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Gym membership initiation fee

Can you ever negotiate this?

Tue. Oct 10, 2:51pm

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Yes and no...some gyms will waive it if you sign some godawful 3-year contract, but I don't think that qualifies as a fair negotiation. The best strategy is to agree to the initiation fee if they'll throw in a free month or two.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 3:07 PM

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you can negotiate anything...it's best to give an example of how the gym will benefit from lowering or waiving the initiation fee for you. can you bring in other members? will you purchase and wear products with the gym name / logo? could you write a (positive) review about the gym for a local newspaper or a magazine? think of a reason that will entice them to do you a favor...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 3:15 PM

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Call around and find out what other gyms are charging, and then go to the gym that you want to be a memeber of and negotiate. It can be done, it just takes a bit of time and confidence. I was able to add my husband to my gym membership for no extra cost, and he was able to get the "multiple gym" access that he needed. And I have no contract.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 3:46 PM

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Everything in life is negotiable. Everything. Depends on what you're willing to do.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 4:16 PM

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Is it negotiable even at the local YMCA?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 4:58 PM

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only one way to find out...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 5:38 PM

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The problem with initiation fees is that a lot of gyms emply their sales staff on a commission-only basis, which is a percentage of that fee. I find it hard to bargain someone out of their paycheck.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 6:41 PM

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I don't know about everywhere, but my gym has periods where they waive the initiation fee. December and January are particularly popular times for this :-)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 7:24 PM

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Find a competitor's coupon and use that as a tool.
Also, a gym will waive the fee if your previous gym went out of business.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 7:59 PM

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Thank you! These suggestions are very helpful.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 10:09 AM

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Gym membership is cyclical so if you join now, instead of Jan 1, you'll get a lot better deal.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 1:19 PM

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If they say the initiation fee is $250, and you say that you can't afford to pay more than, say, $150, they may say no. If you then respond with, "okay, give me a call if you change your mind," or something to that effect, and actually walk out, they'll try to find a way to negotiate with you. But you have to actually be willing to walk (and not join) if they don't reduce the price. It almost always works; you just have to call their bluff w/o them callling yours.

As for negotiating people out of their salary, if they get a percentage of the initiation fee, they'd rather you pay less (they get some) than you not join (they get nothing.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 3:28 PM

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