You may only really like one gym in your area or you may already be a member and used to just signing a new contract every time yours is up. So is there a point to comparing prices when you know you are going to stick with this one gym? You bet. Knowledge is negotiating power and if you get three quotes and ask about discounts, you'd be surprised at what kind of price you'll get. After all, would you ever buy a car for the sticker price? Don't let your gym sell you a membership for the sticker price either.

Take Your Gym For

Test Drive

Before you drive off with your new gym membership, take it for a test drive. If you haven't joined yet, getting a free pass for two weeks or so gives you a chance to see if you like the equipment, the atmosphere and the exercise classes. You may find that if you had bought a full year's membership you would have only gone for two weeks.

Get Three Quotes From Other Gyms
It's hard to negotiate anything if you don't know what's a good deal and what isn't. Spend 15 minutes calling other gyms in your neighborhood and ask what the lowest available price is.

A gym membership that's $40 per month in May might be $20 per month in June. Ask about upcoming promotions.

Corporate Pricing Programs
Many gyms across the U.S. offer discounts based on where you work. Always mention your employer when you talk to the salesperson.

Family Rates
Gyms often offer discounts for two members of a family or two people that live together. Ask about these rates before getting separate memberships.

Be Prepared To Walk Away, At Least Once
If your gym doesn't give you a deal you are happy with, walk away and tell them you'll think about it. Be nice about it, though. After all, you will have to see these people again if you join or continue your membership. Within a day you two you should have a phone call with a better offer. If this doesn't happen, you can make a decision as to whether you like the price you were initially offered.

The Bottom Line
If they had a choice, most sales people would love to sell everything for sticker prices. However, with a little negotiation, you'll almost never have to buy anything for these maxed-out prices. (To learn more about the power of negotiating, read Negotiating A Debt Settlement and Negotiating For Employment Perks.)