Best Buy’s “Buy Back” Program… Good Deal or Ripoff?

It seems that the technology for smartphones changes every 6 months or so, with people desiring the latest and greatest devices. I’m no different, in that I am a gadget admirer and often become an early adopter of new technology. But, I’m not such a fanatic where I wait in line the night before to get the next Apple iPhone, or fret when I can’t get a product on the release day.

With smartphone technology advancing so quickly, waiting for your 2-year cell phone contract to expire (so you can get a new subsidized phone) seems like an eternity. Some people buy a new phone at full retail price and try to sell their old one (often only 6 months old) on eBay or Craig’s List to offset some of the cost. With smartphones listing at $700, this can be a very costly venture to have the latest phone technology. As such, I often read on various forums that using the Best Buy Buy Back Program is the way to go if you want upgrade your smartphone frequently. I’ve read forum postings where people throw out numbers showing how they are upgrading their phones for only $10 using this program, and that really doesn’t make sense to me. Why would Best Buy implement a program that gives them very little profit margin?

Upon further investigating, it seems that the Buy Back Program isn’t as great as some people make it out. When you consider the price of program, the amount they credit you over time, and cost of a new phone at list price, you’re actually getting a bad deal. It’s only a good deal when you’re close to your cell phone provider’s contract expiration and when you initiate the buy back program for the first time. I know some people swear by the Best Buy Program and think they are getting a really good deal, but if you do a Google search you’ll see that sites like Consumer Reports indicate that this is not so. Here’s one such link to examine.

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