HEARING AIDS - INTERON HEARING AIDS - AND COSTCO PRIVATE BRANDING - KIRKLAND G

Jul 19, 2007
review #92018

Costco evidently has decided to start private branding the Hearing Aids they sell. At least one Manufacturer has decided to private-label for them.

Interon, is a small German Company manufacturing hearing aids and evidently has entered in a contractual arrangement with COSTCO to use the COSTCO Brand Kirkland, which is used the same way that SEARS uses their Private Label such as KENMORE or CRAFTSMAN, to sell merchandise.

Usually, the primary purpose of Private Label is to provide a larger discount to a Big Customer for their Purchases than the Competitors of the Big Customer.

The Federal Trade Commission establishes the rules pertaining to price discrimination and favortisim and insists on certain criteria.

Usually a greater discount or profit is allowed based on quantities ordered, but to eliminate any doubt, often the Manufacturer insists on using a different name of the merchandise. Hence, Kirkland, Kenmore,Craftsman,etc,etc,etc.

COSTCO evidently is offering a Promotion involving a pair of "Open Fit" Kirkland branded Hearing Aids at a Special Price.

Evidently, you have to buy 2 Hearing Aids.

COSTCO also sells INTERON Hearing Aids under the INTERON Label, so it will be interesting to see what the difference is.

Most Hearing Aid Manufacturers choose not to sell COSTCO their products, as do most other popular branded products.

COSTCO along with most other Big Box Discount Retailers such as WAL-MART, K-MART, etc, do nothing to promote a Brand other than sell it at a lower price that other Retailers that invest in training employees, provide benefits such as Carpeting, and Air Conditioning, better Customer Service, etc, benefits that all cost Money.

Discounters, such as COSTCO, usually just milk and exploit a Brand, and do nothing to develope the sales and reputation of the Brand, other than to offer the Product and Brand, at a lower Price than those Retailers that have really developed the Brand.

Discounters, such as COSTCO, usually just exploit the popularity of an established BRAND and do nothing to enhance the BRAND or contribute to its success,

They are kind of like a Swap Meet.

Other than Mustard and Salt,Pepper,and Perhaps Coffee, they never seem to have the same product for any period of time.

It almost seems as though they specialize in close-outs and obsolete merchandise,

As a result, most Quality Manufacturers, choose not to make their products available to Big Box Retailers.

Thats why you don't see the leading Hearing Aid Manufacturers selling COSTCO.

Siemens,Oticon,Phonak,Starkey,the largest Hearing Aid Manufacturers, accounting for about 80% of all Hearing Aids sold in the World, will not sell their products to COSTCO,

As a result, small Companies, such as INTERON, who must figure they have nothing to lose, since they don't have any sales in the traditional market and can't compete against the big Names, sells COSTCO.

This doesn't mean or imply, that INTERON is an inferior product. Not at all. It just means it just easier to get volume and sales by selling at a cheap price to COSTCO rather than trying to penetrate the traditional market at a great expense and over a long period of time.

INTERON will probably be bought by one of the larger Hearing Aid Companies, and that will take care of that.

In the mean time, it is to the advantage of the Consumer of having the option of buying a quality product at reasonable prices from COSTCO rather than being ripped off by some Organization or Medical Group trying to sell Hearing Aids at the Price they are getting for Pace Makers.

Buyer Beware

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jack

Jun 08, 2012

the writer of this article and connucklehead dispenser are full of ***. I've bought hearing aids from an audiologist and pay thru the nose for aids, $2K a crack. These aids are so overpriced it's criminal. The aid companies charge big bucks because it is old people that mostly need them and they will pay and pay big time. They never get any cheaper, just more expensive. My state of ca medical pays $1,000 tops, even thought the aid I get cost $2K each. shows how overpriced they are. Monopolies get big bucks for doing nothing. Kudos to costco for bringing down the price for us who need to hear without giving our children's incoherence to the audiologists and hearing aid manufactures. I'm making an appointment at Costco. It's amazing the quality merchandise they sell at discounts, check it out.

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James

Mar 15, 2012

Costco is where you buy food NOT medical services. They do NOT sell high quality hearing aids by any standard, look up the brands yourself online. Mid-level at best! Yes some are made by companies like Siemens....but it's their off brand, not the same material and technology, that's why it's cheaper. You idjits.

Costco aids are junk. Service at Beltone, Miracle-Ear, HearUSA are fast free and knowledgeable and no co-pays. Yes you do have a co-pay, a membership fee. So if you don't pay, you can't get service!

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Krissie

Nov 14, 2011

Is there any actual stats which support pros and cons

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John Kooms

Aug 24, 2011

This article ( from 2007 ) is absolute garbage , makes me wonder who wrote it and why ? No substance what so ever . I have found nothing but 1st rate quality at Costco and save a lot of money ta boot . Kirkland signature 2010 / 2011 hearing aids are made by Rexton .

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New hearing aid user

Aug 10, 2011

I went to Costco like my father before me and felt the Kirkland's were the deal of a lifetime! My mother paid twice as much and never liked her hearing aids. I'm getting my first pair from Costco this month and can't wait! I've already sampled them preprogramed so I know what I'm getting.

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Enough

Mar 20, 2011

My, my, my! I am very pleased to note that my Kirkland brand hearing aids are made by Siemens, a top researcher and developer of hearing aids. Alsip should check facts. It is good to know that I can afford top-notch hearing aids IF I buy them at Costco. Isn't it great to get the "$5,000" equipment for $2,000?

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gramirez987@cfl.rr.com

Mar 20, 2011

I am at the edge of a nervous break down with all this information about hearing aids. I do not whom to trust. Loosing my faith in humanity and for hence in God. Is there someone out there that can help me? :

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hearing aid

Feb 17, 2011

Glad to see this information.its very useful for eneryone.thanks for sharing this post.
Hearing Aid

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Bob - 2nd time buyer

Jan 07, 2011 Dagupan, Cagayan

I can't believe some of the negatives being said. I bought my first hearing aid from Costco six years ago in Atlanta and upgraded last year to two hearing aids out of Columbus, Ohio store. Still have certified audiologits, still do NOT work on ANY commissions, still have the BEST price and solid products. My set are digital, programable, and I use them for the 16b hours a day. The real reason I upgraded was insurance plan covers TWO hearing aids up to $2,000 every three years NOT because of failure of the first (and I NEEDED two due to continued hearing loss.) Love the service, the price and the quality.

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AlBea

Nov 21, 2010

This original article was so bizarre that I had to respond. Without making an ad hominem comment, the author seems to know little about hearing aids or Costco. First of all, Costco sells "brand names" as well as their own brands. In most cases, the Kirkland brand is made by a major manufacturer. For example, according to the label, some Kirkland coffee is roasted and ground by Starbucks, not exactly an unknown brand.
Second, Costco is considered to be one of the most successful companies in this country.
Third, according to the "experts", Costco's standards are extremely high and most manufacturers fight to be included in the Costco store as their own brand or Kirkland.
Fourth, I believe you can buy either a branded hearing aid or a Kirkland - your choice.
Fifth, maybe $1,000 is not important to the author. Most people consider it critical. I did a comparison shop for a range of goods in Costco versus a "brand name" supermarket. The total market basket savings was about 30%. Some of the individual savings were as much as 45%.
I don't wish to judge the author. However, I believe he/she should think and learn before commenting.

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Connecticut dispenser

Oct 26, 2010

First off, it's Interton, and it's junk. Second, why would you go to a box warehouse to buy a product you should be wearing 16 hrs/day for 8-10 years? Most people who buy these things end up never wearing them. Why not spend $3000 for something you'll actually use, rather than $2000 for something that will sit in the drawer?

If you want peanut butter, go to Costco. If you want hearing aids and services, go to a professional.

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Knowledgeable

Jun 03, 2010

Costco primarly offers Rexton, which is owned by Siemens, as their Kirkland Brand hearing aids. Interton is owned by a large hearing aid manufacturer, Resound. It is true that the hearing aids at Costco are not the premium products available to patients, nor can they fit all hearing losses. It would be prudent for someone in need of hearing aids to seek a professional that can fit most any manufacturer, to fit them with what would actually work best for thier loss, and help them to have the proper rehabilitation and understanding of their loss.

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rob27

Jun 03, 2010

I disagree with Alsip. I owned a organic fertilizer company and was interested in selling to Costco. Their standard was very high and it took much work to get them to carry our product. They don't sell just anything.

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satisfied Kirland hearing aid

May 18, 2010

This article is so far off the mark it is down right infuriating. I am given to wonder how much stock the writer owns in a hearing aid company. his observations are way off base. Freedom of speach does not mean freedom from stupidity.

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