Trying to sell your Peloton bike? Good luck

A few weeks ago, I looked at my Platoon, annoyed. The last time I used the bike was last year, before I even moved into this apartment. Now it’s just taking up space, gathering dust in my guest room. (Sometimes it serves as a clothes rack.) I decided to sell it.

Or, at least, I tried: the resale market is crowded, with some bikes selling on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for 50% of their original price, which starts at $1,895 (or $2,245, depending on when you bought it). In New York City, where I live, a recent Craigslist search yielded 106 pages of results of bikes for sale, a majority of them Pelotons. “I just want it gone,” said a seller’s post. It’s a similar story in Austin, TX, where some people have priced their platoons between $600 and $700. in Chicago, a seller posted a short story in seven words: “Peloton bike shoes size 39 worn once.” The the pandemic may not be over, but it looks like this pandemic-era trend might be.

It wasn’t always like that. In September 2020, around the time I purchased My Peloton, the company said it had more than 1.09 million fitness-connected subscribers, up 113% from the previous year, and about 3.1 million total members. Like so many others, I bought the bike and immediately joined the cult. I started my days with a half-hour ride, taught by instructors with whom I had developed a one-sided relationship based on first name (Cody, Alex, Ally, Robin!). I would do a 30 minute “club bangers ride” after work. I was riding for 60 minutes on the weekend. What else was I doing anyway?

Like so many others, I bought the bike and immediately joined the cult.

But in the spring of 2021, I was vaccinated and my world returned, albeit in fits and starts. I went back to bars and restaurants, went on vacation, and started training with a strength trainer instead of focusing on cardio. It was a relief, I soon realized, to get away from the bike, which tended to get me hyperfixed on metrics and numbers instead of whether I was actually getting a good workout and having fun. . (Although, again: what else was I doing, anyway?)

As my own Platoon languished, so did the company’s numbers. As 2021 and 2022 progressed and the economy reopened, sales of connected fitness products like Peloton slowed. In January 2022, Peloton temporarily production stopped of its products as demand weakens. A few weeks later, the company laid off 2,800 workers — approximately 20% of its corporate workforce. Today, its market cap of $3 billion is a fraction of its all-time high of nearly $50 billion in January 2021. The company, which has lost money for six straight quarters, reported a quarterly loss of $1.2 billion in September.

In recent months, Peloton has tried to win back customers, reopening an in-person studio in New York City this summer and adding a $3,195 rowing machine to its fitness equipment lineup this fall. The company tried to sell its products on Amazon, and it’s even tried to compete with the aftermarket itself, conducting a brief test in August of its Certified Used Bike program, which allows people to purchase used Pelotons through the company. Meanwhile, SoulCycle took a cheap shot, offering to entice Peloton riders by allowing them to trade their bikes for 47 studio SoulCycle courses. (It’s fair trade: At $35 a pop, 47 SoulCycle classes is almost equal to the cost of the bike itself, now at $1,445.)

It all seems too late for many former fans. As tie dye tracksuits and Instant Pots, Peloton may seem like a stuck trend in 2020, and who still wants to be there? Abby, who lives in the Bay Area and bought her Peloton in April 2020, says her bike was her “ticket to feeling like a person again in those early months.” In the end, however, it wasn’t so calming. “I almost started associating it with the pain and isolation of the pandemic,” she said. “I finally decided to join a local in-person yoga studio that I love instead of following the payment for my bike and the rising cost of a membership.” (Earlier this year, Peloton changed its subscription pricing structure. Effective June 1, the cost of membership has increased to $44 per month, from $39 previously.) In May 2022, Abby sold her bike.

“I almost started associating [the Peloton] with the pain and isolation of the pandemic.

Likewise, some once-dedicated users told me that while they initially loved their Peloton for its online community, they eventually grew tired of pedaling alone in their apartment. Corey Kindberg, director of strategy for an ad agency, sold his Peloton Bike+ – the brand’s premium offering – before moving from New York to Los Angeles in 2021. is really dissipated,” he said. “I actually started to hate that he was just sitting in my apartment taunting me.” Solo rides just didn’t do it for him. “For me, the magic of the spinning class wasn’t the workout, it was more the energy in the room,” he said. “I wasn’t getting that on the bike. It was not the same. »

To be fair, Peloton offers in-person classes in his New York studio — but, of course, not all Peloton lovers live in New York. Allison Dapper, a lawyer in Washington, DC, struggled to become a Peloton person, despite having been a spin class person before. “I liked being able to exercise anytime I wanted,” she said. “But in reality, no one forced me to stay on the bike for the whole class or to work the hardest.” In October 2021, she sold hers for $1,000.

Other hopeful sellers found they were stuck with their bikes, at least for now. Yael Berger, a New York-based PR professional, bought her Peloton in August 2020. Now she’s looking to sell. (She’s still a Peloton person at heart, she says, but she’s now training for the New York City Marathon and has a rigorous race-focused fitness regimen with little room for rotation.) But she has not yet separated from her bike. , in part due to the current state of the Peloton resale market. “The resale market just isn’t worth it right now,” she said. “I bought my bike for around $2,000, so to only get $500 back, I might as well keep it and use it whenever I want.”

Another possible reason people are above their pack: The tides are turning when it comes to how we think about wellness. After all, Peloton isn’t the only one floundering. Despite its own recent dig at Peloton, SoulCycle isn’t doing much better: In August, the company announcement he would close 25% of his studios. Many people I’ve spoken to who have decided to get rid of their pelotons don’t go back to punishing, high-intensity training classes; instead, they mentioned taking up new forms of fitness like hiking, weightlifting, yoga, and Pilates. These activities are difficult, of course, but it is a sustained difficulty, which relies on strength and endurance. Overall, activities like hiking or yoga are less intense and less metrics-driven than popular pre-pandemic workouts, like SoulCycle or OrangeTheory or, yes, Peloton.

It’s part of a general trend in fitness that journalist Rina Raphael observed in a recent newsletter: Gen Z pushes back the hyperproductive elements of the wellness and fitness “bustle culture” that characterized the millennial era. Life is hard enough – why should our workouts be harder?

Then again, maybe it’s just not that deep. It’s pretty common for people to drop their fitness tech once the novelty wears off, pointed out Raphael, who is the author of the new book. The Wellness Gospel: Gyms, Gurus, Goop, and the False Promise of Self-Care. “You’ve often heard the same thing with Fitbits – a high percentage of consumers got tired of their trackers and threw them in a drawer after six months,” she said. “Ultimately, you have to like what a tech product offers to stick with it. Otherwise, you’ll get bored and move on to the next big fitness fad.

I don’t know what will become of my own Platoon. I’ll try to offload it to a friend in my neighborhood first, and if that fails, I’ll sell it for a discount on Craigslist. I got everything I needed, and now it’s time to move on. Like that salesman in New York said: I just want it gone.

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