GoPro needs a nice, clear-cut win. The company that makes such good action cameras it’s become nearly synonymous with the product has had a rough time. Last year, it had to lay people off and delay the release of its drone after declining sales and improved competition put a severe dent in its coffers. Then, that new drone was recalled because it kept falling out of the sky. After that, the latest iteration of the GoPro action camera was released and sales were sluggish. So, in an effort to fabricate a win, GoPro is begging people to trade in their old GoPro camera for a new one.
GoPro makes really, really good cameras. If you’re in the market for a tiny camera to strap to your face as you take a 10-story jump into a pool, GoPro is for you. But while GoPro’s cameras have improved, they also came out of the gate in such great form that people have been reluctant to upgrade.
That critique was particularly resonant with last year’s Hero5. It didn’t introduce many new features, instead it refined the action cam, creating a really fantastic little device... that no one needs if they already have a Hero4 (and in many cases a Hero3).
GoPro isn’t the first company to face this problem. Smartphone users originally upgraded their phones every two years, but after the companies cut the financial impetus to do so (removing the subsidy received every two years and moving to a monthly payment plan) and the phones got good, but boring, people grew savvy to the artificial upgrade cycles.
GoPro clearly hopes it can woo people by offering up to $100 (£81) off the Hero5 Black (and up to $50 (£40) off the Hero5 Session) for their old devices. But don’t be in too big of a hurry to take advantage of the deal. GoPro’s cameras are good, and their resell value appears to be higher than the normal tech device. Used, original GoPro Heros are still selling on Amazon for about £100 (the same amount you’d get for trading it into GoPro), while some Hero3 and Hero4 cameras are going for as high as £200.
Still, if you don’t want the hassle of finding a buyer, GoPro’s deal (while not the wisest, fiscally speaking) is at least very convenient.