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One man’s canceled gym membership is another man’s ticket to work out


MemberXChange
The giant, amenity-filled Mercedes Club is one of the gyms currently available on MemberXChange. (Photo: MemberXChange)

Remember that saying about one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? MemberXChange is taking it and applying it to gym memberships, with a new online company that allows you to take over the remaining months of memberships other people don’t want anymore.

Why would you want someone else’s two months of leftover sweat sessions? (Besides regular access to showers after your workout, that is.)

“The premise is to look for a short-term membership to try it out and see if you like it,” says founder Matthew Cicci. So you can literally go on the website, choose your neighborhood, how many months you need a membership for (one to 11), and a price range, and MemberXChange will find options available, without a long contract or initiation fee. And what the system finds is actually based on inventory pulled from canceled memberships, thanks to a sophisticated tech system the company built to pull them into the database.

Right now MemberXChange works only for a handful of gyms in New York City, like the Mercedes Club (where Cicci is also the general manager), Complete Body, and Tribeca Health and Fitness, but Cicci is gradually adding new clubs and also has plans to expand to more cities, and eventually nationwide.

While you might think gyms would frown on the reselling of abandoned memberships, it has actually lead to many more people signing up for long-term memberships after their short-term one is up. And that’s a win-win since the initial offering is not discounted, just sold sans initiation fee.

Unlike flash deal sites like Groupon, he says, where people are buying memberships that would normally be out of their price range, “we’re seeing a higher conversion [to long-term memberships] because people are searching for memberships that they can actually afford in their area,” he explains. “You’re getting a qualified lead as opposed to a tire kicker.”

Of course, you could also use it if, say, you’re an outdoor runner who just wants an indoor treadmill for a few months in the winter. But we totally didn’t say that… —Lisa Elaine Held

For more information, visit www.memberxchange.com