Our Vodafone Buyback scheme reveals you are more loyal to your current phone manufacturer than you might imagine.

Vodafone Social takes an inside look at Buyback, to find out more about your purchasing habits.

Vodafone Buyback enables our customers – new and existing – to sell us their old phone. It’s a simple service: you bring in your phone to one of our stores or enter the details at vodafonebuyback.co.uk, we tell you what it’s worth and then you choose how you want to receive the money – provided it’s in the condition you’ve indicated of course.

Customers hold on to their old phone for a lot longer than you’d expect before they sell it back to us

Last week, though, our established Buyback service got a little more interesting. We caught up with the team behind the service to find out more about the recent developments and to talk trends…

“Vodafone has offered a Buyback scheme for around seven years,” explains Dave Stockton, the man responsible for Vodafone Buyback’s day-to-day operations. “During that time we’ve learnt a lot about how our customers behave, so we’re always trying to develop the service to meet their needs. We recently analysed data from the service and a few things stood out to us.”

You don’t let go (straight away)

“We found that our customers hold on to their old phone for a lot longer than you’d expect before they sell it back to us – sometimes for three months or more after they’ve got their new phone up and running. Whether that’s because they want to make sure they feel comfortable with the new phone and make sure they got everything they need off it first, I don’t know, but they’re almost sitting on the money during that time.”

You’re very loyal

“When someone sells their phone to us and switches to a new device on Vodafone, more often than not they move to a device made by the same manufacturer. Apple owners stick with Apple, BlackBerry users move to a new BlackBerry, etc. We looked at the top five devices being sold to us since the start of this year and the majority of people who took out a new contract with us stuck with the same manufacturer, so people are incredibly loyal when it comes to phones.

Top 5: Vodafone Buyback customer habits
1. iPhone 3GS 16GB » iPhone 4 / 4S
2. iPhone 4 16 GB » iPhone 4S
3. Samsung Galaxy S » Samsung Galaxy SII / SIII
4. Blackberry Curve 8520 » Blackberry Bold 9780 / 9900
5. Blackberry Torch 9800 » Blackberry Bold 9900

You like choosing how to spend your money

“Thirdly, people don’t just want a great price, they also want the flexibility to choose what they do with the money they get from selling their old phone,” Stockton continues. “We’ve given the choice of high street vouchers or BACS payments in the past, but earlier this month we introduced the ability for customers to offset the contribution costs of their new device through Vodafone Buyback, and we think this is big news for customers looking for a new handset.”

The free-from price of handsets is an important factor for our customers, but some people prefer to make an upfront contribution for their device, reducing their monthly costs in the process. The new feature of Vodafone Buyback would allow you to sell your device to us and use that money to fund part or all of the contribution required to get the handset on the price plan you want.

They can then put the balance towards some new accessories, exchange it for vouchers or have it paid into their bank account

“If a customer wants the Samsung Galaxy SIII 16GB on a £29 monthly price plan, there’s an £109 contribution cost to pay*,” Stockton explains. “If they brought in their old device to one of our shops and it was valued at £109 or more, they can use that money to cover the upfront costs for their new device, which means they are effectively getting the Galaxy SIII free on a £29 plan. They can then put the balance towards some new accessories, exchange it for vouchers or have it paid into their bank account.”

The new service can be used against all devices in our line-up which require a contribution – including the new iPhone 5 – when stock of the new handset you want is immediately available in store, and we’ll even help you to transfer the content and contacts from your old device to the new one in store with Vodafone RED Box, which means you won’t need to wait three months before you let go of your old phone.

Take a look at vodafonebuyback.co.uk for more info and see if your next smartphone could be a little bit more affordable and easier to set up than you thought.

*Pricing correct at the time of writing.