Why Are Dumbbells So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

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Lucas Reynolds

Lucas Reynolds loves playing tennis, golf, and football the most. But really, he'll play any sport as long as it's competitive.

At-home gyms and virtual workouts are all the rage lately, and people are buying exercise equipment left and right, including dumbbells.

If you are among those who have been exercising at home, you will know that dumbbells can be quite pricey, but do you know why? I looked into it, and here is what I found!

Why Are Dumbbells So Expensive?

Dumbbells are expensive because consumers patronize higher-quality dumbbells made of cast iron and rubber. These dumbbells are more costly to produce and sell at a higher price. Moreover, the pandemic increased the demand for dumbbells at a time when there were continual shipping delays and increased import fees across the globe.

If you are interested in learning more about the popularity of dumbbells and how material, brand, and marketing impact the selling price of dumbbells, keep on reading!

1. Consumers Prefer Cast Iron & Rubber Dumbbells

Dumbbells can be made from rubber, plastic, and cast iron. Depending on the specific makeup of the dumbbells, these materials can make dumbbells cheaper or more expensive.

Generally, experts and fitness enthusiasts advise against plastic dumbbells because the weight is often not distributed evenly due to the sand shifting.

That said, this means more people are buying rubber and cast iron dumbbells because while these dumbbells can be more expensive, they are more durable and effective.

So, with demands for cast iron and rubber dumbbells increasing, it is natural that the prices of these dumbbells will increase accordingly.

2. Dumbbells Need To Be High Quality

More and more consumers are educating themselves about buying and using dumbbells, and there is a lot of emphasis on the importance of high-quality dumbbells.

After all, high-quality dumbbells last longer and are technically safer to use.

Further, you will not have to worry about the dumbbells breaking mid-use and hurting you or damaging your house.

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Nonetheless, the higher the quality of the dumbbells, the more costly the materials and labor that goes into making them. As a result, the dumbbells end up with higher selling prices.

3. Dumbbells Come In Pairs

Whether the dumbbells are made of plastic, rubber, or cast iron, you will find that the vast majority of dumbbells are sold in pairs.

After all, working out takes longer when you only have one dumbbell, resulting in uneven muscle build-up for your arms.

Additionally, selling dumbbells in pairs is more aesthetically appealing to consumers, especially those building a collection for their commercial or home gym.

Therefore, since you are paying for two products, dumbbells tend to be expensive.

4. Dumbbells Come In Multiple Designs

Working out is so much better when you like how your exercise equipment looks, and manufacturers know this. As such, dumbbells today are sold in multiple designs.

Further, a quick peek in the market will show you dumbbells that come in various shapes, colors, and markings that appeal to the tastes of different people.

Also, dumbbells that do not come in the traditional colors and designs are in higher demand and are often made with special materials.

Consequently, these factors make dumbbells pricey.

5. Shipping Dumbbells Is Costly

Dumbbells are costly to ship, mainly because they weigh so much. So, when vehicles are drastically weighed down, they will burn more fuel to keep going.

Likewise, international shipping can go slower or become riskier due to the weight of all the dumbbells stacked in the containers.

With these factors in mind, contractors increase the cost of shipping dumbbells to compensate for the extra fuel and hazards they take on.

6. Import Fees Are Increasing

6. Import Fees Are Increasing

There are a lot of international brands that are shipping their dumbbells across the globe. However, once those dumbbells reach another country, tariffs are imposed on them.

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Also, tariffs can be mild or extravagant, depending on where you live.

Regardless, this and the other fees imported goods incur can significantly increase the selling price of the dumbbells.

7. More People Are Working Out At Home

COVID-19 shut down commercial gyms indefinitely in 2020, forcing people to start working out at home. Until today, home gyms and virtual workouts are still a trend.

Also, a part of this trend is procuring gym equipment like dumbbells, which increased the cost of dumbbells at a time when supplies were still limited.

So, with more home gyms being set up since 2020, manufacturers are seeing a steady rise in demand for dumbbells, making them more expensive.

8. Brand Name Influences Dumbbell Prices

Fitness and weight loss is a billion-dollar industry; no wonder big brands are involved in making quality exercise equipment, and dumbbells are just some of them.

Naturally, branding plays a huge part in the selling price of dumbbells because consumers judge products at a glance based on their brand.

Moreover, certain brands offer longer warranties and better perks, therefore making these brands more appealing to consumers.

Overall, when you buy dumbbells from reputable brands, you can expect that the dumbbells will cost more.

9. Dumbbells Are Long-Term Investments

Dumbbells are durable and would normally take years to start showing signs of wear and tear.

As a result, consumers are unlikely to purchase the same kind of dumbbells for the next three to five years, even longer.

That said, this lengthy gap between each purchase makes selling dumbbells difficult. To continue producing dumbbells, manufacturers have to make them expensive.

10. Dumbbell Resellers Place High Mark-Ups

Resellers make money by purchasing products from manufacturers and placing mark-ups that are two to ten times the original price of the product, which also applies to dumbbells.

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Moreover, it has become common practice for resellers to purchase dumbbells in bulk so that other distributors will run out of dumbbells to sell.

When consumers find the resellers, they will have no choice but to purchase the dumbbells at the reseller’s asking price, making them expensive.

11. Smart Dumbbells Are Saturating The Market

Just like other products today, dumbbells are being sold with more features. In fact, some dumbbells are so advanced that a new classification of dumbbells has emerged.

Generally, smart dumbbells are all about being adjustable, and the better brands have added perks like voice control and faster weight adjustment time.

As you can imagine, this kind of technology increases the cost of producing dumbbells, and the only way to compensate for those costs is to increase the price of dumbbells accordingly.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why weight plates are so expensive, why Snap Fitness is so expensive, and why Anytime Fitness is so expensive.


Dumbbells are hot commodities right now, especially since more and more people are setting up home gyms and joining virtual workout sessions.

Also, with port congestion and shipping delays worldwide due to the continuing effects of the pandemic, the supply and demand of dumbbells are still facing a huge gap.

Moreover, dumbbells are costly to make, especially newer ones that come with voice control technology. All these factors combined result in dumbbells that are pricier than ever before.


  • Lucas Reynolds

    Lucas Reynolds loves playing tennis, golf, and football the most. But really, he'll play any sport as long as it's competitive.

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