What happens to used and returned hearing aids?


I was wondering what happens to the hearing aids that are returned after trails ? Do they go back to the manufacturer, donated to charity or sold to brokers?
If Audiologist or Costco are allowed to sell their returned hearing aids, what would be the cost of the mark down, does anyone know?

Costco Kirkland Signature 8.0 (Product Information)

I return mine to the manufacturer in order to recoup most of the cost of the aids. I think most other providers do the same.


I wonder what the manufacturer do with them? As an audiologist would you consider an offer to sell a returned aid and what would be the difference in cost. I’m desperate but feel hesitant to contact local audiologist’s with such an offer and also, I’m thinking, why try if the difference in cost is not going to be much. As of now I can’t even afford the lower end of hearing aids. I’m referring to OTE aids.


Most manufacturers scrap returned hearing aids, but some attempt to salvage internal components. They don’t resell them as used or refurbished at a lower price. Since dispensers get full credit (less shipping) for returns, there’s no reason to sell used devices.


I would have thought that the factory would at least keep them for spare parts???

The are (worth) cost 1000s of dollars???


Is to bad that they are destroyed when there are so many people in need.


I know, that in Ukraine, I can buy a factory refurbished hearing aids. Hearing aids models that was sold 2-3 years ago. I think, that there is a factory that buys, repaired and rebuilt old hearing aids. Then sell to poor countries.


This is wonderful for the people of Ukraine, they are suffering so much these days. They should get the hearing aids for free or at cost.

Speaking of poor Countries, since you mentioned it, we have them all over the world, but in hearing aids world, 99% + of the people in the whole wide world are too poor to purchase hearing aids.

The USA is quickly falling behind other countries on health care affordability. This week in Los Angeles, a free 2 day health clinic was held, thousands line up for hours but only 4,000 were able to get in. In L.A. 401,000 sign up for Obama Care in the first six months, of those, 87% were eligible for financial subsidies. In L.A. County alone, 1.3 million people remained uninsured. * (Inland valley daily bulletin 9/12/14 pg.12) These clinic are held in different parts of the country. Medical and support staff are volunteers, medicines and eye glasses and everything else is donated.
I called and was told no hearing screening or hearing aids were made available at this event or at any other event in other parts of the country that they knew of. It seems to me that by not offering hearing assistance in these clinics, the perception the hearing aid industry is projecting to the general public is that, “hearing aids are for those that can afford them, if you can‘t, you are in your own“. Perhaps their reasoning lies in that, they make huge profits in the billions and have a “cornered market” and as such, they are not worry about the public perception of their industry, like other companies do.

The hearing aid high cost is much harder for consumers than regular medical care, since, once you are able to get health coverage, most medical care is at least partially covered. Hearing aids are not covered by Medicare or most Insurance carriers.
We desperately need a market for quality affordable hearing aids or at least reputable remanufactured hearing aids businesses. ( I’m referring to behind the ear hearing aids, since in the ear hearing aids are custom made to the patients ear)
I wish that hearing aid dispensers/manufactures open such a market.
If the dispenser doesn’t loose any funds from returning devices, there is no incentive to sell them to the public, if that is the case, the responsibility falls with the manufacturers. I hope they are listening. Again my heart goes out to the Ukraine and all third world countries they lack so much in comparison to the USA. Companies should not destroy usable medical products or any other product that can benefit people in Countries that are in need.

— Updated —


the insides aren’t destroyed. It is the outside that are destroyed. For example if someone returns a hearing aid that is molded to their ear you can not put that into anyone else’s ear in the entire world.

— Updated —

the insides aren’t destroyed. It is the outside that are destroyed. For example if someone returns a hearing aid that is molded to their ear you can not put that into anyone else’s ear in the entire world.


I was referring to OTE models that would only need adjusting. However, I read that a new casing can be made, it would cost, how much I don’t know, but if a person that cannot afford the cost of a new aid, can have this option, it can help a lot of people and a practically new hearing aids will not go to the landfill.


I still all of my hearing aids. Was holding on to them due to them being from the VA. But at my last appointment I was told that the VA no longer wants the old aids back.


cvkemp are any of your old aids, OTE?


only the ones that I am now wearing. They will become my useable backups when I get my new ones, and they will be ITC aids.


Thanks CVkemp, I don’t know if any charities would take in the ear used hearing aids, you can check around and donate them and help people that are in need. On another subject, How often do you get new hearing aids from the VA?


The VA provides my hearing aids ever 4 - 5 years. Or as often as my audiologist feels that I need them changed. Also I have been luck to have the same audiologist for the last 7 years.