07 October 2011

So you are about to buy a new phone/game system/tablet....

There are those who are always on the cutting edge of technology.  Those who buy an iPhone or Android phone as soon as it comes out.  Or perhaps you are into tablets and e-readers.  What happens when 6 months from now a bigger, better item comes out on the market?  What do you do with that gadget you spent a couple hundred dollars or more on?  Well you might Cragslist it, give it to a kid or attempt to sell it somehow. 

Something that has recently come about is the ability to Trade In or Buy Back products at electronics stores.  Not only do they want you to be a repeat customer, but they want you to feel you are getting value out of the return visit to purchase new items..  Here are some things to consider when you go shopping for an upgrade to your current product.

Image from BestBuy.com

Image from GameStop.com

The first thing is Trade In's:  Trade In's cover most of the smaller size electronics sold.  You should be able to go to the stores website and find the Trade In link to locate the product you own that you'd like to trade in and see what the approximate value will be.  Some products are only available online, as with Gaming Consoles such as XBox 360 and Wii depending on where you go.  Game Stop for example takes all consoles while Best Buy only takes Handheld devices in store but all consoles on their website.  And by Handhelds I mean the Nintendo DS (Lite, DSi, XL & 3DS) and Playstation Portable.  Some stores also trade in mobile phones in store as well as MP3 Players.

Image from GameStop.com
The way Trade In's work is you either receive a gift card (the higher amount of money to receive back) or a check by mail (lower amount of course) or cash.  Again, what type of money depends on where you go.    The value is determined by model, condition, if you include the AC Adapter, and possible other accessories.  If it's an in store trade in, the store will run a functionality check to test to see that it turns on, stays on, plays a game, runs an app, makes a phone call or sends a text message, this depends on the Trade In item.  If you want to check out the differences: Best Buy Trade In & Game Stop Trade In.

Buy Back is another way to receive money back on your investment.  If you were to buy your iPad at Best Buy (the only store I know of with this program) you can pay a fee when you purchase the iPad or other product (my guess is about $80 for iPad).  I know the Buy Back price on an iPhone was $60 a few weeks ago.  The way Buy Back would then work, is if in 6 months or less if you wanted to upgrade because the new iPhone is coming out, you would up to receive 50% back.  If you were to wait 6 to 12 months it would be 40% back and so on for every 6 months.  The pricing on the Buy Back is lowered if you choose to get the Protection Plan (this is the Accidental coverage as well as normal wear and tear, battery going bad, and a few other things).  If you get the protection then you would only pay half the price on the Buy Back.  

Hopefully this will help those techies out there who want to get that great new phone or tablet but worry in a few months there will be a bigger and better product out there.  Once again, feel free to comment with additional questions. Thanks!

Disclaimer: I have not been asked or paid to write this.  I wrote this a few weeks ago as an email to a friend and thought it would be helpful for others.  But feel free to donate through my donation button.  

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