Trade-in programs that promise consumers a discount or cash for their old gadgets benefits everyone. The company–let’s say, for example–Sony–makes a sale. The old gadget gets a new life, or gets recycled. The customer gets a discount, and gets rid of their old device in a way that’s more convenient and safer than placing a Craigslist ad. In theory. That’s not working for Jeff, though. He sent in his old Vaio laptop to swap it for a gift card. He’d get double the listed trade-in value if he bought a new computer. Not bad. Assuming that they acknowledged receiving the computer, and that Sony determined the trade-in value to be more than $0.