Best Buy Gadget Buy Back Program Official. Not As Sweet a Deal As It First Appeared

Last week in the middle of CES 2011, we posted about a new gadget Buy Back program coming from Best Buy. It sounded like a good deal when we posted what we knew. Now the program is official, and the deal doesn’t sound quite so reasonable. In essence, you have to buy-in to the Best Buy Buy Back Program and as it looks it’s a pretty steep cost.

The program allows users (who buy-in) to return gadgets and depending on the length of time they’ve owned the device get credit back towards a new purchase. (We outlined those specifics here.) But there’s a but. You have to plop down some cash up front when you purchase the gadget in order to participate. In the case of a netbook or laptop, that cash is $69.95. That certainly knocks a hole in any potential savings. There’s still some question out there if that same price applies to smartphones, and there’s no word on what the price would be for TVs.