Best Buy recently introduced a new trade-in service, the Best Buy Buy Back Program, which [if purchased] gives customers the option to return their old gadgets to Best Buy and receive up to 50% back to be put towards new gadgets. Sounds great? Not so much, and following are several reasons why.
It’s Not What You Think
If you watch the Best Buy Buy Back television commercials, they’ll often feature some schmuck that recently bought a new gadget [let’s say an HDTV or cell phone] only to find out that it’s obsolete as soon as they bought it, the customer’s in these commercials are often overcome with buyer’s remorse as they find out that they can’t swap their old gadgets for new gadgets, the Best Buy Buy Back Program logo is shown on the screen, and the commercial’s commentator says something cheesy like “Future-proof your gadgets”. These commercials paint a very unrealistic picture of what the Best Buy Buy Back Program is and they make it seem like some sort of gadget swapping warranty Program, but in reality, the Best Buy Buy Back Program is nothing more than a trade-in program – much like the ones found in video game stores.
The Best Buy Buy Back Program Isn’t Free
Another thing that isn’t depicted in the Best Buy Buy Back Program is the fact that the Buy Buy Program costs cash up front. If you’re thinking that you’re just going to strut into Best Buy, buy a laptop, HDTV, cell phone, or tablet, and have the ability to trade-in your gadgets at a later date, you’re leaving out a very important part of the Best Buy Buy Back Program – and that’s the part when you have to fork over money just to be able to return your gadgets and receive up to 50% [and as low as 20% – if in good condition]. I’m familiar with trade-in programs, but you usually don’t have to pay money upfront to get ripped off in the end.
You Pay Cash Up front, but you Don’t Get Cash Back
Another way that the Best Buy Buy Back Program differs from traditional trade-in programs is the fact that although you are forced to pay cash upfront to opt-in for the Best Buy Buy Back Program, you won’t get cash back when you return your gadgets to Best Buy – you’ll get a Best Buy gift card back. Receiving a Best Buy gift card instead of cash for the Best Buy Buy Back Program limits you to only being able to shop at Best Buy even though you’ve given Best Buy cash that you could have used anywhere. Even if the Best Buy Buy Back Program were free, it’d be a huge rip-off to return your fully functioning gadgets to Best Buy only to receive a gift card in return.
There Are Way Better Alternatives
Before the Best Buy Buy Back Program, what did you use to do with your old gadgets? You’d sell them, keep them, or give them to friends – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with those options. If you opt-in for the Best Buy Buy Back program, you’ll be without a gadget, you’ll only get 50%-20% of your cash back [less if you factor in the money you spent to opt-in for the Buy Back Program]. You’d fair a lot better by selling your gadgets on Craigslist or eBay instead of paying Best Buy to take your gadgets back – heck, you’re better off “handing-down” your gadgets to family and friends instead of being taken advantage of.
For more, read Best Buy’s Buy Back Program Offers Customers a Way to Earn Money on Gadgets , Best Buy and Target’s New Trade-In Games Policy Could Further Hurt the Gaming Industry , and CinemaNow is Best Buy’s Answer to Netflix
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