I used to sell workout shoes which I purchased from Joe’s New Balance Outlet and the ladies of my gym loved that as they didn’t have to go hauling around different stores to find a good quality shoe. However, it was alot of work for me and not much return on the investment as often they would wait for a sale! Fast forward 10 yrs and I hardly carry any inventory – a few bits and bobs. Perhaps some resistance bands and a product that everyone loves called Blue Stuff for sore muscles and arthritis – which I do make money on. I have been using small pink balls for self massage recently and they are hard to find, so I’m now carrying them, as someone said in this thread, you get tired of telling people where they can buy equipment and then the store not carrying the item or they have run out! Long story short, I keep my items for sale down to a minimum and only bring in what is really wanted and not to big an overhead for me.
My clients often ask for my “recommendation” on small equipment (e.g. dumbbells, tubes, stability balls etc.). I am more than willing to help them in that way. I don’t sell exercise equipment directly to my clients very often, but have done it on occasion. One thing to take into account in my opinion is the possibility of liability, so it’s probably worth your while to check with your liability insurer for “products coverage” if you decide to go this route.
I hope that this helps.
I sell yoga mats with a free DVD yoga session of me doing a sun and earth salutation, and I sell boxing gloves and handwraps that we use in sessions. I don’t believe I would have ever started selling anything but people just kept asking me to help them find quality products, and I got tiered of running out and getting thing one at a time. Now I have a pre-order catalog and it has worked fantastic.