The BlackBerry Trade Up program how does it work?

By IsaacKendall on 11 Sep 2011 02:57 pm EDT

A Step-by-Step Guide Through How the Trade Up Process Works

BlackBerry Trade Up Logo

Like most, I've seen the RIM announcement that was posted here on CrackBerry about the launch of the device Trade Up program earlier this year. Soon after that we reported that the program had been extended to Canada as well and the truth is, I didn't really spend too much time thinking about this new program.

I soon really started thinking about it when I bought my wife and I our shiny new BlackBerry Bold 9900s. I began pondering  what am I going to do with our 9800s? Did I really want to deal with Craigslist and all the ridiculous emails from people who can't read a frak'n ad with the price listed asking me how much it is? What condition is it in? How much has it been used? Are there any scratches? Will I trade a bag of marbles for it? Will I ship it to Nigeria if they paid an extra $100? I didn't want the hassles, so I wondered how the Trade Up program works.

First thing to do is head over to and begin the quote process. You will be asked what model BlackBerry you're trading in and what carrier it is branded to. Additional info required:

  • is the device is functional -  yes or no
  • is the device is free of water damage - yes or no
  • is the screen is damaged or broken - yes or no
Next you select the device model you're trading up to and click "Finish Quote" you will than be presented with an offer of what RIM will pay you for your old BlackBerry smartphone.

In this case I'm offered $160 for my Torch.  

Trade Up SS1

If this is acceptable, you can continue with the Trade Up process by providing your email address and accepting the terms and conditions of the Trade Up Program. You than click on "Save Quote" and check your email inbox for a confirmation message with instructions on how to complete the Trade Up. The confirmation message will include a temporary voucher number - keep this handy for when you are ready to complete the process.

The next step is to head out to your local retailer and pickup your new BlackBerry of choice (if you're on AT&T and want a 9900 call someone in another country and ask them to courier you one).

Trade Up SS2

OK so now you've got your new device and wish to complete the Trade Up program and get your money. Head back over to the site and enter your voucher number in the "Finish Your Trade Up" box. When you click on "Submit" the next page will ask for the IMEI or Serial Number of your new device as well as your physical mailing address information. Click "Next" to proceed to the last page.

Trade Up SS3

Last thing needed is to "Print, Package and Mail" your old BlackBerry. On the final page there will be a link to download a .pdf of the mailing label as well as a copy of your claim sheet which you will need to include in the package so they know who to mail the money to.

Trade Up SS4

That's it! The quote is good for 30 days. Package it up (don't forget to include the quote sheet) and sit back and wait for your money. No need to sift through stupid emails from people on Craigslist who would forget to breathe if it wasn't involuntary. Just quality time with you and your new BlackBerry.

Trade Up SS5

Reader comments

The BlackBerry Trade Up program how does it work?


The price is often better on eBay, but it's worth taking a bit less to just get the old phone put of the house without the hassle.

Just to clarify, is it possible to do this if I've already purchased my 9900? Or do I have to get an estimate on my Torch before buying the 9900?

+1 seriously? $85 for trading my fairly new bold for a newer bold? Can get more by asking my neighbour....

Yesa I totally agree like I think rim offer so little for blackberry phones and especially if you want to go buy off let's say a bold 9900 its like 500 something.. It does sound ridiculous

I agree. For people that bought it off contract, they should go to ebay. But I got my Torch free so I'd gladly take $160 for it.

you paid 69.99 WITH contract. That means you locked yourself in an agreement for atleast 2 years to pay ATLEAST $70 a month. That means you forked out 70 *12*2 .

Count that and still see if you got a good deal. Your 9650 could have easily sold for $150 on clist or ebay.

Thanks to my employer, I only pay $67/month (including taxes and fees) to VZW for unlimited phone, text, and data. I am inclined to believe that only a portion of that is the price of the phone. Considering what others have paid off contract for their 9650s and the cost of my plan, I would still say it would be a good deal for me. I haven't taken advantage of it yet, as I am not sure I want the new 9930 or will wait until the QNX phones show up next year when my "New After Two" comes up in April.

Still a nice fallback position.

I thought $85 for my Bold 9780 was pretty good. At the time I bought my 9900 it was $150, and it is now down to $100. So if I had waited a couple more weeks for that price drop, I could have gotten a new phone for $15?! Sounds like a deal to me. Even a new phone for the $65 I spent is a pretty good deal to me.

Got $20 for my old Storm as well on trade-up for my girlfriend's first BB (also a 9900), which obviously doesn't seem as worthwhile but it is still better than nothing.

if you think $85 for your 9780 is pretty good, i REALLY hope you are NOT in the business world. You could have gotten ATLEAST $200 on ebay or clist.

Good job in getting ripped off.

Well, this program got me to go buy a new Bold 9930,

I bet RIM is taking what is of value out of the old phones then scrapping the rest.
I think its a pretty good recycle program.....

Most places just want to you "donate" your phone, at least RIM is giving you a $$

Yeah you 'lose' money on the device, the whole thing is though you get the security or knowing your phone is being sold to a legit company and not having the hassle of fighting. They use the money not only to eat and continue running the business but also to make a profit

It's a pretty smart move by RIM, even if they're just taking these devices off the secondary market, they're forcing more people to buy NEW Blackberries, even if it's an older model, as opposed to buying them used.

At $60 for my mint Curve 3G I think I would rather just keep it as a back-up. Plus the program doesn't include an option for the extra battery and swivel hoster I have for it. On second thought I think I will just give it away. I couldn't go back to it now from the 9860. This just goes to show how fast the value of electronics drop in today fast pace enviroment.

As a sales rep for a large wireless carrier, I can confirm that Blackberry Trade Up works and works well. If a customer is looking at, say, a $100 Android device or a $100 Android device, and RIM offers them $50 for their old BlackBerry, they will buy the new BlackBerry, especially if it's a linear progression (like a Curve 2 into a Curve 3G). It doesn't matter that it takes two months to get the money. It matters that they provide a strong value proposition, which is the way RIM has historically sold phones, anyway. Where do you think BlackBerry Traffic and Protect came from? They wanted to give it away, as to build a strong value proposition over the iPhone. (Which shows you the value of competition, as MobileMe was $99 a year. Now, iCloud will be free...) That being said, they low-ball people because they will undoubtedly get some crap phones back. Old Curve 83xxs that have useless housings and keyboards. All that can be recovered is the main board (if that...), and it protects their bottom line. Of course, if you take good care of your devices and have some sales skills in ya', you'll do better on CraigsList or eBay, but that's not what this program is for. This is for the housewives that enjoy clipping coupons, shopping around, and mailing in rebates. Now, they have an extra rebate. ;)

My Blackberry Torch 9800 sold on Ebay for $265.00... If it would not have sold on Ebay, then I was going to do the trade-up with Rim for the $160.

It may have sold for $265, but you only got $225. eBay takes 10%, PayPal takes 3%, and shipping costs at least $5. So basically, you saved $65 by dealing with all the hassle yourself. If it took you any more than 1 hour to photograph, list the item, answer questions, package it and ship it out- you wasted your time.

Sold my 9700 in Canada in a day for $200 on kijiji, probably could have gotten more if I wanted to wade through the hassle.

so my house is right around the corner from that shipping location...
too bad i'm in school right now because i would love to work there!

Now if you know how to use ebay or craigslist you could get much more in most cases for your phone. This is of course if you want to deal with the hassle and issues that could arise from one of these sites. But this program is great if really don't want to mess with those sites, and as someone stated above: What other companies are doing this with their smartphones...sure not Apple or one of the many companies that are deploying with Android on them. Great idea RIM! More just like this and bring on QNX!

what exactly does this statement mean?

16. PAYMENT: The redemption value can be applied as stated on the Trade-in Voucher generated by the Tool upon your acceptance. After purchase, you must ship in the used device prior within 30 days of your new device purchase and prior to the postmark date of September 11, 2011 and meet the eligibility requirements.

9/11/11 was yesterday.

$160 is such a ripoff. I got my torch for $50 in March. I unlocked it at sold it in June for a bargain price of $650. Get out of here RIM with your stingy program.

If I got a quote for trading in my storm 9530 (+$60 when its not worth $0.02) prior to the 9930 coming out will it still be honored? I checked and I'd get a fraction of what my quote would be if I updated the device I upgraded to because they dropped the values on all the old models once the OS 7 devs came out. I need to send it in by tomorrow BC I quoted it the day before I got my 9930. Any and all help is appreciated!!!

Thx a-del

Interesting article and posts... It might interest you all to know that you could be getting 100 to 300 USD for most of the phones being mentioned here... Hit me up if you want to know more...

So... somewhat stupid question:
you give your old BlackBerry, thye give you a new one free (just for giving them the old one) plus they mail you money?

So... somewhat stupid question:
you give your old BlackBerry, thye give you a new one free (just for giving them the old one) plus they mail you money?

Just wondering if the new Z30 is part of the trade up program? As in, if I turn in my old model and wish to buy a Z30, does it still apply?