Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Treadmill of the Gods. Or not.

So, I spotted on Craigslist last weekend two treadmills that are the treadmills of my dreams: A Lifefitness 9100 and the StarTrac 4000.

For the uninitiated, a few years ago, if you were running in a gym, these were two of the treadmills you'd always see. They're killer workhorse treadmills that go for hours and hours. They sell for $4,000 to $6,000 new.

Craigslist has a million treadmills on it all the time, but they're always crap Sears and what have you treadmills. I always told myself these are the only two models I'd ever buy. They're never on Craigslist. But last weekend, they both were. Go figure.

So yesterday I call about the StarTrac -- my all time favorite -- but the guy's not there, and his listing isn't on Craigslist anymore. I figure it's sold. So I call the other guy, and he says meet me in Gig Harbor, about an hour south from here. I meet him, and jog on the treadmill, and all is well. Only, there's no Autostart button, and the 9100 I've always worked on have an Autostart. What up? For $500 it seems like it's a good deal no matter what, so I agree to take it, and he agrees to deliver it.

Page forward an hour, the guy with the StarTrac calls. I don't answer -- I already have a treadmill. He leaves a message. Two minutes later, he leaves a text message. I write back -- I just bought a treadmill, thanks anyways. Call me he writes. Let's talk.

So I call him. He asks me which treadmill I just bought. I tell him. "Oh no!" he says. I hope you didn't buy the 9100 CLASSIC."


"The Classic has a wax system, you have to change out the bag every month and take out the tray under the track -- man, it's a pain in the ass." Google, find, ouch. Who knew?

So he starts to fast talk me about the StarTrac. He offers to deliver it for free. Then he says don't you want the 3900 instead maybe? I'm out of the 4000s. The 3900's are great, much better."

I hem, I haw. I Google. No, I say. 4000 or nothing.

That's a 220 volt, he says.

No problem, I say. I got a 220 hookup in the garage.

"REally? Great! The 4000 is much better than the 3900. Those 220 volts go forever. Can't kill em."

So, shady as he is, we make the deal. He says he'll call back later with a delivery time.

He calls back an hour later to arrange delivery. We land on a time, and he says "I'm going to have to charge you for the delivery though," he says.

Heck no, I say. You said free delivery. And a year warranty. And an extra track dillio.

Oh right, he says.

I tell him it turns out I was wrong, there's no 220 in the garage. No problem, he says. I'll bring an extension cord so you can plug it into the dryer plug to test it out. If you don't like it, you don't buy it, he says.

Okay, I say, Deal.

Hours go by. And hours more. And finally, two hours late, he arrives at 9 p.m. with the treadmill. And no extension cord. And no extra track dillio. And no written warranty.

They call him Slim Shady.

But the treadmill looks good. He assembles it and I give him three bills in cash, and a check for seven more.

An electrician is coming by tomorrow to put in the 220 so we can test it out. If it doesn't work, I stop the check.

What do you think? Will it work?

Mark's thinking not so much. I think it will. Post your vote now. :)


kateco said...

Man, it makes me nervous just reading about stuff like this ... but then again I seem doomed to a life of paying retail.

Also, I'm jealous -- I want a treadmill!

Michelle said...

Slim Shady says he has another one just like it. Or maybe you want the 3900?

Mark said...

Or, for a thousand bucks less, not counting the cost of rewiring the garage and the drive to Gig Harbor, you could run around the block.

Michelle said...

ha ha

Janice said...

If it works well during the test run, chances are it will continue to work well because you'll stress it much less than the commercial use it was built for. Just hurry with that test run so you have time to stop the check!

Rita said...

Good luck, Michelle.

You are truly, a salesman's dream-come-true!

Mark said...

No word from the electrician today. I'm just saying.