Hearing Planet - - Price Comparison and How Does Hearing Planet Work? A Hearing Planet Review.
Hearing Planet - is owned by Sonova - which also owns Phonak and Unitron and Lyric and Advanced Bionics and Acoustic Implants.
Hearing Planet is probably the largest internet based referral site for hearing aids on the internet. A referral site basically means Hearing Planet is a marketing company. Hearing Planet makes it look like they do not sell hearing aids directly to the consumer - but in reality they are...because, in many cases they own the entire distribution channel - from start to finish....which means the hearing aids are at FULL PRICE... no discounts - like a walmart or superstore whatsoever. Hearing Planet (Sonova) essentially sells them at full MSRP - manufacturers suggested retail price. MSRP also known as “sticker” price - just like in car industry - the manufacturer can suggest a price that its sold at. The hearing aid manufacture, Sonova - maker of Phonak, owns hearingplanet.com so they are going to set the price to whatever the market will bear. So when Phonak or Unitron builds the hearing aids, Hearing Planet acts as the pre sales - where they spend their money to attract consumers to www.hearingplanet.com. Hearing Planet or Sonova is able to mark them up, and sell them at nearly a 5 to 10 times markup - this is educated guess based upon what Sonova sells their hearing aids to the Veterans Administration for - see here: phonakpricestoVA. Once you decide on a hearing aid, you are referred to a "audiologist professional partners or to one of our own retail clinics for a face-to-face consultations" where the audiologist professional partners or retail clinic is paid $500.00 to fit the hearing aid for servicing the patient for 3 to 5 years. By the way, out of all the audiologists in the US, their are only 14% independent audiologists still standing today, An Independent audiologist is a business that is not owned by a corporate hearing aid manufacturer. So there is a more than a good chance that Sonova owns the audiologist office you are referred to.
As an example, Sonova owns and Hearing Planet refers customers to Connect Hearing - an audiologist professional partner/retail clinic with over 300 locations in the US. My sources confirm Sonova is acquiring independent audiologists with multiple locations -that already sell Phonak/Unitron products.
So Sonova owns Phonak and Unitron, they own HearingPlanet.com and they own over 300 retail clinics in the US that you would be referred to. This is how Apple sells their products at a premium. Apple builds a great product and they control distribution and they can charge a premium.
What is unique about this website is, although Hearing Planet is owned by Sonova - which also owns Phonak and Unitron, Hearing Planet also sells or refers competitors products like Rexton, Siemens, Widex, Oticon, and Starkey hearing aids. Take another industry, like cars...have you ever seen a Ford dealership, sell new Chevrolet's in the same lot (used yes) but new? My guess is even though they sell competitor models, Hearing Planet, which is owned by Sonova, is that the sales reps at Hearing Planet might be spiffed to steer you towards Phonak products - because there is more margin in selling Phonak and Unitron - that might not be the case - I could be wrong- its only one mans guess. I am not sure if that is the way their commission structure works but I can tell you two things about this: 1. I worked for a mfg and we sold our own products and were a reseller for others and we were spiffed to sell the higher margin products (the ones we created) and 2. that Phonak and Unitron are listed first (#1 and #2) on hearingplanet.com, (definitely not alphabetic) which is a strategy to get most of the customers - google uses same technique with #1 ranking and SEO - with google organic traffic, the first two keyword listings get the bulk of all the traffic - same way it used to work in yellowpages. Why does Rexton, Siemens, Widex, Oticon, and Starkey and others sell on HearingPlanet? Because these hearing aid manufactures can pool their money and dominate google pay per click advertising real estate. These are the "Monopoly Boardwalks" of search engines. Search on google for Siemens, or Oticon.....hearingplanet.com always has a top position with the paid "adwords" spots. I do not know exactly what they spend but there are tools out there that my SEO guys use that estimates hearingplanet.com spends over $100k a month in pay per click advertising. I suspect what they did is get the other 5 mfgs to ante up $10k to $50k a month - a piece - working together is a great way you can get a lot of eyeballs (customers) for one website instead of six different websites.
What are Hearing Planets Prices? How do they compare? The prices of comparable models are so close (they are the same actually) from hearing aid manufacturer to the next that it suggests that all the manufacturers are riding together in the same hot air balloon. Can't one hearing aid manufacturer have a better and more efficient manufacturing process, or another have lower costs of goods? Or another lower customer acquisition costs? This would allow one hearing aid manufacturer to be the low cost leader - just asking. What Hearing Planet does is allow you to search and create a comparison chart by hearing aids in specific price ranges, such as: hearing aids under $2000, hearing aids under $2500 and hearing aids under $3000. The Hearing Planet comparison chart shows 6 brands and 53 models under $2000 per aid. The lowest price models, in the under $2000 range is $1499 per aid. The Hearing Planet comparison chart shows 6 brands and 83 models under $2500 per aid. The Hearing Planet comparison chart shows 6 brands and 117 models under $3500 per aid. This is for one hearing aid - you need to Double that price for two. That is how you do a price/feature comparison. But take a closer look. Look at the prices for a Phonak, Rexton, Siemens, Widex, Oticon, and Starkey for under $2000, do it for under $2500, and then for under $3500 Then look at the features for the Phonak, Rexton, Siemens, Widex, Oticon, and Starkey. Seems like all the features and prices are the same for comparable models. When all the features are nearly identical, when all the prices are nearly the same and cluster together, which one is better? How do you tell the difference? Which one will work the best for you?
Does Hearing Planet offer coupons, promo codes and discounts for hearing aids? - Yes they do, but you have to ask for them and present the coupon codes. Hearing Planet works with AAA discounts and if you were or are in the Military - and you need a military ID.
You can learn more about Hearing Planet here: http://www.hearingplanet.com/
Sonova e-HearingCare
100 Westwood Place
Suite 400
Brentwood, TN 37027