The Google Pixel 8 trade-in deal is absolutely outrageous

Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel 8 series has received a lot of positive reception since its debut a few days ago. This time, it’s not just the hardware that gets good reviews, but also the software tricks that combine AI and advanced camera processing.

Of course, Google offers some perks that further sweeten the deal for buyers, like a free Pixel Watch 2 or Pixel Buds Pro, depending on the model you choose. In fact, when it comes to trade-in deals, Google favors older generation iPhones over its own flagship phones. Yesterday

Google Pixel 8 trade-in deal is… bad

Example of a Pixel owner's Tweet.
One of the many Pixel owners venting their frustration over bad trade-in deals. @ChrisMySass / X

Of course, potential buyers weren’t happy, especially #TeamPixel loyalists holding Google phones. Trade-in deals are actually worse at Google storefronts compared to outlets like Best Buy. A look at X (formerly Twitter) and Reddit tells the story of bitter Pixel owners with some choice words for Google.

The fans’ anger is unjustified. Google is offering a maximum trade-in reward of $420 for the Google Pixel 7 Pro, which is just a year old and retails at a sticker price of $899 before taxes. Additionally, keep in mind that the trade-in value will almost certainly be lower unless your old phone is in pristine condition, with all its accessories and box intact.

By comparison, the Google Store is giving more, $440 to be exact, for the iPhone 11 — a four-generation old phone that isn’t even a flagship phone. For the iPhone 14 Pro, which competes with the Pixel 7 Pro, Google is offering a trade-in value of up to $750. That means you’ll only be spending $150 for the Pixel 8 Pro.

A Redditor complained about the Google Pixel 8 trade-in deal. It read, "Play the trade-in calculator yourself.  This is quite insulting.  My hype just crashed and burned.  Edit: I fully realize that 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 natural for Pixel loyalists to be disappointed. A similar story also happened to Samsung. For the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Google accepts up to $650, while the Galaxy S21 series can get the highest trade-in discount of $430. That’s still higher than what you’d get if you traded in Google’s Pixel 7 Pro.

The situation is even more brutal on older Pixels. The Google Pixel 6 Pro will only set you back $400, while Apple’s similar phone from the same year, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, can save you up to $650. The following is a display of the cellphone exchange rates currently available at the Google Store registered:

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 5G – Up to $520

Galaxy S22 / S22+ 5G – Up 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 6a – Up to $300 iPhone 11 – Up to $440

iPhone XR – Up to $350

This is not how you should treat your customers

Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are black.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

One of the strong arguments circulating online is that Google is trying to attract the interest of the iPhone and Galaxy community by offering deals on its phones for trade-in. Seems logical. However, Google seems to be making positive strides with its market share lately.

Counter Research said Pixel sales jumped 67% globally in the first quarter of 2023. In Japan, sales soared so much that Google surpassed Samsung and now controls nearly 9% of the market, trailing only Apple.

But underestimating the value of the phone itself, and in the domestic market, could backfire. The US remains the primary driver of Pixel sales and the primary source of revenue generation from a software spending perspective. Leaving loyal fans wanting an upgrade with a bad trade-in experience can sway them in the other direction.

The situation looks even worse when we consider the fact that many of the upcoming features, especially those exploiting advanced AI and camera tricks, are exclusive to the Pixel 8 series. This may make the Pixel 8 more profitable, but it’s a double whammy for owners of older Pixel phones who already feeling ripped off by a bad trade-in offer.

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