There are a lot of smartphone trade-in programs from both retailers and carriers, and to be frank, they suck. In just about every situation you can get more for your current gadgets by selling them yourself on secondary markets like Craigslist, eBay, or Swappa. The only reason to sell gadgets to carriers (or any retailer) is the convenience factor. But T-Mobile is positioning itself as the self-styled people's champion of smartphone trade-ins, or at the very least, the best option among its competitors.

t-mo tradein

A new press release says that T-Mobile intends to rigorously "track the market," adjusting its trade-in prices every day to make sure it stays ahead of carrier alternatives. For the purposes of this promotion, that means Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, but no one else. If you can find a carrier that will offer you more trade-in credit for your used phone, T-Mobile will pay you the difference, plus a $50 bonus credit when you sign up. The offer is also good retroactively: if you find a better deal within seven days of trading your phone in, you can still get the credit and the bonus. The balance will be applied to your bill within two to three months.

The promotion doesn't start until September 17th, and it runs for "a limited time" thereafter. To qualify you have to buy a new device from T-Mobile and sign up or continue service. Or you can just sell your phone yourself and beat everyone. Your choice.

Source: T-Mobile

Bellevue, Washington – September 8, 2014 – In advance of a huge wave of new superphones and tablets coming to market this fall, T-Mobile (NYSE: TMUS) today vowed to beat the big carriers’ best trade-in values on used devices - to help American wireless consumers get the very best deal on the hottest new devices.

Consumers can now have peace of mind when they’re ready to upgrade, knowing that their trade-in at T-Mobile is the best deal they’ll find anywhere compared to AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. And, they’ll never have to worry about the fine print and all the details the carriers continue to hide behind.

“We’re going to see some of the most phenomenal devices ever in the coming months, and that means a whole lot of Americans trading-in their devices and upgrading,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “For years, the big carriers have been ripping off their customers with low-ball trade-in values, so we’re putting an end to that and guaranteeing we’ll give customers what they deserve − the best value in the industry.”

This latest move is just one more example of T-Mobile changing the way consumers buy wireless service and innovating ways to give everyone the best access to the most amazing technologies of our lifetime.

“When that new superphone’s price is the same everywhere you go, the difference in your final cost comes down to the trade-in value of your old phone,” said Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer for T-Mobile.  “Now when you’re ready to upgrade – it’s a no brainer where to find the best value– the Un-carrier. Guaranteed.”

To make good on this guarantee, T-Mobile will track the market every day to ensure we keep our promise.  If a customer can find a better trade-in offer from a major national carrier, T-Mobile will beat that offer, give them the difference back and because we value this help from our customer we will top it off with another $50!

This offer starts September 17 and is for a limited time. All a customer has to do is call T-Mobile or go online within seven days of completing a trade-in at T-Mobile and tell us where, when and for how much they saw a better deal for their device. It’s that easy.

Eligible device trade-in, qualifying credit, and new device purchase with qualifying service required. Difference in trade-in price and $50 offer applied as a bill credit within 2-3 bill cycles. See T-Mobile.com for details.