Solution – rather than investing in standard sets of dumbbells, opt for adjustable ones. Although they can seem more expensive at first, adjustable dumbbells are perfect for novices as they allow you to explore different weights without paying thousands for a full rack. On the other hand, if you are looking for lighter dumbbells up to 10 pounds, you could also go for those made with neoprene as these are usually less expensive per pound.

Shipping is also a huge part of dumbbell price. First of all, they are often made in eastern countries like China, so the shipping costs can be huge due to weight. If you’re buying from foreign sites, the prices may seem lower at first, but the shipping will add up and you might even pay additional taxes.

Solution – minimize the cost by only purchasing dumbbells from local stores. If you’re able, visit the physical store and if you’re buying used dumbbells from an individual, try to set up a pick up instead of asking the seller to ship.

There are some reasons why dumbbells are expensive, which you can’t have impact on. The first is that they are a really durable piece of equipment, that lasts for many years. That’s why the production process and build quality need to follow high standards which additionally affects the price.

In the end, business economics, or demand versus production, plays a big role in the price. And dumbbells are something that’s always in demand as more and more people are beginning to exercise. Those people pay the full price – and resultantly, the price gets even higher.

Solution: The only way to avoid these factors and to get the cheapest dumbbells is by purchasing used  equipment. Many people buy equipment and never really get to use it, so you could receive something in close-to-new condition for a much lower price than at the store. Again, the price will be largely influenced by the state of the dumbbells, but you will always receive a better price than for a new pair.

Where To Buy Used Dumbbells?


Craigslist is what will first comes to mind to many people when they want to buy used workout equipment.

And it is a great idea as many people will list their weights there. Some have bought equipment but never got to use it so it will come in a great condition. Others may have used it for longer and it has some signs of wear and tear, but that also means it will cost much less. Occasionally, there are also listings from equipment dealers or gyms which went out of business, which allows you to affordably get equipment from high-end brands.

Still, if you ever used Craigslist before, you know the platform isn’t really user-friendly. The search queries often reveal bad results, so you have to go through many listings before you find the thing you’re actually looking for. In example of dumbbells, if you just write dumbbells in the search bar, you might stumble upon other equipment where the seller simply mentioned dumbbells in the description as a part of their larger offer.

To find cheap dumbbells quickly, be as specific as you can in your quires. Use the quote symbol to search for the exact phrase. For example, if you’re interested in a certain weight, write “5 pound dumbbells” or maybe look for a specific type like “adjustable dumbbells”.

If you have an opposite issue and there are fewer results than you’ve expected, try to use the * symbol to find more results. For example writing dumbbell* will return results for dumbbell, but also dumbbells, dumbbell racks and dumbbell weights. Putting a common typo like writing “dumbell” could also be surprisingly helpful as many people don’t double check their listings.

Finally, avoid $1 posts from people trying to target those who sort low to high price by setting price above $2. These tricks may seem simple, but you’ll be surprised how much easier it will become to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a feature in the Facebook app where users can trade goods and services.

More and more people replaced Craigslist and similar sites for Facebook Marketplace. The marketplace is easy to search through and it uses your location to find equipment that’s nearest to you. That allows you to save on shipping.

Facebook Marketplace is quite similar to Craigslist, as it offers listings from local individuals. But it’s a much more user-friendly interface, especially if you’re already a regular Facebook user. A great thing about this option is that you directly message the owner so you can find out everything you need to know and set up a pick up in your local area.

Make sure to always look closely to the pictures, and ask for more photos if the ones provided don’t give you a correct view. Some sellers will use pictures from stores which doesn’t correctly represent the used product, so it’s best to avoid those ads.

Facebook allows you to specify your search through categories, prices and your location.

Play It Again Sports

Secondhand sports equipment stores are one of the best ways to get cheap dumbbells.

One of the most popular used equipment store in the US is Play It Again Sports. All together, there are more than 300 Play It Again Sports stores in North America, so there’s a good chance you’ll find one in your area. There is also always an option to buy online, but again, depending on the location of the warehouse, the shipping costs could add up.

A great advantage of used goods stores is that they have a large offer and it will be easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

On the other hand, they act as dealers between the sellers and the buyers, and having a third party can make the prices a bit higher. However, reputation is more important to brands than individuals selling on classifieds, so you’ll know the equipment is in good shape. Additionally, you’ll get the customer service and the chance to return the items if anything goes wrong.

Local Fitness Equipment Warehouse/Wholesaler

Local Fitness Equipment Warehouses are perfect if you are looking to buy more than just dumbbells, or want to invest in more sets. They usually give bulk discounts for larger orders. Another bonus point is that the equipment in these stores is primarily designed for gym owners, so you’ll be able to find some great brands. You can find these stores by searching “used gym equipment for sale near me”, “fitness equipment warehouse near me” or something  else among those lines.

However, the minimal requirements for a discount can be quite high. If you only want to get a set of dumbbells, the alternative would be standard local stores. Local shops are also the best choice if you want to save as much you can on brand-new equipment. By visiting the store you won’t pay shipping costs.

Going Out Of Business Sales

Going-out-of-business sales are something you might need to wait some time to happen in your area. However, these events are often a great opportunity to get branded equipment for a low price. They are organized by gyms who are closing and upgrading their business.

If you don’t want to wait for such an event to be organized in your city, you can also visit online shops built on the same idea.

A good example is usedgymequipment.com, a website where gym owners buy and sell fitness equipment. The website often buys broken and used equipment and fixes it, so they are like new. Although this and similar websites are targeted to gym sales, they do sell to individuals too. Like with going-out-of-business sales, these websites are an awesome choice if you want to get quality equipment from popular brands for a discounted price.

What To Look For When Buying Used Dumbbells?

Dumbbells are one of the best pieces of equipment to buy used. Their construction is not complex so there’s less difference between big brands and cheaper ones. They are in general very durable and not as susceptible to wear and tear as other equipment.

Additionally, dumbbells are the first piece of equipment many people will splurge on when they begin exercising, and end up not using. Therefore, they are easy to find.

However, there is always chance of being scammed. Some people will try to hide damages and signs of wear on their images, and other won’t price them fairly.

With these things in mind, it’s crucial that you don’t go for the first thing you see (unless it’s obviously a good deal). Have patience and check out multiple options to get the best idea of what you’re looking for.

Make sure to research the price for similar used sets. Unlike with new equipment, used equipment prices are not standardized. When you look into it, you might find the price widely ranges for dumbbells of similar quality and condition. By researching and understanding the market, you will also be educated when trying to negotiate the price.

Whether buying from an individual or a retailer, avoid getting something you haven’t seen. Sellers will often make false claims about the condition of the dumbbells, in efforts to sell it more easily and earn as much as possible.

Therefore, take a look at the dumbbells, and make sure that:

There are no sings of excessive wear – a little of rust and occasional scratches are ok, but they should be accounted for in the price.

Make sure all plates are from the same brand and none are missing when getting adjustable dumbbells.

Related Questions

How To Save Money When Buying Dumbbells?

If you want to save the most when buying dumbbells, the best idea would be to buy used equipment. By using Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or searching for an online wholesaler for used gym equipment, you can easily find used dumbbells in good shape and can save a lot compared to retail price.

An alternative if you don’t like buying used equipment is to opt for adjustable dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells can be a bit pricey, but they are great if you are serious about your home gym. You will save a lot in the long run as you won’t have to get a large set of individual dumbbells.

How Much Should You Pay for Used Fitness Equipment?

Most people fairly price their used fitness equipment. But there are also those who will try to take advantage of people and get the most out of their sales. The easiest way to check if the price is justified is to know the brand name and check retail prices on online shops. You should also compare similar used dumbbells in several shops and ads so you can understand the current going rates.

When you know those things, you can contact the seller who offers the dumbbells you want and negotiate the price if needed.

Wrapping Up

Many people want to build their home gym, and dumbbells are one of the most important pieces of equipment they need to get. However, dumbbells can be surprisingly expensive.

The easiest way to find cheap dumbbells is to opt for used ones in a good shape. Prioritize local classifieds and shops when searching for used equipment to save on shipping costs. Search in multiple places, including Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Play It Again Sports, or Local Wholesalers and you’ll soon find exactly what you’re looking for.