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Our practice is routinely asked about how to deal with unwanted, old 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 newer unit, you might have gotten a cochlear implant and thus don’t need yours any more, or it might have belonged to a family member who no longer needs it.

One choice that does not occur to many people is to hang on to the old one so you can use it as a backup if something happens to your new aid or if it requires servicing. This is not a bad idea, in the same way that keeping your old pair of glasses as a backup is a good idea when you get a new pair.

You could consider selling the hearing aid on Craig’s List or eBay, especially if it was originally expensive and it is still in good working order. But first, make sure it is legal to sell used hearing aids in your state. Not all of them allow it. To attract qualified potential buyers, make sure that your ad contains all the relevant details including the manufacturer and model, the date of purchase and current condition, warranty and battery details and the reason you are selling it. It is a good idea to include pictures. 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.

Another organization called Worldwide Hearing also collects used hearing aids for redistribution in developing nations where the people need them but cannot afford them.