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Wednesday
Jul242013

Best Buy's Latest Trade-In Offer: Get a Free Samsung Galaxy S3

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Best Buy is turning its trade-in love from Apple to Samsung.

After holding two popular iPhone and iPad trade-in deals, the retailer is allowing customers to bring in any working cellphone to one of its 1,400 store locations and trade it in for a free Galaxy S3 or a $50 credit toward a new Samsung phone.

The offer begins Wednesday and ends Aug. 3.

The Galaxy S3 costs $49.99 with a two-year contract. But if you don't want the year-old phone and would rather go for the $199.99 Galaxy S4 or the $299.99 Galaxy Note 2, Best Buy will apply a $50 credit to any Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

If you're old phone is worth more, you might get more off the new phone, Best Buy confirmed. Customers will also have to sign a two-year service agreement on the new phone with either Verizon, AT&T or Sprint to get the deal.

The cellphone you bring in can be however old: Yes, old BlackBerrys or flip-phones are accepted, but the phone has to power on, can't have any screen cracks or water damage.

The deal is the third significant trade-in deal the retailer has offered in the past month. The deals aren't happening now for any particular reason, but rather just to drive consumer traffic, Best Buy's Shandra Tollefson said.

"We have had a number of trade-in offers," Tollefson told ABC News. "It's great for our business and it's great for customers. It's made to increase customer awareness."

When asked whether the deals were driven by Apple and Samsung, the fiercest competitors in the mobile phone space right now, Tollefson said Best Buy was driving the efforts in order to increase awareness of its mobile trade-in program.

Consumer electronics trade-in sites and options have become increasingly popular in the past few years as the release cycle of devices has rapidly sped up. Sites like Gazelle have built a $100 million business on just Apple product trade-ins. Prior to the launch of the iPhone 5, the site received 1.2 million price quotes for iPhones from people who were considering selling their phones before the launch.

Apple has also been rumored to begin its own in-store, trade-in program.

Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have also recently announced phone upgrade deals. T-Mobile specifically launched its JUMP program, where customers can pay a $10 monthly charge to trade in their phone for a new one after six months.

Unlike Best Buy, however, T-Mobile, Gazelle and others do accept broken or damaged phones. The working traded-in phones are typically refurbished and re-sold in the United States or overseas.

Broken items are usually sold to repair shops that will repair the devices and then resell them as refurbished.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio