The trade-in industry is exploding, spearheaded by annual renewals of hot products (iPhone, Galaxy S, etc.) that folks just aren't interested in waiting for. So, in order to get the hottest, latest, and greatest right away, many have turned to trading in older gadgets in order to cut into the price of a new one. This isn't a new concept in the video game industry; GameStop and other retailers have accepted trades on older games for years, and even re-sell those older games to those who are looking for a cheaper fix.
But now, Walmart
is looking to boost interest in its electronics department. After a weaker-than-average Q2, where Walmart blamed a lot of that on the lack of new and buzzworthy gadgets, the company is unveiling a "Gadgets to Gift Cards
" program. It's pretty simple in theory. You just bring in older smartphones, MP3 players, video games, computers, cameras, and pretty much anything with an off/on switch. From there, you'll get a Walmart Gift Card of some value, which you can then use anywhere in the store or via Walmart.com.
The wild part is, all of this is facilitated online. You'll need to pass a credit check, select your products, accept the trade-in value, and then send in your gear within 10 days (with a free shipping label, no less). Of course, your gizmos need to be relatively fresh. If you don't think you could fetch $5 on eBay for something, it's probably too old to bother Walmart with. And, like with GameStop, you'll no doubt get taken for a ride on the trade-in price. Basically, you won't ever get top dollar through this program, but Walmart expects people to live with that given the ease of use. Folks may accept less money in exchange for a simple process.
So, are you considering turning your Craigslist listings and eBay auctions to Walmart?