The Surface 2 isn’t due to replace Microsoft’s Surface RT until October 22nd, but that impending release isn’t stopping Best Buy from trying to entice early Surface adopters with 95% more trade-in credit for their old device.
Any user who trades in their Surface RT to Best Buy is guaranteed to receive at least $200 as part of the deal. The company also says that users can look forward to a maximum trade-in value of up to $350, provided that their device is in excellent condition and has 64GB of storage instead of the 32GB of storage that the entry-level Surface RT ships with.
There are a few catches. Unlike GameStop or some other services, payment for Best Buy trade-ins come in the form of a gift card. What that means users can redeem the credit for anything they want in the store or online, it does hook into staying with the retailer for their next big electronic purchase.
Best Buy also says that its usual guidelines for trading-in devices applies. That means that users can’t trade-in Surface RTs with cracked screens or damaged displays. In order to receive the credit the device must turn on. Potential traders should also call ahead before heading to their local store to trade in their Surface RT. Best Buy says that the trade-in program isn’t available in all stores, and that the upgraded Surface Trade-In offer is exclusive to its retail locations. The offer ends on October 21st, the day before the Surface 2 launches.
Whether this is a good deal for users is unclear. Best Buy only gives users $150 gift card for a 32GB Surface RT normally. Meanwhile, the company usually offers users a $175 gift card for the Surface RT with 64GB of storage. A check at Gazelle also yielded the same $150 standard trade-in value for entry level Surface RTs. The big difference is that Gazelle and other services allow users to get their trade-in credit back in cash, something Best Buy doesn’t do.
However, both of those trade-in values pale in comparison to what users could get if they simply sell their Surface RT on eBay. Right now, 32GB versions of the device are selling for around $340.
Users looking to pick up a Surface 2 when it debuts on October 22nd have a tough choice to make. While the design of the Surface 2 and Surface RT are very similar, this year’s version includes a high-definition display, a faster processor, a full-size USB 3.0 port and a two-position kickstand. Surface 2 pricing begins at $449. With those upgrades, trading-in a Surface RT for a cheaper Surface 2 doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.