GoPro Trade Up Program Worth it?

GoPro Trade Up Program

GoPro has instituted for a limited time a Trade Up program to get a brand spanking new Hero 5 Black or a Hero 5 Session by turning in your old GoPro Hero camera all the way back to Version #1 to the Hero 4.  The program will shave off $100 off a GoPro Hero 5 Black or $50 of a GoPro Hero Session.  It can also be traded in if it’s dented, damaged, not working, destroyed or fried.  They will pay for shipping both ways.

So does it make sense to do it? Depends on which GoPro you wan’t to exchange in return for a new 5 model.   We believe you should look for any GoPro you have around and the older the better as newer models will still be in our view as valuable or more so than the trade in. We analyze if it make sense to do it. The Hero 5 Black is a pretty good slow motion camera on a budget that just works!

GoPro Trade Up Program How It Works:

How It works, The GoPro Trade Up Program!
How It works, The GoPro Trade Up Program!

The good part about the program is that it is not hard at all to implement. Your camera is not inspected besides looking for the GoPro Serial Number or shell to authenticate that it was a GoPro camera and not a competitor or knock off.  We found that the FAQ on their page is the best explanation for the program. See below:

GoPro TradeUp Program | Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the GoPro TradeUp program?
The GoPro TradeUp program lets you trade in your old GoPro for a discount on a new HERO5. Getting started is easy at We’ll even cover the shipping both ways.
How much will I save on HERO5?
You’ll get $100 off HERO5 Black or $50 off HERO5 Session™ for each camera you trade in. (Only one discount is allowed per camera purchase.)Which GoPro camera models are eligible for trade-in?
Any GoPro camera model can be traded in, all the way back to our very first HERO. Send ‘em our way!My GoPro doesn’t work. Is that OK?
Yep, we’ll take your camera in any condition. Scratched, dented, dinged, destroyed—GoPros are made for getting after it, so no worries if it doesn’t work.How many cameras can I trade in?
You can trade in as many as you want, but you have to register each camera separately at Only one discount is allowed per camera purchase.

How do I return my old GoPro?
You’ll receive an email with a prepaid shipping label. (The email will come from FedEx, not GoPro, so be on the lookout). Then just print it out, pack it up and send it in.

Are there any shipping costs or other fees?
Nope. You’ll receive a prepaid shipping label from FedEx to return your old GoPro. Your new HERO5 will ship for free, too. There are no additional fees to trade in your camera.

When will I get my new HERO5, and when will I be charged?
After we receive your old GoPro, we’ll charge the payment method provided and ship your new HERO5 within 14 days.

I live outside the United States. Can I still trade in my GoPro?
The GoPro TradeUp program is available in the U.S. only at this time.

Why does GoPro want my old camera?
It’s not that we want your old camera (although those original HD HEROs are pretty sweet), but more that we want you to have our latest and greatest. From incredible image quality and voice control to cloud connectivity, HERO5 is the best GoPro ever—and we want you to experience it.

So now that you have read through it;  it’s important to note that the program only works in the USA for now, so all international owners are not eligible.   Keep that in mind!

But is it worth it to exchange my camera?

In order to see if it is worth it to send your GoPro Hero camera and get a new 5 camera it is important to do some numbers and see if it will be instead ideal to sell it on the used market and then purchase a new GoPro for even better savings.  We turn to eBay which is a pretty ideal place to see what the different GoPro cameras are fetching money wise these days:

GoPro Hero 1 Camera:

With a Price range of $25 Working but Dented to $99 New In Box the Hero 1 is an easy exchange as you will get the $100 for the Hero 5 Black for this camera. You will still have to pay $299.99 for the 5 Black or $249.99 for the 5 Session. Remember this is for the purchase of a new camera and not cash refund. These cameras keep depreciating so getting rid of them is an easy decision. If the camera is non functioning of severely damaged it is of course a no brainer exchange.

GoPro Hero 2 Camera:

With a Price range of $65 Working Perfectly to $120 Mint condition the Hero 2 is still a good deal for exchange. You will have a hard time selling it above $100 to anyone. If you still like to keep it it also makes sense as the Hero 2 is still a good 1080p camera. You will still have to pay $299.99 for the 5 Black or $249.99 for the 5 Session. If the camera is non functioning of severely damaged it is of course a no brainer exchange.

GoPro Hero 3 Camera:

While you may find a buyer above $150 for a hero 3 Black it will be very hard to find. The best we could do was $139 for the camera in perfect working condition. The Hero 3 in any configuration is a good sell today on eBay and if it you don’t want to go through the hassle then the GoPro exchange makes sense to upgrade the camera.  If the camera is non functioning of severely damaged from a shoot it is of course a no brainer exchange. 

Things are getting harder to justify with the Hero 3+.  The camera was released just a few months after the Hero 3 Black to fix some image quality issues with a new lens and occasional lock ups. It was a better camera in a lot of ways and still a very usable one.  You can get close to $200 for a Hero 3+ Black on the used market if it’s in mint condition.  We recommend you sell it for close to what it goes for new today which is $239.99 if you can afford to part from it.  If the camera is non functioning of severely damaged from a shoot it is of course a no brainer exchange for a Hero 5.  

The GoPro Hero 4 Black is still today almost identical in performance to the Hero 5 Black when it comes to frame rates and resolutions.  It’s shortcomings are in the microphone department, lack of built in touch screen and or voice control.  However by fetching a price in the used market anywhere from $89 broken for parts to $145 dented or scratched lens and $269 mint condition you are much better off keeping it in your camera arsenal, sell it on the used market or waiting for  a Hero 6 Black when announced later this year “Maybe”.  If the camera is non functioning of severely damaged from a shoot you may still sell it for the equivalent $100 of the trade up in cash without the need to purchase anything new.

What about the Hero 6 Black?

There are rumors circling of a new Hero 6 Black camera to be announced in 2017. This may be the reason for GoPro to lower Hero 5 inventories before the replacement comes in.  The rumors suggest 360 degrees recording or VR wrapping for the Hero 6.  There is nothing really substantial besides comments by the CEO Woodman saying VR is something they are working on and that there will not be a two year wait for a new camera. Which means a release this year.

If the GoPro Hero 6 is a VR camera; it means the Hero 5 Black would still continue to be relevant as a regular single lens solution and could have more longevity, which makes the exchange possibility more valuable.

GoPro has had some harsh issues with the Karma drone release and with dwindling sales of cameras the new Trade Up program seems an opportunity to re introduce Hero owners to the brand and see what quality is like today.  GoPro has to innovate it’s way out of their predicament; which means it may be preparing a camera that is very different from what you are accustomed to.

All information on the GoPro Trade Up Program at their official site here:

Please share your comments and experiences below on the GoPro Trade Up program. -HSC 

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15 thoughts on “GoPro Trade Up Program Worth it?”

  1. The just changed the eligible cameras only to HERO4 on their FAQ!! Do you have a screenshot of their original post where it said al GoPro models?

  2. GoPro is currently having major problems with the trade program. There is a glitch that prevents the site from issuing a shipping label connected with the order. I have experienced the same issues reported by others on the forum: First, no label emailed as promised. Second, after contacting support, an email was sent but with a blank attachment where the shipping label should have been. Third, after contacting support a third time ( and waiting over an hour for an agent) I was informed that the company is aware of the issue but has no estimate of when a fix will be available. I’d wait to trade up until they get their act together. Real bad for GoPro on the heels of the Karma disaster.

    1. They will work when you use the included GoPro Mount adapter. Otherwise, it would cause a lot of trouble for GoPro as their ecosystem needs to support the older mount.

  3. I am starting to think that this whole program is a FRAUD by GoPro.

    I placed my order on April 26th and paid extra for the expedited shipping option. I received the label and it shows the received it on May 3rd. I then checked my ‘Order Status’ to see if there was an expectation of when I would receive the new cam (says within 14 days) but there was nothing except to ‘Contact Support’. After almost an hour on hold, the gentleman who obviously was reading a script and had no clue said that it may be a supply issue but that I should rest assured it would ship it in the next day or two. I called almost a week later as the status was still the same. This time I waited almost 2 hours the lady said that they didn’t handle the ‘TradeUp’ program but she would get the message to them (yeah right). Two days since and still nothing, no notification (just ‘Contact Support’).

    Extremely frustrated as I am left no camera at all and I used it a lot to capture moments with my family. I am sorry, the $100 ‘savings’ was so not worth the time wasted on this phone with this inept company and time without my camera

    No wonder some companies struggle.

    1. Thank you for your message, you should ask to contact a supervisor at GoPro in order to have your case heard. They seem to be quite disorganized when it comes to this program. This company needs some serious self-examination if they can’t fulfill their promises!

  4. While a good deal for those trading in older or broken units keep in mind that you will be paying taxes on the full price BEFORE the $100.00 credit is applied. In my case here in Texas I payed 8.25% on the original 399.00 price tag so in reality my discount was taxed.

    1. Thanks for sharing David, taxes can impact any purchase no matter how redundant they may seem. Here in California we now pay taxes on most Amazon Purchases for example because Amazon has warehouses in the state even when the product purchased is from an out of state company.

      1. Correct, the same applies here. The trade up program implies that the price will be reduced by $100.00 not that your total purchase will be credited $100.00 after taxes. So they are collecting extra tax on every unit sold. The website clearly says the price is $299.99 with the trade in. I’m not asking for my $8.25, I just think that they are generating money on the side.

  5. Battery overheats to the point that it burns skin, battery drains quickly, continues to drain battery while not in use, makes obnoxious beeping noises, difficult comtrol panel, unable to zoom in video mode, power thatch cover disconnects (breaks) etc. etc. etc…

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