Cheap or free wheelchairs can be easily found if you know the right places to look. There are many individuals who use their wheelchair temporarily after an illness or surgery and are willing to donate or sell it after they are recovered. There are also plenty of organizations that donate wheelchairs to those in need.
Visit your local hospital or airport where there are old wheelchairs. Inquire if they are willing to give away one for free or a small fee. Call the customer information line or the human resources department for more detailed information.
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Find organizations like Life Nets (lifenets.org/wheelchair/), which donates wheelchairs for free to those who need them. Life Net is based in Indiana, but serves the entire country using an online database to match donors with recipients who live nearby. Shipping and handling costs are sometimes necessary, if there are no donors who live close by to those in need.
Browse sites such as Craigslist or eBay, where you can find used wheelchairs for a cheaper price. When you are on Craigslist make sure to find your city (or the closest one to you) so that you can easily pick it up and will not have to pay a large shipping fee. The same goes for eBay, where you can view the seller's location.
Look in a thrift shop where there is a high possibility of finding a used wheelchair from an owner who only needed it temporarily. The benefit of a thrift shop is that you can actually try the wheelchair out and see if it fits your needs comfortably.
Buy directly from wheelchair manufactures. Go to infinitec.org/live/wheelchair/wcmanufact.htm for some of the biggest wheelchair companies. Since you are dealing directly with the manufacturer, you receive the product at a discounted price.
When shopping on line on sites like Craigslist or eBay, make sure to be safe and use common sense. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.