Walmart launches smartphone trade-in, but you’ll have to wait until September 21


As everyone waits to learn what iPhones Apple will announce later today, the urge to trade-in current smartphones will surge. Hoping to take advantage of that last-minute push is Walmart, adding the world’s largest retailer to the list of firms offering deals on older iPhones and other used smartphones.

But is Walmart offering the best deal?

There are some differences which could make offers by smaller firms more attractive, starting with kick-off time…

Walmart on Tuesday announced it’s trade-in program isn’t available until September 21, a day after the new iPhones are due to reach store shelves. Walmart’s trade-in initiative – available in over 3600 Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations around the country – could net you anywhere between $50 to up to $300 for an entry-level iPhone 5 in good condition.

In addition, you could get $175 for a Samsung Galaxy SIII and $52 for a Samsung Galaxy S2. By comparison, GameStop will give $390 in in-store credit for the same phone. Gazelle will give you $320 in cash or credit, for instance.

Of course, to get the credit customers are required to sign-up for a new two-year contract with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon at the store. Alternatively, you could also sign up for one of Walmart’s prepaid wireless plans, like Straight Talk which comes with talk, text and data for $45 a month.

Notably, the retailer has been offering low prices for some time now on the entry-level 16GB iPhone 5 (just $98) and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 (just $138) with a two-year contract from AT&T, Verizon Wireless or Sprint.

More electronics is available for trade-in at Walmart, including tablets, MP3 players, video games, cameras, laptops and more through the recently launched, online-only Gadgets to Gift Cards offer, seen below.


Other trade-in programs will ‘lock-in’ a guaranteed price, avoid the usual drop in value of older iDevices once new products are introduced.

Gazelle, for example, has a 50-day window in which a price is locked-in, allowing an iPhone owner to agree to trade in their older device now and be confident of receiving a high amount nearly two months after new iPhones are unveiled and in the store.

As in Apple’s trade-in program, Walmart only offers its version through participating retail locations. There are some bargains to be had in trade-ins, but the buyer must beware.

Chart top of post via 9to5Mac.