The extremely profitable (and ethically murky) business of reselling dumbbells

Humans’ fragile understanding of worth and employment has long been tested by comically effective get-rich-quick schemes — think rare Beanie Babies or the volatile world of cryptocurrency. Now there’s a “why didn’t I think of that?” business idea for the pandemic era: reselling dumbbells.

a close up of a keyboard: If you sold these dumbbells, you would be very rich.

© Al Bello/Getty Images
If you sold these dumbbells, you would be very rich.

Literal, not figurative, dumbbells.


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Dumbbells — cast iron molded to a specific shape, set to a specific weight, and created for the simple act of being picked up and put down — have become some of the most coveted items of 2020. Like cookware or cars or electronics, there’s a range of quality when it comes to dumbbells that might not be apparent at first glance. Some dumbbells are worth every penny. But on the resale market, on sites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist, dumbbells are being sold for

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