Don't be shy to get price quotes for hearing aids

since if you do you’ll save yourself a ton of money. For first time hearing aid buyers the experience can be bewildering as much as overwhelming. Especially for older folks who don’t understand that the market is competitive and there is more than one location/supplier to purchase a hearing aid. Once you’ve decided you need a hearing aid - try to narrow down one or two brands you would like to test. Also try to determine if you think you need a ITE aid, BTE aid, etc. Then pick up your phone and start calling hearing aid dealers to get price quotes. You’ll find in some cases a supplier might not give out the cost of an aid unless you come into his or her office. Don’t be fooled by that stall tactic, since deep down a hearing aid dealer wants to make a sale and if your persistent you’ll get a ball park figure, if not a solid price quote. Then once you find out the cost for a given hearing aid, call another location and request the “charge” for the exact same hearing aid. You’lll find after three, four phone calls price differences of several hundred of dollars, even $1000 plus. I’ve had one dealer tell me two brand new aids would run $6300 only to find someone a couple of miles away offering the same two aids for $4,800. Exact same aids - so you tell me whose taking whom for a ride? Also a hearing aid warranty is extremely important but don’t settle on a two or three year warranty. Before you pull out your credit card you ask for a four or five year warranty and if the dealer hesitates just tell him you want a free extended warranty or no deal. You’ll find the aid supplier will offer you an extended warranty because again (he/she) wants to close on a sale.

There are other practices you need to follow when buying expensive aids but comparing price quotes, getting a written four plus year warranty in your hand and asking a ton of question (before buying) will save you money and gray hairs down the road. Those who rush the process, only talk/meet with one hearing aid dealer or buy an aid without a “warranty” will most likely over pay many times over.

Remember the turtle won the race.

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What should be common sense is good advice. I’ve heard too many stories of people storming out of the audiologist office the first time they’re given a price quote and then never getting their hearing aids.

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Excellent post and glad you mentioned the “warranty” part when buying a hearing aid. Hopefully some of the posters - posting on “eBay hearing aids” will read your thoughts and then realize you never buy something as expensive as a HA, without a long term warranty. And remember there’s “peace of mind” buying a new hearing aid with a warranty versus buying something on eBay that might be used, defective or out of production.

Price shopping is fine but keep in mind you might have other priorities too. You’re not just buying the hearing aids, but the service that comes with them. Regarding extended warranty: this is available with many credit cards so you might not want to make it a deal breaker if you have other options.

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Life is basically a negotiation and there is nothing wrong with negotiating the price of hearing aids. Some additional discount areas are paying with a check instead of 0% interest financing or using a credit card. The financing option costs the practice between 5 - 10%, the credit card purchase cost the practice 2-4%. If you pay with check or cash, that could qualify you for a discount or free batteries or extended warranty (any warranty past the 2 or 3 years the hearing aid comes with is paid for by the practice). Also keep in mind where you are buying because you will need to go back for fitting, adjustments and service. A great price on the instruments that comes with lousy or incompetent service is no bargain.

Ahh but when you buy a HA on eBay there is no “service” as you say, you can buy into. Why take the risk when you don’t even know if you’re getting a new HA or a used one? Much less a HA that works properly?

I’m a big fan of sharing what has worked for oneself, but not “telling” anybody what to do because who knows what will work for them. Some people get incredible bargains on Ebay and it works for them. I’m happy for them and hope their experiences inspire positive experiences for others. I object only if they tell me I’m stupid for buying hearing aids the way I did. I think there are lots of different ways that can work for people.

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I purchased my M90s on eBay, and an audiologist programmed them from my audiogram. In addition, they had a 30 day return policy. I just got back from my first audi visit, and he confirmed the devices were genuine, not used, and covered by the international warranty for a year. He said he’s never had to process a claim under the international warranty process before, and that may be a bit complicated, but assured me it would be taken care of if the need arises (I never had to have my Q90s serviced under warranty in the 6 years I had them).

That route is obviously not for everybody; but it should also not be dismissed out of hand over someone’s imagined scary scenarios of purchasing from eBay.

I will also say this, I got more “service” out of the pay per visit appointment I had today, than I did out of the previous audiologist whose visits were included in the bundling price. I’m not saying he was a bad audiologist, just that the service I got today was far better.

Bottom line is, no matter where you buy, there are things to be careful about, and some research is a good idea.

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I don’t think anyone here is telling anyone else that they are stupid for not buying on Ebay.

Everyone here should make their own mind up based on the price and service offered.

You can buy from an audiologist and get a bundled service with guarantee. Or you could choose to buy from Ebay, probably with no guarantee or any services included and then buy your own audiology services to program the aid for you. The second route is riskier but cheaper. Which route is better for any individual will depend upon their risk aversion vs the price saving available.

Some people are more risk averse and won’t buy any expensive item without a guarantee. Personally, I see no problem with buying without a guarantee - so long as you are happy with risk/reward and can afford to bear the cost if the item goes wrong - which could be anywhere from paying for a repair to writing off the pruchase and replacing it.

For example consider hparsons scenario:

(1) Buy a set of aids for $6000 from an audiologist with bundled services and included guarantee.
(2) Buy the same set of aids from Ebay for $2600 and pay $200 for an audiologist to set them up including REM.

hparsons went for option 2 and it worked well for them.

Others here would always stick with option 1 and still others may be willing to go for option 2 but only if the price difference was larger.

Personally, I went for Option 1 for my Marvel M90s (although in the UK the choice was around £3,000 for an audiologist vs £1,150 on Ebay UK) but totally understand someone choosing Option 2.

I think the problem is that some keep implying that people are stupid for buying from eBay. I obviously disagree with that statement. At the same time, I don’t feel I was stupid for not buying from eBay the first time around.

To be totally fair, the total charge from the new audiologist was $350. $250 for the REM and adjustment, and $100 for transfer/setup of the device into his system (apparently, there’s some back end work that has to be done with Phonak to transfer the aids).

Also, youbegone said he was quoted $4800:

Of course, my original quote six years ago for my Q90s was no out of pocket, 100% insurance covered, until I had already taken them home, where the priced jumped and I had to get my insurance company to intervene. That’s a moot point to me though. I would have gone the route I did even if I had been quoted $4800 for the pair. For the simple reason I didn’t have $4,800 to spend. I had $3,500. Between the aids, the $350 for the apointment, and the $200 I spent on the Noahlink, I’m still under that budget. So yeah, I’m a happy camper.

Frankly, had the timing been different, I might have gone the more expensive route. Had I done a little more research, I might have gone with the Costco Kirkland 9.0s at $1500. But had I gone either, I could easily have found things to cause buyer’s remorse on whatever choice I made (extra money spent, or the lack of recharge feature, no tinnitus features which I haven’t enabled yet, but plan to, and other missing features).

Bottom line, that I keep repeating, we have different resources, different needs, and different resources - so we’re all going to find different solutions.

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