Buying products online or in person? Which is better and why?

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So you are looking for a new piece of equipment whether it’s something small like a grab rail or something larger like a mobility scooter 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 when you might not be sure. 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 and their prime goal is to get you the right equipment for your needs.

Check out the lists below of Bricks and Mortar stores vs Online at Amazon, Ebay or similar third party:




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, later on, you may find it takes you an awful lot of time and possibly 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 something as simple as a walking stick 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 and even if it’s only out by half an inch continued use of an ill-fitted product can create its own issues.

If you are concerned about pressure selling or being sold things you don’t need, then we highly recommend buying from a British Healthcare Trades Association (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, 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 and have it dealt with properly. You don’t get that kind of security from an online retailer.


Look out for the BHTA logo on their websites and ask them if they are members in person or on the phone. 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 are reffering to sites like Amazon and eBay where they sell on behalf of someone else, we know that 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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