If you’ve thought about working out at home, you’ve probably shopped for dumbbells at which point you found out they are really costly. Considering their simple design, it’s surprising that they cost so much. So, why are they expensive?
Dumbbells are primarily expensive because of the high cost of materials. Most dumbbells are made of cast iron, which is expensive to source. The complex manufacturing process, high tariffs, and high shipping costs also contribute to the high prices.
This article looks at why dumbbells are so expensive. Read on to find out how you can get dumbbell deals.
How Much Do Dumbbells Cost per Pound?
New dumbbells cost anywhere between $1.50 and $4 per pound depending on the dumbbell’s brand, weight, and style. There are three basic styles of dumbbells and each type comes at a different cost.
- Cast Iron: These are traditional barebones dumbbells. They are generally the cheapest and don’t come with any ergonomic coating. Their paint can also chip out over time. Cast iron dumbbells are mostly hex-shaped.
- Hex Rubber Coated: These are currently the most popular dumbbells. They’re slightly more expensive than cast iron dumbbells, but have a rubber coating, making them easier on floors.
- Urethane Coated: Urethane coated dumbbells are a high-end alternative to rubber-coated ones. They look great and are easier on floors but they can be quite costly.
- Plastic Dumbbells: These are the cheapest dumbbells on the market. They are made of a plastic shell and filled with sand to reach the intended weight. However, these dumbbells are quite unpopular because the weight shifts from one side to the other as you use them, making them uncomfortable.
Why Are Dumbbells So Expensive in 2022?
There are several reasons why dumbbells are so expensive in 2022. Here are the primary ones:
1. High Shipping Costs
One of the biggest contributors to high dumbbell prices is shipping costs. The heavier a package, the more costly it is to ship. Since dumbbells are heavy (for their size), they cost more to transport from the manufacturer to the warehouse, then to the retailer, and so on.
As a result, the further you are from the dumbbell’s origin, the more expensive it’s likely to be.
2. Cost of Materials
Depending on the type, dumbbells are made of several materials. The most basic one is cast iron, which makes up most of the dumbbell. Like most other metals, iron is expensive to source.
As a result, the higher the iron concentration and quality, the higher the dumbbell’s price. This is also the primary reason why plastic dumbbells are so cheap.
Coating materials such as rubber or urethane also contribute to a dumbbell’s price.
3. Complex Manufacturing Process and Quality Check
Dumbbells need to be high-quality products. If a dumbbell, or any other gym equipment, is low quality, it can cause serious accidents. For instance, if a dumbbell breaks while you’re using it, it can fall on your leg or body and injure you.
As a result, manufacturers invest heavily in the manufacturing process to ensure good quality and safety. They use the best materials at their disposal and invest in machines and other processes to ensure their dumbbells leave their factories without defects.
These materials, procedures, and quality checks require money, driving up dumbbell prices.
4. Foreign Taxes and Tariffs
Most dumbbells in the US market come from China. As a result, they are subjected to tariffs and taxes when they’re imported. In certain situations, tariffs can be pretty expensive.
For instance, the US has been in a silent trade war with China for the past couple of years. This has led to larger tariffs on Chinese goods and strict regulations over what can be imported from China.
Tariffs are also instituted for other reasons such as dissuading citizens from buying foreign products. With several companies making gym equipment in the country, the government would prefer that the dollars remain within its borders. However, dumbbells from China are often more affordable and of higher quality.
Dumbbells are also expensive because they are versatile. You can use them for practically any exercise in any space. In fact, you don’t need a gym or designated workout area to use dumbbells, which is not the case for other gym equipment.
Versatility also makes dumbbells popular with fitness instructors, because they can be used in so many workout routines.
6. Supply and Demand
When there’s high demand for a product, the price skyrockets. This is true with the price of dumbbells in 2022.
While people were locked in their homes at the height of the pandemic, few visited the gym to work out. As a result, they may have let themselves a little loose and gained a few pounds.
Now that almost everyone is back to work, they’re realizing that they’re out of shape and beginning to work out. Of course, the easiest workout equipment to start with is dumbbells.
This has led to a huge demand for dumbbells in 2022 and high prices as a result.
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How to Get the Best Dumbbell Deals
Even with the high market prices, you can still get a good deal on dumbbells and save up to $2 a pound. Here are the two main things you should do:
Buy When They’re in Stock
As we’ve seen, high demand increases a product’s price. On the flip side, a high supply lowers the price. Therefore, you should wait until your local gym equipment store is all stocked up. They will likely charge reasonable prices when they have more products than customers.
Buy Used Dumbbells
Used gym equipment tends to sell for low prices because everyone prefers to buy new stuff. As a result, you’re likely to get good dumbbells for half the price in the used market.
Best Place to Buy Used Dumbbells
There are three main places you can buy used dumbbells for good prices:
1. Estate sales.
2. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
3. Used Equipment Warehouses.
Where to Buy Dumbbells Online
If you want to buy new dumbbells online, you can check the big box online retailers like Amazon and Walmart. However, if you want high-quality units, you try specialized fitness sites like Fitness Factory.
Is Buying a Dumbbell for Home Exercise Worth It?
If you want to get in shape, or just stay fit, dumbbells are a great investment. You can use them for a wide variety of exercises without taking up too much of your home’s space. They are also easy to lift, so you can work out without any assistance.