I visited a local COSTCO HEARING AID CENTER in Fountain Valley, California, yesterday,June 22nd,2012,and I had to do a double-take to ensure I read the price correctly for a package of 40 hearing batteries, which is usually marketed as a standard box of 10 packages of 4 hearing aid cells.
The price was $9.99 for 40 cells. That amounts to 25 cents per cell. In the State of California no Hearing Aid Office can charge State Sales Tax (The Hearing Aid Office is charged the Sales Tax by their Distributor).
Usually the best price available to any Hearing Aid Office, regardless of the number of offices,is $.25 cents per cell, but with a minimum quantity of 100 cartons, amounting to about a $1,000 dollar purchase,plus the respective Sales Tax added.
Obviously, the batteries are manufactured in CHINA, or some other third world country.
Since COSTCO has to make a profit to stay in business they obviously are buying them at a price below $.25 cents and they also are required to pay the sales tax.
This price, available to the Public, could result in COSTCO dominating the retail hearing aid battery business.
It is obvious to me, that COSTCO is using the price they offer on the purchase of hearing aid batteries is intended to drive customers for hearing aid batteries into COSTCO HEARING AID CENTERS and expose such customers to the fantastic prices available for the purchase of their HEARING AIDS.
If COSTCO did retail advertising for hearing aids and hearing aid batteries they could take everyone else out of the hearing aid business.
This is a real problem for the hearing aid industry,but great for the Consumer.
It is called COMPETITION and the FREE MARKET. TOO BAD such competition is limited to HEARING AIDS.
NOTHING ELSE THAT COSTCO SELLS has such a price advantage as is available in HEARING AIDS and thats because there is so much profit available to AUDIOLOGISTS AND ANYONE ELSE SELLING HEARING AIDS, INCLUDING MEDICAL DOCTORS.
EVERYONE IN THE HEARING AID INDUSTRY HATES COSTCO AND YOU CAN SELL WHY.
For further information contact David A.Thorpe at (800) 432-7114.
More to follow from the ALSIP MAGISTRATE.
P.S. The $9.99 price applies for all sizes including size 10 with the yellow tabs.