How often has this happened to you: You shell out some bucks for a rockingly fast computer or slick flat-panel TV, and in a year or two it’s slow and tired and yesterday’s news.
If you want to protect yourself from obsolescence, you might want to look into a program called Guaranteed Buyback from TechForward. For a small fee upfront you are guaranteed a buyback price if you turn in your computer, flat-panel TV or other specific electronics within two years. TechForward either resells your old electronics or has them recycled.
The program covers desktop and laptop computers, LCD monitors, flat-panel TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, video camcorders, digital cameras, MP3 players and iPods, and GPS units. When you buy a product and pay the fee for the program, you lock in a trade-in value.
If you turn the product in within six months, you get 50 percent of its value back; at six to 12 months you get 40 percent, 12 to 18 months, 30 percent, and 18-24 months 20 percent. The fees for the program vary. (See below).
You can buy products at TechForward partners CompUSA, Amazon.com, and TigerDirect.com—or buy them elsewhere and sign up for the program at the TechForward web site. If you buy at a partner site or store, TechForward pays your buyback in the form of a gift card for that retailer; if you buy online, you get a check at buyback.
“We’re dedicated to helping people upgrade consumer electronics more easily and be more environmentally responsible,” says TechForward’s vp of operations Marc Libovitz. Reusing electronics, by the way, is one of the best things you can do for the environment, because it keeps it out of the waste stream a while longer.
After buyback, TechForward either sells the product through a network of partners in the consumer, government, education and B2B sectors—or they have it recycled, adhering to responsible Basel Action Network (BAN) pledges not to sell the products overseas, where electronics containing hazardous materials are often dismantled in a dangerous ways.
TechForward also says that any data left on hard discs or in other memory is destroyed to U.S. Department of Defense standards.
Another reason you might want to use TechForward? “In this economy, some people are not purchasing the gigantic TV that they want, and plan on upgrading in a year or two when they can afford it,” says TechForward CEO Jade Van Doren.
Upfront fees for Guaranteed Buyback program:
- MP3 Players & iPods - $19.98
- Digital Cameras - $19.98
- GPS - $19.98
- Video Camcorders - $29.98
- Desktop Computers - $39.98
- LCD Monitors - $29.98
- Blu-ray Players - $29.98
- Flat-panel TVs under $1,000 - $79.98
- Flat-panel TVs over $1,000 - $149.98
- Flat-panel TVs over $2,000 - $249.98
- Laptops under $1,000 - $29.98
- Laptops over $1,000 - $49.98
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates