Update...do not buy used hearing Aids off Ebay, Costco


#13

Yes most Costco hearing aids are programmable elsewhere. Only KS5 and KS6 (that we know for sure) are Aventa software locked. We are suspicious about ReSound Cala being Aventa software locked, and we are suspicious about ReSound Forte being SmartFit software locked.

Costco used hearing aids are the same as any other used hearing aids (with the exception of the above mentioned models). Actually you may even get a better bargain because of all the locked rumors.

It doesn’t matter whether or not an EBay seller accepts returns. If the seller is listing unusable/locked/junk then you get your money back, period. Don’t forget to demand that the seller pays for return shipping. If the EBay Buyer’s guarantee doesn’t go well use your credit card chargeback rights (requires that the transaction was funded 100% via credit card, and not from your online balance, and not from your bank account).

A couple of EBay tricks;

  1. Click “See other items” to try to determine if the seller is a dealer who regularly sells hearing aids. A dealer will hold out for higher prices as opposed to an estate sale price.
  2. Click the [] Sold listings box in the left pane to filter your search to only items that have already been sold. This might give you some recent sell price history.

And for newbies;
Don’t expect factory support for repair when you buy used HAs. You likely will have no warranty unless there is remaining warranty and you are able to get it transferred into your name. Don’t try to use factory repair for HAs bought on EBay, as HAs that were reported lost may get confiscated. Factory repair is way too expensive anyway. You will likely need to use an online Hearing Aid Repair Lab for minor repairs or even buy a replacement HA for major problems. Both are relatively cheap.


#14

I can’t really comment about Costco aids. I have no experience with them. Buying used aids off eBay can be a way to really save money. But, you have to educate yourself first. Knowing which brand and model helps a lot. You have to look at closed listings for the brand and model you are interested in to see what going prices are. Prices for used aids vary wildly. Personally, I stay away from auctions and look at listings that have a price but accept offers. That is how I bought my aids. It is probably best that you count on doing your own programming if you buy used. You should look at the availability of software and programming devices and add that to the cost of aids right up front. It varies by area, I am sure, but a lot of hearing aid sales places will not fool with aids they didn’t sell. If you already have an audiologist who is willing to program your used aids, so much the better. Given the price of new aids purchased the traditional way, I could never afford to have them. Buying used off eBay was about my only choice.


#15

I’ve bought my last two pairs of aids on ebay. I checked before I bought and found out that my local state university audiology clinic will reprogram aids and made sure they had the equipment to do so for the aids I bought (both pairs were phonaks). I think I paid about $250 for a new hearing test and the programming on the last pair I bought. I will probably return once more for some reprogramming, since this newest pair work about as well as the last, but not better and I think they can be tweaked a little. I think I paid $300 for this last pair, so I am looking at about $650 total expenditure, which is a whole lot less than the $2000+ for a set of new aids. The aids I bought are a full featured set that is about six years old. Would need to use an around the neck gizmo if I decided to use a bluetooth phone link or a TV into the aid device, but I haven’t found that necessary yet.
So I would say do your research so that you know what will work for you and check ebay for prices, return policy, etc. Some sellers will program the aids to your audiogram, others do not. Make sure a local audiologist will reprogram them for you. I find the University great. A couple of Master’s level students work with the professor and sometimes administer the hearing test. I can ask questions of the professor and she’s involved in the programming, so I get the benefit of someone who teaches and trains and keeps up along with the students. For the independent minded with some ability to examine the on line stats of the various models, buying on line saves lots of money. I am keeping the older pair I bought in case the ones I am using now need repair, so I don’t have any need for loaners.
Best,
royjohn


#16

I think there are lots of approaches that can be successful. I think the key is doing one’s research and coming up with a plan before one commits to purchasing.


#17

I purchased my last two pair of hearing aids on ebay from sellers who did allow returns. The price was 5% of retail, and they were easily reprogrammable by a source I found by internet search. I used an audiogram I received from a university audiology department, although I had to wait two weeks and then go the the Medical Records Department to pick up the report, because I refused to pay $5,500 for the pair they wanted me to buy.

I sent the second pair I bought on eBay back to the same programming service because I needed to have the volume increased (at no charge). They charged $200.00 to do the programming to begin with. I will never again buy from a traditional audiology practice because of the lack of competition and the fact that the audiologists have been a part of the market manipulation for decades. I am using the term traditional as opposed to an audiologist who has a doctorate and will program hearing aids purchased from someone else or on eBay. I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and have yet to find the latter.

The first pair I bought on eBay were Oticon Ino Pro aids for $300.00. That’s for a pair. I sent them to New Hampshire for reprogramming. I used them for two years until the dog ate one. Before buying, I would suggest thorough searching on the internet on pricing and on getting what you need for your hearing loss. I am in the process of buying a new pair on eBay, because after three years, the hearing aids need to be serviced and I need a second pair. I just had hearing tests done at Costco and Sam’s Club. I got a copy of my reports from both. Costco let me try on their Kirkland Signature™ Premium Digital Hearing Aids selling for $1,699.99 a Pair. “Oh!” said the technician, “These won’t work for you because you need more power.” She tried to move me up to a pair that sold for twice as much. I took my report and left. I went to Sam’s club, and they had a pair, under their brand that sold for $4,300/pair. They wouldn’t work with bluetooth from my Android phone. I took my report and passed on that too. Shopping on eBay now.


#18

Here’s what happened to me. I found a pair of Phonak Brio 2’s on Ebay for $400. I had tried them at Costco and they were OK but I want to wait for the newer model and didn’t want to pay full price. I called Costco and told them I had a pair of pre-owned Phonak Brio 2’s and would they program them (only Costco has the software to program the Brio 2). They told me they would as a one time courtesy to a member but would have to check the serial numbers first. I purchased the pair from Ebay and brought them to Costco. As usual the specialist was very nice but when he checked the serial numbers he found out they had been reported missing or stolen and the previous owner had made a claim to get a second pair. They then sold the first pair. I was told this is a common occurrence and there was no way they would program them for me, Phonak would not allow it as Phonak had a legal claim to the HA’s.
As a matter of fact Costco told me they would have to keep the HA’s as they belonged to Phonak and they had to return them. I had to convince them to return them to me so I could get a refund from the Ebay seller. I don’t know if the Ebay seller knew they were stolen or not but he refunded my money.

So if you are going to try and get HA’s from Ebay, before you buy, make sure they aren’t reported stolen/missing and make sure you can get them programmed.


#19

My Costco, said no way for ks5 pre owned. Guess
It really depends on the Costco! Glad you were
Able to return them. Good Luck…


#20

Not true. These are the same as Phonak Audéo V90 and you can program them using Phonak Target fitting software.

No need to wait for the Brio3 or to pay full price. They are the same as Costco Phonak Brio3/Phonak Audéo B90 except the latter has a software/Firmware update that enables SoundRecover2 which is more flexible than SoundRecover in the Brio2.

When you buy HAs from EBay you should not be expecting perfection.


#21

Costco, Phonak and two HA independents tell me only Costco has the software. If you know of an independent that will do it please forward the info.


#22

Yes, Costco has the software. So does many others. It’s the standard Target fitting software. Here are a couple of examples; Example1, Example2.

Because Costco has some locked hearing aids some people incorrectly assume that all Costco hearing aids are locked. Coincidentally spreading the locked rumors also makes it easier to sell you new hardware :wink:


#23

You just provided links to a couple of posts where you state that the Costco Brios can be programmed by someone with Target software but I still see no links to an independent that will do it. Seems like those those posts are for HA specialists not end users.
As previously requested, if you have contact info for an independent that will program them for me please forward. I don’t have software, hardware or expertise to program them myself.


#24

Maybe this is not for you. But they ain’t locked!

Also, why has this morphed into the issue of can we find an independent who will program stolen hearing aids? Looking for someone else to program stolen hearing aids is not advisable.


#25

Because I would like to try and find another, legal, pair, on Ebay but Costco will no longer program them, it was a one time deal.


#26

I think finding an independent to program any hearing aids is going to be a challenge. If you find somebody who willingly will program used hearing aids, I don’t think there would be an issue if informed him/her that you’ve heard from good sources the aids are not locked. I think we’ve got good info that Brio, Brio 2, Brio 3, KS7, KS8 and other Rexton aids are not locked. I think we’re not sure about recent Resound aids. However the aids don’t show up in the fitting database until they’re connected and detected. A lot of people repeat the myth that all Costco aids are locked either out of ignorance, wanting to bash Costco or not wanting to deal with used hearing aids.


#27

Costco will reprogram fairly new hearing aids that you inherited from a family member or a partner - ie your grandma died and left you these hearing aids, this is fair enough - you can probably talk to the store, explain your circumstances, provide some kind of proof, this is my grandma, this is her Costco card, this is her purchase agreement, this is her death certificate, they will probably do it. When it becomes yours, there is no warranty on it, but you got a hearing aid for free and Costco is spending time and money, also providing you services for that hearing aid for free - so fair enough, no warranty.

The problem with hearing aids bought off ebay though is they are often lost/stolen. Because Costco has that one-time replacement policy sometimes what people do is - they ‘lose’ their hearing aids, claim for a new one from Costco, and then sell the old one on eBay. Are you kidding me! Costco can tell, because it’s been reported stolen or lost! No way they’re touching that!

Go ask for a refund from the seller.


#28

There is an earlier discussion about this. The policy was a person can transfer them to another person but they have to do that at Costco.

I also got a pair of Brio to compare with current aids. The fitter was talking them up. Seeing that they aren’t MFi, I thought I see what they were about on the cheap. I encountered the same problem. One was a “lost” aid. The other was supposedly destroyed in the repair center. (internal theft)


#29

I bought a like new pair of Phonak Virto Q90 312 ITC HAs about a month ago. I made the mistake of not getting the serial numbers to find out the power level of them. They then appeared they would not work for me. So, I passed them onto a friend.

He has had a hearing test, new impressions made, were sent out to a lab to be re-cased, got them back, had them programmed, and just this Monday is now using-wearing these and is basically very happy.

Of course like any other wearer, he’ll no doubt need additional future tweaking and adjustments to dial them in better to his personal liking and needs.

The total outlay of cash came to about $1200 total, and has a like brand new pair of HAs with a one year warrantee at a cost savings.

No, Phonak themselves won’t take them back for any modifications, but there are many local businesses and 3rd party repair businesses who will often gladly help somebody with a used HA.

As for local businesses, this might vary, some may say yes, and some may say no. As for the use of a hearing test that may exceed a period of 6 months, I think some states have laws that they require a quite recent test. Others have no time limits.


#30

Oh, okay. If you search EBay for hearing aid programming you will find this service for a fee. But I don’t recommend doing it that way. You should look at the DIY category, specifically How to Program Your Hearing Aids [DIY].


#31

Just an FYI…I just found another pair on Ebay but before purchasing I had the seller send the serial numbers. I then called Phonak to check and see if they have been reported missing. Phonak was much less than helpful, they kept insisting I deal with one of their dealers. They finally, as a “one time courtesy” ran the numbers for me and told me they were not reported stolen but reported replaced. They would not elaborate any further and kept insisting I go to a dealer as they had already gone “well above the level” of dispensing information to the end user", they only deal business to business.

I did not purchase them.


#32

you don’t need to call Phonak, you can run the serial numbers in the
Target software.


Identify aid from serial number-Target