This has caused problems in the past. If you follow everything, there is no screen damage or damage to the chassis, the phone works it should not be a problem. Make sure you send in the exact phone you send you would, down to the IMEI number. Document its condition when packing, and you may even want to pay for shipping and add your own insurance/tracking.
Even having it checked in the store did not protect people. The store just sends it in to the same place and they have the final say, not the store. There were several cases last time where it was accepted by the store, but denied by the central review place. Just don't think the store has the authority to determine final final .
You will have to wait, and the current offer will not be available January 17 with near certainty. If you try to do it, Verizon will keep your current phone, you will not get anything for it, and you will still need to pay your contract or pay ETF.
What kind of dumb question is this and what does it add to the thread? I asked because I was un sure.
If a more detailed explanation would serve you, here goes:
1) I've upgraded early several times but never in any kind of trade in scenario
2) I believed they had pretty much gotten rid of the whole 2 year contract and now make people buy their phones outright...therefore, I was wondering what peoples opinions would be on if they would be likely to do it early to get me into a new phone
3) I didn't see it written anywhere on the website