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Smart Buying

Clunkers, Part II-and III and IV

Appliance and Electronics stores mimic the trade-in program.

Got stuff? Chances are someone will dangle a discount, gift card or rebate to entice you to trade it in for new merchandise. Toys “R” Us is now taking trade-ins on video games. will take video games and DVDs in exchange for an Amazon gift card. For example, Madden NFL 10 for the Nintendo Wii was recently valued at $28.75. Trade in hardware-MP3 players, laptops, digital cameras and more-at retailers such as RadioShack or manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard. RadioShack might give you close to $140 (on a RadioShack gift card) for an 8-gigabyte Apple iPhone 3G, for instance; get a quote online or visit a store. Electronics recycler Gazelle runs trade-in programs for Amazon and Costco.

Thinking bigger? Some $300 million in economic-stimulus Money is earmarked for rebates on Energy Star appliances. Rebates are expected to range from $50 to $250. States decide which appliances qualify and how much the rebate will be (no need to lug in your old clunker).

Jeff Arndt, a 34-year-old landscaper for TV and movie studios in Burbank, Cal., got a jump on Uncle Sam with a $200 “clunker” rebate from Thor Appliance Co. on its signature all-in-one washer-dryer, which retails for more than $1,200. A $100 Energy Star rebate from Burbank sweetened the deal for single-guy Arndt, who says he loves his new washer but still hates doing laundry.