Why Some Best Buy Stores Need Two Forms Of ID To Give You $5 For A Junk Cell Phone

You may remember the adventures of S., who wanted to turn a drawer full of junky cell phones into Best Buy gift cards, but ran up against a baffling store policy that requires two forms of photo ID to do so. He complained, then flounced to another store that didn’t have this inexplicable policy. Turns out that this policy is pretty explicable: it involves local laws regulating pawn transactions.

It depends on how your jurisdiction classifies “turning in a cell phone for a gift card.” Our insider friend explains:

Some Best Buy stores are located in jurisdictions that classify our trade in program as a pawn shop-like service. Because of this, we have to comply with local laws that regulate pawn shops. Some jurisdictions require two forms of photo id, while others go so far as having your picture taken and collecting fingerprints. Definitely  annoying, but unfortunately not something we have a lot of control over.

They also sent us this list of stores nationwide that have these requirements:

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Best Buy Needs 2 Forms Of Photo ID To Give You Five Bucks For A Broken Cell Phone