Crazy new trend: Small boom in iPhone 8 trade-ins... already

It seems that some folks who bought iPhone 8 devices in the last month or so now want to trade up to the iPhone X. It's gonna cost them. Next time, we advise just thinking through your purchase before you buy.

Video: iPhone X vs iPhone 8

Sometimes you just gotta wonder. The iPhone 8 was announced at the same time as the iPhone X. You would assume that a buyer would spend a few moments deciding between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, and then buy one or the other.

But, apparently, there's a bit of a boom in iPhone 8 purchasers (and, in this, I include 8 Plus) who, after merely a month, want to trade in their newly purchased phones for the iPhone X.

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There are definitely differences between the two devices. As I wrote in my iPhone 8 vs. iPhone X article earlier in the week, the X is $200 to 300 more expensive. For that couple hundred bucks, you get a bigger screen in a smaller package and a much better selfie camera.

Of course, there's one other attribute of the iPhone X that may be worth the cost to some buyers: It's the new hotness. If you want to look cool and show your bling, the iPhone X is the first new iPhone in four years that doesn't look same ole same ole. It has that new phone smell.

Let's get back to the trade-in trendlet. The observation that people want to trade in their iPhone 8 and 8 Pluses for the iPhone X was first pointed out by the folks at Decluttr.com, a tech trade-in site. According to CMO Liam Howley, Decluttr has "an unusually high number of trade-ins of the device, with more trade-ins of the 8 and 8 Plus received than any other previous new iPhone launched."

It just didn't make sense to me that folks wouldn't think through their buying decision before choosing an iPhone 8. It wasn't as if the X was a surprise. It was announced at the same time as the iPhone 8.

To be honest, I didn't believe the news, which I got via one of those thousands of press releases that come into my promotions bin each week. I just figured the company was jumping on the iPhone X hype for the clicks. But I was wrong.

I reached out to two companies I profiled in my CNET directory of trade-in suppliers, and asked them if this trend had legs. Apparently, it does.

According to Gabe Trumbo, CEO, Co-Founder at MyPhones Unlimited:

Historically we have waited 6 months after a new phone release to start purchasing it as no customers were trying to sell theirs any earlier than that. With the iPhone 8 however, we've seen a surge in interest from customers trying to sell theirs and it's barely been out a month.

Almost all of these people specifically mentioned the iPhone X as the reason they are trading their 8 in so soon. We've also expedited our plans with the iPhone 8 so that we can offer buyback for it by the time the X is available for preorder on Friday.

"We plan to begin accepting iPhone 8/8 Plus trade-ins over the next couple of weeks," Yanyan Ji, SVP Marketing and GM e-Commerce at Gazelle, told me. She explained:

In that time, we expect to see an increase week-over-week during the first 60 days of iPhone 8/8 Plus devices traded in through Gazelle.com. Historically, consumers tend to trade-in a new iPhone as soon as a couple of months after it launches. Additionally, we'll be offering these newly traded-in devices, once they are inspected and Gazelle Certified, for purchase through the Gazelle Direct Store.

According to Howley at Decluttr, they're offering up to $500 on the iPhone 8 and up to $630 on the iPhone 8 Plus, between now and Friday, when iPhone X pre-orders will be accepted by Apple.

If you do the math, that means that iPhone 8 and 8 Plus buyers who somehow didn't think things through and want to move to the iPhone X are going to take between a $300 to 350 hit (at best), on the money they already spent on their iPhone 8 devices, plus the $200 to 300 more it costs to buy the X itself.

All I can say is wow. Just wow.

You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.

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