Q. I have seen used stairlifts and wheelchair lifts on eBay and other used equipment sites, do you sell used equipment? A. We do sell used equipment, however, we prefer to keep it local and only sell equipment we know will satisfy our customers.
Here are some things to think about when purchasing ANYTHING sight unseen. We all want to save money, but at what risk?
Are they a reputable dealer? Do they have a store or office where you can obtain service after the sale?
With equipment that requires professional installation - how will that be handled and at what expense? Note: that most manufacturers will not warranty equipment not sold and installed by an authorized dealer.
How will you obtain service is your equipment has problems?
We have encountered numerous situations where an individual has be sold equipment that is either incomplete or obsolete and the parts are no longer available and we want to help you avoid such unethical practices.
Q. When I do an internet search for a local dealer for mobility equipment, often times a large dealer, many miles away, pops up first. Whats the difference between the big dealer in a large metro area and my local dealer? Why are the prices at the larger dealers sometimes less?
A. It is always a good practice to do some homework, contact them and find out.
You may find that your local dealer sells the exact same item but it may cost a bit more because of volume sales by the larger dealer.
Maybe the manufacturer gives the larger dealer top billing on a "Find your nearest dealer" search for the exact same reason.
Does the initial savings offset the cost and time for you to drive an extra 50 or 100 miles for service?
In the case of a stairlift or vertical platform lift, while the larger dealer may not charge extra when they install it, but the service call from 50 or 100 miles away will be very expensive. Your local dealer is better equipped to handle your installation and service.
Is the out of town dealer licensed and insured to install stairlifts and platform lifts in your city. Make sure to call your city building inspection department, they can usually tell you right away if they are licensed and insured.
We get calls daily from people who have bought scooters, power chairs and lifts and "Got a good price" and are wanting service or parts. In most cases these are victims of direct sellers and the damage is done. Not much can be done without factory support and distance is the method some unscrupulous dealers use to insulate themselves from the obligations of a respectable dealer.
Q. I see that you sell portable ramps. Can I just put a portable ramp on the door of my van instead of buying an expensive lowered floor van?
A. Maybe, it depends on what you are trying move in and out of the van. For an unoccupied wheelchair or scooter, it might work. For an occupied wheelchair or scooter, the situation is completely different for several reasons.
First is safety, a ramp short enough to store in the van will probably be too steep to ascend safely. Remember, if someone is pushing someone else up too steep of a ramp in a manual wheelchair and they slip, TWO people get hurt.
Second are the laws of physics. A minivan side door opening is between 40" and 43" tall. Can the person in the wheelchair duck their head far enough to clear that? A full size van door opening is between 46" and 59", but the floor is also another 6" - 10" higher from the ground than a minivan, which is between 17" - 20" above the ground.
Some additional things to consider:
Length of ramp - will it be too steep? The anti-tip wheels on wheelchairs or scooters will physically prevent them from going up too steep of slope.
Do you have the room and the ability to fold and store the ramp in the van? A typical 8' folding ramp weighs 50 pounds.
Q. How do I know how long of a ramp I need?
A. Most ramp manufacturers recommend between a 1:12 and 2:12 slope.
A 1:12 slope means for every inch of height, you need 1 foot of ramp length. ADA requirements usually require a 1:12 slope.
NOTE: If you are installing a ramp on a building or dwelling, some building codes require a permit and railing for any ramp with a rise of 6" or more.
Banner Mobility Resources, Inc. 231C SE 53rd St. Topeka, KS 66609-1020