I'm just past my first year, this is what I've learned. Knowledge is power. Being informed and assertive will save you money and time in the future. That being said, lets start on some time critical options. Many states have a contractual back out clause. As an example, Wisconsin, if I recall correctly, is three days. That means if I buy, sell, or otherwise agree to any contract, implied or written, I have three days to cancel null and void that contract.
Manufacturer return policies gain you a extra back out. Many DME's use ResMed who have a thirty day policy. If you don't like your mask or machine, give it back, no charge. The DME knows that, the insurance ppl know that.
Is your DME a RT? They did their homework to get there and I would rather buy from them. Just my opinion, sosume. Get copies of your Doctors prescription!! I may add that a copy in DOC and PDF will also save you time and effort in the future. Most local print shops will do that for a couple of bucks, do it yourself if you know how.
That prescription, in hand, will allow you, by law, to walk in, or online, purchase whatever you like, where ever you like, within the realm of that prescription.
Read the fine print!! If you purchase items accross state or country lines the laws change, be aware of that. Talk to your Doctor after you framiurize with the products!! Many Doctors will allow you to get a better machine if they see you are knowegable and interested. Never settle for what they give you if you can get something better!! Again, just my observation. Dont assume the Doctors or the DME's are aware of what is out there to buy. Do your homework, familurise with the market products and ask for the better machines. You may need it in the future.