Will match costco price with name brand version

I’ve seen a lot of people talking about Costco as a real option for hearing aids. I’ve been in the industry for a while and did not realize, until joining here, that it was so popular.

Costco hearings aids are one generation behind and are missing features from their normal counterparts. I can only assume the price is what draws people in.

We will match their price but send you the real version, not the dumbed down Costco one.

Just wanted to share that. Thanks guys!

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I’m curious about specifics. Costco sells the Bernafon Zerena, for instance. If I go to Bernafon’s site, I see that Zerena is not some older generation device. Looking at the information I can get through Costco’s site and the information I can get through Bernafon’s site, I don’t see any reason to think that Costco’s Zerena is anything different from the Zerena I’d get anywhere else. How exactly is the Zerena I’d get from you different from the Zerena I’d get from Costco? Let me make it crystal clear that I’m asking about the device itself, and only about the device.

I’ll shift my comments to Online Sellers section per your request.

I do not think it changes anything if you set up a personal account. We still know it’s you and you still have the same conflict of interest. To me there are at least a couple of issues: 1) You keep alluding to the price advantages of online sales without acknowledging any downside. 2) You keep making false statements about Costco hearing aids.

As Lemur pointed out, the Costco Bernafon Zerenas are the same generation. The only difference I know of would be tinnitus features. Resound Forte is the same generation as the Linx 3D. Kirkland KS7 is the same generation as the Rexton Emerald 80. The only Costco aid that is a previous generation is the Phonak Brio 2. The only features that I’m aware of being removed from Costco aids are tinnitus features and remote adjustment features.

Costco’s price for the Resound Forte 8 is $2600-$2800. From all reports, it is very similar to the Linx 3D 9. Online prices that are posted are in the realm of $3500.

Regarding service: I think face to face provides inherently better communication and I think this is especially important for newbies. We already have a forum member who thinks he would have been better off paying full price for his Oticon Opns because his first audiologist did a much better job of fitting them. An in person fitting can also do things that online cannot (at least currently) I’m talking about REM.

I am not trying to trash the online model. I think it can be beneficial for many people, but I don’t think it works for everybody, especially newbies who are coming here for advice.

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Let’s not over simplify to make a point. The Costco Phonak Brio, same as Phonak’s Quest (Audeo Q90) technology, lacked three features (echoblock, tinnitus, and CROS). So it’s not always just tinnitus features that are missing.

The debacle of locked Aventa fitting software for the KS5 and KS6 (ReSound Verso/Linx) sent the resale value of those Costco hearing aids plummeting to zero. That was Costco junk/crapolla!

For myself, family members, and others, face to face fitting provided no benefits (aside from the audiogram) because the local professionals were trying awfully hard to close the $6000+ sale.

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I think everybody is making good points here. Another difference to consider is that the attraction of Costco is their 6 month trial period. I think the local channel and the online channels are still on a 30 day to 60 day trial period only.

Wow, it’s six months now! That’s is good. Things keep changing.

My statements only applied to current stuff at Costco and I’m not sure I’m not missing something. I think it safe to say the differences are small and if every last feature is important, one should dig into it and compare features. I think all of us in this current conversation are at least moderately tech savvy. A lot of people are not, including many that come to the forum. I think face to face is a better means to communicate something complicated (which is in the eye of the beholder) subjects to people. I often see Costco employees patiently reexplaining how to use features to patients.

Good point. I notice a lot of Costco hearing aid clients are older people who are not tech savvy and would need a lot of hand-holding and explaining. I think people who are somewhat tech savvy and don’t need a lot of hand-holding would naturally look at other options beside Costco. But if they’re not aware of the emergence of the online channel, they’d probably still thumb down the local for being too expensive unless they have insurance to explore the local audi channel even though they dislike the price. That was the situation I was in when I bought my OPN. Then after I bought the OPN and joined this forum, that’s only when I knew about the existence of the online channel, then explored the DIY world further. So even for a tech savvy guy like me, if there wasn’t the insurance that opened up the door for me to explore and learn more about the hearing aids industry on the whole, I still would have been happy as a clam going to Costco like I had done so for the last 15 years.

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Because this is a general thread I’ll add that Costco only offers 3 months trial in Canada.
I didn’t know about Costco and self-programming until I started reading here. The price for hearing aids (specifically Rexton Emerald 80/KS7) was so much lower than elsewhere that it was difficult to imagine going elsewhere.
All this mail-order stuff is nice to know and read but the currency exchange and shipping and possible taxes makes it much more difficult to entertain. We don’t appear to have much in the way of online sales outlets. The Canadian Costco price for the KS7’s comes to about $1600US at about US$0.77 for the CDN $.

My opinion would be that new hearing aid people would highly benefit from in-store interaction. Repeats and returns of people updating or replacing would likely fare better online already knowing what they need and knowing the ropes. Tech savvy people could get a free audiogram somewhere to see if things have changed and then program accordingly.

One of the things I like about fhe forum is that it broadens my horizons. It is very easy to become US centric. Interesting that you don’t have online hearing aid sales when US citizens often use Canadian online sites to purchase medication. :>)

Volusiano, I think the online presence has changed a lot just in the short time (about a year) that I’ve been on the forums. Just Google a hearing aid model and one is likely to get an add with an online price. I would think currently, any tech savvy person who spends much time using Google for research would soon discover online hearing aid sales. It certainly hasn’t always been that way though.

I should clarify…I don’t KNOW of online sellers. Canada in general is not particularly great in their online offerings for anything so one might barely want to bother searching when the likelihood of coming up empty is high. The large international companies often have a Canadian version which is fine but the smaller businesses very often don’t. It’s more like oh you have a website… wow.

In the US, if one uses Google to research ANYTHING, one will likely soon be bombarded by online adds

Competition is a great thing for consumers. Greater price transparency, improved service, and hopefully innovation in business models for improving customer stickiness

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I use an adblocker, very few cookies accepted, limited javascript depending on the needs of the site and even a different search engine ie. duckduckgo. I rarely see those ads that have found me by my online wanderings.

Back to here…I don’t see how audiometrix is being any conflict of interest. He followed the accepted method for this topic. People can see next to his handle that he is a registered provider if and when he adds something to a thread. If he went private then that could open the “hey wait a minute are you trying to sell me something” feeling that no one likes.

We ship to Canada at least once a month.

Things change and now we have a new Online Sellers channel. Some good has already come with this new channel in that programming gear is cheaper and more readily available.

The Costco channel itself had some growing pains in the past. Remember when we got Connect Hearing to price match Costco Phonak Brio, plus give us next generation hearing aids?

I welcome the new channel. Though you guys are welcome to keep them honest, I think you should do it here in the Online Sellers Category and not take pot shots in the main category.

It’s not specifically a matter of if a US company would ship to Canada…it’s the
cost. The stuff I got from Buyhear would have been $40US to ship to my home. I was already up to $290CDN for the gear. So I used one of those border services to receive the package. But it had to go through someone else as I am 4 hours north of the border which is why it took me so long after ordering to be able to get to programming.

Did it end up costing more than getting it in Canada?

I don’t know of any place in Canada that sells self-programming gear. Which is why it would be way too much hassle to return across the border paying for that shipping and then getting the real Hi-Pro from you and paying for that shipping back across the border.
We had all only known about ailexpress thanks to pvc for the much cheaper mini-Pro. We all could have spent a small fortune on actual Hi-Pro boxes from ebay or something. I had been hoping to see their price return to what pvc first saw and reported if only for a brief sale. But it didn’t. And then we heard about Buyhear. And then we heard about you.