Two of the biggest retail chains in the US, Target and Radioshack, are now buying back electronic gadgets and offering new products or store credit in return. By partnering with sites like NextWorth and CExchange that handle the reselling of consumer electronic goods, they are not only able to bring new customers and increase footfall to their stores, they also profit by reselling the carrier-subsidized gadgets such as the iPhone on Ebay for more and offer people an incentive to efficiently recycle electronics at the same time.
USA Today reports:
The reason is simple. Because the full cost of a 16-gigabyte iPhone 4 is usually subsidized by the carrier, the smartphone costs far more than the $199.99 that most customers pay with a two-year contract. A recent iPhone 4 is worth more than $300 to $350 to resellers, who can turn around and sell it again for $400 or so, says NextWorth founder Dave Chen.
Ross Rubin, analyst for NPD Group, says the move is good for retailers. “It achieves the same benefit as a loyalty program: The retailer makes themselves the default choice for the next transaction.”
“We’re trying to help people discover value in assets that are lying around the home and promote their reuse,” Chen says. “We want to keep them out of landfills.”