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Amazon offers trade-in program for old Kindles

October 21, 2011 |  9:39 am

Kindle_1014

Tired of looking at your old Kindle? Thinking you'd prefer to hold Amazon's new tablet, the Kindle Fire, in your hands instead? Well Amazon is making it easy for early Kindle adopters to trade up by offering trade-in deals for used Kindles.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the trade-in value for the first-generation Kindle, which cost $399, is just $28 bucks. Up to $28 bucks, that is — you might get less if you left coffee stains on the seat, or lost the floor mats, or whatever the equivalent of a slightly damaged used car is for an e-reader.

The trade-ins offered for used Kindles range from $28 to $135; many hover around $40 to $50. That's partly because the price of the new Kindle Fire, which is scheduled to begin shipping Nov. 15, is half that of the original Kindle — just $199. So offering bigger trade-in values would make the newest, most snazzy Kindle practically free.

Which it will be if you decide to trade in your iPad 2 in perfect condition. Amazon is offering up to $330 to those who trade in the latest generation Apple tablet. That's right, Amazon is tempting people who've already bought tablets to trade for one of theirs: the online retailer is offering trade-ins for HP Touchpads, Samsung Galaxy Tabs, Toshiba, Motorola, PanDigital, ViewSonic, Acer and Blackberry tablets too.

Amazon debuted its electronics trade-in feature in March but only began accepting Kindle trade-ins this week. "No doubt the addition of Kindles to Amazon's Trade-In store is aimed at encouraging customers to buy the $199, 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire tablet," writes PC Magazine.

Since people who use the trade-in feature get store credit with Amazon, those who want to trade in an old Kindle don't have to buy a Kindle Fire. They could spend their $28 on anything: gourmet cat food, beach chairs or even old-fashioned print books.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: A Kindle in April 2008. Credit: Robert Nelson via Flickr

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