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Google’s Pixel 8 trade-in deals are absolutely embarrassing

Google Pixel 8 pro in white.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro have been getting a lot of positive words since its debut a few days ago. This time around, it’s not just the hardware that’s getting good feedback, but also the software tricks that throw AI and advanced camera processing chops into the mix.

Of course, Google is offering a few benefits that further sweeten the deal for buyers, such as a free Pixel Watch 2 or Pixel Buds Pro, depending on the model you pick. In fact, when it comes to trade-in deals, Google is showering more love on generations-old iPhones than its own flagships. of yesteryear

Google’s Pixel 8 trade-in deals are … bad

Tweet sample of a Pixel owner.
One of the many Pixel owners venting frustration at poor trade-in deals. @ChrisMySass / X

Naturally, potential buyers aren’t happy, especially #TeamPixel loyalists with a Google phone in their hands. The trade-in deals are actually worse on Google’s own storefront compared to outlets like Best Buy. A quick look at X (formerly Twitter) and Reddit tells a tale of bitter Pixel owners with some choice words for Google.

The fans aren’t unjustified in their anger. Google is offering a maximum trade-in remuneration of $420 for the Google Pixel 7 Pro, which is just a year old and hit the shelves carrying a sticker price of $899 before taxes. Also, keep in mind that the trade-in value will almost certainly be lower unless your old phone is in pristine condition, with all the accessories and boxes intact.

Trade-in prices are stingy this year! £200 for a Pixel 6 😬

— That Josh Guy  (@thatjoshguy69) October 4, 2023

For comparison, the  Google Store is giving more, precisely $440, for the iPhone 11 — a four-generation-old phone that was not even a flagship to begin with. For the iPh0ne 14 Pro, which went toe-to-toe with the Pixel 7 Pro, Google is offering up to $750 in trade-in value. That means you’ll only spend $150 for the Pixel 8 Pro.

A Redditor complaining about Google's Pixel 8 trade-in deals. It reads, "Play with the trade in calculator yourself. It's pretty insulting. My hype just crashed and burned. Edit: I am fully aware this is a business move to incentivize Apple users to switch to Google so they can gain more market share. I'm still insulted."
Digital Trends

It’s only natural that Pixel loyalists would be disappointed. A similar story extends to Samsung. For the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Google is accepting up to $650, while the Galaxy S21 series could net a peak trade-in deduction worth $430. That’s still higher than what you’ll get in you trade in Google’s own Pixel 7 Pro.

The situation is even more brutal for older Pixels. The Google Pixel 6 Pro will only net you $400 in exchange benefits, while the comparable Apple phone from the same year, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, can save you up to $650. Here’s a look at the exchange value for phones that the Google Store has currently listed:

Pixel 7 Pro – Up to $420
Pixel 7 –
Up to $325
iPhone 14 Pro / Pro Max – Up to $750

iPhone 14 –
Up to $550
Galaxy S23 Ultra 5G – Up to $650

Galaxy S23 / S23+ 5G – Up to $550

Pixel 6 Pro – Up to $400

Pixel 6 – Up to $325
iPhone 13 Pro / Pro Max – Up to $650

iPhone 13 – Up to $500
Galaxy S22 Ultra 5GUp to $520

Galaxy S22 / S22+ 5GUp to $400
Pixel 5 – Up to $300 iPhone 12 Pro / Pro Max – Up to $500

iPhone 12 – Up to $480
Galaxy S21 Ultra – Up to $430

Galaxy S21 / S21+ – Up to $350
Pixel 6aUp to $300 iPhone 11 – Up to $440

iPhone XR – Up to $350

This isn’t how you treat your customers

Google <entity>Pixel 8</entity> and <entity>Pixel 8</entity> Pro in black.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

One solid argument that is floating online is that Google is trying to win converts from the iPhone and Galaxy community by offering deals on its phones for trade-ins. It seems logical. After all, Google seems to be making positive strides with its market share lately.

Counterpoint Research says Pixel sales surged 67% globally in the first quarter of 2023. In Japan, sales surged to such an extent that Google surpassed Samsung and now commands nearly 9% of the market, sitting only behind Apple.

But underselling its own phone’s value, and in its home market, could very well backfire. The U.S. is still the primary driver of Pixel sales and a primary source for revenue generation from a software spending perspective. Leaving loyal fans eager for an upgrade with a bad trade-in experience could very well convert them in the other direction.

The situation seems worse when one considers the fact that a lot of upcoming features, especially those exploiting advanced AI and camera tricks, are exclusive to the Pixel 8 series. It might make the Pixel 8 more lucrative, but it comes as a double whammy for owners of older Pixel phones already feeling stung by a poor trade-in offer on the table.

Editors' Recommendations

Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
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