I am routinely asked about what to do with unwanted, used hearing aids. This query arises more than you may expect for a variety of reasons. You could have just updated your old one with a better model, you might have received a cochlear implant and thus have no need for yours any longer, or it might have belonged to a member of the family who no longer needs it.
If the hearing aid was yours, the first option to consider it to keep it as a back up or a spare. If you lose or damage your new hearing aid and are without it for a period of time, you can revert back to your old one temporarily.
If it is a newer model and in good working condition, you may be able to sell the used hearing aid on a website such as eBay or Craigslist. Before doing this, however, check to see if it is legal to do so in your area; there are a surprising number of states in which it is not legal to sell used hearing aids. When creating your ad, list all of the information you would want to know if you were buying a used hearing aid: the model and manufacturer of the unit, its condition and age, whether it is still under warranty, and why you are selling it. Also, don’t expect to get nearly as much money as you paid for it; look for ads for similar hearing aids, and keep yours within the same range.
An excellent alternate option is to give your used hearing aid to someone who needs it. Find an organization that collects used hearing aids, refurbishes them (if needed) and distributes them to new owners based on need. The following organizations operate in varies cities across the US collecting and redistributing hearing aids.
- Lions Clubs International
- Hear Now by the Starkey Foundation
- SHARP (Sertoma Hearing Aids Recycling Program)
There are also organizations such as Worldwide Hearing that redistribute used hearing aids in low-income countries where the local populations can’t afford them.