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Best Buy To Buy Back Old CE

1/10/2011 07:10:15 PM Eastern

Minneapolis - Best
Buy has confirmed reports that it is launching a repurchasing program for aging
electronics.

The plan, available
this month in stores and online, allows customers to buy "buy-back protection" with
their product purchases, which will enable them to sell back the items to Best
Buy at a later date.

Five categories
are covered under the program, including laptops, netbooks, tablets, post-paid
mobile phones and TVs. Pricing varies by category, with coverage for laptops,
netbooks and tablets selling for $70, for example.

The amount that
consumers will receive for their used products is based on a sliding time
scale, so that items returned within two months will fetch up to 50 percent of
their original purchase price, while those returned by the maximum redemption
point -- two years for tablets and mobile PCs, four years for TVs -- will get back
20 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Payment is in the
form of a Best Buy gift card, and the redeemed products will be reprocessed through
Best Buy's aftermarket, trade-in and recycling programs.

The program, which
Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn described as "future proofing," is underwritten by Chartis
U.S. Warranty, formerly AIG.

"We recognize that
technology is changing faster than ever, and our customers tell us they want to
enjoy these devices without worrying about when the next or newest version will
launch," Dunn said. "Our customers can now have more confidence that they're
protecting the value of the products they're purchasing today."

Best Buy said the
appeal of a buy-back option was evident in a year-long study by Impulse
Research, which showed that concerns about technology becoming outdated has
likely prevented 40 percent of consumers from purchasing CE products, or would
prevent them from doing so in the future.

 What's more, of the 30 percent of consumers who
plan to purchase a TV or laptop in the next 12 months, 73 percent said they
would consider purchasing those products from a retailer that offers a repurchase
program.

NPD industry
analysis VP Stephen Baker agreed. "A program like Best Buy's should encourage
higher consumption by early adopters and fast followers that are considering
new technologies, because it gives them confidence that the electronic devices
they have just purchased will have real value going forward," he said in a
prepared statement.