eBay stairlifts

Buying your stairlift from eBay or Facebook marketplace

facebook marketplace stairlifts

So if you’ve had a shop around, you’re probably aware that you can grab an absolute bargain if you’re willing to go for a pre-owned stairlift. Even our most popular products are our reconditioned offers. If you’re willing to take a chance and not worried about a warranty then pre-owned from eBay or Facebook can save you even more money…


Can we install it?

A question we get asked on a regular basis now is if we can re-install a lift which has been purchased second hand from friends, relatives or even via eBay or Facebook marketplace.

Yes, we’re more than happy to help you get your new lift in and working, regardless of where it comes from.

There are however a few key points to bare in mind before you go down the route of buying second hand…

ebay stairlifts

eBay stairlift buyer’s guide


First of all, if it’s a curved stairlift:

Unless the lift is coming out of your neighbours house with an identical staircase layout, we would unfortunately decline to assist you.

We’ve tried a few times over the years and failed to be able to safely re-use a curved rail, made for a different staircase, even if it was only a couple of inches difference. However, we still managed to save our customer money because we could re-use their chair, but ordered a new rail to fit their staircase. So if you have a Freecurve with the Classic or Elegance seat, like the ones on our curved stairlifts page, we can simply order you a rail and install the lift for you and save you more money.


The only curved lift we would ever suggest is completely re-usable is Acorn’s 180 curve which has a modular rail design. We don’t however keep a stock of alternative bends and angles as we’re not a main dealer for Acorn unfortunately.


If it’s a straight stairlift:

Now there are quite number of manufacturer’s to chose from for a straight staircase and they all do more-or-less the same job.

All the lifts worth having are now battery powered and recharge while not in use. Some have charge points top and bottom, some have a constant charge strip, providing a safe, low voltage to slowly charge the batteries. Very similar to your cordless phone.

Just make sure you get a stairlift to suit the same side of the staircase as your own


The Rail:

One key point if you are looking at a used straight stairlift is to make sure the rail is long enough.

The easiest way to tell this is to ask the seller for the length of the staircase it’s coming from. You need to measure from the ground floor to the 1st landing, but make sure the tape measure is touching every step on the way. ’13 steps’ is not an accurate measurement, believe us when we say everyone’s 13 stairs are different!


If you aren’t able to get the length of the last staircase, a safe measurement is your staircase length + 250mm if the rail has flat ends, or if the lift is an Acorn or Brooks model, with a 45-degree angle on the bottom of the rail, these need your staircase +200mm measured on the bottom/shorter edge. This will be enough to get the footrest level with the upper landing when it stops. If it’s too long, that’s not a problem either as we can easily cut off whatever we don’t need.



Can you get the rail into your house? Some of the older Brooks/Acorn rails were manufactured in one piece, which means you’ll either need a doorway or window with line of sight to your staircase. Not to mention, a nice roof rack to transport it. Other manufacturer’s & newer Brooks/Acorn lifts use a 2-piece rail on all models.


Hinged rails:

One thing we strongly recommend will depend on your staircase and if the rail will go over a doorway at the bottom…

You generally want to allow at least 300mm (12in) space from the nose of your first stair to any doorway. The lift can still come down over a doorway and then be made to park 2-3 stairs up to re-charge, keeping the doorway clear. 

Do not ever allow a lift to block your main entrance doorway, or front door

If however you don’t have a doorway near the bottom of the stairs, we’d suggest avoiding a hinged rail altogether, as the lift will beep constantly at the bottom, letting you know it’s not charging! You can either switch the lift off to stop it, or park it up 2-3 stairs after every use.



If you’re collecting the stairlift from the seller, you’ll hopefully be able to test it before deciding to take it. As mentioned above, any straight stairlift that’s worth having these days is battery powered and re-charges while it’s not being used. You should be able to run any battery powered lift without it being plugged in. This will prevent any hidden surprises later on. If the lift hasn’t been used for any length of time, it will likely need new batteries before being reliable again. Generally a lifespan of 5-6 years can be expected from any batteries, but this will be shortened if the lift is left off charge and switched on.



Every stairlift comes withe at least 2x remotes when it’s first installed. If there is going to be more than one user of your new lift, we’d strongly recommend asking for the remotes as well. You can still buy them from 3rd party websites such as stairlift-spares.co.uk but they can be quite expensive depending on which manufacturer you go for.



Make sure the seller still has the charger for the lift, otherwise your journey’s will be numbered!

Don’t worry so much about where you’re going to plug it in, some installers and main dealers use a dedicated fused spur, we’ve only ever used the nearest plug socket and simply fitted a plug with a 3A fuse, then run the thin, low voltage wiring under the carpet & underlay to the top or bottom of the rail.

In 35 years we have never ever needed to install or move a socket, but occasionally used some quality 2 core wire, such as this from Wickes which is more than capable of taking the 1A @ 24v from the charger across your landing, under the carpet. Just make sure you get the polarity (+ and -) of the cable the same at both ends.


Hopefully the short guide above has given you some ideas and points to look for if you are looking to buy privately. Ideally you’d want to be able to actually test the lift before it’s removed from the seller’s home, but most of the lifts we’ve seen have already been removed and most of them were still on the rail, making it extremely heavy and awkward to transport.