The street value of diabetic test strips

35168_1512282448752_1285132556_31396303_2946250_nThis sign appeared at the intersection of Clark and Golfside today, near Washtenaw Community College. My friend Kristin sent it to me and some other folks. Our mutual friend, Monica, then did some online detective work, finding the following about the woman likely responsible for the sign.

Rachel Rounsifer, Ph.D., Behavioral Scientist, is a full-time Internet Entrepreneur and Business woman. She is the niece of business mogul, Dr. Leonard Silk, former Financial Editor of the New York Times/world renowned Economist. Rachel coaches and mentors other Internet entrepreneurs from their homes in the methods to earn multiple six-figure incomes.

I’m not sure what the angle is, or, for that matter, whether the sign says $10 or $1,000. As a box of 50 can be had on Amazon for a little over $20, I’m guessing that the sign says $10. But, I suppose by “box” they could mean “crate.” It’s confusing. I’m also not clear as to whether or not she’s looking for used or unused strips. I can’t imagine that she’s looking for used ones, but you never know. Maybe used strips can be smoked or something. And, it doesn’t seem to me as though this is the kind of thing that someone would have extra of, if we’re talking about unused ones. Wouldn’t you need them until you were dead, if you were suffering from diabetes? My only guess is that maybe this has to do with insurance. Maybe people who don’t need them are having them prescribed, and then selling them at below market value for cash. Or, more likely, they just don’t use all the ones that their allotted before they expire, and there’s an underground economy for these extras. One would imagine that folks without insurance would, after all, rather buy a box from someone for $10 than buy a new box for $22. So maybe the person who put out the sign, whoever it is, is hoping to be a middleman, maybe making a few dollars on each box in the process. It seems like a lot of work, though, for $5. It doesn’t surprise me, though, in this economy.

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  1. fedupwithmichigan
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    What I would like to know, speaking of optimism, is where council candidate Theodore (ted) Windish thinks he can get off robocalling my home repeatedly at mealtime- and expect a positive result.

    Mr Ted, I have no existing business arrangement with you. Your unsolicited calls to my home are thus as I understand it, illegal.It’s a federal thing. I have the recording running and preserve all.

    If any of you have magazines of any sort with the prepaid acceptance card— put in this dude’s address and drop them in the mail-

    Parcel Identification
    Parcel Number: 11-11-10-235-021
    City, Village, or Township: CITY OF YPSILANTI
    Parcel Status: ACTIVE
    Property Address Street Number, Name & Direction 124 MILES ST
    Property City, State, Zip Code YPSILANTI MI, 48198
    School District Number & Name 81020 YPSILANTIPUBLIC SCHOOLS
    Property Classification 401 RESIDENTIAL

    Taxpayer Identification — Year 2011
    Taxpayer Name 1: WINDISH THEODORE NEIL (2011)
    Taxpayer Name 2:
    Taxpayer Mailing Address: 124 MILES ST
    Taxpayer City, State, Zip Code: YPSILANTI, MI, 48198

  2. rex
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    a quick google search tells you exactly who these people are, too:

    Google Search for 734 475 1307

  3. rex
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    heh, and this:

    I love internet rabbit holes.

  4. Posted July 8, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    And here I thought that I was up to a lot of stuff.

  5. Brackinald Achery
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    They collected every unused pregnancy test in the city, and, filled with an unexpected emptiness at their achievement, have moved on to diabetic test strips. Everybody needs goals.

  6. Judy
    Posted July 9, 2010 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    So….is their hope to get folks who get their test strips paid for my Medicaid or Medicare? If so, isn’t this akin to selling food stamps?

    If someone needs cash to pay bills, feed their kids (or buy dope), they won’t check their glucose levels and will sell their testing strips.

    If you test properly you will never have “EXTRA” strips.

    By the way I’ve seen these signs several places, including the corner of Prospect and Clark.

  7. Knox
    Posted July 9, 2010 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    They sell them to fat vampires as snacks.

  8. Kim
    Posted July 9, 2010 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    They also say “up to $10.00,” which means that they’ll likely offer less. So, if people hand them over for $7 and these middlemen can sell them for $15, they’ve made $8.

  9. Kim
    Posted July 9, 2010 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Has anyone called the number to ask them?

  10. Posted July 9, 2010 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    There was also a sign on the corner of Packard and Carpenter Rd. Seems like a big scheme to rip off Medicaid and/or Medicare. Preying on people that may need money more then they think they need to test their blood sugar.

  11. Christine M
    Posted July 9, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Fat vampires? Is that because when you became a vampire you were fat and therefore are forever doomed to being fat? Gosh that’s sad.

  12. Kelsy
    Posted July 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully, health care reform wipes this kind of thing out.

  13. EL
    Posted July 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    People with diabetes, though, are very gullible. Something about happens with high blood sugars makes people inclined to give up their medical supplies for cheap to scams like this. It’s sad. Why do these people want diabetes in the first place?

  14. Philly Buster
    Posted July 10, 2010 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I’ve always wondered why Jarvik does not invent a permanent pressure gauge that could be surgically positioned in a person’s artery. A person with high blood pressure could have a constant readout, and even alarms that sound when the pressure is too high. It would be cool if it could read in PSI and look like a bicycle tire gauge.
    Maybe there could be some similar device for blood glucose. With alarms that is.
    Kelsy, are you kidding? If you are, that was pretty funny. If you are not kidding, I guess it is just sad.

  15. anonymous
    Posted July 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Philly, there was an article in Wired recently about people trying to develop an artificial pancreas that would sense blood sugar levels and release insulin appropriately. Apparently it’s a hard problem.

  16. Posted October 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    I am Rachel Rounsifer from Diabetic Supply Rescue, a non-profit organization that enables diabetic individuals who are having difficulty getting test strips and other diabetic supplies to be able to obtain them. It is my signs you have been seeing.

    The reasons why diabetics have extra supplies are many, and not from insurance fraud, as it has been suggested….relatives die, people go into hospitals, the hospitals provide them with test strips and they end up with extras at home, peoples’ diabetes improves and then they do not have to test as often, but medical supply houses simply will not send less or will not stop sending them when requested, and most frequently of all, doctors change people to a different glucose meter, rendering their current test strips useless, and then people have no idea what to do with the extra boxes, as pharmacies and medical supply houses will not take them back. Many people donate their extra test strips. We offer a small amount of money as an incentive, as other “for profit” organizations are competing in the marketplace. Interestingly, walkers, wheelchairs, commode seats, C-Pap Machines, and other medical equipment paid for by insurance and no longer needed end up at garage sales, on Craig’s list, or at flea markets… without anyone questioning it or yelling “insurance fraud”, so it is unclear why anyone would single out diabetic test strips once people no longer need them. Many diabetic supplies collected are donated to the Hope Clinic right here in Ypsilanti, some are donated to a large children’s outreach of severely ill children in Appalachia ( the poorest area in the US), some boxes and meters are donated to people who cannot test we learn about from diabetes and health fairs, and sent overseas to medical clinics, other’s reach end users through our website,, who would otherwise have to pay full price at a pharmacy otherwise and cannot afford them after lay offs or for other economic hardships. Lancets (used to poke fingers) by the thousands are donated, as well as new and used glucose meters, alcohol prep pads, and lancing devices. The test strips I receive from people are sitting in a drawer or a closet, sometimes for months, and will expire and be thrown away otherwise. This way, at least, someone gets to actually use them. Please visit my other website at where more than 10 thousand needy people in India will benefit from your donation of an old cell phone you may wish to recycle through Sathyaveda Ministries and Wireless Alliance, a site that I have set up. They pay a dollar or less per phone and will send you a box free of charge to mail it in…

  17. Posted October 19, 2010 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    I found that post to be very difficult to read.

  18. George B
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Do not believe a word that is said about all the donations and such they by diabetic test strips for $5 – $10 per box and sell them to wholesalers that resell them to the public on web sites and such. They pay you $5 and sell them for $15 to $25 per box and the $10 boxes upwards to $50 – $65 per box so do the math if they pick up 10 boxes per day paid out $50 sold for the low side $150 that’s $100 per day and they can make a lot more then that. The B.S about donations ans such is the junk they can’t sell for a good profit!

  19. Gerhard
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Well………..I agree that the “donation” thing is a bunch of BS! Although, Diabetic Test Strips are a product and nothing illegal nor immoral in buying low and selling high. Check the prices that WalGreens charges(Over $10o.oo for box of 100) I like the idea of someone taking some profits out of their pockets! Just don’t try to con the public about your benevolent motives!

  20. Toni
    Posted October 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I would like to know who these “dealers” are re-selling them too? It is true that some diabetics do change meters leaving us with many boxes of test strips among other reasons, however i too do not “buy” this hog wash about donating them to the poor in Mexico, etc. So where are they really going and for how much?

  21. Toni
    Posted October 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I am still trying to figure this out.

  22. Toni
    Posted October 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    This is another article about it————-

  23. Posted November 4, 2011 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    This is an obvious funnel for the old classic test strip scam on ebay. They look for people that abuse medi/medi coverage (which effectively means the patient gets them at 100% discount so they are free) so they then get more strips than they actually need and sell off the extra boxes. Imagine someone that has a test 6xD Rx and has a 90 EDS Rx so gets 10 fifty-count boxes sent to their door through some lame mail-in supplier. Uses 2 IF THAT and sells the rest (8) for $10-20 a box (which is a fraction of wholesale price) through the “black market”. It’s medicare fraud.

    Tops the TDD relay calls we get at the pharmacy looking for a sucker to mail test strips using a stolen credit card to purchase over the phone.

  24. fluffy
    Posted November 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    what business is it of anybody’s what someone does with their unuesd test strips, so what if they make money off of them , it is there’s they can do with them as they see fit, seems like all you on here complaining about this is because ya aren’t making any money,

  25. Davi
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    I am a type 1 diabetic, that basically means I need to test my blood sugar up to 10 times a day. I get my test strips auto ordered every three months. It is a huge box .
    Recently I checked the unused sealed boxes and I had accumulated 38 b0xes. a few were expired but most of them were perfectly fine. I saw an add on the internet that agreed to pay me 14 dollars per unopened box.

    I am disabled and I barely afford to see a movie or go on a date.

    I could give the unused test strips to blood checking for JESUS, or I could sell them to a the supply company for $532.000. The company claims they sell the test strips to low income people that do not have insurance. So, my conscious is clear and it has been since forever that I have held 500 dollars in my hypoglycemic hands.

  26. Earlene
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m putting up “Do you have lightly soiled bandages?” signs around Ypsi today. I intend to become wealthy beyond imagination.

  27. Tammy
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    I live in Jacksonville, FL & I know for a fact that here they buy these NEW DIABETIC TESTING STRIPS for $10 per 50 count box then they are GIVEN to people that need them but cannot afford them. People that are homeless, on a fixed income or people that just cannot afford to purchase them. There’s a foundation here that puts out these same signs & it’s a non profit organization. So maybe this will help educate some of you that are not aware of these things. Most of the people that post these signs are trying to make money. I only know this to be a fact because 1 of these same organizations helped my grandmother & grandfather get their testing strips.

  28. Tammy
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:26 am | Permalink


  29. Emo
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    So what if they want to sell there soon to expire strips, nothing wrong getting extra cash for something you will be throwing away, I have had 4 different testing meters and strips sent to me by my insurance company so I was using the newer testor and the others just sat there eventually I had to throw them in the garbage, if I new I would get money for them I would have sold them than dumping them in the garbage, this is nothing different than people giving clothes, housewares, electronics etc. to a Savors, Salvation Army or a Goodwill store sometimes they are worst because they get this stuff for free so that others that cannot afford them new can benefit by these stores but…. Some of these stores such as “SAVORS” mark there items extremely high based on what they see them for and how close can they get to sell them as close to new value it is shameful.

  30. Ms Martin
    Posted November 17, 2015 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Fascinating. I stumbled across this article by googling “underground rx donations” because I have lots of my mom’s meds that she wont be needing; acquired through hospitalizations and underuse as reported above. I also have a ton of diabetic supplies that I would like to see go to someone who can’t afford them.

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