Why Are Weights So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)

Colourful weights in gym


Many people are thinking of building home gyms for themselves.

Thanks to the workout resources on YouTube and online trainers, the need to go to the gyms is almost obsolete.

However, when building your home gym, you’ll find that the prices for weights are expensive.

It may make you decide to hit the gym after all.

It may also cause you to wonder why weights are so expensive in the first place.

Here are 10 reasons weights can be so expensive.


Why Are Weights So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)


1. Raw Materials

Close-up view of various dumbbells


Weights use a lot of raw materials in their manufacture.

Iron, steel, and plastic are the main materials used in their production.

Plastic is the cheapest.

It’s plentiful and easy to form.

Most plastic weights use sand or another type of filler to give the weight its heft.

Cheap materials give cheap prices.

That price increases when you use iron or steel.

Iron is the second-most expensive material to use in the production of weights.

Manufacturers need to source the iron or buy it from someone else.

Since they’re mass-producing weights, they’ll need to buy the iron in bulk.

Then they’ll need to shape it into the correct form to use as a weight.

Iron is abundant in the earth.

However, mining still costs money.

It can also be dangerous.

The associated costs with mining iron cause the price of iron-made weights to increase.

The most expensive material for weights is steel.

While steel lasts the longest, it has to go through more processing steps than iron or plastic.

The added cost of production makes steel weights more expensive.

The type of material that is used to make the weights plays a big role in determining how expensive they’re going to be.


2. The Weight

Sportsman exercising in gym


Another considerable factor of the price is the actual weight of the weights.

The heavier something is, the more expensive it is to ship.

That’s because delivery companies determine their prices based on weight.

If a heavy package sits on their truck, that weighs it down.

If they’re driving on certain highways or passing through states, then they need to stop for weigh-ins at certain junctures.

Depending on the weight, they may need to pay a tax or fee to use the highway.

This is an effort by the state to raise money to handle highway repairs.

Heavier vehicles cause more damage to the road than lighter cars.

Since delivery trucks have to pay those fees, they need to make up for the cost through shipping fees.

Another reason that the weight impacts the price of the gym equipment is that it drags the truck along the road.

Since it’s heavier, it makes the truck create more friction on the road.

Propelling it further along the road requires more fuel.

That costs the delivery company more money.

They increase the shipping fee as a result.

To ensure they can cover shipping costs and still make a profit, weight manufacturers charge a higher price.

Plastic weights are the cheapest because they don’t weigh that much.

Even heavier plastic weights will be less expensive because the plastic material itself doesn’t weigh a lot.

Iron and steel weights, on the other hand, are more expensive because they are heavy.

The material itself is heavy.

That results in a high price.


3. Fuel Costs

Fuel prices


The price of fuel also influences the price of weights.

Suppliers have to pay logistics companies to deliver their products for them.

If fuel costs are high, then they’re going to end up paying more for their services since the logistics companies need to recover their fuel costs.

Fuel costs tend to go up and down depending on oil prices, supply and demand, and a number of political and ecological factors.

Whenever the fuel cost rises, the price of goods also increases.

That’s because the suppliers need to make up for the money they lose from logistics fees.

If fuel costs rise, then you can expect your weights to have an expensive price.


4. Processing Costs

Increase Costs


Besides the material itself, the cost to process and manufacture the weight also adds to its price.

The more complex a weight is, the higher the expense to produce it.

Plastic weights, for example, have minimal production.

They merely form the shape of the weight in plastic, then fill it with sand or another type of filler.

Iron and steel use solely their own material to bring it weight.

The ore needs to be smelted and formed.

Since a lot of labor goes into the processing, the weights are more expensive.

Manufacturers need to pay their workers.

They need to fix machines, tools, and equipment as they break to continue producing.

All these costs factor into the overall price of the weight.


5. Smart Weights

Mobile Phone With Smart Watch Showing Health Monitoring App And Gym Equipment On Wooden Floor


Many people are looking to make the most of their workouts by investing in smart gym equipment.

Smart gym equipment uses technology to give its users information about their health.

It can track fitness, offer workout tips, and do a number of other helpful tasks.

It basically replaces a personal trainer.

The problem with smart weights is that they’re expensive.

That’s because a lot of engineering goes into them.

The software is an entire expense in itself.

Programmers need to work hand-in-hand with the manufacturers to ensure the software works with the hardware.

Then they usually design some sort of fitness app that users can connect to on their phones.

Once the software is ready, they assemble the electronic components.

At this stage, the engineers need to determine if they want the weights to use a battery or a plug to stay powered up.

Either way, that’s more materials they need to buy and design to make it work with their product.

Once it’s finished, they’re left with a product that is expensive to produce.

They need to cover their costs with an expensive price.

Some manufacturers will keep the price affordable.

Instead, they offer a subscription service for their app with which consumers can use their new weights to their full potential.

Others will put all the expense on the weight itself and make their app free.

Either way, if you want to use a smart weight, then it’s going to be one of the more expensive options when it comes to gym equipment.


6. Durability

Man adding more weight to adjustable dumbbell in home gym


One factor about weights that adds to its cost is the fact that they’re durable.

Because they can last for years, manufacturers have to place them at a certain price point to cover the lack of repeat buys.

They’re one-time purchases.

Some companies choose to go the subscription route to make up for their losses.

They’ll have their customers pay a certain price every month.

This ensures they still have a pool of profit to use.

Those who either use a free fitness app or don’t use an app at all will put their weights at a higher price to cover the fact that their customers won’t be repeat buyers.

The reason that customers won’t be buying more of their products is that their products don’t wear out.

Weights made out of iron and steel can last for decades, if not centuries.

Unless they’re exposed to water and become corroded, there’s no reason for them to break or to wear down.

Plastic weights have a shorter lifespan.

It’s possible that something can pierce the plastic and cause the sand to leak.

It’s also why those types of weights are cheaper.

The manufacturers know that their customers will need to buy more of them in the future.

Iron and steel weights are more durable and thus more expensive.


7. Supply Limitations

View of rows of dumbbells on a rack in a gym


A large factor that influences the price of weights is the supply amounts.

Manufacturers only produce a set number of weights and gym equipment every year.

It takes to produce them.

It also helps them ensure that they always go for a high price.

Since demand for weights is always there, the suppliers can keep the price high by keeping the supply limited.

Sometimes problems occur that can impact the supply.

Other times, it’s only because the manufacturers want to keep the price at a certain point.

When there’s a lot of demand for a product and not enough supply for everyone, then it drives up the price of the product.

That’s because it’s seen as valuable.

Those who have the funds to do so will buy the weight at a higher price.

Once the demand for the product goes down, usually when a competitor enters the market or the price becomes too high, then the supplier will lower the price again.

Any number of factors can influence the supply of a given year.

Sometimes it’s processing difficulties.

The labor force may go on strike or quit.

Their partners in the mines may face difficulties with locating ore or have problems with machinery.

Sometimes it’s a logistics problem.

When something impacts the ability of the company to meet the demand for its product, the price soars.


8. COVID-19 Pandemic

Coronavirus Covid-19


The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the price of weights, if not the economy as a whole.

Since many people were unable to work in the factories to produce weights, there was a deficit in the supply.

However, there was an increase in demand for weights since people had to work out at home.

The pandemic closed gyms country-wide.

With so few weights on the market, the price for them skyrocketed.

Even today, suppliers are trying to fill the deficit and are still unable to do so.

Even though gyms are open, some people have found that they prefer to work out at home.

Others are still wary of going out in public spaces.

They need weights for their personal gyms.

Some factories can only operate at half-capacity which also influences their ability to meet demand.

Until suppliers can start producing enough weights to meet demand, you can expect the price for weights to be high.


9. Popularity

Group of smiling people working out with dumbbells


Whether it’s New Year’s Eve or a pandemic, people find their reasons for wanting to be healthier.

When that happens, their first action is to buy some weights.

They may not feel comfortable going to the gym with others.

To become a bit more fit, they choose to buy weights and work out at home.

The New Year’s holiday is a popular time for people to buy weights.

One of the most popular resolutions that people make is to be in better shape.

They’ll buy weights to make good on their goals, although not everyone follows through.

The pandemic has also made people more conscious about their health.

They want to make sure that they’re as healthy as possible.

That leads them to buy weights.

There are several other reasons consumers are buying more weights than ever.

That popularity means that the demand for weights has increased.

With supply staying about the same, if not decreasing, then the price for weights increases.


10. Resellers

A girl in a shopping mall chooses sports dumbbells


When you’re shopping for weights, you’ll find that there are two main places to buy them.

There are those that come from the weight company, and there are those that resell weights.

Those who resell them do so at extremely high prices.

Resellers buy products from the original company, and then they sell them again at a higher price.

They can get away with it when there’s so little of the product in the market from the company.

Sometimes resellers will even purposefully buy up the existing stock from the company to sell them at even higher prices.

Since there’s little supply coming from weight companies already, it gives resellers an easy opportunity to buy the existing stock.

You end up having to pay for a product that is two or three times its original price.

The pandemic greatly influenced resellers.

When gyms closed, they knew that people were going to be buying weights to supplement their workouts.

They bought what stock they could and started to resell them.

Since weight companies are still struggling to reach max production capacity, there’s still a shortage of their products in the market.

That drives consumers into the arms of the resellers.

If they want a pair of weights badly enough, then they’ll buy them from the reseller.


How To Save Money On Weights

Sportsman thinking


Weights can be extremely expensive, but that doesn’t mean you need to empty your wallet for them.

Here are a few tips you can use to save money on weights.


1. Check The Local Thrift Store

You’ll want to avoid resellers if you’re looking to buy secondhand.

They’ll inflate the price substantially.

The better choice is to take a look at your local thrift store.

They usually have some type of workout equipment for relatively cheap.

It’ll be cheaper than buying them from a reseller or the actual weight company.

The best time to look for weights at a thrift store is shortly after the holidays.

That’s when people who give up on their resolutions to get in shape will sell their gym equipment.


2. Check Local Ads

Another great place to look for cheap weights is local marketplaces.

Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, even Twitter and Instagram are useful for finding deals.

People looking to get rid of some junk in their homes will want to sell their weights as soon as possible since they take up a lot of space.

Some may even be desperate enough to give them away for free.

Pay attention to ads around the time when college students are moving out.

They may not want to worry about carrying their weights back to their home state or parents’ place.


3. Stop By An Estate Sale

One of the best places to look for cheap weights is at an estate sale.

Whether someone died or they’re planning to move, estate sales are a great place to find some treasures.

The sellers are also usually desperate to get rid of their items.

Used weights are practically new.

Unless they’re made out of plastic, they don’t wear down or age.

A simple bit of cleaning is all you need to do to make them brand new.


4. Rent

Some gyms or other fitness facilities will actually rent certain weights to you.

In an effort to make a little money on the side, gyms are more open to rental equipment services.

This ensures that you only pay for the weights when you actually want to use them.

Not only will it encourage you to work out, but you also don’t have to invest your money in a set of weights that you never end up using.



Weights are expensive because of their materials and the fees associated with shipping them.

Some weights, like those that use smart technology, also come with subscriptions that can add to the price.

Consider these reasons and tips to save a little money on your set of weights.

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