Secondhand treadmills are much less expensive than new ones, but unless you follow some basic tips, you could get stuck with a piece of junk. Put just as much thought into a secondhand purchase as you would a new one to ensure that you get the best possible treadmill for your money.
The number of secondhand treadmills available in your area will be much smaller than the number of new ones available, so you might not get all of the features that you would like on your ideal treadmill. Therefore, before you shop, make a list of the features that you consider to be necessary and a separate list of the perks that you want, but don't need. For example, you might need a treadmill with a working incline and accurate mileage count, and you would also like a heart rate sensor and a folding design.
You can buy secondhand treadmills from stores that specialize in used equipment and from individuals looking to sell an old treadmill. Look in all possible sources to find the best selection possible. Search stores that have used fitness equipment, more general secondhand stores, online classifieds and print classifieds. Search quickly and compile a list of your top choices to look at in person.
Used treadmills can be in great working condition, but unless you test it out thoroughly, you could get stuck with a lemon. Try all of the features of the treadmill, including the incline and the full range of speeds. The motor should not be significantly louder on the highest speed than it is on the lowest. Also watch the belt to ensure that it does not slide, and see if the edges are frayed at any point. When you find a treadmill that looks good, try to negotiate on the price to get the best possible deal.