Lowering the price you pay for a stairlift

By Chris Clayton

Paying less for a stairlift doesn't mean that you get a worse product. Normally, if you know what you're doing you can get the companies trying to sell you a stairlift to substantially reduce the price that they offer to sell you one for.

So let's look at what you should do to lower the price you end up paying to have a stairlift installed in your house. But before we do, let me explain to you how stairlift companies operate when selling their products.

Buying a stairlift is like buying a car

The reason why I say this, is that there is no fixed price for buying a stairlift. Two people could buy the same stairlift from the same company for very similar staircases, but pay different prices (e.g. one could pay £1,500, while the other pays £1,000). Every stairlift company will try to maximise the amount of money they will get you to pay for a stairlift. Like with buying a car, the price is open to negotiation.

The vast majority of stairlift companies will not give you a quote or even a range of possible prices until they have a representative go to your house to see your staircase. One of the reasons they do this is that it is easier to sell a stairlift face-to-face than it is over the phone. And the person who will come to assess your staircase and give you a quote is basically a salesman. They work on commission. They take a percentage of each sell they make. So, it is in their own best interest to get the person to pay more for a stairlift than less.

As a result, take everything that the representative/salesman of the stairlift company tells you with a pinch of salt. They are skilled at what they do (i.e. selling) and can use various techniques to persuade or pressurise you into buying a stairlift from them at a price that benefits them and not you (e.g. telling you it's a one-off deal which you need to make there and then).

So now, that you know what you'll be facing when buying a stairlift, let's look at what you should do to reduce the price you'll end up paying.

Do some research about stairlifts

The first thing which you should do before contacting any company about getting a stairlift installed, is to do some research on stairlifts. Find out what a stairlift is, the different types (e.g. a straight stairlift, a curved stairlift etc...) and the requirements (and the possible modifications needed) that are necessary to safely install a stairlift on a staircase.

Like with everything in life, the more you know about stairlifts, the less likely it is that a salesman from a stairlift company can manipulate you (and get you to pay more for a stairlift than you should).

One place that you can find out a lot of information about stairlifts is on this website. In addition, there are many other websites that give you useful information about stairlifts as well (just search on Google). But you need to be a little careful with the information that many of these websites give (or don't give you) because most of them are from companies who sell stairlifts themselves.

Once you know more about stairlifts, look at the staircase where you want the stairlift to be installed on to get an idea about what type of stairlift you will need yourself.

Get quotes from more than one stairlift company

This is probably the most important thing you can do to reduce the price you'll end up paying for the stairlift. Although it is a hassle getting salesman from three or four different stairlift companies out to your house to give you a quote, it will be worth it in the end.

Once a stairlift company knows that they are competing with a number of other companies (you should tell them this when they come to give you a quote), they will reduce the quote they offer you.

Never accept the first offer they make

As I said above, the price of a stairlift is not fixed, it is open to negotiation. The first quote which the salesman from the stairlift company will offer you will always be higher than you should have to pay for it. When the salesman senses that you are not willing to buy the stairlift for the price they quoted you, they'll soon reduce it.

Don't buy a stairlift when you have a salesman in your house

Although the salesman will reduce the price they will offer you, don't be tempted to accept it (you can still get a better price). They will do everything possible to get you to buy a stairlift from them when they are visiting your home (e.g. offer you a one-off deal which will no longer be available once they leave), but don't trust anything they tell you when they are trying to get you to buy.

In my experience, they will reduce the price further after they have left your house.

Never tell them what you want to pay

When you have salesmen from stairlift companies visiting your house, never tell them how much you want to pay for a stairlift. You may give them a figure which is more than they were looking at offering you or will be prepared to offer you. At this point, the best thing to do if they ask you how much you were looking at paying, is just to tell them less.

The same goes for telling them about quotes you've received from other companies. Don't tell them how much you've been quoted from other companies at this point.

Be patient and wait

If you are willing to wait a couple of days after all the companies have been out to give you a quote, you'll find that they'll come back to you offering better and better deals.

One piece of advice I would give you is to let them contact you first, rather you contact them (it makes you look less desperate). Remember, stairlift companies need your business more than you need them.

When they start to contact you (which they will do), you can start to play each company off against each other and tell them about quotes you've received from other companies. You'll see how each company will then try to better their competitors' offers.

In addition to reducing the price, you could also get them to extended the warranty on the stairlift or include a number of free service visits in the price they offer you. By doing this, you could end up saving quite a bit of money that you would have had to have paid in the future.

Once you've got a price (and terms) you think is good, then go ahead and buy the stairlift.

In conclusion

As I mentioned above, buying a stairlift is like buying a car. As long as you know what to do (do some research on stairlifts, get quotes from multiple companies, don't trust what they tell you and don't buy when a salesman is at your house), you can substantially reduce the amount of money you end paying for a stairlift.

Although doing what I've suggested above is time consuming and at times frustrating, if you want to spend less money, there is no alternative I'm afraid to doing it.