At Help My Mobility, we get a lot of questions regarding Stairlifts and their resale value. This can be a rather grey area due to misinformation given by eager sales advisors, companies wishing for you to buy new, and reconditioning companies wanting to buy the unit for minimal price to maximise their own profit. Below we hope to shed some light on these issues. Stairlifts can provide all kinds of freedom around the house for those who need assistance with climbing and descending the stairs. They offer a cheaper alternative than moving to a bungalow, and for someone with a disability or mobility issues allows them to maintain their independence and dignity.
Stairlifts are certainly worth the investment should you be requiring one for a long period of time, either due to long term illness or if old age has set in. If you only intend to need a stairlift for a short while, you may find it more cost effective to rent for a month or two. This guide is intended to help you get the most financially from buying a stairlift – what to consider when buying, and how to go about maximising return once you no longer have need for one.
If you are on a budget, then look to buy a reconditioned unit first. It will have a lower sale price, and most manufacturers offer these cheaper alternatives, often with a free service and qualified engineer who will install it for you before checking it is operating fine. They will have been approved by the company selling them, and so are unlikely to be any lower in quality that a new unit. Local mobility shops or online dealers will also sell second hand lifts, and have their own qualified installers, so these are just as reliable as buying direct from the manufacturer.
Just ensure they will fit and test the lift for you, otherwise it will cost extra to get an external engineer to do the job. Where possible avoid buying from sites like eBay, Preloved or Gumtree, unless you have someone who can assemble the lift for you. Some sellers will expect you to come dismantle the lift yourself, which will again cost extra if you need a specialist to do this. Don’t always be tempted by the cheap price tag with these sites, bear in mind additional costs and compare to companies offering the full works.
Servicing and Warranty:
Ensure your Stairlift is regularly maintained by an approved engineer, if this can be done direct by the manufacturer then even better. A full service record will ensure that if and when you come to sell the Stairlift, it will have a greater value than one which has not been serviced. The service will also keep the unit in good working order throughout your ownership. When you buy, make sure to get a good warranty period. It is worth also considering extending your warranty period for a price, because should something go wrong with the lift, it could be costly for parts or in the worst case scenario, buying a new unit.
This is not essential, especially on a tight budget, but if you have the financial means, it is worth the investment. Like the service, this will keep the lifts value higher at the point of resale.
Re-selling your used stairlift:
This can be the most difficult of tasks if you are unsure where to start. Firstly, it is vital to realise you will not get back anywhere near the amount you paid for the stairlift.
Realistically, expect no more than a few hundred pounds to be offered. Straight stairlifts will be easier to get rid of, as they are generic in size and operation. They are easy to adapt and fit, due to the fact they consist of a single rail and the chair. Curved lifts are much trickier to sell, as most are tailor made to the staircase.
It is unlikely that someone will be looking to buy a curved Stairlift who has an identical set of stairs to you, at the exact time you are wanting to get rid of yours. There are a few options available to you no matter which style of stairlift you own.
Returning your stairlift back to the manufacturer is probably the simplest way, as they will uninstall and remove the unit for you, usually for free, but they are unlikely to give you anything for your troubles other than this. It is a quick and efficient way to get rid of one, but getting nothing back for something you have paid £1500 for is unfathomable to most people. Therefore only do this if you just want rid of the stairlift.
If you want the same service but to get paid as well, look for online stairlift refurbishing companies. They will buy your used stairlift from you, as well as uninstall the unit and take it away. As stated before, you will receive no more than a few hundred pounds, but it is better than you get from the manufacturer (most of the time). Unlike buying, selling on sites like eBay is often the way to bag the most money, but you need to make sure the description and photographs are well produced. Make sure to give full technical information about your lift: dimensions, power source, usage, age, warranty, service record.
State whether the lift needs to be uninstalled and removed by the buyer, or if you have offered to do this as part of the cost. Finally be realistic with the price. Research similar lifts on the site, and see what they are going for. The best thing about auction sites is that occasionally people can be tempted into a bidding war, meaning prices go higher than expected. The lower you start, the more likely you are to attract bidders, although be wary this only works if there are a number of similar products for sale. If you have the only model, it may not be in demand and someone could take it for a low price. Most of the online refurbishing companies will troll eBay looking for cheap lifts, so if your unit is not selling, they may offer you a lower, but still competitive price. Another way to approach is to see if any of the parts of your stairlift are in demand. People may be more willing to buy the battery more motor as a replacement to one which has broken on their stairlift.
If you offer the part, it may fetch more money than selling the whole unit, if it is an item which has a high value bought new, such as a motor or a battery. Make sure you know how to safely remove these parts from the lift before listing them. Even the track and the chair will have a value, as people may want to replace theirs if it is damaged or worn.