Best Buy Addresses High-Tech Obsolescence

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Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn describes the consumer electronics retailer’s just-launched Buy Back program as “a game-changer.” The goal: to help customers embrace new technology with greater confidence.

According to the company’s announcement, its first ever buy-back program aims to help consumers “who want to stay current with their gear but who are concerned about obsolescence.” The Buy Back Program, in a nutshell, lets customers trade in high-tech purchases when there’s an upgrade, addressing any fears of making a big purchase and regretting it when a new version rolls out.[more]

 

“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,” says Dunn.

That’s why Best Buy customers can now 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 (under $5,000).

Customers may purchase the Buy Back Program when they buy their new devices, with pricing based on the product category. For example, Buy Back protection for any laptop, netbook or tablet is $69.99. Best Buy will purchase the product anytime between 31 days and two years for laptops, netbooks, tablets and post-paid mobile phones, and four years for televisions. Customers may receive up to 50% of the product’s original purchase price paid in the form of a Best Buy gift card if redeemed within six months of the effective date to purchase new products of their choice.

Buy Back Program cites research it commissioned that shows 40% of respondents agreeing that concerns about technology becoming outdated have likely prevented them, or would prevent them in the future, from purchasing products such as laptops, mobile phones, TVs, tablets and netbooks.

The study also indicated that 30% of consumers surveyed plan to purchase a TV or laptop in the next 12 months, and that 73% of them would consider purchasing these electronics from a retailer that offers a re-purchase type of program.

The survey also found that when purchasing personal electronics, 84% of consumers say it’s important to deal with a reputable company who will responsibly re-use and recycle their old products. Electronics redeemed through the Buy Back Program will be assessed by its built-in team of 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,” stated Dunn. “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.”

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.

Unlike typical retail trade-in programs customers don’t have to wait for re-payment, and 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. Better yet, consumers know what they’ll be paid up front, with a schedule that is available at the time of Buy Back Program purchase and is 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

“A program like Best Buy’s Buy Back should encourage higher consumption by early adopters and fast followers that are considering new technologies, because it gives them confidence that the electronic devices they have just purchased will have real value going forward,” commented Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for NPD Group, in the press release.

 

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