comscore Are smartphone buyback schemes the latest marketing sham?
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Are smartphone buyback schemes the latest marketing sham?

Xperia-exchange-offer

Ever since Apple introduced it on the iPhone 4, buyback schemes have become the latest fad that companies are using to attract new buyers. Who wouldn’t be if a company says it is offering Rs 10,000 off on its high-end smartphone in exchange of your old phone? But is it actually the case? We checked out a few such schemes and found out that most of them are borderline scams, misleading and in some cases buyers might even end up paying more than what they can buy the device online without exchanging their old phones! Also Read - HTC too starts buyback schemes for One Mini and One dual-SIM

Also Read - Nokia Lumia 1020 gets Rs 13,500 discount under buyback scheme

When Apple started its buyback scheme for the iPhone 4 earlier this year, it offered users Rs 7,000 off from the listed price (and at most places also the market operating price) of Rs 26,500. Yes, buyers could get an iPhone 4 in the vicinity of Rs 24,000 at some places, yet getting a minimum of Rs 7,000 off was a great deal and they were getting the iPhone 4 at a much lower price than what was operating in the market. BGR India exclusively reported on how Apple is offering the discount. Also Read - Apple's buyback offer for iPhone 5C, iPhone 4S officially announced in India; applicable on Samsung Galaxy Note 3 too

The plan proved so successful that even Tim Cook acknowledged Apple India’s success in the company’s quarterly earnings after having called India a non-crucial market exactly a year ago. In response, other brands too started offering buyback schemes but most of them have so far turned out to be nothing more than a marketing campaign aimed at fooling buyers.

So here’s the Sony buyback scheme that offers the Xperia Z for Rs 33,790 and Xperia ZL for Rs 30,690 AFTER the user exchanges his old smartphone. Sony’s campaign claims that the Xperia Z’s best buy price is Rs 38,790 and the Xperia ZL’s is Rs 35,690 and the buyer is getting a discount of Rs 5,000. On checking popular online retailers, we found out that one could easily buy a brand new legit Xperia Z for less than what Sony is offering under its buyback scheme. In other words, you not only lose approximately Rs 2,000 on Sony’s buyback scheme but also give away your old smartphone, which you could have sold separately and made some more money.

Not as preposterous as the Sony scheme, but close enough, is Samsung’s Galaxy Note II buyback scheme. The ad screams how users can get Rs 10,000 off by exchanging their old smartphone for the Galaxy Note II. According to Samsung, the market price of the Galaxy Note II is Rs 37,500 and buyers can get it for Rs 27,500, which translates into a discount of Rs 10,000. Cool story, bro! The fact is that one can easily buy the Galaxy Note II for approximately Rs 29,000 WITHOUT exchanging their old smartphone. In other words, Samsung is offering roughly Rs 2,000 off, which it hopes is the least its dealers can make by selling off the old smartphones unsuspecting buyers bring to avail the “discount”.

This is not to say that every buyback scheme is a scam or a mere marketing campaign. But buyers should be beware and do their bit of research before falling for these cheap antics. In these two cases, for instance, buyers would save more money if they sold their older smartphones separately and bought the device without the offer. Heck, in the Sony scheme one would end up paying extra and even give away their old smartphone.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: August 12, 2013 5:36 PM IST



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