How Hard Should I Press To Get Last Month’s Discount?

How Hard Should I Press To Get Last Month’s Discount?

Last month, I wrote about how I am considering a gym membership.  I’m happy to report that I have made progress.

mb-201309treadmillI did some checking around, and pretty much narrowed it down to one gym that I want to attend.  I looked at all the gyms in a five mile radius, and eliminated the super-expensive gyms (Lifetime, LA Fitness), and started with the gym that was closest to my house, as location is a huge thing when it comes to me actually getting my butt out the door and into the gym.

As it turns out, the one that was closest is also the one with the best pricing.   Sort of.  I’ll get to that in a minute.  First, let me touch on some of the other things I’ve found.

Location

The location of the gym could not be better situated.  My plan is to work out in the morning before work.  I had planned on leaving the house, working out, then showering and getting ready at the gym, and going to work.  When I looked at the logistics of the gym I’m considering, it got even better.  I can get up twenty minutes earlier than I used to, drive four minutes to the gym, work out, go back home to get showered and dressed, and leave for work.  I would be getting to work about fifteen minutes than I used to, but I generally get there over 30 minutes earlier than my ‘unofficial’ start time, so I’m still perfectly fine as far as that goes.

No other gym would allow me to pull this off with this level of timing.

The Workout Experience

I’ve been a member of gyms before, so I know what I’m looking for and I know what to expect.  The gym I’m looking at has everything I’m looking for.  All I want are cardio machines and weight machines.  This gym has them and they’re in very good condition.  My general workout routine will likely be cardio on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and some circuit training / light weight lifting on Tuesday and Thursday.  I’m not looking to get ripped, just to get in shape.  This has everything I need.

Staff

So far, the staff has been very friendly.  On a whim, I stopped in one evening (OK, on the way back from getting Dairy Queen, a treat that my wife and I occasionally indulge and is our favorite.  So, yes I stopped at the gym with ice cream in the car.  Don’t judge).  I asked for a look around and they showed me everything and were very friendly.  When I asked if I could come work out once or twice, they did better, and gave me a 10-day trial membership pass.  I started the next morning!

Pricing

OK, so here’s where I am having a bit of an issue.  Actually two.  But I think it might just be me.  And I don’t think it will be a dealbreaker either way.  But here it is.

They don’t really do much advertising.  They’re no frills.  They keep things simple.  The way they advertise their ‘deals’ is with a signboard on the side of the road in front of the shopping center.  Last month, when I drove by, I saw that they were advertising 4 months for $75.  Which was a pretty good deal considering that they don’t do sign-up fees or anything like that.  You pay the price and that’s it.  Which is something I love as I hate ‘gimmick’ pricing.

However, that price apparently ended last month.  Now, the four month deal is $90.  When I mentioned this to the guy that gave me the trial membership pass, he just sort of looked at me and said, “Yep, that was last month’s price.  Now it’s $90.”  He wasn’t rude about it, and I didn’t press it (since I hadn’t yet worked out there) but I’m wondering if I should try to push for last month’s pricing, or just let it go.

So, first question is should I press to get last month’s deal? If so, how hard do I press?

One other thing they mentioned that I’m kind of ‘meh’ about is that the pricing isn’t locked in.  At the end of the four months, I’d have to sign up again.  Now, you can lock in your price if you do the ‘automatic deduction’ plan, but that’s $30 per month.  No thanks.

So, I run the risk of having higher pricing available in four months.  Though, four months would put me in the middle of January, and if I was a betting man, I’d guess that they might have some really good pricing around that time to try to reign in all the ‘New Years Resolutons’ sign-ups that they probably get.  So, maybe this could work out to my advantage?

Question number two, should I even try to ask if my rate can be locked in or is this something I should just let go?

It is worth mentioning that two other gyms I might consider (though they’re both further away…ugh) are $15 and $25 per month.  However, both have $49 ‘activation’ fees so if I were to spread that out over a year (which is fair), the price would really be around $19 or $29 respectively.  Meaning, if I could get the $75 for four months, this would be right at the bottom, but even the $90 plan would average $22.50, which is OK.

I guess I’m just curious if and how I should approach both ‘last months pricing’ and ‘my next signup’ as potential issues.  Should I just ask and accept if they say no, or should I bluff and let them think I might walk?  Is that crossing the line from frugal to cheap?

Readers, what do you think?

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14 thoughts on “How Hard Should I Press To Get Last Month’s Discount?

  1. How often does the sign change? Since you drive past it every day, does it tend to go down at the end of the month/quarter/around holiday weeks? At our gym, you will get the best pricing if you go on a holiday week or near the end of a quarter (the absolute best pricing I’ve ever seen is the July 4th promos that start in the last week of June- end of Q2). But we lock these rates in permanently, so it’s worth timing it a little.

    I’m not sure how prepared I’d be to negotiate hard if this is something you plan on doing again and again. Maybe ask to speak with a manager and ask for the deal you saw when you got your 10-day pass? But are you prepared to fuss with it every time you’re up for renewal every 4 months? I don’t think I would be.
    Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted..Extending the ~5 Year Consumer Product LifecycleMy Profile

  2. It never hurts to ask to see if you could get in on the last month’s promotion…especially when you initially made contact and got the 10 day pass was when that month’s promotion was in effect. All they can say is, “No.” If they do say no, I wouldn’t press too hard.

    As for “locking in” at a cheaper rate, I don’t think you’ll win that one (although again it never hurts to ask). You get a cheaper 4 month rate because you’re taking the risk on the variability….BUT, I would bet that their promotion is always less than the locked in price.
    Brock @CleverDude recently posted..Cheap Entertainment: Poker NightMy Profile

    • The non-promo price is $30 per month which is out of the question. If I could re-up at $75 or $90 every four months, that might work. I saw on Facebook that they had a one year for $199 promo in January last year, so I might be able to re-up after my initial four months at that rate, which would be the cheapest yet. Anything over a year is too long for me.

  3. Those activation fee really get me every time. I tend to go for a 6 month period and then want to take a break, but the extra $50 active activation fee keeps me from canceling. Its successfully kept me signed up even though i hadn’t gone in 3-4 months.

    I would like to find a gym that does not have this fee, so i can go and stop as i please 🙂
    terry recently posted..Can you get a Short Term Loan with Bad Credit?My Profile

    • You have to find an independent gym (which is what I have found) in order to get around this as it seems all of the chains have this activation fee in place, and you’re right, it’s likely to give people the incentive not to quit.

    • I agree. I wasn’t going to sweat it if they said no (which they did) and I never felt I was entitled to any other price, but knowing that they have offered a better price, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask if I could have it.

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