Best Buy Touts Samsung Trade-In

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Best Buy ( BBY) is launching yet another trade-in promotion - this time with Samsung.

The electronics retailer says that customers who are eligible for an upgrade on their smartphone or basic mobile phone will receive a minimum $50 trade-in credit (in the form of a Best buy gift card) when they trade in a working phone and upgrade to a new Samsung smartphone and a two-year deal with Verizon ( VZ), AT&T ( T) or Sprint ( S).

One option is the Samsung Galaxy S III. The guaranteed $50 trade-in credit makes the device nearly free as it retails for $49.99 with a new agreement, the company said in printed material. (Customers still have to pay any applicable taxes and fees.)

Other Samsung eligible devices retail between $199.99 and $249.99 with a new activation agreement, according to the Best Buy Web site, meaning even with the trade-in credit, there is still an out-of-pocket expense.

The offer is good from Wed., July 24 through Sat., August 3.

The phone for trade-in must power on and be free from any screen cracks or water damage.

The deal comes on the heels of Best Buy's Apple ( AAPL) iPad trade-in promotion. Through Aug. 3, the company is offering a minimum $200 Best Buy gift card for working iPad 2s or third generation iPads. Customers may use the gift card for a 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad with Retina display. The device normally sells for $499.99 but with the gift card, customers will pay $299.99 plus taxes.

Best Buy refurbishes the older technology devices and resells them. For those products that can't be refurbished, Best Buy partners directly with a select list of qualified companies for recycling, it says.

"Part of our 'Renew Blue' strategy is also partnering with our vendors and we're always looking for opportunities to do that -- which also provides another avenue for us to deliver on our customer promise," Best Buy spokesman Jon Sandler says.

Best Buy rolled out its trade-in program nationwide in August of 2010. The company accepts more than 11,000 consumer electronics items (regardless of where they were purchased).

That said, similar to Best Buy's Apple ( AAPL) trade-in promotions, consumers should check with their local store to see if the promotion is offered. In some cases, stores are prohibited from accepting trade-ins due to local laws restricting pawning. The offer is not valid online.

Best Buy is trying to get further into the trade-in/resale market, competing with eBay ( EBAY), Gazelle.com, and even Craigslist.

The company has been working hard to reposition itself in a competitive consumer electronics market. One of Best Buy's strategies to boost profitability is to create in-store experiences. The retailer has partnered with Samsung and Microsoft ( MSFT) to create specialty product mini-stores.

Shares were falling 1% to $26.03 on Wednesday.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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