Why is there no established market for second hand hearing aids? Given the high price of a new aid, you would think that a cheaper second-hand model would be very tempting to a lot of people.
It’s not so different from buying a second hand car
The second-hand car market is huge. People have the option of buying privately and taking some risk on the quality of the car or they can buy a re-conditioned/serviced/checked car from a dealer. The same could apply to hearing aids: buy a known working model from a vendor or change your luck buying directly from John Doe.
Plenty of stock
Just how many unused hearing aids unused hearing aids are lying around doing nothing? And how many of those hearing aids have been worn only once or not at all? If someone has paid a lot of money for them then they may not prepared to give them away to charity, so why not sell them to someone who is going make use of them? As well as all the unused new models, how many people have upgraded and left their old aids lying around doing nothing?
No two people are going to have exactly the same ear shape to changes would of course be needed to allow the buyer to use their second hand purchase. A new shell would be needed for in-the-ear models; new tubing and a new mould would probably be required for over-the-ear models. Manufacturers will create new shells/moulds for a price – they already do.
A digital aid would need to be re-programmed for the new wearer. Audiologists / vendors already supply programming services so there is no problem here. With an audiogram, the programming process should be simple for an experienced audiologist.
I don’t see any real big barrier to a second-hand hearing aid market and I’m sure there is a huge number of customers out there waiting to buy cheaper hearing aids.