In more recent times, especially during a difficult financial period, second hand goods have become an increasingly popular choice for a large number of people. They offer the chance to buy an otherwise expensive item at a discounted price. If the item has been well maintained and kept in good condition; this can often be a very sensible alternative to buying new. On the other hand however, there are items, which are always better to buy new, such as hearing aids.
There are some very good reasons why people should restrain from buying used hearing aids. Here are just a few:
New hearing aids, like most electronic devices, come with a full manufacturer warranty. If anything goes wrong during the warranty period, you can benefit from the many advantages of this service in accordance to its terms and conditions – professional advice and help, free repair of manufacturing defects, etc.
No return policy
Few used hearing aids vendors offer a return policy. Therefore, if you buy a second hand hearing aid privately and you are not happy with the device, you will have to keep it, even if it turns out not be the best option for you. On the other hand, reputable hearing aid sellers often offer 30 days return policy, which means that if you change your mind during the period, you can simply return it and get your money back.
Hearing aid technology is constantly evolving and improving in order to provide a truly exceptional level of service to the hearing impaired. Devices are becoming better, lighter and offer more features than ever. If you purchase an old device, you may be limiting your hearing improvement due to outdated technology and also depriving yourself of the possibility to enjoy a richer, fuller sound.
Damaged hearing aids
When you buy a second hand device, you have to rely on the seller’s personal assurance that it is in a good condition and all of its functionalities can be used to their fullest potential. You also have no evidence that the previous owner has maintained the device in a proper fashion.
Custom made hearing aids
It is possible to end up buying a device, which was specifically made to individually fit its previous owner’s ear and this important detail may not be fully shared. It is also likely that these devices have been custom programmed to suit a very individual hearing loss and as such may provide too little or too great a volume.
We would recommend properly sterilizing or replacing ear molds of used hearing aids, as they may have traces of fungus or bacteria from the previous user.
However, if you are determined to buy a second hand hearing aid, there are different ways to do this. At first, we recommend to consult an audiologist, as they may advise you on what to look for and how to make the best choice. Hearing aid forums are another great option to exchange opinions with other users. They also may have a section, where subscribers offer their old devices at a discounted price. Many people sell second hand hearing aids on popular platforms, such as eBay, etc. In any case, always make such a purchase with caution and consideration and after a thorough research.
Original article date 3/11/2010 , updated 27/3/2014