Technology and consumer electronics are constantly being updated and upgraded. It feels like it is impossible to keep up, at times. Whether it is an Xbox that has added WiFi or a computer with a better processor, or even a TV with more HDMI ports and apps; we feel like we need to have the latest and greatest. If you are like most people you have a drawer full of old cellphones and box full of unmarked cables with no clue as to what they plug into. You save all your old gadgets with hopes of one day finding a use or, better yet, a buyer. Most times they sit until you (or your spouse) can’t stand the sight of them anymore and they go in the trash.
Best Buy is preparing to release a program (officially announced on Sunday during the Super Bowl) called the “Buy Back Program.” It is Best Buy’s attempt at what they call “future-proofing” your technology. Very often, we skip buying something, knowing the next generation or iteration may be lurking around the corner. We can’t justify spending the money on something new when the one we have “works just fine,” but we sure do want the new, fancy, shiny one glaring at us from the shelf.
This program will help defray the costs of our gadget addiction. Buy your product and when the next one is out, Best Buy will buy it back. There is a timeline with associated percentages. The longer you have it, the less you get back, of course. However, it is more than you’ll make leaving it in the closet.
Here is the schedule:
- Up to 6 months – 50%
- 6-12 months – 40%
- 12-18 months – 30%
- 18-24 months – 20%
- 24-48 months* – 10%
That may not sound like much but you can own a $1,000 TV for 4 years and bring it to Best Buy for a $100 credit. Four years is a long time in the life of technology products/electronics; and you are not stuck looking for a buyer, shipping, or dealing with an online seller/auction.
The clock starts ticking 31 days after the purchase date to account for the existing return policy and is only available for Reward Zone members. Not to worry though, Reward Zone is free to sign up for (and you’ll actually get coupons in the mail, which means you may pay less for that TV in the first place).
“For devices that are mobile phones, the original purchase price means the Best Buy retail price prior to any specific carrier based rebates, offers, discounts or promotions. In addition, for devices that are mobile phones, this Plan may only be utilized for mobile phones that are under a carrier contract.”
Translation: Prepaid phones do not count, however, the price that matters is the sticker. If a phone is $300 on the shelf, that is what you calculate from even if you only paid $79 due to a new activation discount.
This plan does not seem to be overly effective if you upgrade quickly. You lose half the value within 6 months (7 counting the first month of return policy time). If you keep items for a year or two, though, you can recoup some money.
Imagine buying a $1000 TV with a $50 off Reward Zone coupon. You lay out $950 on the purchase date. Four years later you get $100 when you trade it in. You are out $850 in the long run and you had 4 years of usage of that $1000 TV. Plus the last $100 is given to in the form of a gift card on the spot to be used toward your new purchase.
I don’t need more reasons to shop at Best Buy, but I think I just got one.
UPDATE: This program will not come free with any purchase. Just like their current “Performance Service Plan” or “Product Replacement Plan,” the item will have to be made to qualify by adding on the “Buy Back Program.” Prices will vary and it will remain free until February 12th.