Is Love For Us Behind Consumer Electronics' Buy Back Programs?

They love us. They really love us. Can you believe it? Retailers are so concerned about our satisfaction and succeeding at the Moments of Trust customer touchpoints that they have introduced so-called buy back programs that give us the opportunity to return electronics to the store before they get retired to a drawer, trash can or recycling bin (for those who think green). According to The Boy Genius, Best Buy’s new protection plan allows consumers to sell back their devices for a percentage of their original MSRP. The program had a soft launch this week, covering phones, laptops, netbooks, tablets, and TVs priced under $5,000. The report said that the service will be expanded to “other product categories” sometime during fiscal year 2012. Look for a super push of Best Buy’s program during the Feb. 6 Super Bowl telecast. The pricing structure for television “buy backs” varies from that of computers, tablets, and smartphones. TVs under 6 months old can be turned in for 50% of the original full-retail price; 6 to 12 months, 40%; 12 to 18 months, 30%; 18 to 24 months, 20%; and 10% during the third and fourth years of ownership. The report said that all “buy backs” will be issued in the form of Best Buy gift cards. If the program proves to matter to prospective buyers, other retailers will surely introduce similar buy back programs. Why? Love for us. Or maybe it’s the understanding that shoppers don’t freely agree to long contracts. Beyond the costs that come with a 24-month or so arrangement, it’s obvious that, with the pace of innovation, a new device today is destined to be yesterday’s news in 6-12 months. Or less. With the buy back program, the consumer gets the latest and greatest and the retailer gets a contract re-up. What a lovely idea. First published at