One effective way that we’ve found to help folks on very tight budgets is through the use of used, and reconditioned hearing aids. For someone looking for quality hearing help on an extremely tight budget, used gear might be just the ticket.
Not only have the chips powering today’s hearing aids undergone continuing improvement and exponential expansion of their capabilities with each successive generation, the software that instructs, and processes environmental, and speech sounds have made great strides as well.
At the same time consumer preferences have shifted, and whereas ten years ago the majority of our fittings were of a custom nature, now the majority of gear being fit is of a behind the ear style, either with a conventional tubing and mold system, a thin tube earpiece, or what are known as RIC’s, or receiver in the canal type instruments.
Due to these improvements and changes in style, this means that when folks are purchasing new hearing aids, for the great new, expanded benefits, and features that they offer, they often have good serviceable hearing aids with years of life left in them to trade.
Given this remaining service life, these used instruments have real, residual value, that we can give in the form of trade in allowances for those folks upgrading their gear. This means that we are regularly getting in a stock of good used gear. Much of this used gear we acquire on trade can be reprogrammed, retubed, retipped, and refit to another patient, who might not be able to afford, or want to invest in new gear.
This allows us to not only offer our new, or upgrading patients better pricing, it also to have a serviceable inventory of good used gear, so that even those on an extreme budget can afford better hearing.
However, not all gear is suitable for reuse, or refitting. This is something that folks need to know and information I impart during each fitting counselling session. Custom hearing aids are just that, they are custom made for that particular patient. While ears are similar, it is difficult and expensive to remake and refit a custom hearing aid to another ear.
This makes custom hearing aids worth far less come trade in and upgrade time. They’ve been made for one particular ear. Remaking them to someone else’s ears cost more in time, labor, and materials than new ones would cost.
Given this, the most valuable part of a traded in custom hearing aid, is it’s battery door, which can be easily snapped off, and used to replace another’s should the need arise. Getting the other reusable components out of their custom shell and into one made for another is just not economically feasible.
Another issue that hearing aid consumers need to be aware of is protected labels, like Miracle Ear, Beltone and Audibel. These hearing aid labels are marketed under protected territorial franchises. This means that only the franchisee for that label can program, or reprogram these aids, regardless the style.
These Miracle Ear, Beltone and Audibel dispensers have exclusive territorial rights to be the sole providers of these labels, and all of these labels require return to an ‘authorised franchisee’ for service and programming.
Obviously, limiting service and programming options through franchise label protection helps these labels, but it severely degrades the value of their products in any aftermarket arena and may make finding service in less densely populated areas difficult.
If, you are looking for hearing help on any budget, we are here to help you. Not only do we offer everyday, discounted, pricing, on our new gear, we also offer generous trade in allowances, a variety of payment and financing options, along with used, and reconditioned hearing aids.
To prevent any misunderstanding and in keeping with our tradition of openness, transparency and unbundled pricing, the total cost of fitting any of our patients always includes our normal fitting, and professional fees.
These are $150 for a monaural fit and $200 for a set of (2) binaural aids. Combine this with the cost of whatever gear chosen whether it’s, new, or used, and you have the total, out the door price.
All hearing aids, new, or used, are sold with a thirty day return privilege if not satisfied, as outlined by Florida Statutes. On top of this we also offer our own written, sixty day extended trial exchange, where we will gladly exchange any instrument for equipment we carry, with full credit for all monies invested. We call it our “No Lemons Policy”
What are you waiting for?
We make better hearing affordable for everyone. Whether you are looking for the latest feature packed new gear, or trying to get hearing help on an extreme budget, we do all we can to help you achieve your goals.
Making hearing help affordable is just another part of being Patient Centered and Results Oriented.