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Treadmill Consumer Reviews - Can They Really Help You Find the Best Treadmill?

Sep 3, 2008
Buying a treadmill? You'll probably want to research before you buy - including reading treadmill consumer reviews.

Consumer reviews are very popular on the Internet at places like epinions and Amazon. And they can give you an overall idea of the strengths and weaknesses of certain treadmills.

But there are some major pitfalls to them that most people don't realize.

This article will outline some of the major problems with treadmill consumer reviews - and some other features you can look at to find the best treadmill for you.

So what's the problem with Treadmill Consumer Reviews?

First of all, the numbers can give you the wrong idea.

Most people read reviews of several different treadmills before buying. They may notice that one treadmill has more negative feedback than another.

Logically they assume that the treadmill with less negative feedback is better than the treadmill with more negative feedback. That's where the mistake is made.

Here's the thing. In the treadmill business, certain brands or manufacturers are larger than others. They make and distribute more machines than the smaller brands. This will skew the results that you see with consumer reviews.

For example, let's say you're trying to decide between Treadmill A and Treadmill B.

Treadmill A is made by a large company which sells 10,000 units of Treadmill A per month.

No treadmill is perfect and all treadmills will have some level of customer dissatisfaction. A high quality treadmill will have lower level of customer dissatisfaction than a poor quality treadmill.

Let's assume that Treadmill A is a high quality treadmill with a very low rate of dissatisfaction of 1%. That means that out of 10,000 machines, only 100 customers will be unhappy and will leave negative reviews of that treadmill.

Now take Treadmill B. Treadmill B is made by a smaller company and only sells 1,000 units of Treadmill B per month.

But Treadmill B is not as high quality and has a much higher customer dissatisfaction rate of 5%. 1000 treadmills x 5% = 50. So 50 people are not going to be happy with their treadmill purchase. So you'll see 50 negative reviews of Treadmill B.


Treadmill A - 100 Negative Consumer Reviews

Treadmill B - 50 Negative Consumer Reviews

So you, as a discerning buyer, logically assume that Treadmill B is the better treadmill since it has less negative feedback.

However in actuality, Treadmill B has a 500 times higher customer dissatisfaction rate than Treadmill A. So it's actually the worse treadmill.

That's an example of how the numbers of negative versus positive reviews can be skewed - and how many buyers can easily choose the worse treadmill.

There are a couple of other things to know when reading consumer treadmill reviews:

#1 - Reviews can be written by people working for that treadmill company - or even the competition. Trust me - it happens - more often than you think.

#2 - People are much more likely to complain than praise. It's a shame but it's human nature.

This again skews the results. So you may have a treadmill that gets 10 negative reviews. But there are 10,000 people who are perfectly happy with their machine and they never leave a review.

So while there's nothing wrong with reading consumer treadmill reviews as part of the overall picture before you buy, you really can't judge the quality of a treadmill solely based on consumer reviews.

So how can you find a high quality treadmill? There are several other ways to decide if a treadmill is a high quality machine. Here are 3 key factors to look at:

1) Price - The market is so competitive that treadmill manufacturers don't have a lot of margin to play around with their prices.

Because of this high competition, the treadmill market is really very efficient. This is actually a good thing because it means prices are coming down to the lowest levels in years. Manufacturers are squeezing their margins in order to compete.

However it also means that in general, you get what you pay for. A $600 treadmill is just not going to have the same quality of construction as a $1600 treadmill.

If you want a higher quality treadmill, built to withstand heavier use, be prepared to spend a bit more. It may actually be worth it in the long run, when you consider the cost of repairing the cheaper unit.

2) Warranty Coverage - The warranty coverage is a huge indicator of the quality of construction. Servicing warranties cost money. Manufacturers know this.

So when they give a long warranty, it's because they don't think they'll have to repair those treadmills during that time frame. When they know that a certain treadmill is not built well - they don't want to pay for servicing them. So they slap a short warranty on them.

If you want a well built treadmill, examining the warranty length is a great indicator of quality.

3) Details of construction - If you want a great treadmill, examine the details of construction.

For example, Treadmill A may have a 1 ply treadbelt whereas Treadmill B may have a 2 ply treadbelt. It isn't hard to figure up which one will last longer.

Treadmill C may have a 2.5 HP motor and Treadmill D may have a 1.25 HP motor. Again - not hard to decide which is the better treadmill. By looking at certain details of construction, you can often see which treadmill is the stronger machine.

So those are 3 effective ways to find your best treadmill. Again, treadmill consumer reviews are not bad - they can actually be very informative.

Just don't make your final decision based solely on these reviews. Remember that the numbers can be skewed - and may lead you to the wrong conclusion.
About the Author
Vienna Miller writes for Treadmill Reviews - a consumer oriented website focusing on the home treadmill market.

For the latest Treadmill Brand Reviews, Product Reviews and Best Buys, visit http://www.TreadmillReview.net.
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