Your options for selling your stairlift

By Chris Clayton

There are few areas where the stairlift industry takes advantage of customers and one of these is with buying or removing stairlifts which are already installed in homes. Having spent thousands of pounds/euros/dollars to get one installed, it is quite natural to want to get a large part of this money back when it is no longer required.

Although there is a market for selling second hand stairlifts, don't expect to make much money back when you sell your stairlift.

Below, I will explain what your options are and aren't when selling your stairlift and how much you can expect to make.

Can't sell them back to the manufacturers

None of the manufacturers who either directly sell and install their stairlifts (e.g. Acorn, Brooks, Stannah etc...) and/or sell their stairlifts through third party companies (authorized dealers) buy back their used stairlifts. Although some may offer a service where they'll help you to advertise your stairlift if you bought it through them (Acorn in particular do this), they'll change you a fee and there is no guarantee that you'll sell it.

Can sell them to non-manufacturing stairlift companies

Most companies you will find that sell stairlifts are independent authorized dealers who buy new stairlifts directly from manufacturers and install them themselves. These companies do buy used stairlifts (and then renovate them and resell them).

Unfortunately, the amount the money they offer you will be low. Having spent thousands on installing a stairlift, if you sell it to any of these companies you are likely to get back hundreds (and the low hundreds at that) no matter if it relatively new or in good condition. And for most of these companies it doesn't really matter if you have bought the stairlift through them or not.

What I have found that many of them do is to make an offer for the stairlift which doesn't seem too bad (e.g. £700). However, they will then charge you for the removal. And the result of this is that you will end up receiving around half of what you were originally quoted.

I recently contacted a number of these stairlift companies and asked them how much they much paid for used stairlift. The majority of them said they couldn't say until they saw what the condition of the stairlift was. Although they said that they charged for removal, they were unwilling to say how it would be (they said it depended on the stairlift).

There was only one local stairlift company who told me how much they would pay. They said that for people who bought a stairlift through them, they would pay 25% of the original cost (including cost of removal) in the first year for straight stairlifts which were in good condition. They said they paid the most in the industry for used stairlifts and I think that they do.

In addition, if your stairlift is more than two or three years old, you may find that these companies won't offer you anything for it at all. But if it is in good condition, they may offer to remove it for free.

As a result of this, many people turn to trying to sell it themselves.

Sell yourself

You often see on eBay, second hand websites and in local newspapers adverts for people who trying to directly sell their now unwanted stairlifts to people in need of one. Although I have heard from people who have managed to sell their stairlift for a relatively good price (maybe between a half to a quarter of what they originally paid), the majority of people who try this are not so lucky.

There are two reasons for this. Most people wanting a stairlift don't look in these places. And secondly, the majority of offers you will receive are from stairlift companies who will refurbish them and then resell them. They will never pay more than the low hundreds for a second hand stairlift.

What can you do then?

I am afraid that you are going have to accept that you are going to get very little back when you try to sell the stairlift in your house. But at least you know now what the situation is. And knowing this will stop you wasting your time and getting too frustrated when trying to sell it.

I would personally recommend that your best option is to sell it to non-manufacturing stairlift companies. And like with buying a stairlift, I would recommend that you contact a number of these companies and see who makes the best offer. It is far from ideal, but it is the best option I think you have.