Used equipment calls HandiExchange home

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

AURORA, Minn.--Like many other providers, Chris DeVaney frequently fields calls from people who want to buy or sell used DME, including wheelchairs.

“All we really tell them is donate it to a nursing home, or a loaner closet or put it in a classified ad,” said DeVaney, director of North Star Medical Equipment in Virginia, Minn. “There really wasn’t a centralized place to have people find specialized things, say a sports wheelchair.”

North Star Medical Equipment is one of the growing number of providers that has signed on to, a Web site that helps individuals find, buy, sell and trade equipment and services - everything from scooters to accessible rental homes - and find providers in their area.

 In the past few months, traffic to the site, which launched last spring, has increased by 600%, said Edward Addy, CEO.

While the site is primarily a space for individuals to post free classifieds advertising equipment they want to buy or sell, providers can also list their companies on the site’s directory at no charge, he said. Addy, a computer programmer, developed the site at the suggestion of his son, who had trouble finding a used sports wheelchair online.    

“If someone moves into a new area or is traveling and needs to find a business near them, if (the provider) is in there, they’ll find them,” said Addy. “(Providers) will get more walk-ins.”

Additionally, providers can refer customers, who are maybe uninsured and can’t afford to buy new equipment, to the site, said Addy.