Got used equipment? Post it here
ROCHESTER, N.H. - Lakeside Mobility & Scooter jazzed up its Web site in March by adding a "Classifieds" link that allows customers or their families to sell used equipment.
"It's more of a service to our customers, at this point," said owner Bernie Hamann. "We get so many people who approach us with used equipment once Mom or Dad dies. But if it grows large enough, it might be a source of some additional revenue."
Customers can post items selling for less than $20 for free. Lakeside charges a "nominal fee," Hamann said, for items selling for more than $20. If customers want to give away their equipment for free--their listing is free. Product categories include everything from lift chairs and hospital beds to walkers and bath supplies.
Buyers and sellers communicate directly through the site (www.lakesidemobility.com). When potential buyers click on a category and then a product, they can read the seller's personal information and send a message.
Lakeside hired a part-time Web master recently to manage its Web site and post classifieds.
Eventually, Hamann envisions other providers buying memberships to post their own products--maybe items gathering dust in their warehouses--on Lakeside's "Classifieds" link.
"It's a great way to generate income without handling product," he said.
medmarketplace.com offers a similar service to providers on a much larger scale. Currently, 170 providers pay $49 per month to post new and used HME on the company's Web site. More than 3,000 users view the site daily, said President Vinnie Baratta.
"I think classified ads are a great idea," he said. "But we spend thousands of dollars on Google to drive traffic to our Web site. It has taken us thousands of listings to break even."
Hamann admits Lakeside's new to the Internet. The company didn't sell products on its Web site until earlier this year. But, Hamann said, he's just trying to look for new ways to decrease his dependency on Medicare and Medicaid, and increase cash sales.