Costco Hearing Aid Centers:
What to Expect
Over the past 2 decades, they’ve risen to be one of the top sellers of commercial hearing aids in the U.S. with a total market share in 2017 of 12%. Second in the industry behind the Veterans Association.
They’ve achieved this through their bulk business model of combining inexpensive prices with quality service.
How I Arrived at Costco
My Costco story started at the crossroads of where my first pair of hearing aids were failing, and I was looking for a replacement. My previous pair of hearing aids were from a nationally branded provider.
They set me back around $5,000 for a pair of mid-range technology. It was quite the sticker shock! However, I was in dire need of improving my hearing, for both work and personal use.
For many, the price of hearing aids is a major issue. Hearing loss can create barriers to employment, with the interplay of less earning capacity that can come with impaired social interaction.
Researching Hearing Aid Centers
After completing some research online, I read some reviews on some of the more popular hearing aid forums. A significant number of people mentioned Costco having relatively inexpensive hearing aids, combined with quality service.
Up until this point, I had previously been to Costco to buy food and other bulk items but never realized they had Hearing Aid Centers.
I followed up by checking Costco’s website and found a nearby location with a hearing aid center.
Within the location info, I found the hearing aid center’s number and scheduled an appointment within the following week.
It’s important to note, not all Costco’s carry a hearing aid center. As of 2017, Costco has hearing center’s in about 440 of its 514 locations in the U.S., and about 560 of its 741 locations worldwide.
Free Costco Hearing Aid Center Offerings
Costco has a number of free offerings available prior to purchase, including others packaged with the hearing aids themselves:
- Product demonstrations
- Hearing tests
- Follow up appointments
- Hearing aid cleanings and check-ups
- Loss and damage coverage (with no deductible)
- Warranty periods (warranty varies by model)
Trained and Licensed Audiologists
Costco employs trained and licensed audiologists which put them on par with other private and chain hearing centers. Comparing my experience across many other providers, I’d say in my personal biased experience the service with Costco was much better.
Of course, it goes without saying, just like the rest of the hearing aid private sector, service can vary from store to store.
Costco's Low Prices
In terms of hearing aid prices, Costco is in a class of their own. After visiting other hearing centers you'll find Costco sells their hearing aids and services at about half or less the price of their competition. Which is pretty incredible, really.
Compare Costco’s Kirkland Signature 8.0 hearing aids at $1,599 a pair and their higher end Phonak Brio 3 hearing aids at $2,499 a pair to the competition elsewhere, which can run anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000.
How's this possible?
Costco's business model of buying in bulk and having the hearing aid center in store reduces overhead, which allows them to pass the savings on to the consumer.
Costco's competitor's cost isn't necessarily in the hearing aids themselves but in the services, salaries, and store overhead required.