Several other distinct factors are contributing to the residual value of today’s used hearing aids as follows:
- The vast majority of gear sold today is digital in nature, rather than analog. This means that given good condition, that used digital aid can be reprogrammed, and re-tuned to a variety of new users.
- Modularization; the behind the ear or (BTE) style instrument, with all of the components over the ear, excepting a custom made earmold, that delivers the sound into the users ear, along with the newer Receiver in the canal devices (RICs), where the speaker (we call them receivers) is placed down in the ear canal, both allow for easy refitting to a different patient.
- Nanotech moisture proofing has basically stopped the worst problems we’ve traditionally had with moisture, and salt intrusion destroying the processor, or amplifier chips through internal corrosion. We still have some issues with some models around the edges, but the majority of class A gear today is light years ahead of where we were as an industry on these issues just five to ten years ago. Solving the moisture and corrosion issue effectively eliminated one of the biggest, premature killers of ear level gear of any kind.
- While dated, the used gear of today is actually a used, miniature, ear level computer. Like any used computer, it may not have all of the bells, and whistles of the latest model, but if it’s transducers are in good condition, it may look, and perform every bit as well as it did, and have all of the same features and benefits as advertised when it was simply the newest, and latest model.
Just a few years ago, the majority of our trades involved custom made hearing aids of all designs. Unfortunately with all used custom aids, there is very little residual value in the old, traded aid, for some of the same reasons described above, excepting as salvage parts. This being due to the labor involved in the customization, or potential re customization process.
The mix of custom to BTE, or RIC instruments began changing around ten years ago, with the advent of open fit instruments that actually worked, and didn’t constantly feedback, or squeal. Due to their more natural sound, greater comfort, and residual value, we now fit over ninety percent of our patients with some sort of modular instrument, most often a high quality RICs. It’s been that way now in our practice for about seven, or eight years.
Because of this shift in type, and the overall improvements in both the durability of gear, and it’s overall performance, our patients hearing aids are lasting years longer than with previous models.
However, as with any mechanical, or electronic system, especially one that works in such a hostile environment, parts wear out, get plugged up, and eventually the gear needs repair, or reconditioning in order to function as designed.
Even a Lexus, or Infiniti need to have their oil, tires, filters and fluids changed and the wheels realigned periodically. So, we see our patients when something needs service, repair, reprogramming, or reconditioning.
Whenever this service requires us to send our patient’s gear in for repair, rather than something we handle on the spot, we offer a free loaner. Most of the time, the loaners we use are new, or demonstration gear supplied specifically for the task, by one of our major vendors.
When we do, we always give our patients the opportunity to buy the new gear, should they like the improvements, and performance better than their old gear. Within our offer, is always a generous trade allowance for their old gear. This is how we get the vast majority of our used inventory of hearing aids; from patient trade ins, and ups.
Lots of times, the trade in gear has been recently reconditioned by the original manufacturer, and is in like new condition. Some have the balance of a factory warranty still remaining. Other, older models are sold as is. But, all have our thirty day return, and sixty-day no lemon policy.
As to what this used gear costs, or sell for, well that’s the amazing thing. The current market value for the best used, or reconditioned gear is selling for between fifteen, and thirty percent of what they sold for new, depending entirely upon model, age, condition, accessories, original packaging, and warranty.
Other older, legacy gear starts at an amazing $15, plus normal fitting, professional fees, and any custom molds (between $150 and $225 total, depending upon type of mold system.)
We actually sell used hearing aids with the same thirty day return privileges, and sixty day no lemon policy that we do with each new aid we dispense.
Meaning that, even with a used instrument purchase from us, you can bring it back, get a refund, or an exchange, under the exact same terms applied to our new gear, should the equipment not suit your needs, or should you fail to achieve satisfaction with your purchase.
Our new instrument sales this last year have resulted in an extraordinary supply of good used gear. We offer it direct to consumers now in our store in downtown Melbourne, Florida, and will soon be adding a used hearing aid exchange to our website where consumers can see, and purchase directly from the site.
Currently in stock we have a nice supply of the following:
- Sona Vogue RICs
- GN ReSound Dot2 s
- Unitron Moxis
- Unitron BTEs
- Oticon RICs
- Widex Clear RICs
- Siemens BTEs
- Rexton BTEs
So, if you or a loved one has been putting off getting hearing help because you thought good gear was out of your budget. Or, you need a good pair of backup aids, and thought you couldn’t afford them. Think again, we have lots of high quality used, and reconditioned hearing aids starting at just $15, and up.
So, give us a call, drop us a line, in the comments section, or email us and we’ll be happy to see if we can’t help you to enjoy the benefits of better hearing sooner, rather than later.
After all, a brain is a terrible thing to waste, especially if, it is your own.