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Thread: Buying a chair from a dealer vs. direct?

  1. #1

    Buying a chair from a dealer vs. direct?

    All
    I posted a question a few months ago regarding your opinion of different wheelchair's and all of your input was so helpful, thank you. Because of all your very good advice I have decided on a TI ZRA. It will be my first chair and I am looking forward to placing the order and that is the reason for this question.
    As I explained I am going with the TI ZRa. I am still waiting for a final estimate from a chair dealer that I was assigned to from a Kessler chair clinic who barely returns my calls (I am being kind), but I think it will be around $6000. with a few unique options like a flip up footrest, jay2 cushion, D's locks and a Matrx PB Elite back of which my insurance company will only pay about $2500. before the deductible and its a new year.
    I took it upon myself to get a direct quote from Spinlife. I am still waiting for their quote but I expect they will be around $3000. and that will be confirmed tomorrow.
    My question to all of you is how much value can the dealer bring? I understand the concept of having local support but that's gouging.
    My concern is there is a lot that I do not know and I will have no one to assist but at what cost is that up charge justified.


    What is your opinion ? I am sure a lot of you have had the same situation. Are all these dealers so unprofessional?

    Thank you and Happy New Year. Ciao



  2. #2
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    I think going through a dealer pretty much insures that, at the very least, they will adjust the footpedal length and back height. Having said that, if you can get the chair for half price at Spinlife I would go for it. It is a manual chair, so there are not all that many things that will need servicing (unlike a power chair) and three grand is a lot to toss away just to avoid a few adjustments.

  3. #3
    i know most american insurance companies wont, but ill ask anyway... will they remburse you the $2500 towards the purchase of a wheelchair through other avenues than a dme (ie. sportaid)? mine will, which i only figured out after paying (mostly rembursment) an obscene amount of money to a dealer, when it would have been 1/3 the price at sportaid.

  4. #4
    I have no direct experience of them and don't know if your NJ location is within their service area, but you might consider Wheelchair Medic as an aftersale support to help you finetune your chair.

  5. #5
    dealers are nothing but incompetent morons. they will do know more than a trained monkey will do for u. worthless
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  6. #6
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    Like Fu I find the dealers to be useless also. It's like pulling teeth trying to have them return calls, make appointments and provide information. I can only imagine once they've made the sale their "service" would be even worse. In addition, the prices they charge are obscene. Do your homework. Go to a seating clinic to be sure you have the right dimensions on the chair you want and try out your brand of chair (TiLite, Quickie, etc.) if they have your model there. If you can, have them do pressure mapping on your butt so you won't be ordering a chair guaranteed to put a hole in your ass. A local bike shop, auto mechanic, family member, friend or neighbor can help you make small adjustments. Save your money for oil and gasoline,lol.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by fuentejps
    dealers are nothing but incompetent morons. they will do know more than a trained monkey will do for u. worthless
    I actually have ran into a good company for working on my power chair and one to come. You're very correct about return calls, they are few and far between.

    My next chair will cost about $35k, of which insurance will only cover about $5k. I would say go direct for you, it sounds like the best option.
    C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.

  8. #8
    Smokey- Good advice and I did go to a wheelchair clinic at Kessler here in NJ. Therefore I am 98% comfortable with the specs and choice of the TI ZRA chair. I have a call into the OT at Kessler to ask about making an appointment to fine tune the chair with her after I get it shipped assuming I go the direct route..... Thanx

  9. #9
    Fu

    Very funny and so true. The dealer has no pulse and should change his career to selling caskets....

  10. #10

    wheelchair medic

    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212
    I have no direct experience of them and don't know if your NJ location is within their service area, but you might consider Wheelchair Medic as an aftersale support to help you finetune your chair.
    Stephen- I will contact wheelchair medic. They are in my area being I am in north NJ outside of NYC.... good call! thanx

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