Best Buy's Gadget Trade-In Service Isn't A Very Good Deal

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Photo: Best Buy

Best Buy launched a new buy back program that lets you trade in your old gadgets for store credit.It seems like a smart move on the surface, but it only applies to gadgets purchased at the store along with an extra fee for the plan.

The plan is free through this Sunday, but it will normally cost $39.99 for devices less than $350 and $59.99 for devices more than that.

That’s a lot to pay just to get a gift card back when you’re ready to upgrade in a year or two.

The pricing is based on the age and original cost of your gadget, not the individual device. For example, all smartphones are lumped into one category, even if a certain model (like the iPhone) is more likely to hold its value over time.

Based on the pricing structure, that means a year-old iPhone and a year-old HTC EVO (both $199.99) will both get you $80. And since you paid $39.99 just for the option to trade in your device, you only net $40.

And that’s assuming your device is in good condition with all its original accessories.

You’d be much better off selling on Craigslist, eBay, or Gazelle, where you’ll be paid in cash for the market value of your device.

If that still doesn’t deter you, check out Best Buy’s pricing calculator here to see how much your device will be worth when you’re ready to trade it in.

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