Jeff Trachsel, CMO for NextWorth Solutions
Five years ago, the average consumer knew nothing about trading in used electronics for cash or store gift cards. Times have changed. Today the average shopper is more informed about his or her purchases than ever. And trade-in is quickly becoming a critical tool to help them get the most bang for their buck when purchasing new products.
While trade-in has traditionally been focused primarily on mobility, savvy retailers are now learning that customers appreciate the ability to trade in more than just phones. This newfound behavior of asking “how much is my old one worth” before purchasing a new product is expanding to more and more categories. So, by making a variety of device types available for trade in, retailers can increase traffic, nurture customer loyalty and pad in-store spending, too.
Here are 3 types of consumers not-so-patiently waiting to trade in more than smartphones.
#1: Early adopters who want the best of everything – not just phones
Tech trailblazers want the best device on the market – and they want it before all of their friends. But this drive to be the ultimate “alpha” user comes at a cost. Trade-in programs are big in the smartphone vertical for this very reason: they allow trend hounds to score the best new devices out of the gate, but soften the blow by offering credit for their cast-offs.
Market-driving product releases like the Apple Watch have made smartwatches a big trade-in target. For example, customers looking to fund a preorder for the new Apple Watch, or simply earn cash for an unwanted smartwatch, can get paid up to $150 on NextWorth.com, dependent on model and condition.
This creates a win-win consumer cycle. As early adopters’ “starter smartwatches” are traded in, their first-gen devices like Samsung Gear 2, Samsung Galaxy Gear, Sony Smartwatch, Pebble and Motorola Moto 360s become hot commodities that provide the opportunity for new users to give smartwatches a try at a lower price point.
Other devices primed for trade-in potential include portable speakers and action cameras. Music aficionados are passionate about good sound; trade-in programs allow consumers to satisfy their search for the best portable speakers, from Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth to Beats Pill XL. Likewise, rapid advancements in the quality and durability of action cameras have led to growing demand for trade-in programs for devices like GoPro Hero.
Whether it’s a device to fill a niche interest or simply the next must-have on the market, accepting a diverse range of technology devices for trade-in helps cultivate repeat customers within the hot early adopter segment.
#2: Return on investment (ROI)-minded homeowners feathering their nests
Many consumers use trade-in programs to upgrade their home amenities and to offset the cost of improvements like new appliances.
Sometimes, these upgrades are designed to help make a home more energy efficient. By trading in outmoded, less efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and other appliances and for using ENERGY-STAR-certified replacements, not only do homeowners enjoy long-term energy savings over the life of the appliance, they get a rebate from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Offered by many major brick-and-mortar and online retailers, appliance trade-in programs can also help homeowners make ROI-informed property upgrades before listing their home for sale, or try out-of-the-box smart home technologies like Whirlpool’s Interactive Cooktops at a lower price.
#3: Business owners with an eye on the bottom line
Trade-in programs are a boon to business owners who must maximize their company dollars to turn a profit. Trading out-of-date tools for a reduced price on newer models just makes sense.
Corporations who employ a large number of staff and supply a large number of devices have long embraced trade-in programs to keep employees’ technology up to date. But now, in addition to managing the cycle of smartphone upgrades, IT managers are also brokering trade-ins for individually issued devices like company tablets and shared resources like digital printers.
Industry-specific trade-in programs are also valuable for cost-conscious business owners. Tools, for example, are an expensive yet critical cost of business for construction companies. To help diffuse this cost, big brands will sometimes help incentivize trade-in programs to drive sales. For example, in 2014, NAPA AUTO PARTS teamed up with DeWalt for a trade-in program that encouraged customers to bring in their old cordless drills (complete with bits and batteries) to receive an instant trade-in rebate of as much as $100. Customers could then apply that rebate toward the purchase of new tools like grinders, high-speed polishers and cordless impact wrenches.
In short, think outside the smartphone. Get creative with your trade-in program, and help your customers tap into more redeemable value.
About Jeff Trachsel
Jeff Trachsel is Chief Marketing Officer of NextWorth Solutions. NextWorth has been defining, running and optimizing trade-in programs for major retailers nationwide since 2006. The NextWorth Solutions team has more than 100 years of combined experience in the CE trade-in industry. Its unique combination of expertise, team and platform enables it to provide unparalleled trade-in support and experience to its partners, driving their key business objectives. Through the delivery of turnkey in-store and online trade-in platforms, NextWorth Solutions is fundamentally changing the way people buy, own and disown consumer electronics.