BE AWARE OF SCAMS WHEN BUYING GYM EQUIPMENT ONLINE
Whether you are looking at purchasing a treadmill or buying gym equipment online, you have to be cautious. We have experienced an increase in internet scams on social media as well as gym equipment websites FALSELY advertising items that they do not have.
Now, more than ever, it is important to re-evaluate your online-buying and follow the following safety measures to avoid being scammed when buying gym equipment.
What to look out for?
Price: If it seems too good to be true, it most probably is. Review other companies that sell similar products or brands and compare the gym equipment price. A lot of companies advertise popular items at a fraction of the price. One company in particular Alpha Muscle Builders Gym Equipment placed our Express Fitness equipment onto their website at half the price. It seems like a great deal on gym equipment, but in reality, it seems like they are advertising products that they don’t have.
Showroom: These fraudulent companies display the product in a legitimate manner and are well versed in their conversation to try and convince you to buy their fictitious product. We advise that you ask for their physical address and visit their showroom. (or any gym equipment supplier that you are considering to purchase from.) Search on google to view their registered page on google maps to assess whether they are a legitimate gym equipment supplier. (These false sites often ask where you are based prior to confirming their address, as they conveniently mention that their showroom is not close to you.)
Online partners: Many legitimate gym equipment online suppliers are registered with third party payment portals such as Mobicred or Payflex. Payfast is also a popular online payment portal that verifies all company documents before partnering with the online store. These companies do due diligence and will only do business with verified gym equipment online companies. (Beware that logos of these payment portals aren’t placed onto websites, but when you try to checkout with these portals, they are temporarily unavailable, and request you to make an EFT or rather e-mail them directly.)
Reviews: Online reviews can be tricky, as many scammers create fake accounts on social media to falsely add reviews stating that equipment was received. Ask for real pictures of previous installations or look out for images from customers that confirm (with images) products have actually been received. Influencers are also a great way to confirm the company as a legitimate gym equipment seller. As credible influencers will have videos of the actual product on social media and mention the company that supplied the product.
Google: Search on Google to see if they have a verified address on google maps and visit websites such as hellopeter.com if you suspect the gym equipment company to be fraudulent.
The common thread amongst fraudulent reported cases is:
- A well put together catalogue
- Professional correspondence
- Delivery details/arrangements made
- Invoices were provided, but on closer inspection (and to the detriment of disgruntled customers), the company used a fake address and never corresponded with clients after receiving payment.
(One company, Cool Wires used the vat number of Cool Wires electrical to make their invoices seem legitimate.)
Hellopeter user Mari D was one of many to report a scam run by Cool Wires, and wrote the following:
“On 25 December 2020 I ordered and paid for a treadmill. After many emails and telephone calls I have not received any treadmill and I am afraid I have lost R4700. Please do not do any business with this company. I hope I can get my money back. I can’t believe they still advertise different products but they don’t deliver.”
These types of businesses are not only criminal, but are problematic for legitimate online gym equipment suppliers such as Express Fitness.
In closing, please avoid the following companies that have been brought to our attention:
- Cool Wires (advertise the Horizon brand T101 treadmill on social media sites. Matrix Fitness is the sole supplier of the Horizon brand in South Africa and does not supply this company.)
- Alpha Muscle Builders gym equipment (falsely copied all Express Fitness images from our website and copied all content, we do not supply them with any of our branded products and have reported them.)
Please be careful when shopping for gym equipment online and only shop from reputable gym equipment suppliers in South Africa.
As a legitimate fitness-solutions provider, Express Fitness strives to offer the best customer service and always have your best needs in mind.