Apparently, someone in Arkansas didn't receive the memo notifying the world that today was supposed to be Apple's big day. As Wal-Mart is wont to do, the big-box behemoth is already trying to upstage the biggest and most buzzed-about announcement this side of a royal pregnancy proclamation.
On the heels of what's expected to be Apple's unveiling of two new iterations of their iPhone as well as iOS 7, Wal-Mart is rolling out the largest smartphone trade-in program available at brick-and-mortar businesses.
Beginning Sept. 21 in over 3,600 Walmart and Sam's Club stores across the U.S., the house that Sam Walton built will offer customers a chance at trading in more than 100 smartphones for an instant credit of $50 to $300 depending on the make, model, and condition. Consumers will be able to receive a trade-in credit of $300 for an Apple iPhone 5, $175 for a Samsung Galaxy SIII, and $52 for a Samsung Galaxy S2. In order to complete their trade-in, customers will be required to sign up for a new two-year contract with either AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint in-store or sign up for one of Walmart's prepaid wireless service plans.
The best part of Wal-Mart's new program?
The no-hassle, ease-of-use model upon which it's built.
"We aren't going to be nitpicking the customer on 'Is it scratched,' or 'does it have stickers on it?'" said Steve Bratspies, EVP of general merchandise for Wal-Mart Stores U.S, in a statement announcing the program's launch. "We are going to ask five really simple questions, like, 'Does it turn on? Is the screen cracked? Are the security codes removed from it?' Really basic questions."
This just means that when the time comes for you trade-in your old smartphone with Wal-Mart, a store associate is only going to assess the value of your phone with very few metrics easily summed up in one question: Is your device in working condition?
Wal-Mart's announcement is great news for consumers looking to get the best deal possible on their old smartphone before they get their hands on a new iPhone this fall. As detailed in our recent post, 5 Ways To Save On Your Next Smartphone Upgrade Or Purchase, mobile buy-back and trade-in programs are the best way to get some money back for any rapidly aging smartphone before you move on to the latest and greatest mobile on the market. Make sure you check out that article for some great tips and tricks to save you money before you commit to buying or upgrading to the upcoming iPhone.
Be sure to check back later today for our coverage of Apple's iPhone and iOS reveal starting at 1:00 PM EDT / 10:00 AM PDT, as well as the rest of this week for our profile of the top 5 personal finance apps for iOS (iPhone & iPad) and Android.
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