Monday, June 29, 2009

mining for home medical equipment

Food, water, clothing, shelter, and home medical equipment are the necessities of life for caregiving.

Recovery, progression, and death endlessly flood the market with previously owned durable medical equipment.

Sellers are motivated more to get rid of something than profit from it. Downsides could include absence of warranties and such, and medical insurance, if applicable, may not cover equipment from ‘non-authorized’ vendors.

Yet, there ARE deals available. I myself witnessed at a local auction an Invacare 9000 folding wheelchair in mint condition (guestimate value $750+) go for a high bid of $50.

Good shopping skills are required (especially on the Internet) as things may not always be what they seem, for example:

Admiring a Hoyer Power Lift with Power Base (cost $4,600) in use at Patti’s care facility, I remarked how different my life would be IF I had one of these at home. An aide pointed out that she had seen one on craigslist for only a couple hundred bucs.

Checking out craigslist I found “Hoyer electric patient lift. Model HPL402. 3 1/2 years old. Good condition and everything works as it should. These list new at $2500, this is for sale for $600.”

With a few clicks more of Internet searching I found a couple NEW Hoyer model HPL402 listing for $1,600.

Shifting to eBay a search of “Hoyer lifts” revealed a NEW model for only $1,295. However, reading the fine print it was actually an Invacare Reliant Plus Lift, similar concept but different brand.

NEITHER was the exact same model as used at Patti’s care facility. Then again for homecare one-person use you may not need the same high end features.

Both Disabled Dealer Magazine and have searchable nationwide classifieds by item and area.

While the Internet offers caregiver convenient shopping DO NOT ignore local classifieds and auctions.

There’s gold in them thar previously owned durable/home medical equipment hills. Just remember where there is gold there is also fools gold, shop wisely.

Pragmatically mining the recycled market is not prospecting.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site:
musings: Patrick Ponders ...


  1. I guess its the same in every purchase, let the buyer beware.....its too bad someone doesn't open up a shop or business and take these things in, evaluate them, make sure they are what they say they are and then sell it; kind of like a consignment shop


  2. Patrick - thanks for the good ideas. As noted in a post on my blog the other day, I'm an eBay buyer for this kind of stuff. But, Skip's manual wheelchair is 15+ years old and could probably stand to be replaced. Since she just got a spanky power machine paid for by Medicare, the manual will be paid for by us. I'm jonesin' for the Invacare you mentioned at $50!

  3. Many people I know give these things away when they are no longer needed or when a loved one passes. I've done this as well. We're just happy someone else can benefit. ~Mary

  4. When BR first became disabled, the folks at in San Francisco provided us with equipment and advice. They run a massive medical equipment exchange -- if they have what you need, you can have it. Donations always accepted, of course.

  5. While people may have different views still good things should always be appreciated. Yours is a nice blog. Liked it!!!

  6. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    Tubular Ankle Support

    Keep Posting:)

  7. Yes, Medical items are truly as vital as different items. For restorative gear like Autoclave, Incubator, Freezers, Ovens and so forth.


Blog Archive