Update Your Used Electronics with Trade-In Programs

You may have noticed the developing trend of trade-in programs as they continue to increase in popularity. Initially these programs were mostly for electronics, but many stores have started accepting trade-ins for everything from books to CDs to cribs!  Best Buy recently introduced their trade-in service and we're starting to see this trend at many other stores, like TargetRadio Shack and Sony.

A trade-in is a great option when looking to update old items in exchange for new, because when you spend hundreds of dollars on something, just throwing it in the trash doesn't even cross your mind. When deciding what to do about old electronics, you may think to yourself, "It would be really great if I could just give this back and get something new." Now, with these trade-in programs, that's essentially what you can do.

How it works:

Stores will take a look at your used item, give you an estimate on how much you can trade it in for and then, in most cases, they will give you a gift card to be used towards your next purchase. Some stores allow in-store or online trade-ins. Online trade-ins usually involve you sending your used item with a pre-paid stamp to the store and then receiving an estimate. Either way you choose, you can accept or decline their appraisal and if you do not accept their offer, you will receive your item back.

Tips for Your Trade-Ins:

1. Make sure your item is in good condition. The stores are probably not going to be lenient about trading in damaged items, so in order to get the fullest possible trade-in amount, give them something they can give you a lot back for.
2. Exchange it for something that you wouldn't normally get a discount on. It can be hard to find discounted prices on select electronics, especially new items. See if you can use your trade-in to get something that you would normally never find on sale.
3. Make sure you know the store's trade-in policy. Some stores will accept items that were not originally purchased from them, but some items must have been sold by the same store you're trading with.

Stores Offering Trade-Ins:

Best Buy: Trade items like iPods, PCs & Macs, game systems, GPS, Blu-ray players and more. You can trade online or in-store and they do accept some items not originally purchased from Best Buy.

Babies R Us: Probably one of the few non-electronics stores to offer this. Through 2/21, customers can trade-in used cribs, strollers, beds and more and receive a 25% savings on any new baby item from select manufacturers.

Amazon: They currently only offer trade-ins on textbooks, video games and movies/TV shows. You just send in items in good condition with their pre-paid packing slips and then receive credit in your Amazon account.

HP: They give you a free quote for your old item and you then purchase a new HP product, send in your old item and they will send you cash back for the approved amount of the used item.

More stores: Target, Radio Shack, Sony, Verizon, AT&T, Play It Again Sports

This service is a great way to avoid throwing items away or selling them for much less than they're worth. Everybody loves having top of the line gadgets and by trading in your old ones, you can stay on top of the trends, without breaking the bank.

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