What to do with an old or used hearing aid is a dilemma that arises for many people. You might have just updated your old one with a newer unit, you might have received a cochlear implant and thus have no need for yours any longer, or it could have belonged to a member of the family 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 idea has some merit, in the same way that keeping your old pair of glasses when you get a new pair is a smart idea, just in case the new pair gets lost or sat upon.

If the hearing aid was originally expensive and is in good working order, you can consider selling it on a forum such as eBay or Craig's List. 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. If you decide to try to sell it, be sure to list in your ad all the relevant information a buyer would want to know: the manufacturer and model number, the unit's age and condition, warranty type, the type of battery it takes, and your reason for 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. Many people who need hearing aids cannot afford them, and there are organizations that collect old hearing aids and distribute them to people who need them. U.S. organizations that collect hearing aids and give them to people who need them include Lions Clubs, Hear Now by the Starkey Foundation, and Sertoma. Another organization called Worldwide Hearing also collects used hearing aids for redistribution in developing nations where the people need them but cannot afford them.

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