One of the last bastions of brick and mortar businesses is the hearing aid industry. The manufacturers have been resisting letting audiologists sell their hearing aids online because they fear losing their market share. They haven’t realized some of the simple facts of online sales.
The largest hotel company doesn’t own a room; VRBO. The largest taxi company in the world doesn’t own a car; UBER and the largest retailer in the world didn’t start with one storefront. The times they are a changin’ folks. There are hearing online retailers doing hundreds of sales a month “under the radar” because the manufacturers want the sales, but they don’t want anyone to know.
The stats are staggering. The average hearing aid user suffers 8 years before they get a hearing device. All the studies done in the last ten years intimate that hearing loss is an epidemic where almost 30% of the population will lose a good percentage of their hearing before they are 65.
With hearing loss running at epidemic levels and the hearing aid manufacturers trying to exploit the marketplace by charging 300 to 500% markups, the vertical is primed to explode and online sales will follow. If the likes of Sears and JC Penney couldn’t stop it, why does some small manufacturer of hearing aids believe they can? The day has come as evidenced by the law before Congress right now to enable us to buy hearing aids over the counter without getting scammed for $5000 to $8000 for a pair of hearing devices that cost them $400 to manufacture.