Are you considering buying hearing aids from Costco? Or maybe you already have and are wondering about the pros and cons of buying them from Costco Wholesale. Whatever the case may be, I researched exactly how the Costco Hearing Aid Center works so you can walk in and make an informed decision. Hearing aids are very expensive and it’s important to know all the facts before you spend a cent. I hope this information helps.
What Hearing Aid Brands Does Costco Sell?
Costco offers a nice selection of top hearing aid brands.
They include the following 5 brands:
– Philips: They are the newest manufacturer of hearing aids on this list.
– Kirkland Signature: These are built by Sonova, the same company that makes Phonak, Unitron, and Hansaton hearing aids.
– Phonak: Considered to be a premium brand.
– ReSound: Danish company famous for making the “Made for iPhone” hearing aid.
– Rexton: While still good, these are considered a slightly less expensive brand.
Many of the models from these brands are sold exclusively at Costco.
It’s common knowledge that some of the models Costco sells are slightly watered down versions of themselves and have less features.
Always compare features when deciding where to buy your hearing aids.
Do your research ahead of time and figure out what features you actually want and make sure the hearing aids you buy have all those included.
To help you figure out which features are important, check out this fantastic Consumer Reports buying guide.
Are Costco Prices Competitive?
As a matter of fact, the prices are so good at Costco that they’ve grown into the largest private seller of hearing aids in the United States.
For example, you can buy the Kirkland Signature premium hearing aids for about $1,500 per pair. This is about 50% less than a “name-brand” equivalent.
Remember when I told you that the Kirkland brand is actually made by the same company that produces the premium Phonak hearing aids? This makes the Kirkland brand an excellent value.
When it comes to the name-brand hearing aids that Costco sells, they are definitely more expensive than the Kirkland brand, but still 15%-30% less than other sellers.
What Hearing Aid Styles Does Costco Offer?
Costco offers 6 hearing aid styles for you to try.
They include the following:
– Open Fit: For mild to moderately severe hearing loss. They fit behind the ear and have a small tube that goes into the ear.
– Behind the Ear: For mild to extreme hearing loss. Worn behind the ear and attached to a custom fitted ear mold.
– Bluetooth Compatible: For mild to severe hearing loss. Similar to the open fit but allows you to connect to Bluetooth enabled devices.
– In the Ear: For mild to severe hearing loss. Custom molded and takes up most of the outer ear.
– Canal: For mild to moderate hearing loss. Custom molded to fit in the ear and takes up most of the ear canal and some of the outer ear.
– Completely in the Canal: For mild to moderate hearing loss. Fits in the inner ear canal.
Do I Need to Be a Costco Member?
You DO NOT need to be a Costco member to get a free hearing test and expert recommendations.
Just tell the card checker at the door that you’re there for your hearing test and they will let you in.
But if you decide to buy your hearing aids or batteries from Costco, you WILL need to be a member.
Do I Have to Make an Appointment?
If you’re a new customer YES, you need to call and make an appointment. (Find a Costco Near You)
Basically you’re making an appointment for a no-obligation hearing test.
Once the hearing test is complete, a specialist will go over the results with you and make any recommendations.
Be sure to fill out this Patient Intake Form before your appointment and bring it with you as it will speed up the process.
Can I Return Hearing Aids If I Don’t Like Them?
If you don’t like your hearing aids for ANY reason, you can take advantage of Costco’s Generous Return Policy and bring them back for up to 6 months after you bring them home.
Does Each Costco Have Their Own Audiologist?
Some, but not all.
It depends on the location and some travel from Costco to Costco on certain days of the week.
They are considered “independent audiologists” and are not a Costco employee.
This means they are not bound by sales quotas and will not push a certain brand on you.
The end result is typically someone who has your best interests in mind.
But EVERY Costco employs highly trained hearing aid specialists that will help you.
What Are the Cons of Using Costco?
1. “De-Featured” Hearing Aids: As mentioned above, some hearing aids at Costco might not have the features you need the most. Always ask.
2. Crowded Warehouse: Another con is you have to visit a big crowded warehouse to buy your hearing aids and have them serviced.
The key here is to shop midweek before noon. The parking lot will have ample space and the warehouse will be very easy to maneuver in and out of.
3. Locked Hearing Aids: Some of the hearing aids that Costco sells are “LOCKED”.
This means they can only be unlocked and serviced by Costco.
So if you move to a town that doesn’t have a Costco, or you have to make a long drive, you’re kinda screwed.
What Other Hearing Aid “Perks” Does Costco Offer?
Besides competitive pricing, the Costco hearing aid center offers some other nice perks…
– Free Cleaning & Check-ups: When you’re shopping at Costco be sure to stop by the Hearing Aid Center and they’ll clean your hearing aids for free.
– Free Follow-Up Appointments: Need help adjusting your new hearing aids? No problem. You’ll get unlimited follow-up appointments for free at Costco.
– 2-Year Loss and Damage Protection: My Dad actually lost one of his hearing aids on a plane and Costco replaced it for free. There is NO deductible either which is a huge perk.
– 3-Year Warranty on Faulty Devices: This covers anything that might go wrong with the hearing aid that is not your fault.
– Deals on Hearing Aid Batteries: Be sure to buy Kirkland hearing aid batteries at Costco too since they’re cheaper than anywhere else.
Ask the Reader: Do you buy your hearing aids from Costco? If so, what has been your experience? Let me know in the comments section below, thanks.
By Kyle James
Side-note: I want to thank my Dad, who recently bought his hearing aids from Costco, for his help in putting this article together. Much appreciated!