Best Buy launches Buy Back Program

By on January 11, 2011, 10:57 AM
Best Buy has launched a Buy Back Program for customers who want to stay current with their gear but who are concerned about obsolescence. The Buy Back Program means the retailer "buys back" your past purchases and gives you your money on a Best Buy gift card.

Beginning this month, Best Buy customers can purchase the Buy Back Program in-store or online when buying products in one of five popular categories: laptops, netbooks, tablets, post-paid mobile phones, and televisions. The price of the Buy Back Program is based on the product category (for example, $70 for laptops, netbooks, and tablets and $60 for mobile phones). The fact that the retailer is charging the customer to use the program is a mistake, in our opinion.

Best Buy customers may purchase the Buy Back Program when buying a new product and redeem it at a later time, as long as the device is in good working condition and includes all original parts. Customers can immediately apply money from their Buy Back product redemption to the purchase of new products at any Best Buy or Best Buy Mobile store, using a schedule based on duration of product ownership:

  • Redeem your Buy Back within 6 months from purchase effective date, and get up to 50 percent of your purchase price
  • Redeem your Buy Back after 6 months to 12 months from purchase effective date, and get up to 40 percent
  • Redeem your Buy Back after 12 months to 18 months from purchase effective date and get up to 30 percent
  • Redeem your Buy Back after 18 months to 24 from purchase effective date and get up to 20 percent
  • For TVs only, redeem your Buy Back within 48 months from purchase effective date and get up to 10 percent

Best Buy is hoping the program will encourage higher consumption from early adopters of new technologies. At the same time, electronics redeemed through the Buy Back Program will be assessed by the company's Geek Squad Agents and distributed among Best Buy's aftermarket, trade-in, and recycling programs.

"We recognize that technology is changing faster than ever, and our customers tell us they want to enjoy these devices without worrying about when the next or newest version will launch," Brian Dunn, chief executive officer of Best Buy, said in a statement. "We call this ‘future-proofing' because our customers can now have more confidence that they're protecting the value of the products they're purchasing today. With the Buy Back Program, consumers benefit from assurance, convenience and transparency so they can stay current and stay connected."

User Comments: 16

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PaulWuzHere PaulWuzHere said:

$60 for laptops $600 or less. Which means!

You buy a laptop for $550 and pay $60 - $610 before taxes


1-5 Months later you decide to upgrade... you get $225 back. You have just paid $385 to rent a $550 laptop for a few months. I feel sorry for the ignorant consumer that gets suckered into this.

I have far less respect for Best Buy now.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

LOL...what a total waste of time. They're "buying back" their own over-priced products at a fraction of original cost. This reminds me of college book buy backs. Pay $80 for a book and the University book store will buy it back from you at the end of the quarter for $10. Then turn around and sell it for $60 to the next poor schmuck college student.

This is how it's done. You buy your item, use it until you upgrade or don't want it anymore, then donate it and write it off as a tax deduction at damn near your original purchase value.

Cota Cota said:

Really? this is like buying a warranty for a fork.....

freythman freythman said:

This is not a good deal for the consumer, it's a GREAT deal for Best Buy.

1. The consumer pays for the products. Best Buy profits

2. The consumer pays for a pretty little service called, "Buy Back." Most people aren't going to take it back within 6 months, some will, but most won't, so again, Best Buy profits.

3. When you do take it back, it has to be in "full working order," so then Best Buy is able to "recycle" it by selling it as a "refurbished" item, again profiting.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Arguably speaking , it would be financially more worthwhile to resell a product online on a site like ebay rather than selling it back to Best Buy. HOWEVER, most users are unable (read: do not know how or "does not have time" to do this, so such a buyback program actually HELPS consumers get a little bit back when they no longer need a product that falls under the Buy Back Program umbrella. Consumers are fickle; they like buying new things with new features. If they can replace their old products while being able to get a small discount (as it basically becomes) for the new product after selling back their old goods, that's actually a good thing.

As for the Resell aspect on Best Buy's Perspective: A lot of currently returned items and likely future products from the buyback products find their way to wholesale and outlet stores that specifically sell "used" items. I for one have bought used and like new items on Best Buy's ebay outlet for FAR less than original retail, so while they are still likely making a profit, it is not as demonizing as you'd expect.

Honestly though, the buyback program can be a good thing but ultimately it looks to be poorly implemented. I understand the refund percentages and the initial cost; Best Buy has to protect itself from losing money, but even then the initial cost is too high. The current cost will likely scare people off from using the service aside from the most expensive hardware, and even then it's questionable.

yRaz yRaz said:

TomSEA said:

This is how it's done. You buy your item, use it until you upgrade or don't want it anymore, then donate it and write it off as a tax deduction at damn near your original purchase value.


Guest said:

Not to piss in the wind, but this news is a week old.

You need to keep up with the world TechSPot.

Emil said:

Guest said:

Not to piss in the wind, but this news is a week old.

You need to keep up with the world TechSPot.

No it isn't. Why don't you check your facts first? It was rumored last week. This week it was announced.

Guest said:

No Best Buy in the UK so I'm unsure of everything they sell, but I'd be far more inclined to upgrade my PC more often if I could take parts back 12 months later and get 30% of my cash back. I'm too lazy to put stuff on eBay so I just try to hold off a couple years between upgrading a component and end up throwing the replaced part in the bin (or leaving it in a closet somewhere, unused for another few years and then throwing it in bin).

Guest said:

I dont think its a good idea, if u pay $70 to pay for the buy it back upfront thats 15% upfront ur paying ontop of the price of the item, so in 24 month u go and trade it back it at 20% minuse the 15% u payed upfront u only getting 5% back and a laptop that is 2 years old gotta be worth more than $25

Prosercunus said:

People in large part are already getting ripped off if they shop at best buy to start with, you are talking about higher prices compared to the internet sellers and then you aren't even talking about tax. You can get cheaper prices on and get free shipping and pay no taxes (for most states).

This is downright exploiting customers with the program though, however it is nothing they haven't done before with various other programs. That being said... consumer beware. I still don't advocate banning this sort of business practice.

Guest said:

Yet another reason why I don't purchase stuff from Best Buy.

Guest said:


u can sell ur used laptop for more at ebay or craigslist lol

Guest said:

I'm trying to understand the analytic on this program and how it's going to be profitable for Best Buy. I want to go in and purchase $1000 laptop. That will cost me $80, so all in $1080. Depending on when I turn in the product I will receive: 6 months = $500 or 6-12 months = $400 or 12-18 months = $300 18-24 months = $200.

If I had an extra 500 + dollars every 6 months I would think about it.

Best Buy is not introducing this program just for getting you to purchase from Best Buy again, they have a incredible function that is not even mentioned in this article. These "buy back" laptops will be shipped to the service center and parted out for warranty repairs, the more of these functional computers the cheaper the parts will cost. They will be making profit not on the Buy Back but cheaper parts, less headaches for purchasing parts from another vender, and making money on warranty plans. This idea works perfectly on paper, but no consumer with half a brain would purchase this. Next idea BBY

Buy Back ----> Parts ----> Service Center ----> Warranty repair ----> Client

RaiDeR55 said:

This makes Evga's­ step-up program for video cards and mobo's seem like a real good deal..If you are wanting to upgrade those components.Just to bad BB doesn't do something like that.Like after first year you get 50% of original price or so toward the new appliance.Instead of these not so good deals.

Guest said:

I feel sorry for anyone who buys any electronics from Bestbuy. They tried to sell my boss, who works in IT, a spyware sweep for a brand new laptop for $100. The only spyware on their laptops is all the crap that comes preinstalled!!

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