Target starts in-store trade-in of iPhone, games

Retailer is getting in on the used game market with a new trade-in program. The company will also accept the iPhone, iPod Touch, and mobile phones.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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Target has started rolling out a new electronics trade-in program designed for mobile devices and video games.

According to the company, customers can now walk into a supported store and trade in their iPhone, iPod Touch, any cell phone, or a video game. Upon doing so, a value will be placed on the product at the company's new in-store mobile centers. Customers will receive a gift card in that amount for as little as "a few dollars up to more than $200 per item depending on the product and its condition."

Target also offers an online service where customers can trade in DVDs and other used electronics. Those customers will also receive a gift card, but Target will only accept trade-ins for those products on its Web site.

So far, the retailer has opened mobile centers in stores in Northern California. It plans to offer the mobile and game trade-ins in 850 stores by the end of the year.

Aside from trade-ins, Target has also launched a new tech-help service. Customers who buy electronics from the company can call its new, 1-877-MyTGTtech hotline, and receive free technical support. The service agents can address problems related to all the tech products Target sells in its stores.

Last year, Wal-Mart and Best Buy announced that they would accept trade-ins for games through E-Play kiosks. But earlier this year, they ditched that program.

On Thursday, Best Buy announced that it has gotten back into the used-game business with a new program that won't involve E-Play. The service will offer gamers the ability to trade in used games at nearly 600 of its retail outlets. It starts on Sunday. Best Buy joins Amazon and GameStop as major competitors to Target in the used-game trade-in market.

Updated at 9:20 a.m. PDT: Added information on Best Buy's new trade-in program.