On this page we will cover:
- What to consider before you buy equipment
- Practical points to consider when buying equipment from someone else
- Other options for finding equipment
- Practical points to consider when selling equipment items from home
- Other options for donating equipment
What to consider before you buy equipment – ensuring you make the right decision
There are lots of things to think about before getting any equipment.
- Is buying equipment yourself the best option for you?
- Is there any financial support to help you pay for equipment?
- How do you know which type of equipment is best for you?
There is a lot of information available to help you make a decision that is right for you. In this section we will:
- Give a brief overview of the possible options available to you,
- Provide details of some disability related websites to get you started,
- Provide some direct links to some specific webpages we have found.
Is buying equipment yourself the best option for you?
Before you buy any equipment yourself, consider the following:
- Are you entitled to any help or assistance?
- Would other types of support be more appropriate for you?
- Could you hire equipment rather than buy it?
The following resources have some general information about equipment and cover the help that you may be entitled to:
Disability equipment and how to get it – An Age UK factsheet
Information about equipment – from the NHS website carer’s section.
Are you entitled to any help or assistance?
Certain types of equipment may be provided by social services or health professionals. You may also benefit from an Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment to help you identify practical solutions for everyday life. Home Improvement Agencies, sometimes called Staying Put or Care & Repair, may be able to help with fitting adaptions and helping you to remain in your home. The following websites provide further information about each of these options:
Would other types of support be more appropriate for you?
There are other ways you might wish to have support at home such as receiving home care or other support services. The NHS has further information about these types of support on their website:
Could you hire equipment rather than buy it?
If you are only going to need the equipment for a short period of time then hiring equipment may be a better option for you. Some Shopmobility and Red Cross organisations can help with hiring equipment. Local shops who supply mobility equipment may also offer this service.
There are lots of companies who offer mobility equipment for hire. We have listed some of them with links to their website:
Is there any financial support to help you pay for equipment?
You might be entitled to financial support, specific benefits or grants which will help towards the cost of your equipment. For example, you might be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant if you need major adaptations or choose to use the Motability Scheme if you are in receipt of certain benefits. There are also local charities which might be able to help. Further information about these can be found on the following sites:
GOV.UK website – disabilities – general information about benefits
Turn2Us website - postcode linked grant finder to help individual’s find out about local charities and a benefits calculator.
How do you know which type of equipment is best for you?
Before you purchase any equipment it is a good idea to research which type of equipment is best for you. Here is a selection of some of the many websites offering information to help you decide which equipment is right for you:
AskSara- free online guided advice tool provided by the Disabled Living Foundation.
Rica - undertake consumer research relating to Disability equipment and have a variety of factsheets available
Information about various types of disability equipment
Disabled Living Foundation website - lots of information about different equipment
Information about specific items:
Mobility Centres – a guide to centres which undertake assessments for cars and scooters
NHS website – tips for choosing a wheelchair
Practical points to consider when buying equipment from someone else:
- Do some initial research to ensure what equipment will suit you (refer to our section ‘what to consider before you buy equipment’)
- Find out more about the specific item you are considering buying e.g. how much it was worth when new
- Remember that if you are buying second hand items from a private individual you have fewer rights as a consumer than when buying from a shop, where you still have the same rights as when buying new goods
- When you first contact the seller - you may not want to give too much information about yourself until you have spoken to them or emailed them about the equipment and found out whether it is what you are looking for.
- If you need to go to the seller’s home to look at the equipment, take someone with you.
- Check that the item is in good working order and is as it was described in the person’s listing (You have certain consumer rights when buying second-hand e.g. the seller must accurately describe the product and any faults that need attention).
- Ensure you have calculated the cost of postage/courier service if you plan to buy an item. Some additional information can be found on the following websites:
Buy With Confidence has over 600 businesses approved by local Trading Standards Services in South East England
Action Fraud website – a national service run by City of London Police
If you are buying an item from this site, please refer to our ‘terms and conditions’.
If the equipment you have found is too far away for you to collect then you might want to consider arranging a courier to transport it for you. There are lots of companies that will provide quotes for transporting an item if you are able to give them details such as the size and weight of the equipment. You will need to factor this cost into the overall cost of purchasing the equipment. There are lots of options available if you look online, here are a few to help you get started:
Richard UK Transport - 0208 398 3681 Will transport disability/mobility equipment across the Country
Other options for finding equipment - can’t find the item you need on this site?
Items are added to this site on a daily basis, so you may want to search again in a few days. However, you may also want to extend your search by looking at the following websites:
Websites with specific equipment:
Macular Disease Society website - items for sale – website with second hand low vision items and equipment for sale (currently unavailable online, please contact them direct).
Meru - design and make bespoke disability products for children and young people.
Remap - custom made equipment for people with disabilities
Demand – specialist design and manufacture of disability equipment
Practical points to consider when selling equipment items from home
- It is always advisable to have a friend or relative with you if someone is coming to your home to when selling equipment
- Give some thought as to which areas of your home you want other people to see – you may want to have the item you are selling in your hallway or have doors to other rooms closed when your buyer is present
- If you have put your item down as ono (or nearest offer), be prepared to negotiate with your buyer on a price. Before your buyer arrives, consider the lowest price you will be happy to accept
- Unfortunately some individuals target people selling disability equipment with a view to extracting money – it is always not advisable to give personal information, such as bank account details, to someone who is unknown to you
- Be aware that foreign payment transactions may not be genuine and can be used to defraud sellers
- Be aware of emails requesting PayPal account details; any suspicious emails can be forwarded to PayPal at email@example.com
Further advice and information on consumer issues is available from the following websites:
Action Fraud website – a national service run by City of London Police
If you are listing an item on our site, please refer to our ‘terms and conditions’
Other options for donating equipment
Obviously we hope you will be able to sell or donate your equipment using our website. If this is not possible, you may wish to consider donating it to DES. We are keen for all disability equipment to be used and now offer a donation service where we collect, clean and sell items. Proceeds from donated equipment go towards the hosting and management of the DES website and we also give 25% to our nominated charity. If we are unable to help (due to the item being too far away), then one of the following charities may be able to help:
Demand - Welcomes donations of unwanted or unserviceable equipment to recycle to benefit disabled clients. Based in Herefordshire & Yorkshire, but will collect equipment nationally.
Disabled Equipment Sent Overseas – has a list of disability equipment that they will send to Africa.
Legs for Africa - Accepts equipment that aids walking (including Prosthetics and parts, crutches, walking sticks, walking frames, etc) which are then sent to the developing World. Based in Leicester but have pick up points nationally.
Wheelie Good Mobility They accept and dispose of mobility scooters in a responsible, environmentally friendly way. All parts that get broken go to appropriate disposal and recycling sites. Some mobility scooters might just need some love and be re-issued to a new home.