Hello there, today I would like to talk about how prices increase dramatically once you apply a "disability" or "specialist" label to an item. I was looking at a non-slip sheet today, and I got a nasty shock! On a mobility website, I came across a slide sheet, which can be locked into place so that it doesn't move while the person is sitting still on it. Guess how much money it is? £69.68 for a chair slide sheet, and £116.39 for a larger one for the bed! Just for a few bits of material? Come on! If someone had good skills with a needle and thread, they could easily make the same product with the right material, which would not cost nearly as much, I would guess that it would be less than half of the original price of the product from the "specialist" site.
Over the years, I have realised that no matter what the product is and even if it's exactly the same product that able-bodied people use, but with a slight modification, the price will go sky-high! The only logical explanation for the rocketing prices that I can think of is not enough people buy these products from those specific manufacturers and therefore they will lose on profit (I think). When I outgrew the standard baby car seat, I sat in a car seat that had a five-point harness, that was about £400 when we got it, and now the price has risen again to £599.50! We bought it because I was getting too big for the standard baby car seat, but I still needed the support that the seat and the five-point harness gave me.
A "specialist" trackball (computer mouse) costs around £234.00, and the trackball (mouse) that I have costs £29.99 (with a scroll wheel), or £23.05 without a scroll wheel. This is on a well-known online store. Whereas a standard computer mouse would cost about £5.48, plus UK VAT. In my opinion, the price difference is ridiculous because both do exactly the same thing. Yes, it may have different buttons to do the tasks and they may be larger than a standard computer mouse, but other than that, there isn't much difference. So, why is there a huge price difference?
It really isn't fair that equipment for people who have significant difficulties in using the "standard" products have to pay a lot more for the equipment that works well for them! Before I wrote this post, I did some research into how much things cost, and I was horrified to see how much putting a "disabled" label on a product increases the price on them. A simple book stand would cost about £5.00, but when you add "for disabled people" or something like that, the price increases to about £200.00 or more. A while ago, I was looking for one to hold paper while I was working, and I asked my friends on Facebook, one stand that a friend suggested was perfect, apart from one thing: the price. I can't remember exactly how much it was, but I think it was over £200.00. Luckily, I found one that was much cheaper, no more than £15.00 on an online UK bidding/buy and sell site.
I have yet to see any "specialist" equipment that is cheap... Daft, isn't it?
As always, thank you for reading, and I'll see you next time.