I received a call yesterday from a potential customer who was asking about a used stair lift mentioned on www.stairliftasap.com. When I asked why he was questioning our prices, he said he had been quoted $8000 for a straight stair lift over the phone by an online seller of stair lifts. Wow! All I could say was "they took a shot at you" and our prices are real and very reasonable. Beyond that, we hear all kinds of stories about various companies selling stair lifts. Both online and locally. Just a reminder for those that have read our blog before, as a dealer, here are our Top 5 Things to consider when shopping for a stair lift, be it new or used.
1. Is the stair lift currently in production by the manufacturer? Otherwise, how are you going to get parts and service later if a problem occurs?
Once a stair lift is retired by the manufacturer it can become increasingly difficult to find parts and properly trained technicians to service your stair lift.
Suggestion: Go to the manufacturers website to see which models they are currently selling and narrow your search to those models on the used market. We have listed the 3 most popular stair lift manufacturers below.
2. Is Professional Installation provided? You would not believe the number of ways a stairlift can be installed wrong making it unsafe, ugly and voiding the warranty.
It is possible you know someone who could install your stair lift for you however, if done improperly, you risk your safety and the potential of costly repairs.
3. What is the Warranty? A one year parts warranty should be a minimum. We suggest a 1 year parts and labor warranty is reasonable to expect. Purchasing an extended warranty at the time of purchase can save you money since the sales person has a vested interest in making a deal at a reduced price for extended warranty at the time of sale.
I have seen people spend hundreds of dollars and thousands of dollars for used stairlifts without any warranty that have had to scrap them totally or spend much more money to get them running properly and installed properly. In many cases, purchasing a new or used stair lift from a dealer with a solid warranty would have been less money or only a few hundred dollars more.
4. Who is the manufacturer and how long have they been in business? A little due diligence on the internet usually turns up some useful information on the different stair lift manufacturers.
Suggestions: Try searching by manufacter and model plus add "reviews", "comments", "ratings" or "complaints" to the search term.
Suggestion 2: Better Business Bureau is also a great resource www.bbb.org. A company with no complaints is unusual (occasionally there are customers nobody can please or you see people that go directly to BBB without giving the company an opportunity to respond) but, what I like about BBB is you get an idea of the type of complaints, how they are handled or did the company even respond to the complaint (do they even care if customers are happy) and if the number of complaints is significantly higher for one vs. another.
5. Who will service my stair lift? Are they local? Are they factory trained?
We are biased here but, always buy from a Manufacturer Authorized Dealer. A dealer a local reputation to protect, is directly supported by the factory for training and parts. Most manufacturers require their dealers to complete training on a continual basis to maintain the Dealership or risk losing it to another company. And, one last note about dealers. If you see a company advertising "Factory Direct" "cut out the middleman" run the other way. This is the equivalent of GM or Ford selling you a car direct with no local dealers to create competition (means lower prices) and only one place to turn to if you need service (means higher prices).
Hope this is helpful and as usual, please do not hesitate to contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-736-7028.
Best Regards, Ed
Customer Service Director