Cell Phone Retailers Reinventing Old Tricks

by Sarah Hu on January 10, 2009

Increasing competition for new customers and dismal economic reports has cell phone retailers reinventing old tricks to lure new customers. The most recent trend is to offer customers trade-in value for their used phone when they buy a new phone. While trade-in programs have been used for decades in other industries, it has not had much wide spread use within the cell phone industry.

According to Bob Sullivan, President of The Wireless Source, a trade-in program sponsor, “wireless retailers and most of their customers don’t realize that their used phone has financial value, since new phones are sold very heavily discounted or subsidized when they originally purchased it. However, offering the customer an instant discount for their used phone is a great technique to incent the consumer to buy now and not wait. Sullivan further stated “consumers will not only buy more rapidly, but they tend to spend more and buy more expensive phones compared to customers who aren’t offered the trade-in value.”

Sullivan’s firm, The Wireless Source, currently supports over 6,000 wireless retailers nationally today. Most retailers see offering a trade-in program as a great way to differentiate their store from others. Also, any discounts that can be offered to the customer without coming out of their own pocket are a real win for the retailer and the consumer.

Trade-in programs are much easier to manage and implement today, since most solutions are internet based and can be deployed rapidly. Sullivan said”, our platform is cost-free to the retailer and can be launched in minutes. They will start to see immediate financial benefits and at the same time have a solution that customers appreciate. At the same time our company is ISO14001 certified, so we maintain the highest environmental credentials and offer a guarantee to remove the customer’s data from the phone prior to its reuse.

Sullivan concluded,” wireless retailers are turning to old tricks to create new opportunities”.

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