Every year, smartphone and tech companies unveil slews of new gadgets touting perks like smart features and sleek designs. These products don’t just usher in new beginnings – they also leave many people rushing to their nearest Apple Store or big-box retailers like Best Buy just so they can lay their hands on the devices.
Every year, tech companies like Apple unleash new gadgets touting perks like smart features and sleek designs. These products don’t just usher in new beginnings – they also make many people head to retailers like Best Buy just so they can pick up these devices.
That means needing to make room for this new tech by putting aside your old tech. But do you want to merely put it in a drawer or let it gather dust on your desk? Nope. As much as you may have spent on it, it merely makes sense to get rid of it – or, better yet, get something back for the money you spent on your new smart device.
Which brings up the question – how to get rid of it? If you’ve got an older iPhone (or Apple Watch, iPad, or MacBook) to part with, your best bet is a trade-in program that offers you a significant sum. Of course, we have one…but how does the Best Buy Trade-In program fare?
How Does Best Buy Trade-In Work?
Online vs. In-Store Trade-In
Which Devices Does Best Buy Accept for Trade-In?
Best Buy Trade-In Reward Options
Best Buy Trade-In Values
Best Buy Trade-In Deals and Promotions
Pros & Cons of Best Buy Trade-In
Similar to the buyback programs offered by Apple, ecoATM, Verizon, T-Mobile, and GadgetGone, Best Buy’s trade-in program turns your older devices into immediate, usable credit. But what kinds do Best Buy accept? And how do their trade-in values stack up to the competition? Time to break it down!
Simply put, Best Buy Trade-In buys used electronics like laptops, tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches from consumers who no longer need them. Well, “buys” is a figurative term. It doesn’t necessarily offer cash, but rather in-store credit that can be used for other things.
In general, you only need to be at least 18 years old and have an accepted product in order to trade in with Best Buy. Additionally, although you’re able to sell up to three used items a day, there are certain exceptions.
If you choose to trade in with Best Buy, you have the option of either completing the trade-in online or visiting a physical location. Of course, each method has its tradeoffs.
Keep in mind that while not required everywhere, there are certain locations that, because of local requirements, only accept trade-ins of items that are on a valid Best Buy receipt. It’s best to double-check the details for your specific Best Buy location before trading in.
In the event that your local store requires a valid receipt, or if your area Best Buy doesn’t participate in the trade-in program, there’s still the option to do it online.
(Also, don’t forget that some locations have COVID restrictions in place, so it never hurts to give your local store a call first.)
Trading in your old device using Best Buy’s online platform works in much the same way as most other buyback websites. Simply find the item you’d like to trade in and answer some questions about the item and its condition to receive your initial trade-in quote. Don’t forget to be honest – if it’s got a problem, make sure to take that into account. (Best Buy certainly will.)
If you’re happy with the offer, accept it, print out the free shipping label, and send your used iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, MacBook, or whatever else to them within 14 days.
Once Best Buy receives your used tech, they’ll evaluate the device to ensure its condition matches what you stated while filling in the trade-in details. If everything checks out, your Best Buy gift card will be on its way to you seven to nine days after your item is received.
If, however, your item is received more than 14 days after you originally accepted the trade-in offer or if it doesn’t meet the condition as stated online, its trade-in value will be adjusted accordingly.
Should you be unhappy with the new trade-in value, Best Buy will happily send your device back to you as long as no gift card has been issued yet and you pay the shipping fee.
Unlike some other buyback programs (including us), one of the advantages of using Best Buy Trade-In is the ability to complete your trade-in at a Best Buy store. Thanks to a sprawling network of storefronts in the US, Mexico, and Canada, you can easily walk into a physical location to trade.
It is important to note that not every Best Buy store accepts trade-ins, and some have certain COVID restrictions. So be sure to confirm that yours can do so before going into the store.
Before going into your nearest Best Buy, we recommend finding out what your device might be worth by getting a trade-in estimate online first. Then, if the quote is in the neighborhood of the amount you’d like to receive, it’s good to pay them a visit.
Just be sure to take your driver’s license or other state-issued ID with you; and whatever you do, DON’T ship your used devices to your nearest Best Buy location, as the only thing you’ll get from doing this is a lot of headaches. And literally nothing back credit-wise.
Once in the store, one of the employees will assess your device’s trade-in value based on its functionality and physical appearance. If you accept the offer, you’ll leave with a gift card in-hand that same day which can be applied to any online or in-store purchase. That means a new fridge, game system, or whatever else you may need.
As you might have guessed, Best Buy can take in quite a bit when it comes to electronics. Specifically, Best Buy Trade-In accepts:
|• Cell phones||• Video games|
|• Tablets/E-readers||• Gaming systems and controllers|
|• Smart speakers||• Laptop and desktop computers|
|• Cameras and camcorders||• Smartwatches and other wearables|
There is, however, an interesting exception. Best Buy doesn’t exactly keep its trade-in program up to date. As a result, newer devices, like the iPhone 13, aren’t taken in just yet. This may change in the future, but, more than likely, it’s just getting caught up from the past couple of years of COVID.
(Side note: If there’s a device Best Buy won’t take, however, be sure to check GadgetGone. We take all iPhone 13 brands, despite the condition. And we’re adding new devices each week, including new tablets, game systems and more.)
Although smartphones and tablets with damaged screens were originally only accepted for recycling, Best Buy has since updated its policy to give store credit for these devices. However, screen damage does decrease the trade-in values of these devices considerably (more on that in a bit).
We don’t know about you, but for us, payment is the most important part of every trade-in transaction. That’s right, like you, we enjoy earning sweet, sweet cash for our unused devices. Unfortunately, as with some other popular trade-in platforms (we’re looking at you, T-Mobile and Apple), you have only one payment option to choose from: a gift card.
If you visit your local Best Buy establishment often, store credit is ideal. If you’re anything like us, however, only being able to receive a gift card is a bit of a dealbreaker. It’s fine and we can accept it (and add more Nintendo Switch games to our collection), but there’s another problem – the trade-in values it offers.
When taken as-is, Best Buy’s trade-in values are…decent. But just how do they stack up when compared to other buyback programs?
For our comparison, we decided to look at devices accepted by both GadgetGone and Best Buy, specifically the newer iPhone devices that the company could take. For good measure, we also included updated prices for a couple of game consoles.
Please note that while our quote is particularly for models on the Verizon network, unlocked smartphones are generally worth more than their carrier-locked counterparts. To learn how to unlock your cell phone and maximize your payout, click here.
iPhone 12 256GB Verizon network, good condition
Best Buy: $450 (credit)
GadgetGone: $515 (cash)
iPad Pro 9.7 inch with Wi-Fi, 256GB
Best Buy: $120 (credit)
GadgetGone: $135 (cash)
PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB w/1 controller, good condition
Best Buy: $150 (credit)
GadgetGone: $180 (cash)
Xbox One X 1TB Console w/1 controller, good condition
Best Buy: $150 (credit)
GadgetGone: $180 (cash)
As you can see from the trade-in values above, Best Buy has competitive offers for iPhones and video game consoles, as long as they are in good condition and include all the components, including cables and controllers.
However, when it comes to other Apple products like the iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch, Best Buy’s offers fall considerably below its competitors. What’s more, they can be even lower for Samsung devices, depending on models. On top of that, Best Buy doesn’t even take in the iPhone 13 line yet, while GadgetGone does.
Additionally, although Best Buy gives good trade-in values for devices with average wear and tear and all original components included, they can’t compete with those offered by GadgetGone if there’s damage or something is missing.
From time to time, Best Buy will hold special trade-in deals and promotions to help you maximize your trade-in credit. By taking advantage of these deals, you are able to earn extra money from your devices.
As long as you and your trade-in meet the requirements, these promotions can go a long way in making Best Buy’s trade-in values more competitive. Unfortunately, as these deals are used to advertise a particular product, the only customers who are able to benefit are those who were already interested in buying the promoted device.
For those not interested, you’re just stuck with the general amount. And, again, only in trade-in credit.
When it comes to trade-in methods for used electronics, it’s nice to have choices. For those who frequently shop at Best Buy or who prefer to buy things there instead of from their provider or directly from Apple, its trade-in program does have benefits, namely competitive trade-in values for iPhones and video game consoles.
However, their lack of payment options (i.e. no cash) waters down any advantage they might have gained. By only offering store credit, customers are limited on how they can spend their trade-in payment. If you need a new game system or stereo, great. But…what if you need food or cash to pay bills?
In a nutshell, if you’re not planning on making any purchases at Best Buy in the near future, there may be a problem.
|Best Buy Pros: |
|•||A wide variety of devices accepted|
|•||Good trade-in values for smartphones and game consoles in good condition with all components included|
|•||Able to trade in either in-store or online (shipping your device is free)|
|•||Store credit can be used immediately if trading in in-store|
|•||Trade-in promotions offered frequently |
|Best Buy Cons: |
|•||Only offers store credit, and not all newer devices are accepted yet|
|•||Less competitive trade-in values for smartphones or video game consoles with damage or missing components|
|•||Less competitive trade-in values for other electronics|
|•||If trading in online, payment won’t be sent until 7 to 9 days after your item is received|
|•||Condition categories are inconsistent across devices and occasionally confusing|
|•||Must pay shipping fee to have your item returned if you are unhappy with your updated trade-in value for your online trade-in|
|•||Doesn’t price-match competitors’ trade-in value offers|
When compared to GadgetGone, the choice is clear: Unlike Best Buy’s trade-in program, sending items to us will consistently earn you more money (in cash!), and the process is just as simple.
|GadgetGone Pros: |
|•||Different payment methods (PayPal, mailed check, or Amazon gift card)|
|•||Shipping your device is free|
|•||Condition categories are clear and consistent|
|•||Some of the most competitive trade-in values in the buyback industry, regardless of condition or included components|
|•||PriceMatch+ Guarantee – If you get a better offer from one of our competitors, we’ll beat it by $5|
|•||Payment is sent within 2 business days after your device is received|
|•||If you are unhappy with your updated trade-in value, your device is returned to you for free|
| GadgetGone Cons: |
|•||Accepts only smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, and video game consoles (no MP3 players)|
|•||There’s no store to bring it in to for trade, can only be sent (but at least that’s convenient and free)|
|•||Promotions rarely offered, but that’s because our prices are already so competitive|
Selling your older item just isn’t as easy as it should be. You have to deal with strangers who may or may not offer you the best price, wait forever to pay you, or may not even pay you at all. That’s why it’s so important to pick a trade-in program you can trust.
It’s up to you which program to go with. Best Buy’s is somewhat reliable, and convenient, especially if you’re looking to buy something new from them. If not, and you prefer cash to go towards other things, GadgetGone is the clear winner here.
Whatever you choose, here’s hoping your trade-in goes smoothly and gets you on the way to getting your next electronic doodad!
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