Just ahead of Apple’s expected iPhone announcement, Walmart on Tuesday announced a new in-store smartphone trade-in program. The company already accepts trade-ins on its website, but now you can bring your old device to participating stores for credit towards a new smartphone with a two-year contract.
Walmart estimates that trade-ins can range anywhere from $50 to $300 for the more than 100 smartphones it will accept. Though more specific prices haven’t been announced yet, the program is in partnership with CExchange, which also powers the company’s online trade-in site. Based on that I’d imagine you can probably expect similar trade-in prices to what you’ll find from Walmart online.
All you have to do is bring your phone to any participating Walmart or Sam’s Club store and answer a few questions about the phone’s condition and specifications. If your phone is accepted, you’ll be given credit applicable to the purchase of a new device.
I’ve reported on Apple’s new in-store trade-in program, along with many of the other online trade-in options out there, and Walmart’s in-store program just doesn’t strike me as a very good deal. For starters, you only get store credit that must be used towards the purchase of a new smartphone (with contract) when you trade your phone in in-store. That’s fine if you’re already planning to buy a new phone, but you can also just trade your phone in online for a general-use gift card good for anything in the store.
Additionally, Walmart’s online trade-in program allows you to exchange broken phones for credit. The in-store program does not. And while Walmart offers some decent trade-in rates, it only fell in the middle of the pack of stores and sites I surveyed to find the best iPhone trade-in price. This doesn’t mean the program can’t be a good fit for you, and the convenience alone will undoubtedly be worth it for some. But it pays to do a little shopping around if you’re looking to get the best rates possible.