Good and EVOTips & Deals

Sprint lets you trade in phones during online checkouts, easier than ever to rip you off

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Yesterday, Sprint announced that it is integrating its buyback program into its online checkout process, making it easy for customers to get credit for their old devices applied to new phone purchases. Sprint is framing this as a customer-friendly, eco-conscious way to help people save money and keep old phones out of landfills. And Sprint has quite ambitious goals for this program, as well: according to the director of the program, Chad Lander, “Not only does it save our customers up to $300 at a time; it’s helped us achieve an impressive collection rate of 39 percent – that’s almost halfway to our goal of a 90 percent collection rate by 2017.”

This all sounds good, but is this actually a good deal for customers?

According to Sprint’s buyback website, an original HTC EVO 4G will get you $60. But depending on the condition of your phone, you might be able to get as much as $200 from eBay. An EVO 3D will only get you $16 more than an EVO 4G, but that device is selling for over $150 right now on eBay.

In fact, after searching around for a few minutes, it seems like only the most recent Apple products (iPads and iPhones) will net you anything over $200 on Sprint’s buyback website.

Is this a good way for Sprint to encourage recycling and keep electronics out of landfills? Yes, most certainly! But are there much better deals out there? Of course – and hopefully, savvy Pocketables readers will take the time to find out what the best solution is for their particular device.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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17 thoughts on “Sprint lets you trade in phones during online checkouts, easier than ever to rip you off

  • on launch day when i got my LTE my sprint store wanted to give me 80$ for my evo 3d.. i thought about it for a min and told the guy im stright i can get more on craigslist.. sprint rep said i dont blame ya boss!! anyways so i ended up selling my evo 3d for 140$ 60$ more than sprint wanted to give me.. :)

  • I think you also have to take into account the “hassle factor.” Sure, I could get more by creating an eBay account, writing up some details, determining the condition, etc, but is it worth effort? To me (and some others) no, not really. With the Sprint buyback, you’re dealing with a confirmed reputable buyer and you know you have a 100% chance of getting your money and not having to deal with payment issues.

    With the lower payment price though, you’ve got to decide whether it’s even worth selling when there’s many other ways you could put the phone to use around the house without a service contract.

  • I took the Sprint buyback of $65 for an OG EVO 4G when I purchased the LTE. I thought it as “back to you bitch” for shipping me a refurbished unit when my original unit’s usb port crapped out.

    That refurb had a ton of minutes logged against it (##786#).

  • The real question here is whether the ONLINE trade-in values they are giving you for your phone are any different than their IN-STORE trade-in values.

    If they’re gonna give you $60 for your phone whether online or in-store, I say this is for sure a good idea and that this entire article is written from some strange perspective of bias… As long as it’s the same trade-in program, all they’ve done is make it WORLDS easier to take advantage of this opportunity!!

    Speaking of which, I’m looking to trade my EVO 4G for a Nexus S 4G – straight up. Any takers? Email me: [email protected]

  • Avatar of George Parrish

    Why is it a rip-off just shop around

  • Avatar of Jonathan

    You can always sell it back to Best Buy and they normally give you a good amount for it

  • Avatar of Miguel Diaz

    Complete rip off, but you never know you might get lucky like me and turn the tables on them. When i got my evo 4g LTE, I traded in my old evo for $80 thanks to a promotion they had, and the phones LCD screen was broken (glass didn’t have a scratch on it just the LCD), the volume down key didn’t work and my WiFi chip was broken. Luckily it still looked new so the guy didn’t even bother checking the phone just asked me if it had any problems.

  • Avatar of Charles S

    I got $220 for my Evo 3D just two months ago on Craigslist. I started at $250 and the guy bargained me down. Still, got a decent lot more than the buyback.

    Just sayin’…

  • best buy gave me 110 dollars for my evo 3D when I got my LTE, and they also gave me 50 dollars instant rebate on the price of the I only payed like 40 bucks.

  • Avatar of Jeff Snowden

    It is not a credit off the purchase price. At the end of the checkout process they tell you that you will see a credit on your future sprint bill in 2-3 billing cycles. Not only do they low-ball you on your phone but you have to wait 3 months to get the money….

    • If you do it online, if you do it in the store it comes off the price of the phone immediately.

    • 0Yeah I got a little peeevd when I saw they finally added the plum color on Sprint’s site. Lucky I still love my black. I’m not into white, but the way it looks on the EVO 3D looks very nice. (How do I change my profile pic here, btw?)

  • I have never traded a phone back to Sprint ,Sprint and other companys could care less about throwing old tec away the fact is the mother boards and other parts, can be recycled for profit and resold to insurance insurrion or the likes ,they will refurbish and sell at the market price with out blinking an eye and Takeing u out just for being dumb enof to stand their ,keep your equipment for a rainy day …

  • Avatar of Jackson Brown

    Another example of sprint bending over it’s customers, shocker…

    • They just bend you over…cuz they know you love it!

  • Thought I’d add my two-sense here. I’m a rep at a corporate Sprint store, so I deal with this every day. The buyback program is great if you are just want to get rid of your phone, and don’t really want to put the effort in going through eBay, craigslist, etc. Obviously you can get more on one of those sites, but that’s the point. Sprint isn’t trying to steal business from eBay, they’re just saying, “Hey, you gonna throw that in a drawer? We’ll take it!” I talk to customers every day that have admitted to keeping phones with the purpose of selling them elsewhere, and they never get around to it. So, don’t get all bent out of shape, Sprint doesn’t have to offer the service, but they do because it helps infinitely more people cheaply get rid of unwanted devices, than it does low-ball nice devices that could be sold elsewhere. Also, it’s your choice. You don’t HAVE to sell it to them! Lastly, there are many ways to actually take advantage of the program. Like right now, for instance, we’re buying back any iPad for at least a $200 credit towards your bill, or a new iPad in the store. We’ve had plenty of people bring in horribly damaged iPads that probably wouldn’t even go for $50 on eBay, and get $200 credits toward their bill. So, yeah, that’s what I think… : )


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