Hi and welcome ... Twinsplus1
There is no warranty or guarantee the machine comes from smoke free environment if buying through Craigslist.
The machines secondwind sell are inspected and cleaned prior to sale but I would go for a new unit for example PR System One Auto with humidifier (550) $499 and comes with two years warranty. Its full data capable machine supported by the free available SleepyHead software
Why you might want pay for rental:
In theory, the DME helps you with machine settings, problems, mask fitting, repairs, etc. Whether they actually do a good job is another question. Some are bad, some are great.
You may not be able to get repairs easily or at all if you're not renting/buying from a DME.
Insurance often requires a local DME, and won't reimburse for online purchases.
The medical mafia protects its own and doctors are often reluctant to deal with a CPAP if you didn't get it through a DME. They often don't know much about the machine, such as how to read data, etc. They may have no clue about how to fix leaks, when pressure should be changed, etc.
Often the "respiratory therapist" is sort of folded into the DME function.
If you screw up your therapy because you don't know what you're doing, you will suffer. In theory, the DME helps with this.
If you go it alone, you need to know what you're doing or have help from someone who does.
Whether the cost is worth the risks, or whether you get good care from the DME is hard to say.
Get the free SleepyHead software here
for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
Why would an insurance company want to pay out several $$ if you are not going to use it. They list it as a rental for three months so that if you don't use it they can take it back. After the three months it becomes a purchase and then you can normally keep it.
I purchased my machine from Secondwind (Supplier number 2) and am extremely happy with the machine. As for the mask, if it is not working for the patient, the patient will most likely not be compliant. You need to find a good DME to assist with mask! I have a big old melon head so I can sympathize. I may have gotten my machine myself, but I use my insurance DME for masks. It may be a battle, but at least it is there to fight if I use the ins DME for the mask. Those are the part that is so personal and so varied...
As for Craigslist, I would never buy from there myself. There are too many variables. I know some here would disagree, but that is my opinion.
As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.
PRS1 - Auto - A-Flex x2 - 12.50 - 20 - Humid x2 - Swift FX
Hi Twinsplus1, First of all, WELCOME! to the forum.! Has he heard from his DME regarding different masks? I hope he can get this straightened out, CPAP therapy can take lots of TIME and PATIENCE and he is fortunate to have such good support from you. Best of luck.