Gym junkies face jacked-up prices for fitness gear – if they can find it

A surge in demand for home fitness equipment after the closure of gyms due to the coronavirus pandemic is leading to widespread shortages and, in some cases, jacked-up prices.

Online retailers have been inundated with orders in the past two weeks from gym junkies wanting to maintain their fitness routine at home, as the threat of an extended shutdown looms.

David Tider has some gym gear at home but has been trying, unsuccessfully so far, to find a bench press.Credit:Joe Armao

Those who missed the buying rush are now facing long waits for sold-out stock to be replenished, with prices also on the rise as suppliers blame a lower Australian dollar and higher transport costs.

Gym and Fitness is one retailer putting up its prices, with customers set to pay hundreds of dollars more than they did before the crisis.

Comparisons of its website show that the JS Fitness Home Gym costs $800 more than in January (now $1399); the ForceUSA My Rack Base Unit has jumped $200 ($699); and the Assault Fitness Airbike has risen by $500 since early March ($1595).

"We have had some people ask, we've been open and transparent," said managing director Dave Barnes.

David Tider is making do with his own equipment.Credit:Joe Armao

"I've got the weight to do a bench press, but I don't have the equipment to put the bar over my head. And I don't want to injure myself doing something silly."

A NSW Fair Trading spokesperson said retailers could set their own prices according to supply and demand, however there were rules under Australian consumer law.

"A breach may happen if consumers are misled about the reason for a higher price," the spokesperson said.

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