Like we told you in a Consumerist exclusive back in December, Best Buy is launching a new program that lets customers trade in their old gadgets for a gift card for a fraction of their value, good towards another Best Buy purchase. They say it “future-proofs” your technology. The announcement was emailed to customers last night and will also be publicized during the Super Bowl.
To recap, the program kind of combines the “new every two” cellphone upgrade approach, with trading in your used car for a new one, with an extended warranty. But put down that dot matrix printer, not all gizmos are eligible, only new ones that are purchased under the buy back program.
You can get up to 1/2 back on purchases made within 6 months, up to 40% on 6-12 months, 30% for a year to 18 months and up to 20% for 18 months to 2 years. TVs are eligible for 10% back on their price up to four years after purchase. They will need to be in good working order and have all their parts.
The program costs $69.99 for laptops, netbooks and tablets, $39.99 for smartphones under $350, and $59.99 for smartphones over $350. (Droid-Life and Boy Genius Report report that sources tell them that enrolling will be free to customers buying stuff through Best Buy Mobile Feb 6-26, and Feb 6-12 for all other items.)
Smart move on Best Buy’s part. Not everyone who buys products under the buy-back program will end up using the insurance policy they paid for. They also increase the likelihood that the customer will come back and make their next upgrade at Best Buy, and who knows what else they will pick up in the store at the same time.
But what’s smart for Best Buy is not necessarily what’s smart for you. After all, this is kind of like paying Best Buy extra for the privilege of being able to buy more stuff from them in the future. You should only upgrade when you need to, get the best product that suits your needs, and shop at the retailer that gives you the best price. To help find the best value on all things gadgety, gizmo and electronic, check out publishing sibling Consumer Reports’s ratings and reviews.
Future-Proof Your Technology With The Buy Back Program [Best Buy]
Best Buy buy-back program could boost e-recycling [cnet]
Best Buy’s Buy Back Program Will Be FREE For Mobile Phones February 6 Through 26 [Droid-Life]
Best Buy’s Buy Back program free from February 6th to 26th? [Boy Genius Report]