Dell’s Cyber Monday in Julysaves you up to 50%!
  1. WilliamButlerOgden's Avatar
    I'm sure many of you are aware of this promotion that Microsoft is currently running where you trade-in a MacBook Air for (up to) $650 towards a new Surface Pro 3.Details can be found here.

    My story is a bit complicated. So I purchased a MacBook Air in March, shortly after they were upgraded with new, Haswell processors. I was also the owner of a Surface RT, which I preordered as soon as possible and received on launch day. Then last month I learned about the Surface Pro 3 and preordered as soon as possible, again. My intention was going to be to keep it and the MacBook Air, just incase the SP3 didn't cut it in any given situation. However, I've found that it has served me well for all of my purposes and I was about to sell the MacBook Air when I learned about this promotion.

    In addition to myself loving the Surface Pro 3, so does my girlfriend, whose birthday is coming-up soon. So last night I reinstalled Mavericks and headed to the Microsoft Store almost as soon as it opened to trade my relatively-new MacBook Air in and pay the difference for the $999 Surface Pro 3.

    I explained the situation to the first associate I saw and they got right to inspecting the MacBook and I mentioned that I'd be taking a bit of a hit on the whole transaction, but that it was okay given the convenience. Unfortunately, despite this being the most-recent model of MacBook Air, they could only offer me $450. I understand the deal says "up to $650," but if the larger model and most-recent revision cannot get you $650 on the trade, what could? I declined the offer and mentioned to the sales associate that I thought the advertising was a bit disingenuous, but he kept harping on how it says "up to $650."

    I guess my next plan-of-action will be to try and sell it on Craigslist, though I would prefer not to, and I definitely don't plan on using eScam. So once I can sell the MacBook Air, I'll take my business to Best Buy and get the Surface Pro 3 there. I was willing to take the hit on the MacBook Air because of the convenience of going to the Microsoft Store nearby my house, but turns out this isn't convenient at all.

    Does anybody else find this situation a bit wrong?
    Last edited by WilliamButlerOgden; 07-03-2014 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Turned into wall-of-text.
    07-03-2014 03:38 PM
  2. xboxonthego3's Avatar
    It's probably because you didn't have the top of the line model. The 256GB model of the Air is $200 more. I bet you that one will get $650. Keep in mind these are trade in programs. They are looking to make money off the device. Selling the device yourself will always give yourself more money. I would price your device around $700-850 to sell it quick. If it has warranty you could up the price around $100 more. Hope this helps!
    07-03-2014 03:50 PM
  3. WilliamButlerOgden's Avatar
    It's probably because you didn't have the top of the line model. The 256GB model of the Air is $200 more. I bet you that one will get $650. Keep in mind these are trade in programs. They are looking to make money off the device. Selling the device yourself will always give yourself more money. I would price your device around $700-850 to sell it quick. If it has warranty you could up the price around $100 more. Hope this helps!
    Unfortunately, given what they quoted me for the $999 model, I bet even one configured like the $1,199 model would only fetch $20-25 more, realistically. Perhaps even a maxed out $1,749 model with 512GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and a 1.7 Ghz i5 wouldn't even fetch $650 from them. Now that would be interesting to find out (what they quote the top-of-the-line config).

    Even if they gave me $650, they could surely sell it for about $800, the going rate for a second-hand model like I have.

    The greater point is, given the presentation by Panos and Satya, and the endless comparisons to the MacBook Air, it seemed like they wanted to convert people to their ecosystem and get them paying for Office 365 and buying Windows Store Apps. They should be encouraging people to convert and "trade up" as they say in their own advertisement, but it seems as if they don't actually want to do that.
    07-03-2014 05:12 PM
  4. poken1151's Avatar
    Totally hear you, but like the other posts say, it's a trade in program. Those nearly never trade up to actual cost. The main point of it is to draw people in with a comparison, a direct "oooo, so this is your upgrade equivalent" more so than the cost (for ex of other such trade ins, look at nearly any other company (TMO recently had a trade in for blackberries....)).

    Anyway, yea, selling it off yourself will net you far more cash, almost always.
    07-03-2014 05:24 PM
  5. WilliamButlerOgden's Avatar
    Totally hear you, but like the other posts say, it's a trade in program. Those nearly never trade up to actual cost. The main point of it is to draw people in with a comparison, a direct "oooo, so this is your upgrade equivalent" more so than the cost (for ex of other such trade ins, look at nearly any other company (TMO recently had a trade in for blackberries....)).

    Anyway, yea, selling it off yourself will net you far more cash, almost always.
    Oh, I've got it. Sold plenty of smartphones/tablets on Gazelle in the past and know they offer 1/3 of what you could get selling the device independently (Craigslist/eScam), whatever it may be.

    But Gazelle isn't trying to get people to convert to their platform (operating system, devices, services, app store), Microsoft is.
    WillysJeepMan likes this.
    07-03-2014 05:51 PM
  6. rdubmu's Avatar
    If you go to KBB.com, and look at trade in values of cars verses retail or private party, you will notice that trade in values are much less. It is always worth it to sell it on your own.
    ziggy3055#CB likes this.
    07-06-2014 11:10 AM
  7. onlysublime's Avatar
    just like with cars or anything else, trade-in is for convenience, not best value.

    you're always going to get better value on Craigslist, Ebay, etc. it's just a pain but if you want max value, that's the way to go.
    07-06-2014 11:19 PM
  8. berty6294's Avatar
    One thing I would make sure whenever trading in at Best Buy, make sure the associate adds the trade in to the cart. If they do not so that, the promotions will not show up. It will go through as a normal trade in, once added to the cart the promotion will override it.
    07-06-2014 11:24 PM
  9. TechFreak1's Avatar
    The general purpose of a trade-in is to make money, it is a retail business after all and like others have said to maximize the return your better off selling it yourself.
    07-07-2014 09:35 AM
  10. badMojo69's Avatar
    You take a loss for instant gratification...it's really that simple. If you want the best price you have to do the leg work like others have stated.
    I'll never trade my tech in at any retail store. Well I wont say never. If I can only get $40 online and a retail store will give me $20 I'd probably do it.
    07-07-2014 09:46 AM
  11. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    Oh, I've got it. Sold plenty of smartphones/tablets on Gazelle in the past and know they offer 1/3 of what you could get selling the device independently (Craigslist/eScam), whatever it may be.

    But Gazelle isn't trying to get people to convert to their platform (operating system, devices, services, app store), Microsoft is.
    While I think it is reasonable to assume that Microsoft's intention with the Macbook Air trade-in offer was to get people to convert, I don't think that was Microsoft's actual reason.

    Just on the surface (no pun intended) it isn't practical... someone who is using OSX and OSX-supplied apps is not going to find the transition to Windows easy. They'll need to pony up for Office (MBA's come preloaded with iWork) at the very least, and with that the added work of converting iWorks files to something usable on with Windows apps.

    I think Microsoft had a much simpler reason... to keep the Surface Pro 3 in the news during the typically quiet Summer months and to reinforce their claim that the SP3 can replace an MBA.

    As for trade-ins, sounds like you're experienced enough to understand the financial dynamics involved. And that doesn't appear to be your concern, but rather the weak implementation of the trade-in offer. I think it would've been more effective for Microsoft to offer a flat $650 trade-in value for a working MBA. But that's a pretty aggressive approach.
    07-07-2014 12:31 PM
  12. WilliamButlerOgden's Avatar
    If you go to KBB.com, and look at trade in values of cars verses retail or private party, you will notice that trade in values are much less. It is always worth it to sell it on your own.
    Again, like I said, I understand the dynamics of this type of transaction very well. I think I explained that I am fully aware that trading-in will always net you far less than selling a device independently.

    However, given how Microsoft advertised (and still is advertising) that you can get "up to $650" for a MacBook Air, but would only offer $450 for the larger (13") and most-recent model, I question their sincerity that anyone could possibly expect to net $650 with their trade-in.

    It seems to be a lure with no truth to it at all, which is why I am frustrated.
    WillysJeepMan likes this.
    07-08-2014 09:18 AM
  13. kittengirl's Avatar
    But according to your signature, although your MacBook Air is newest and largest screen size, it is not the very top model. Yours is a 128GB, right? The TOL would be the 256GB, which is what I would assume you would need to trade in to get the maximum advertised trade-in value. Based on my analysis of the situation, I see no deceptive advertising whatsoever.
    07-09-2014 02:45 PM
  14. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    But according to your signature, although your MacBook Air is newest and largest screen size, it is not the very top model. Yours is a 128GB, right? The TOL would be the 256GB, which is what I would assume you would need to trade in to get the maximum advertised trade-in value. Based on my analysis of the situation, I see no deceptive advertising whatsoever.
    whatsoever? How about a little asterisk (*) indicating the specific model that is eligible for the full $650? Even if they didn't post the entire list on their website (like Best Buy does with their trade-in program), they could at least post the low and high end devices.

    Microsoft Stores are not ubiquitous. It would be mutually beneficial (for MS and for potential customers) to give an idea of what is worth what before driving to and from a store. When they make it difficult to participate in the deal, one is left to wonder why they offer it in the first place.
    07-09-2014 03:10 PM
  15. mister2d's Avatar
    But according to your signature, although your MacBook Air is newest and largest screen size, it is not the very top model. Yours is a 128GB, right? The TOL would be the 256GB, which is what I would assume you would need to trade in to get the maximum advertised trade-in value. Based on my analysis of the situation, I see no deceptive advertising whatsoever.
    Exactly.

    OP, you should have known that any offer that includes the verbiage "up to" means that you will have to give the top/premium in return. Not anything below that. Since you didn't have the absolute top spec MBA, then you shouldn't expect the top trade-in offering.
    kittengirl likes this.
    07-09-2014 03:18 PM
  16. WilliamButlerOgden's Avatar
    But according to your signature, although your MacBook Air is newest and largest screen size, it is not the very top model. Yours is a 128GB, right? The TOL would be the 256GB, which is what I would assume you would need to trade in to get the maximum advertised trade-in value. Based on my analysis of the situation, I see no deceptive advertising whatsoever.
    To quote myself:

    "Unfortunately, given what they quoted me for the $999 model, I bet even one configured like the $1,199 model would only fetch $20-25 more, realistically. Perhaps even a maxed out $1,749 model with 512GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and a 1.7 Ghz i5 wouldn't even fetch $650 from them. Now that would be interesting to find out (what they quote the top-of-the-line config)."

    At any rate, if what it takes to get the full $650 trade-in requires someone to invest in the top-of-the-line $1,749 model (and the most-recent revision), then yes, the probability of anyone taking them up on that offer and taking a $1,100 loss (more than the price of a Surface Pro 3) is probably unrealistic. That person would functionally be spending...

    $1,749 for the MacBook Air + ($1,000 SP3-$650 trade)= Effectively buying SP3 for about $2,100

    Like anybody's gonna do that.
    07-10-2014 04:36 PM
  17. WilliamButlerOgden's Avatar
    Exactly.

    OP, you should have known that any offer that includes the verbiage "up to" means that you will have to give the top/premium in return. Not anything below that. Since you didn't have the absolute top spec MBA, then you shouldn't expect the top trade-in offering.
    Microsoft would probably have been better-served advertising "at least" a given value for a functioning MacBook Air, like they did with their iPad--->Surface promotion several months back. I think we could all probably agree on that. If they didn't realistically expect to pay out about $650 to anybody, then indeed the advertising is a bit disingenuous.

    Would still be interesting to see what they would quote for a trade-in of the $1,749 model. I would ask, but apparently they will not appraise a trade in sight-unseen, as per store policy.

    When I was originally trying to trade the MacBook Air, I called the store the night before I made the 45 minute walk and the associate I spoke with said that they were not allowed to quote a trade in value over the phone without seeing the device (another reason for my annoyance being that I would not have walked the hour and a half round trip if I had known they would low-ball the offer so badly).
    07-10-2014 04:53 PM

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