The Complete Guide to Buying a Treadmill on eBay

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The Complete Guide to Buying a Treadmill on eBay

A treadmill is an excellent piece of exercise equipment which enables the user to walk, jog, or run in the same place by running on a moving belt. Having a treadmill at home is both convenient and flexible as it is available for use at any time of the day or night, and allows indoor exercise without gym fees. It is also very easy to buy a treadmill on eBay,, which has an extensive selection of high quality new and used machines.

Designed for low-impact exercise, the treadmill helps users:

  • burn high levels of calories
  • improve endurance
  • increase overall fitness levels
  • gain strength
  • train for runs and marathons

    The extensive benefits gained from using a treadmill for exercise has, not surprisingly, led to extremely high demand. This has caused manufactures to increase their range of models and accessories, giving the buyer a wide range of size, design, motor size, functions and more.

    Buying from eBay provides a great opportunity to research and identify the most relevant and appropriate features, before checking the numerous eBay listings to find the ideal model from a good seller at a fair price.

    Manual and Motorised Treadmills

    The first decision is whether to buy a manual or motorised treadmill. With a manual treadmill, the running belt is wrapped around rollers. It is purely the movement of the feet and weight of the body which turn the rollers and enables the walker to remain in place.

    As a result, this allows the motorised treadmill will undoubtedly provide a superior exercise regime, but the decision will also depend on the user’s specific requirements.

    Treadmill Type




    • Ideal for occasional users
    • Inexpensive to buy and use
    • Light, portable, easy to store
    • Easy to store
    • Low maintenance
    • Limited use
    • Must run to get rollers moving
    • A user slows down, so does the treadmill
    • Reduced exercise benefit
    • Reduced calorie burn


    • Superior exercise regime
    • Encourages steady pace
    • Motor drives speed of the belt so can achieve speed quickly
    • Adjustable speed allows walking, jogging and running
    • Extra features such as readouts and monitors
    • Heavier, less portable
    • More expensive
    • Occasional maintenance and new parts required
Motorised Treadmill Basics

Before choosing a treadmill, consideration must be given to the actual use to which it will be put. Each treadmill model has specific features, and the needs of an occasional walker, for example, will be quite different from the demands a marathon competitor or an individual who intends to use the treadmill to lose weight. Alternatively, it may be that the treadmill will be used by all the members of the family, each of whom may have a different and unique goal.

Once the purpose or purposes of the treadmill have been established, the first step is to understand the major constituents of the treadmill. These are:

  • Motor
  • Belt
  • Deck
  • Cushioning
  • Control console
  • Speed
  • Incline
  • Heart Rate Monitor

Purpose and Construction

General Buying Considerations


The motor drives the treadmill’s running belt

The larger the motor, the greater the horsepower it delivers

The motor is measured by horsepower:

  • peak performance
  • intermediate duty
  • continuous duty

The horsepower measurement to consider when buying is continuous duty rating. This measurement ranges from 1 to 3hp and relates to significant workload and continuous use.

The high peak performance rating can be misleading as it shows maximum power, which can only be delivered for short periods.

Also check manufacturer’s motor guarantee time period


The belt is the moving part that keeps the user stationary while running

When worn out, the belt will need replacing

Belt width varies from 40cm to 56 cm

Can be single or double ply

Consider the width of the belt particularly when buying for long strides, where a wider belt compensates for natural side-to-side movement

Length of belt life is important consideration:

  • Quality of material and manufacturer
  • Single or two-ply (two-ply is generally of higher quality)


The deck is directly under the belt, and is the part of the treadmill that is run on

Friction between deck and belt will cause wear-out of deck which will need replacement

The deck impacts the feel of treadmill and level of cushioning

Constructed from a range of synthetic materials or layers of laminated wood

Deck length ranges from 120cm to 170cm

Size of deck which must be long and wide enough to allow the user’s longest natural walking and running stride.

In addition, the length of deck must be long enough for the user to have no concerns about “floating” forwards or backwards

Consider length of life of the deck:

  • Construction material
  • Thickness of material (a thicker deck will have a longer life)
  • Wax-impregnated or pre-lubricated decks have a longer life
  • A reversible deck can double its life


Shock absorption to reduce impact on body from running, jogging and walking

Consider level of cushioning required:

  • High degree where there are joint weaknesses, injuries or problems.
  • Lower cushioning for a more accurate reflection of outdoor conditions

Control Console

Controls speed and incline

Provides information on the workout

Allows routines to be programmed

Allows programmed routines to be selected

Consider control console’s ease of use and reach, particularly for speed and incline

Consider personal display requirement, both in terms of ease of reading and level of information required

Consider programming options:

  • Number of pre-programmes available
  • Ability to programme new routines


Most treadmills have speeds between 0 and 16 km/h.

It is possible to buy treadmills with top speed in excess of 22km/h

Check maximum and minimum speeds to ensure needs are met whether walking, running or competitive training



There are three types of incline control:

  • Manual incline
  • Power incline
  • Heart rate control

Inclines allow users to exercise not only on a flat surface but also on variable inclines which mimic running up hills

Some top end models also include declines.

Home treadmills generally offer 0 to 15% incline. Commercial models can offer 25%.

Consider level of incline required. Running uphill provides excellent benefits in muscle activity and calorie burning.

Weigh benefits and disadvantages of each type of control mechanism:

  • Manual: less expensive versus inconvenience and possible interruption of workout routines
  • Power: convenience of changing incline at the press of a button versus increased cost
  • Heart rate: convenience of automatic ongoing incline adjustment to reflect selected heart rate versus high cost

Heart Rate Monitor

Safety feature.

Affords opportunity to set programme based on heart rate, allowing treadmill to vary speed and incline to keep heart rate at pre-set level

Consider the preferred method of heart monitoring::

How to Select the Treadmill to Match Users’ Needs

There are different demands on each of the treadmill components depending on the use to which it will be put and the weight of the user or users. Within the treadmill specifications will be a maximum weight tolerance. It is important that the weight tolerance is high enough for the heaviest user.

The variety of options for each component is what makes each model unique, and specific functions have specific requirements.

The main purposes of buying a treadmill are fitness and endurance. Whether the treadmill is to be used for walking, running, or specifically aiming for weight loss, each requires different performance features from each component. Guidelines are provided in the chart below.

Treadmill Performance Feature Considerations

Treadmill performance varies according to the activity to which it is put. The chart below breaks down performance by activity.




Weight Loss


If a motor is required, then, depending on weight and level of activity a continuous duty motor of 1.5 hp to 2.0 hp will be ideal.

If there is a chance that future use will include running, a minimum continuous duty rating of 2.0 hp may be advisable

Runners tend to put considerably more stress on the treadmill than walkers, especially when running uphill.

For running training, a minimum continuous duty rating of 2.0hp will be required.

Higher ratings of 2.5 to 3.0 hp may be preferable for smoother running and extended motor life

Maximum calorie burn requires a motor that can handle:

  • Extensive hill training
  • Faster interval work

Depending on users’ weight and activity level, a minimum of 2.0 hp continuous duty rating will be required


Minimum width of 45cm for comfort and freedom of movement

Increased friction between belt and deck will shorten belt life.

High quality belt spec should be considered

Minimum width of 45cm for comfort and freedom of movement


Composite wood or synthetic deck are both suitable

Minimum length of 130 cm, though taller individuals will need greater length

Runners generally:

  • Cover more mileage
  • Increase the friction between belt and deck

Both will cause a shorter deck life, so preferred options are:

  • Reversible deck
  • Lubricated or pre-treated deck to decrease friction both on belt and deck, and reduce the load on the motor

Runners need as long a deck length as practical and affordable for two reasons:

  • Length of stride
  • “floating” backwards and forwards on the belt

147cm minimum requirement, with greater length of 152 cm and above may be required for taller users

Either composite wood or synthetic material are adequate for weight loss use

For an average stride, the deck needs to be a minimum of 137cm to 140cm long if both walking and running will form part of the exercise routine

Taller users will require a longer deck towards 147”


Personal preference.

In the presence of joint or back problems or injury, as much cushioning as possible is advisable.

A firmer deck will feel more like walking outside

Competitive runners likely to require firmer cushioning for a close match to the surfaces on which competitions take place.

Exercise and fitness runners may prefer greater cushioning for reduced impact on joints.

As much cushioning as possible will help avoid injury or discomfort

Control console

Essential readouts include:

  • Distance travelled
  • Current speed
  • Average speed
  • Current pace
  • Average pace

Essential readouts include:

  • Distance travelled
  • Time elapsed
  • Speed
  • Pace
  • Average speed
  • Average pace
  • Heart rate

For long training periods, it is useful to ensure that the console does not block, for example, the view of a TV while running.

Essential readouts include:

  • Total calories burned
  • Calories burned per hour
  • Speed and pace
  • Time
  • Heart rate


Individuals tend to walk at between 4 and 10 km/h

A maximum of 12 km/h is ideal for walking use

Runners reach speeds between 10 and 16 km/h

Minimum speed requirement of 16 km/h.

For faster or competitive runners, 20 km/h and above should be considered

Between 12 km/h and 16 km/h should allow flexibility both to walk and run


Incline is useful for walking as it increases the effectiveness of the exercise.

An effective range of incline is from 0% to 10%

An incline range of up to 12% is ideal for runners.

In addition, the ability of a treadmill to decline is also useful for competitive runners as leg muscles are used differently for downhill running. A decline of up to 3% will be useful.

Incline is essential component of weight loss when using a treadmill.

A minimum of 10% should be considered

Heart Rate Monitor

Usually not necessary, but a heart rate monitor is always helpful.

A treadmill with hand grip sensors will be adequate.

The chest strap method is ideal for runners and provides the most accurate reading.

Hand grip and finger clip methods are less reliable when running.

Consider buying a treadmill that offers heart rate training and ensure the monitor is easy to use.

Wireless chest straps and hand grip sensors are most likely to provide accurate readings for weight loss use

Buying a Treadmill on eBay

eBay offers a wide variety of brands, styles, prices and choices of treadmill.. The advantage of buying on eBay is the range of leads, and some excellent prices.

Treadmill Payment and Search Options

Now that you know the type of treadmill you want to buy, visit the category Sporting Goods.. Then select Exercise and Fitness,, where you will find Cardiovascular Equipment in which are Treadmills..

Alternatively you can use the search box provided to type in specific information about Treadmills. Using the search box will enable you to accurately find the specific type of treadmill you are considering. If you have a specific brand and model in mind, simply type it into the search box. Visit eBay’s search tips for more advice.

A good item listing should include full equipment specifications and manufacturer information. To obtain any missing information that you need, email the seller by clicking “Ask the seller a question” under the seller’s profile.

You can also shop in eBay Shops or post your requirements on Want it Now. There is also the option to “Save Search”, in which case eBay will send an email when a match becomes available.

Visit the Buying Basicsppage for more information.

How to Buy on eBay

Once you have found the treadmill that meets your needs, it’s time to consider how to buy. There are three choices:

  • Place a bid in order to buy at auction by the date that the seller has advised if you are the highest bidder
  • Buy It Now allows immediate purchase of the treadmill
  • Best Offer means the seller is prepared to accept Best Offers from buyers, possibly at a lower price than the Buy It Now price

Delivery and shipping information is provided by the seller and needs to be considered at point of bid or purchase, along with delivery insurance information.

It is recommended that you only purchase from sellers who are authorised through eBay. For greater comfort, research the seller’s Feedback rating and buyer comments, the number of completed transactions, and the percentage of positive responses.

It is always good to buy through PayPal who will ensure the transaction proceeds directly between the seller and buyer. eBay users are protected by the Buyer Protection Programme..

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