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Best Buy Trade-In Program Review: Best Deal or Are There Better Options?

Is the Best Buy trade-in program a good deal? We compare payout type, speed, and value to help you get the best deal for your used phone

Are you thinking about trading in your used phone to Best Buy? Before you do, make sure you’re getting the best deal by reading this review of how the Best Buy trade-in program works plus how it compares to other smartphone buyback options.

How the Best Buy trade-in program works

Like other trade-in and buyback programs, Best Buy’s process is straightforward:

  1. Visit the Best Buy trade-in page and search or browse for your phone
  2. Answer a few questions about its condition, and Best Buy will make an offer
  3. Accept the offer, and Best Buy will generate a free prepaid shipping label
  4. Print the shipping label, package your phone, and ship it to Best Buy within 14 days
  5. Once Best Buy receives your phone and verifies its condition, they will send you an e-gift card via email within 7 to 9 days

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Is the Best Buy trade-in program a good deal?

To determine whether the Best Buy trade-in program is a good deal, you need to compare payout type, speed, and value to other trade-in options.

  • Payout type: Best Buy payouts are delivered via e-gift cards, which are good for Best Buy products. You do not have to purchase a phone or wireless plan via Best Buy to use your gift card.
    • How it compares: Major carriers also pay in store credit, while the private market and dedicated trade-in companies offer cash payment options. Some carriers only allow you to apply your payout toward your bill.
  • Payout speed: Once Best Buy inspects your phone, you will receive your gift card in 7 to 9 days.
    • How it compares: Best Buy offers faster payouts than major carriers, which can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 billing cycles to credit your account. Dedicated trade-in companies typically pay even faster, usually within just a few days.
  • Payout value: Your phone model and condition will determine its value, but let’s compare how Best Buy stacks up to major carriers and trade-in companies found on Flipsy.com for four popular smartphones (as of 11/27/2016).



Device Best Buy AT&T Verizon Sprint T-Mobile Flipsy
iPhone 6s Plus (16GB T-Mobile Gray) $235 credit

(AT&T)

$170 credit $205 credit $215 credit $205 credit $260 cash
iPhone 6 (16GB Sprint Gray) $150 credit $105 credit $125 credit $125 credit $104 credit $160 cash
Galaxy S6 Edge Plus (32GB AT&T Black) $145 credit $140 credit $140 credit $140 credit $127 credit $216 cash
Galaxy S6 (32GB Verizon Black) $120 credit $110 credit $125 credit $125 credit $105 credit $181 cash

As the table depicts, Best Buy tends to pay more than the major carriers which makes it a good deal, though not the best deal. Dedicated trade-in companies will pay even more, and they’ll pay in cash, so you can spend your money however you’d like.

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Best Buy’s trade-in program is a good deal, but you can get more money, faster, in cash, by selling your phone to a dedicated trade-in company. Compare the highest-paying offers for your phone now on Flipsy.com.

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