Should you buy a stairlift on Craigslist? | Stannah

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Written by Stannah at 07/19/2018

Buying a stairlift on Craigslist

Should you buy a second-hand stairlift direct from its previous owner?

buying a stairlift on craigslist

You know you need a stairlift. The stairs have gradually become more and more of an obstacle in your home, and you know a stairlift would give you back the freedom of movement that has slowly been slipping away.

You’ve researched stairlift companies, had price quotes and looked at all the stairlift models out there, but you’re just not sure if you can or want to spend that much on a stairlift. The second-hand ones on Craigslist are so much cheaper – you would save yourself a lot of money in the short term!

But what about in the long term?

Buying a stairlift on Craigslist, Ebay or at a flea market

Can you buy a second-hand stairlift from its previous owner? You could. There are lots of offers out there that are much cheaper than buying a new stairlift. But how would you know:

will your stairlift work

1 – If it works?

Firstly, how would you even know your second-hand stairlift would work? Imagine going through all the hassle of transporting it to your house (yourself?) and installing it (yourself?) to then find out it’s broken.

Would you then remove it? (yourself?) And then what?

will your stairlift fit your house

2 – If it would fit in your house?

Staircases vary a lot in length and shape. In fact, it’s almost impossible that you’ll find a stairlift that was previously fitted on stairs exactly like yours. You might be thinking: close enough! It’ll get me up the stairs so it’s fine if it doesn’t fit perfectly.

Let us tell you why it’s not fine:

  • If you need a curved stairlift, and your stairlift doesn’t fit the shape your stairs properly, it could be very unsafe. If the curve is completely different, it simply won’t fit.  If the curve is slightly off, and the feet of the rail don’t attach properly, your stairlift could come loose while you’re riding it. Either that, or the stairlift will have to be installed in the middle of your staircase – which can only happen if you have an extremely wide staircase.
  • If you’re buying a straight stairlift, and the rail’s slightly too long or too short, the chair won’t drop you directly on your landing. If the rail’s too short, your stairlift won’t make it to your top landing. That means you’ll have to get in and out of the chair while it’s still on your stairs, which is extremely dangerous and could very easily lead to a fall. If the rail’s too long, the stairlift will stop in the air, leaving you hovering above your landing. That means you’re unsteady at the top of your stairs, and will put yourself in danger getting in and out of your stairlift.
  • How do you know your stairs are the same height as those the stairlift was previously installed on? If your stairs are shallower, your stairlift could end up hovering quite a distance above your steps as you make your way up the stairs. If your stairs are deeper, your stairlift could knock against each step on the way up, or even get stuck.
  • Even if the stairlift is a near-perfect fit, it will probably take up more room on your staircase, as it won’t be able to fit as snuggly to the edge of the steps. That means you have less room as you travel up your staircase – so you need more room to avoid knocking your knees, and other people will have less room to walk up the stairs normally.

will your stairlift meet your needs

3 – If it would meet your needs?

What? Aren’t stairlifts all the same?

Short answer: no.

Even within our product range at Stannah, our stairlifts are made to meet different needs. The options and unique features are what makes your stairlift personal to you. We make sure it meets all your needs and makes you feel like the master of your home again. After all, you’ll only get the full benefit of a stairlift if you feel completely safe and comfortable riding it – if you don’t, your stairs go back to being an obstacle in your home and you’re back to square one.

A stairlift is made specifically for the person who buys it, so unless your needs are exactly the same as that of the previous owner, it’s unlikely they will all be met by their stairlift. Examples of this are:

  • Stairlifts chairs are adjusted to your height during the installation (if the installation is carried out by Stannah-trained technicians – which is always the case if the stairlift is a Stannah). If you buy a second-hand stairlift, the chair will be adjusted to the height of its previous owner. This is likely to make the stairlift less comfortable for you to use, as you will either have to tuck your feet up onto the footrest or your feet will be dangling above it, offering you less security.
  • The command to operate the stairlift can be placed on either arm of the stairlift, depending on what the original user’s preference was. What if that’s uncomfortable for you?
  • If you have a door or radiator at the bottom of your stairs, you’ll need a retractable rail that folds up neatly, allowing for a stairlift to be installed without any building work – it’s very unlikely you’ll find one just the way you need it on Craigslist.

Installing your second-hand stairlift

Installing your second-hand stairlift

Buying a second-hand stairlift online would save you money. But how would you install it? Do you know anyone who’s ever installed a stairlift? Can you find a stairlift installer in the yellow pages? Or would you ask your handyman to figure it out?

Either way, it’s risky. Would you ever feel completely safe riding your stairlift, knowing it was installed by someone who ‘probably knew what they were doing’?

What if something goes wrong?

What if something goes wrong with your stairlift?

You bought a second-hand stairlift online. You got it installed and it’s been working fine for a while. But then one day it doesn’t. Maybe it’s beeping. Maybe it stopped and won’t start again. It’s probably an easy-fix – but who do you call to find out how to fix it?

When you bought your stairlift from Craigslist, did you also get the user manual?

Even if you did, can you find the answer to your problem?

We have a solution for you – a second-hand stairlift, that’s backed by us

Buying a second-hand, reconditioned stairlift from Stannah

Buying a second-hand, reconditioned stairlift from Stannah

At Stannah, we offer you second-hand, reconditioned stairlifts*: a cheaper stairlift, but one that comes with all the benefits from buying direct from us.

You know it’s safe

When someone no longer needs their Stannah stairlift and is ready to have it removed, we offer to buy it back from them (if applicable) or remove it free of charge, so that we know it was handled properly and that it’s in full working order.

But we don’t stop there. We then make sure it meets all our safety regulations, and check its history, so that we know its next owner will be as safe as possible riding it.


We consider installing your stairlift to be half of the job, and we don’t do our job by halves. We can only be sure that our stairlifts will meet the international safety regulations they were built to meet, if they are installed by professionals we have trained ourselves.

That’s why we make sure anyone who is going to be installing Stannah stairlifts is trained by us. Trust us to give you the best service we can, from start to finish. And that includes our reconditioned models.

We’ll be there for you if you need us

As a company, Stannah is proud of the customer service we offer. We want you to know that if anything doesn’t go quite to plan, you can call us to get help straight away.

Although Stannah is represented by a dealer network that covers the whole of the country, we want to reassure you that when you work with a Stannah dealer, you get the same experience you would get if you worked with us directly. We’ve carefully selected each one because we know they share our family values. They always put the customer first, so we know you’re safe in their capable hands. Whatever happens.

*subject to availability – contact us or your local dealer for more information.

If you want to know more about our reconditioned stairlifts, or more about second-hand stairlifts in general, call us. We’re more than happy to answer all your questions. If you’re exploring your options when it comes to stairlifts, we can schedule a free, no-obligation stair survey – an advisor will come and talk to you to help you figure out your options. You’ve got nothing to lose, so you might as well call now – the quicker you call the quicker you’ll have all the information you need.

Read our Stairlift Complete Guide 2019