You may be considering purchasing a stairlift and conflicted between buying brand new or buying reconditioned/second hand. We aim to discuss the differences as well as the pros and cons to help ease your decision-making process.
What is a brand new stairlift?
As much as it is self-explanatory, a brand new stairlift is newly manufactured and has never been used (other than in a testing capacity). It is often manufactured bespoke to order, whether in part such as the rail, or the whole unit itself.
What is a reconditioned stairlift?
A reconditioned stairlift unit is a stairlift that has previously been fitted and used and has then been reconditioned by the stairlift installer, so that it can be reused again. The reconditioning process involves testing the stairlift and checking for any faults, or general repairs. If any faults are discovered, they will replace the necessary parts. The replacement parts may also be second hand/previous used also, rather than brand new.
The reconditioning process will also include cosmetic replacements such as damaged arms, replacement of the upholstery and a thorough cleaning of the stairlift for hygiene reasons. The stairlift will also be fitted with a new warranty as standard (dependant on the installers terms).
What is a second hand stairlift?
The term second hand is sometimes used interchangeably with reconditioned stairlift, and usually refers to the fact it has been previously owned and used. The main distinction between second hand and reconditioned is that a second hand stairlift is usually just refitted elsewhere but does not go through the reconditioning process explained above. For example, if you were to sell your used stairlift on eBay and the buyer purchased it and reinstalled it in their own home, this would have been purchased second hand, rather than from reconditioned condition.
Second hand stairlifts usually refer to a private sale, where an installer has not been involved.
Brand new stairlift PROS AND CONS
What are the benefits and disadvantages to buying a new stairlift?
- Safe – You can be assured that the stairlift is safe and fit for purpose since it will be new and recently tested.
- Warranty – Brand new lifts usually come with an extended 2-year warranty.
- Adapted – New stairlifts are favoured as they can be tailor made and adapted according to the property and the user’s needs.
- Choice – Often a new stairlift comes with a choice of upholstery fabric and colour, as well as a choice of rail colour with certain stairlift models. This means it can be tailored to fit in with your home décor.
- Expensive – Some may consider a brand new stairlift too expensive, or simply just out of budget. The price obviously depends on the installer as it can vary greatly, so we always recommend getting 2-3 quotes.
- Installation Turnaround – Although most new stairlifts can be installed within 48 hours of the survey, some curved/custom made stairlifts can have a wait of up to a month to be manufactured from scratch.
Reconditioned stairlift PROS AND CONS
What are the benefits and disadvantages to buying a reconditioned stairlift?
- Cheaper alternative – Reconditioned stairlifts can be up to half the price of a brand new stairlift, depending on the age of the stairlift/ parts used.
- Fast installation – If they have a suitable stairlift available that would fit the measurements of your home that has already been reconditioned, the turnaround could be very fast (within 2 days). However, this isn’t always the case as there may be a wait for a suitable reconditioned stairlift to come available.
- Limited use – When buying a recon stairlift you are buying a product that has already had use and is aged (it may have been used 10 times and only be 6 months old, or it may have had 1,000 uses and be nearing on 10 years). It is impossible to gauge how much life the product still has in it before any serious repairs are required, or at worst a replacement.
- Appearance – The stairlift, despite being reconditioned, may have some signs of use like scratches on the rail, or scuffs on the bottom of the carriage. You also will not have a choice in upholstery (although some installers may be able to offer this)
- Low resale value – When you no longer require the stairlift many buyers would not be interested in a reconditioned stairlift as it is hard to determine the age, and how much use it has had overall.
- Current models – Sometimes the installer will fit a recon stairlift that is older and may not necessarily be a current model of stairlift that is still manufactured. This isn’t illegal but can later cause issues if the stairlift breaks down and the parts aren’t available for a repair to be completed. It can also mean that when it comes time to get rid of the stairlift, most removers will charge you as the stairlift can’t be recycled.
Can we buy reconditioned stairlifts?
Our company aims to recycle as many stairlifts as possible, so we will always consider your reconditioned stairlift to purchase and recycle. Our team will request photographs of the stairlift so we can identify the age of the parts used during the reconditioning process. Whether we can make you an offer would depend on the age of these parts.
We often hear from customers that they have been told by the installer that their stairlift was only several months old when it was fitted, but this is not always the case and customers are sometimes mislead. Even if the stairlift unit itself is not very old, the company may have used some older parts, even from stairlift models that are no longer manufactured, to lower the costs. We will look at all the parts overall to determine if the unit can be recycled, and if it would qualify for buyback and our free professional removal services.
If you’d like to sell your reconditioned stairlift please contact us by filling in our form and attach some photographs and we will get back to you to advise if we can make you an offer.