TechForward, a new company in Los Angeles, provides fixed buyback prices on used electronics like cell phones and iPods. The catch is you pay up front—it’s an added fee when you first buy the device—for the right to resell your gadget to them a year or two down the line, and the amounts they’re offering are usually dramatically lower than what you can get if you sell it yourself on Ebay.
It’s a cool concept, but the current execution is only appealing if you don’t want to deal with Ebay or Craigslist, or if you don’t care as much about maximum resell value as you care about getting it out of your home with minimal work on your part. As part of TechForward’s fee, they pay for packaging and shipping, and although they won’t pay you for a broken device they’ll still accept it.
NEW Corp., the company “that runs the extended warranty programs for Best Buy Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.,” is launching a similar program called econoNEW. It won’t charge up front for the service, and will negotiate a buyback price at the time you bring in the gadget. Additionally, instead of cash ecoNEW will offer store credit. NEW hasn’t named which retailers will be participating yet.