Cash-for-Clunkers Now for Appliances, Toys…

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cash-for-clunkersCash for Clunkers was so successful that the government is about to launch a similar program for old appliances, and a huge toy store is trying to get parents to trade in their old things for new ones. If you have an old washer and dryer, or your air conditioner needs to be upgraded, the government is hoping a new rebate program will get you into the store to buy Energy Star products, which are 15 to 20 percent more energy-efficient than their counterparts.

Unlike Cash for Clunkers, there are no restrictions on the old appliances.

“Your clunker in this case could be absolutely ancient, an air conditioner or a fridge on it’s last leg or it could be something you bought a year or so ago, you bought the regular version and now you’re thinking the energy efficient one is the way to go,” Kelli Grant, of smartmoney.com, says.

Grant says the rebates will likely range from $50 to $200 depending on the item, which includes dishwashers, refrigerators, and air conditioners.

The government tried a similar rebate program with air conditioning units a few years ago.

“I would say it probably doubled our business that summer,” James Staley, of P.C. Richards & Son, said. “A lot of customers came in with their unit [and] traded it in for any Energy Star unit, which was great for the business.”

There are still a lot of details that need to be worked out for the rebate program, which is expected to start in the fall.

But starting tomorrow, a trade-in program kicks off at Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us stores nationwide.

If you’re looking for a crib, car seat, or stroller, you can trade-in your old one – purchased anywhere – and get 20 percent off a new one.

The program is targeting items often purchased at yard sales or handed down, which that can dangerous.

“Car seats, for example, can sustain structural damage that isn’t visible, so that’s why you don’t want to buy a car seat at the yard sale,” Grant says. “Cribs, a lot of them, have unusual spacing of the bars that are unsafe for your child.”

The children product trade-in program runs through September 20, and the goal is to get older, potentially hazardous items off the market while stimulating the economy.

{CBS Broadcasting/matzav.com Newscenter}

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