Finding a wheelchair can be challenging, and finding the right one can be even more difficult. Unfortunately, insurance may not always cover the cost of mobility aids. When you purchase a wheelchair OUT OF POCKET, it can cost upwards of several thousand dollars.
Wheelchairs are necessary for many people with disabilities, and you deserve to meet your needs without emptying your bank account. So if you’re on the search for a new wheelchair, you may want to consider searching for a second-hand option.
Some used wheelchairs are as good as new or have minor defects that are easy to fix.
So when you buy a used wheelchair, you can get the freedom you deserve at a fraction of the original price.
Ready to find an AFFORDABLE mobility aid?
Here are some tips to keep in mind when buying a used wheelchair.
What to Consider When Buying a Used Wheelchair
Is it Safe to Buy a Used Wheelchair?
When buying a used wheelchair, it’s essential to purchase one from a reliable seller. This need is especially true when buying wheelchairs online, as you won’t be able to see the wheelchair in person until you’ve already paid for it.
Be sure to look at REVIEWS from an online shop or seller.
Some shops may hide negative reviews, so you should do some research across the web before purchasing.
Always use your best judgment when shopping online; if you feel that a seller may be hiding something, it might be best to look elsewhere.
Check the Type of Wheelchair
If you’re buying a wheelchair for the first time, you should also determine what type of wheelchair you need before starting your search.
Not all wheelchairs are the SAME.
Depending on your personal preferences and your reason for needing a wheelchair, the type of model you choose can make a huge difference.
Some wheelchairs are electric, while others are manual. They can also come in several different sizes or styles.
So BEFORE you begin shopping, make sure you know which type of wheelchair is best for you.
Places to Buy a Used Wheelchair
Once you know what to look for, you can search for your new wheelchair!
Here are some of the most popular places to buy used wheelchairs.
Finding used wheelchairs for sale in your area can be a bit more challenging than shopping online.
That said, shopping in person comes with a significant benefit – you can examine and test out the wheelchair before making your purchase:
- Take a test ride when possible.
- Make sure the chair still has all the bells and whistles.
- And check the brakes as well.
So if you’d like to look for used wheelchairs in your area, here are a few PLACES to start.
- Thrift stores. While wheelchairs are a rare commodity at thrift stores, they generally sell for cheap – sometimes under $100. So when you’re looking for a used wheelchair, this should be one of the first places you look.
- Yard sales. Yard sale season is the perfect time to begin looking for used wheelchairs. When you’re lucky enough to come across a used wheelchair at one of these sales, you can save a lot of money.
- Charities. Consider contacting a local charity if you haven’t had any luck with thrift shopping or browsing yard sales. Many charities can provide services for people with disabilities and help you find a second-hand wheelchair.
The internet is the most accessible place to find what you’re looking for at a reasonable price.
Online shopping can come with a few RISKS, but you’ll likely find a pretty good deal as long as the seller has a good reputation.
Here are a few places you can find a used wheelchair online:
- Facebook. This social media site has a thriving marketplace community (Facebook Marketplace). You can narrow down your search to sellers in your area (Filters > Change Location). When you find a chair near you, you won’t need to pay shipping costs.
- Craigslist. This online marketplace is another great place to search for wheelchairs for sale in your area. Like Facebook, you may be able to find sellers in your area, so you won’t need to pay any extra costs for shipping.
- Amazon or eBay. Online retail is another reliable place to buy used merchandise, including wheelchairs. Many people will sell second-hand wheelchairs on these sites for a fraction of the original price. Bear in mind, however, that you will need to pay for shipping when buying from these sites.
Tips for Buying Used Wheelchairs on eBay
eBay is one of the top online platforms for buying and selling used items like wheelchairs.
Although millions of people use it worldwide, you should be CAUTIOUS when buying from someone you don’t know:
- Check whether the seller has ever sold other products.
- See whether the seller has any feedback.
- Contact the seller directly through eBay.
- After you’ve settled on a price, ask if you can pick up the wheelchair.
- For online sales, it is best to pick up the items in a public place and always be accompanied by someone.
As with Craigslist, eBay search results can be narrowed with filters and location.
Tips for Buying Used Wheelchairs on Amazon
On Amazon, most wheelchairs are new, but there are exceptions.
You can save some money on wheelchairs listed as Open box:
- Wheelchairs may be brand new, but have suffered some minor damage in shipping.
- Sometimes just the packaging is damaged.
- Or it is returned for some reason.
There is a section on Amazon’s website called Amazon Warehouse Sales where open-box items can be purchased, but it is hard to find wheelchairs from there.
You need to browse individual items and try to find those that have an Open box option under the Add to Cart / Buy Now -section.
Amazon is a little hit-and-miss when it comes to finding great deals on used wheelchairs. Browse products and see what buying options are available (and sometimes you can get good deals on new wheelchairs).
Here is an example from Drive Medical. Check the product information and the buying options on the right. Items with an Open box option come and go.
Tips for Buying Used Wheelchairs on Craigslist
Check the category, location, and other filters from the sidebar on the left to narrow down the options.
It’s no secret that wheelchairs are expensive. While finding the right mobility aid can be pretty expensive, there are plenty of ways to find a reasonably priced one.
Whether you prefer to shop in person or have an affinity for online shopping, the suitable wheelchair for you is out there!
Of course, buying used wheelchairs can come with some risks. To avoid wasting your money, make sure you only buy from sellers you trust.
And when possible, test the wheelchairs out before purchasing to ensure they’re worth the price.