Samsung phones are notorious for dropping in price quickly — the S20, for example, went on sale for $200 below its MSRP within weeks of its first release. Perhaps as a way to mitigate that reality, Samsung has introduced an unusual buy-back program for its own store (via Droid Life) that gives customers 50 percent of the value of an S20-series phone if it’s returned within two years.
That could be a pretty great deal given the usual market for used Samsung phones two years after their launch. A refurbished Galaxy S9, for example, can easily be found on Amazon for under $270 right now, though it cost $720 upon release. If you’re buying a $1,400 128GB Galaxy S20 Ultra today, then, the prospect of getting $700 back in 24 months probably sounds appealing. The credit is returned to whichever method you use to pay for the phone, so you wouldn’t even necessarily have to stick with Samsung at that point.
There are, of course, a couple of catches. You have to return the phone in “satisfactory condition,” which Samsung describes as being in full working order without damage that goes “beyond normal wear and tear;” that means this deal might not be a great idea for people who don’t keep their phone in a case.
You’re also only able to apply one deal at a time, which might mean you pay more upfront. The S20, for example, is currently available from $799 with that $200 discount, but you can’t make use of the buy-back program unless you pay the regular $999 price. (That does mean you’d get $499 back later, though.)
It’s something to consider if you were planning to pick up a new S20-series phone. As long as you keep it in good condition, this deal might make more sense than sifting through Craigslist offers in 2022.