Kindle Trade-ins Big Advantage for Amazon, Why Don’t Other Companies Do it?


Kindle Trade

Amazon has had a Kindle trade-in program for years now where you can trade-in an older model for a credit and a discount toward the purchase of a new Kindle.

For the past couple of years Amazon’s Kindle trade-in deal takes 25% off the price of a new Kindle when trading in an old one, plus you can apply the trade-in credit toward the purchase as well.

It doesn’t even matter if the Kindle is broken; they’ll still give you $5 for it plus the 25% discount.

With the least-expensive Kindle, it’s not a very big discount compared to a typical sale, but when it comes to the more expensive models the 25% discount makes a huge difference.

For example, it takes the price of the $250 Kindle Oasis down to a more reasonable $187.50.

When it comes to upgrading to a newer Kindle, the trade-in program is a big advantage for Amazon.

Why don’t any of the other ereader companies offer trade-in deals?

The Kobo Forma is a nice ereader but behind a $279-$329 price tag it’s reserved for the select few that don’t mind spending that kind of cash on a dedicated reading device.

Imagine if Kobo offered a trade-in deal where you could get it for 25% off to get one for about $210—I bet a lot more people would be interested in that.

The same goes for Onyx. They have some nice devices but they’re more expensive than most. They’ve been making ereaders for over 10 years now but they don’t offer a trade-in program either.

A couple of times Barnes and Noble had a Nook trade-in deal, but it was usually for their tablets, not Nook ebook readers.

It’s a shame more companies don’t offer trade-in programs for their ebook readers when upgrading to newer models. Considering how slow E Ink devices evolve, a trade-in discount is one of the best ways to get people to think about upgrading.

8 Responses to “Kindle Trade-ins Big Advantage for Amazon, Why Don’t Other Companies Do it?”

  1. Amazon is Amazon. They have way more ways to make profit than their Kindles and ebooks. Also, some, perhaps many of these trade-ins likely show up on WOOT or even Amazon’s main site as “refurbished”, So I bet Amazon is even making money on the train-ins. None of the other eReader manufactures have the ability to do something like that.

  2. Expanding on what David said, Amazon probably see Kindle-selling as a ‘loss leader’ on their more profitable business of selling eBooks. They can afford to take a bit of a loss on a new Kindle, if you celebrate the shiny new eReader by buying more eBooks for it.

    Stand-alone manufacturers cannot do this, and manufacturers that have a less-robust associated eBook selling business than Amazon may not make enough to make it economic.

    • Yes, and additionally, in the US market, “Kindle” is synonymous with “ereader”. Because of this, pretty much nobody is in the market for a “refurbished” Nook, or Kobo, or Onyx ereader. Could these companies try the traid-in route intending to refurbish and sell the trade-ins? Yes, they are allowed. Yes, they have the web presence. But, they would actually sell very few because the people in the US who are looking for a cheap device to see if they like using an ereader and almost always looking for a “Kindle”. Over the past 6 or 7 years, I have had Nooks, a Kobo, and now an Onyx Boox ereaders. I can’t even tell you how many times I have been asked “Is that a Kindle?” or “How do you like your Kindle?. Because in the US the general public assumes every eInk based reader is a Kindle.

      • That’s funny because my coworker asked if my Oasis was a Sony. Anyway, BN sells refurbished Nooks, and if you always buy from the store or read in the evening the GL3 is a better deal than the Kindle.

        I believe it is moves like offering trade ins and having floor space in other stores like Target and Best Buy that contributes to the ubiquity of the Kindle brand.

        Try finding an Onyx reader to play with before dropping $300 on it. That is simply caring enough to make the connections.

        People constantly ding Amazon for how slowly they roll out e-reader tech, yet they rule the market because other companies act like they are hobbyists and not businesses.

  3. Got a new PW today and used the 25% off from a trade-in.

  4. Kindle trade-in is only available in the US. Probably that’s the reason why other companies with many international customers don’t do it. The overseas shipping is just too expensive.

  5. B&N did it when they discontinued support of the Original Nook. If you mailed in your Original Nook, B&N sold you a Glowlight 3 for $60- half price.