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Supply reselling (hoping not to start a flame war)
#1
After being a grateful and hopefully supportive member of this board for several months, and reading most of the posts, I have a question for the members.

I do not use my medicare or insurance benefits for PAP equipment or supplies/replaceables, purely by my choice. I started out intending to use medicare, but the hassle and poor choices and quality of DME support dissuaded me, and I can afford to be self-paying. That said, I know many if not most Apnea sufferers are not as fortunate.

Now to get to my question. It seems from what I read here that DMEs replace consumables and even machines and masks on a regular schedule (perhaps depending on medicare/insurance guidelines). If the patient does not need or want these supplies, do any patients resell them? I ask because I buy my consumables on EBay, and I see a number of small sellers selling limited quantities of pillows, mask cushions, etc.
I presume these sellers had to pay a co-pay for things they did not need, so they might want to sell the unneeded items to help cover expenses.

I am sure this benefits the DMEs and the manufacturers as well as some benefit to the re-sellers, but is to the detriment of the insurance companies, medicare, and the normal sellers who buy supplies wholesale, and thus to their customers.

Is this a common thing to anyone's knowledge? Am I way off base here?
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#2
As for me, I don't get supplies unless I ask for them. I don't know, but I supposed it's happening, if people get "auto-shipped" supplies. In that case, I could see where the extra supplies would be pushed off onto eBay so one could offset some costs. Seems the only person loosing would still be the end user (you, me, taxpayer) since we pay the premiums.


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#3
Traditional Medicare does not permit auto-shipping of supplies. One must ask for them; and there is a schedule for frequency.
Where people get the items they sell on eBay or Amazon is mere speculation.
There are people such as myself who do buy consumables, such as filters, online; mostly because there is less hassle.

Note that CPAP machines and Masks are prescription items in the US; and the forum rules forbid the facilitation of of the transfer of prescription items via the forum. Those who sell such Rx items on venues like eBay and Amazon may or may not be licensed DMEs. If not licensed then they risk running afoul of US law. Permit me to add that on this forum, mask parts, even nasal pillows fall into the Rx category.


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#4
Sometimes masks are changed and the parts for the last mask are not needed. Sometimes a mask kit comes with all three sizes and the ones not needed are sold off. I don't think that anyone could make a lot of money selling off one mask a month, if they really need $40 that much, well IMHO have at it.
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#5
I have several pillows in the sizes I don't use - came with mask kits. Have factory packaged filters for RemStar Pro which I will not use - the machine died recently. Have some other miscellaneous mask parts for the masks I don't use any more.
So, what do you think is better; should I trash it or sell it?
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#6
This is what I was afraid of. I was not making ANY value judgement, I was just curious about whether this occurred. I am sorry if I touched nerves, and will no longer monitor this topic.
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#7
(12-18-2015, 12:59 PM)GPSMapNut Wrote: I have several pillows in the sizes I don't use - came with mask kits. Have factory packaged filters for RemStar Pro which I will not use - the machine died recently. Have some other miscellaneous mask parts for the masks I don't use any more.
So, what do you think is better; should I trash it or sell it?

What are the laws in Canada? Personally I keep a few spare parts just in case; but I trash some things no longer needed.

Again, a reminder: "Apnea Board is based in the U.S. and must comply with U.S. regulations and laws regarding prescription-required items, regardless of where our members are physically located." That's straight from the Admin and includes not facilitating transfer using the PM system.
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#8
I think the sales on Ebay and elsewhere come from a variety of sources. The one that kind of pisses me off are the DME employees that resell the extra pillows from mask kits that are removed so that their patients only receive the one in their size. Mask components are legal to sell without prescriptions, so legitimate DMEs may sell pillows, cushions, mask frames and headgear. Filters and consumables are also non-prescription, and are sold at a low price on the internet completely legally. DMEs may sell machines, although they are "supposed" to retain prescriptions for those. The recent introduction of the DreamStation machines by Philips has apparently cause some clearance pricing of the PRS1 sixty series machines, and those have been appearing through "DMEs" on Amazon, and we constantly see a market of new machines on Craigslist that move around from what I assume are gray-market sellers.

Brick and mortar DMEs charge a premium through their stores and clinics, and wildly inflate the retail prices to anyone foolish enough to pay them that. the insurance companies don't, as the DME is paid a contract or allowed price. Most internet retailers only advertise the "minimum advertised price" (MAD) allowed by the manufacturers. They may quote lower prices by phone or after you add an item to your cart. The more CPAP supplies become commodities, the cheaper they become, and it's relatively recently that we've seen these prices come down.

There may be individuals reselling, but I think it is relatively few. Most that I see, are selling machines and masks they never used, and may be several years old. Others are selling truly old crap that is heavily used when they get issued a new machine, (usually at absurdly high prices based on B&M fictional retail value). Mask or nasal pillow hoarding and reselling probably happens for the relatively few insured customers that get supplies sent on a regular schedule.
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#9
"hoping not to start a flame war". Not even close to a flame war, no harm no foul.
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#10
(12-18-2015, 01:18 PM)justMongo Wrote:
(12-18-2015, 12:59 PM)GPSMapNut Wrote: I have several pillows in the sizes I don't use - came with mask kits. Have factory packaged filters for RemStar Pro which I will not use - the machine died recently. Have some other miscellaneous mask parts for the masks I don't use any more.
So, what do you think is better; should I trash it or sell it?

What are the laws in Canada? Personally I keep a few spare parts just in case; but I trash some things no longer needed.

Again, a reminder: "Apnea Board is based in the U.S. and must comply with U.S. regulations and laws regarding prescription-required items, regardless of where our members are physically located." That's straight from the Admin and includes not facilitating transfer using the PM system.

I haven't sold anything like that yet, because I'm not sure what Canadian law says about it. I suspect that it may be similar to US where (AFAIK) machines and masks are prescription only but (machine and mask) parts for the masks and / or machines are not regulated.
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