Worried about getting scammed when purchasing mobility aids? Unfortunately, that is a concern when buying major items, such as wheelchairs, scooters, or lifts. There are some tips to help avoid becoming a victim of a scam, but the most fundamental and practical advice is to buy from a certified and reliable retailer instead of searching for deals from private sellers. While there are some reputable private parties out there, you reduce your chances of being scammed if you buy from a qualified mobility aids vendor.
Buyer beware? Unfortunately, that is what the world has come to. When making a major purchase, such as a stairlift, scooter, or wheelchair, it pays to buy from reputable mobility aids retailer; while private party, second hand sales may seem like the deal of the day, they could be a scam.
Want to avoid feeling scammed? What to watch out for when purchasing mobility aids:
Too Good of a Deal
You have heard the adage that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, right? Watch out and be cautious of deals that are simply too good. This is often the case with private sales, like through Craigslist, where scammers tend to lurk. Furthermore, consider if the good price tag is due to poor condition or low-quality mobility aids; make sure to have an industry professional inspect any mobility aid that you buy from private sellers for safety purposes.
Another thing to watch out for is buying second hand or used equipment. The question is how hard used or well maintained the mobility aid is when you make the purchase. If you are unable to have the device inspected by an industry professional, it may be best to walk away from used equipment sold from private parties. The exception to this is when you buy used equipment from reputable retailers who offer guarantees and warranties. These situations seem safe for consumers – as long as you review online feedback to ensure the vendor comes highly rated.
Lack of Customer Support
What if the seller doesn’t offer support and service to you after the sale? What will you do if something goes wrong? Be wary of buying from anyone who doesn’t offer some level of support after the sale or run the risk of being stuck with a lemon later. A lot of mobility aid technicians may be hesitant to work on or make repairs to devices that were not sold by them, so consider this when weighing the pros and cons of buying from a mobility aid retailer versus private seller.
Poor or No Online Reviews
If you opt for buying from a retailer or website, make sure that you research and read online reviews first. A lack of an internet presence and absence of reviews is very telling; browse elsewhere.
Buying from Middleman
Run fast if the seller indicates that they are merely the ‘middleman’ for the deal on a piece of mobility equipment. This has all the markings of a scam when it comes to buying something from an online seller. When it comes time to reach this mysterious seller, you may find that it becomes difficult- or impossible- to track them down.
Seller is Vague
A real sign of a scam is vagueness; when the seller is vague about any details of the equipment, payment arrangement, location, age, or any other pertinent information, shop someplace else.
No Guarantee or Warranty
Think of the peace of mind that comes with a guarantee or warranty from a seller; don’t you want this? Buy from a retailer that will provide this satisfaction and convenience. You may pay a bit more, but it is well worth it ultimately.
Difficulty Contacting Vendor
Always buy elsewhere if you find that you run into difficulty contacting the vendor or seller prior to or during the transaction. This may be indicative of the level of support that you will receive after you have given them your patronage- and money.
There are always going to be exceptions whereas a consumer finds an extraordinary deal and significant savings on a gently used piece of mobility equipment that they utilize for years to come… However, this is the exception and not the rule. Be wary and think before you sign any agreement or hand over your hard-earned money.
The best way to avoid being scammed is to buy from a reputable, local vendor that has established positive customer feedback widely. For this reason, it makes the most sense for individuals seeking mobility aids and equipment to reach out to Pacific Mobility; Pacific Mobility has decades in the business, serving customers across the state.
Don’t risk being scammed- come to the reliable mobility aids dealer that has been satisfying customers for over 60 years, Pacific Mobility. Call today for your free, no-obligation assessment.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)