Buying Living aids online or in person? Which is better and why?

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So you are looking for a new piece of equipment. Buying living aids online may seem the quick and easy option. This week we will look at why you should head to your local retail store rather than Google.

In a world where Google seems to be taking over it is likely that this is the first place people go when they want to know how much something costs and what features it has. While this certainly isn’t a bad thing it can be misleading. When it comes to a medical device or any item that helps you live and maintain an independent life, there are other factors that Google can’t help with.

There are Hundreds of independent retailers across the UK that sell independent living aids, power chairs and mobility scooters. It can be overwhelming to go into a store and feel confident about what you want . It may seem easier to buy online because you don’t have to deal with a “salesperson”. That being said, the in-store staff are much more than salespeople, their prime goal is to get you the right equipment for your needs.

Check out the lists below of Bricks and Mortar stores vs buying living aids online:


Buying living aids online - buying from a retail store Buying living aids online - buying from a retail store

The Importance of Assessments

There is a saying “buy cheap, buy twice,” buying off the internet may seem cheaper and more convenient. However, if you aren’t assessed or you have issues with the equipment, you may find it takes a lot of time and money to sort it out. You might be wondering why an assessment is important; it is because the planned use for a product affects the type of product you should get. For example: If you were to use a walking stick on a daily basis but don’t get an in-person assessment the height might be wrong. Even if it’s only out by half an inch, continued use of an ill-fitted product can create its own issues.


The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA)

If you are concerned about pressure selling or being miss sold products, then we highly recommend buying from a BHTA member. The BHTA members sign up to a Chartered Trading Standards Institute approved Code of Practice. The Code of Practice states, they will NOT pressure sell, they will NOT cold call and they will NOT sell something that isn’t fit for purpose. If they were to do any of those things, you would be able to put in a complaint. It would then be dealt with via the complaints procedure. You don’t get that kind of security from an online retailer.

When you’re buying living aids online look out for the BHTA logo on their websites and ask if they are members when you contact them. All retailers listed on our website are BHTA member companies and you can find more on the BHTA website HERE.

(When we talk about online sellers we refer to sites like Amazon and eBay where they sell on behalf of someone. We know retailers have their own websites and many will ask you to go in for an assessment before purchasing)

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November 9, 2018 |

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