Buying a used Concept 2 rower is a great way to save money while outfitting your homegym.
However, when you’re buying on the secondhand market, you never quite know what you’re getting.
This is why I decided to put together a checklist for how to buy a used Concept 2 rower.
This will be helpful, whether you’re buying a rower from Facebook marketplace or Craigslist.
Read on below….
Where To Buy a Used Concept 2 Rower
First, you have to know where to find a used indoor rower. Below is my complete list of the best places to buy a used rower:
- Facebook Marketplace
- and of course, keep an eye on local garage sales and estate sales
I suspect you know about Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, those two spots are at the top of my go-to list, however, everybody else that’s looking for a used rower will be checking those sites, so you might have to get creative.
I’ve seen a C2 rower (model D) on Facebook Marketplace for $400, a total steal. I messaged the seller within 30 minutes of it being up, however, they already had a buyer that was on the way with cash in hand. Bummer!
So, while Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are great, you need to be quick on the draw. They’re the biggest platform with the most amount of users, so competition is high, which makes it difficult to find a good deal.
TIP – My Hack For Getting The Best Deal
One hack that you can do is to set up “Saved Searches” on FB Marketplace and Craigslist.
When you do this, you’ll get a notification every time a new listing pops up that meets your criteria.
For instance, if you’re looking for a Concept 2 Model D rower, if you set up searches for “Concept 2”, “Concept 2 Model D”, “Model D rower”, etc… you’ll be among the first to see it.
You can learn how to set up a saved search on Facebook Marketplace here.
And you can lean how to set up a search notification on Craigslist here.
Keep in mind, many hardcore homegym gear buyers already know about the search notification hack, so speed is still important when you are looking to get a deal.
I’d recommend jumping on deals and trying to meet the seller in person as soon as possible. I’ve waited a day or two when buying something from a seller (we had verbal commitments) only to have them sell it before I got there. These sites are kind of the wild west of gym equipment sales, stuff comes and goes quickly.
Sometimes people suck, so just be patient and move as fast as you feel comfortable.
What To Look For When Buying A Used Rower
Ok, so now that we know where to find rowers and how to find deals, the next step is to learn what to look for when buying a secondhand rower.
Below is my checklist that I run through:
1. Verify As Much Info On The Listing As You Can
Before you make any plans to meet someone, verify as much info as you can based off of the listing info.
- What model is the rower?
- What’s the asking price?
- What year is it? (finding the year can be difficult, but the model and monitor can indicate the year it was made, here’s the C2 guide on how to check the year of your rower)
- How many meters does it have on it? (this is similar to the mileage on a car, you can use this handy article to learn how to check the meters)
- What monitor does it have on it? (PM5 are the current C2 monitors, they debuted in 2014)
- Are there any flaws or visible problems with the rower? (cracked screen, dings in the plastic, janky rowing chain, etc…)
- Does the machine contain all of the basic gear? (i.e. includes footpads, rowing handle, etc…)
Once you do this, you should have most of the info that you need to make a decision.
You can then move on to Step 2.
2. Set Up A Time So You Can Check Out The Rower
If the pricing looks good, and it fits your specs for model, price, meterage, etc… it’s time to setup a time with the seller for an in-person inspection.
Rowers aren’t cheap, so it’s vital that you check as many things as you can prior to handing over your hard-earned cash.
Ask the seller as many questions as you can (either over the phone or on messenger). They should be willing to answer all of your questions.
If one of your questions requires a little bit of work (i.e. checking them meters) they should be willing to do this for you, if they refuse to check in on anything, that’s a red flag.
You also don’t want to waste your time by driving to meet someone that has a faulty piece of equipment.
3. Go Through A Step-by-Step Checklist To Ensure The Rower is Operational
Here’s my in-person inspection checklist:
- Check the meters (you can read my article here on how to check lifetime meters, as well as this article on how long Concept 2 rowers last)
- Ask the seller if they regular do maintenance on the machine (oil the chain, check the fans, etc…). You should be able to feel the chain and see if there’s any oil on it (it should leave a little residue on your fingers). When you ask them about maintenance, they should be able to tell you right away. If they seem confused or unaware that indoor rowers need maintenance, then mark that as a small red flag.
- Check the monorail for dings, make sure the seat glides smoothly along the track
- Check the plastic fan housing, see if any of the plastic has been cracked or broken off.
- Strap onto the rower and row a couple of hundred meters, does it chain pull smoothly? Do a mixture of hard pulls and soft pulls. Does the fan give the signature Concept 2 “whoosh”?
If all of that checks out, it looks like you might have found yourself a used indoor rower!
Now, to haggle over the price…..
Typical Pricing For Used Concept 2 Rowers
Concept 2 rowers hold their value extremely well (which is one of the main reason they are my top rower recommendation).
That being said, buying used can be a good way to save a few bucks.
As a note, pricing seems to vary quite a bit dependent on where you live. Where I’m at (Midwest, USA), Concept 2 rowers hold an extremely high value on the secondary market. That’s just the nature of the beast.
However, no matter where you’re at, if you are diligent on checking for used equipment, you will eventually find a deal. There’s always someone that’s clueless that’s willing to sell their old gear for cash, so keep hope!
Below is the typical pricing that I see in the Midwest.
Concept 2 Model C:
These machines were made from 1993 to 2003. They have a distinctive cork handle. Even though they are upwards of 15 years old, these machines still work well.
Price Range: I see them for sale in the $300-450 range in my area (midwest). As long as the machine is in good shape, a price around $300 or lower is a good deal.
Concept 2 Model D:
The model D was made from 1993 to the present. You can check the age depending on the monitor, older Model D’s have a PM4 monitor, newer ones (2014-present) have a PM5 monitor.
Price Range: The typical price of a Model D (with a newer PM5) is around $750-$850. As long as the machine is in good working order, anything $700 or less would be considered as being a very good deal. If you see a machine priced at $500 or below, jump on it ASAP!
Concept 2 Model E:
The Model E machine is a great machine. It launched in 2006 (with the PM4) and then later updated to a PM5 (2014). It’s not as compact as a Model D, but it makes up for it with a taller rowing platform, a longer monorail, and a fixed screen that sits closer to your body (and is easier to read).
When buying new, the Model E has a $200 premium as compared to the Model D ($1,100 vs. $900), this is due to the upgraded build materials and larger size.
Read here to learn about the differences between the Model D and the Model E.
Price Range: Pricing for a used Model E (with a newer PM5) is around $800-$900. As long as the machine is in good working order, anything $750 or less would be considered as being a very good deal.
Buying a used Concept 2 rower is a great way to save money on a fantastic machine. Follow these steps and you could save yourself a couple of Benjamins (aka hundred dollar bills).
That being said, if you aren’t finding a good deal on your local secondary market, don’t be afraid to save up an extra feel months and splurge on a new machine.
Concept 2 indoor rowing machines maintain their value like crazy. As mentioned above, you’re seeing 5 year old machines that are selling for $100 less than new, that’s pretty insane.
That’s a loss of only 10% after 5 years of use… that means they depreciate much slower than your car!
If the difference between a used machine and a brand new one is only a hundred bucks or so, getting a new machine with a full warranty is a good way to go.
If you want to go with a new rower, I always recommend buying from Amazon, they have the best prices and the fastest shipping.
Click here to check the best price on a new Concept 2 rower from Amazon.
Whether you buy new or used, I wish you luck with your future fitness endeavors!
If you have a deal you’re looking at, drop a comment below and I can give you some feedback.