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Health Club Management

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Promotional feature: Fitness Compared

We talk to industry stalwart, Daniel Jones, who’s following in the footsteps of those famous meerkats in an ingenious way, with the launch of a fitness kit comparison site

Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 11
FitnessCompared is the industry’s first gym product comparison website for operators
FitnessCompared is the industry’s first gym product comparison website for operators
We've created another avenue for suppliers to promote their brands in a cost-effective and cost-efficient way. FitnessCompared will create more opportunities and bring in deals suppliers may not have secured without it - Daniel Jones, FitnessCompared

What is FitnessCompared?
Quite simply, FitnessCompared is the fitness industry’s first ever gym equipment comparison website, which enables operators to search for equipment by brand, specification and price.

What gap in the market does FitnessCompared fill?
There is no gap, it’s just a different way of doing things. We’ve created another avenue for suppliers to promote their brands in a cost-effective and cost-efficient way.

We’ve been buying insurance from comparison websites for years; it’s a method people are comfortable with and allows them to quickly search the market for what they want.

You’ve been in the industry a long time…
Yes, after completing my degree in sports management I worked for British Airways as a fitness consultant before moving into membership sales at Holmes Place, so I have a background in operations.

From there I moved to equipment manufacturer Precor and then Safe Space Lockers, before launching WeBuyGymEquipment.com in 2015.

Fitness equipment buy-back hasn’t always been consistent and transparent, with kit packages worth different amounts each week. I really struggled with that and so generated a fully automated platform that increases transparency and offers a consistent pricing level for operators.

It’s basically a tendering platform for buy-back, so there’s more integrity for both operators and suppliers. It’s now live in 10 European countries and the US.

So FitnessCompared was a natural progression?
There’s a synergy between the two. If a site is buying new equipment it’s likely they’re looking to sell their old kit. FitnessCompared facilitates the sale of equipment too, with a pop-up that links to WeBuyGymEquipment.com.

What does this mean for the industry? Will sales reps be out of a job?
Not at all. FitnessCompared can penetrate the market in a more efficient way; acting as another shop window.

Sales reps still need to account manage the installations, but if you have a team of eight, for example, realistically how many sites can you visit? FitnessCompared will create more opportunities, bringing in deals they may not have secured.

Will operators get as good a deal as going direct?
The brands involved have full control over the products and pricing they show, so it’s down to the supplier to be competitive.

Buyers can choose detailed options for each product, with the results ranked by percentage and showing the brands which meet that specification.

They can then view videos, spec sheets and do their due diligence before entering a negotiation phase that enables suppliers to offer their best and final price; anonymously, which may be reassuring for operators who have been tied to one kit supplier for many years.

Most importantly it saves time. Previously, some brands may not even have been considered, simply because operators don’t have time to meet with everyone. Now they can do their research in one fell swoop.

Aren’t suppliers worried about sharing information on an open platform?
There’s a demand for it to be available; in this digital age it’s expected. Most suppliers see it as a bigger benefit than an issue, but to reassure them only reputable buyers are searching, operators must log-in through LinkedIn and fill in the security form.

Who’s on board with FitnessCompared?
Many of the UK’s leading suppliers are involved and the system is set up to support niche suppliers too.

So if you’re looking for a single product or even just things like flooring, we’ve got it covered. A full list of all the companies involved is available on our website at: www.fitnesscompared.co.uk/suppliers

The website will include details of a range of products, including flooring
The website will include details of a range of products, including flooring
Buyers will be able to see supplier rankings
Buyers will be able to see supplier rankings
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/266314_192366.jpg
Compare the market, the launch of a fitness kit comparison site
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