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Helio letting new subs trade in old gadgets

Evan Blass

In one of the more innovative promotions we've seen lately, MVNO Helio has begun offering recent subscribers up to 30-days to send in their old gadgets in return for not a service credit, but cold, hard cash (in the form of a check mailed two to three months later). The so-called Trade-Up program, developed in conjunction with Market Velocity, lets new subs sign up online and get the trade-in value for some of the more popular cellphones, PDAs, digital cameras, and gaming consoles from yesterday and today -- although since the quotes are based on your own unprofessional evaluation of your gear's condition, the actual amount of loot you receive may vastly differ from what you were expecting. The prices Helio is willing to pay range from 10 to 20 bucks for older devices in disrepair to several hundred dollars for meticulously cared-for smartphones and high-end digital cameras -- they'll even give you $26 if you've somehow managed to keep your first-gen Gameboy maintained for all these years. The only real losers in this program are the proud few who've chosen to say "iDon't," because Helio will happily take your old iPod off your hands, but want nothing to do with players from SanDisk, Creative, and friends.

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