If January and September are boons to the fitness industry, simple logic can tell you when the worst times (and best times for you) are.
December is probably the best time of the year to get a fitness membership. To some this is counterintuitive, since they think that people have free time and want to avoid the holiday consumerism and poor health choices. This might be true for the occasional oddball, but the truth is that no one avoids major cultural traditions. In fact, I find it funny that the people that try to avoid it the most are often the ones that are the most obsessed with the entire season.
In December, the club is often flat-lined. Between Christmas and New Year’s (even with all those people on vacation), you can have a great laugh by shopping around to different fitness clubs and walking into the lobby quickly. If you are quick, you could startle a front desk employee who fell asleep two hours before and will fall right out of his or her chair. If they are on commission, they will be hungry and desperate. They were told when they applied that they would make a good living in the big wellness industry, but they never anticipated this! Even if the club seems busy at this time of year, it is typically just the die-hards, and not new people signing up, and therefore not much revenue generation is happening.
December is the best time to get a ridiculous deal if there ever was one. The club is hurting and there may even be a chance that they are considering closing or shutting down completely. They are hoping that this year’s January boom will make up for it. Rent continues in December, and they could have a $10,000 to $50,000 rent payment and many hundreds of dollars in utilities bills, not including huge equipment financing payments to make, to the tune of thousands of dollars. The club needs members now and needs them fast. Now is your time.
If you get caught up in the holidays and can’t make it to the fitness club to save hundreds of dollars, you have other runner-up options. You can try August. The dead of summer is like a deserted ghost town for a fitness club in many areas. People would rather be outside (unless you live in an extremely hot climate), having barbeques and going on vacation than be in a fitness club. They are more likely to be out in a pool or going fishing. In fact, even in hot climates, people would rather vacation in a mild 70 to 80’s temperature than sit around the heat of Texas or Arizona in the dead of August.
Either way, you have another situation where the club needs money to pay those air conditioning bills and cover payroll. Sometimes this time of year is even worse, since January boom time is a long way away, and the back-to-school fitness revival is not as strong as January. Therefore they may really be depressed and they really need your business. Why not help them out and go get yourself an irresistible deal that could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of your gym membership lifetime?
If you do nothing else other than go gym shopping in December or August, you will save yourself more money over time to make it all worth it. This one idea alone will make this book worth many hundreds of dollars.
There is a potential third option, depending on the area in which you live. The beginning of summer in some areas can be worse for fitness clubs than other times of year, as people go on vacation. I am sure by now you get the point: Contrarian investing is the way to go. When no one is going to gym, you will find your best deals.