Get Cash for (Almost) Everything


It may be a while longer before the government starts doling out cash for getting that divorce you’ve been putting off, but Americans are gradually reaching the point where they can get money for practically everything else.

If you missed out on the opportunity to trade in your trash heap car for money, don’t worry. Here are five other programs following the Cash for Clunkers trend that you can get in on now. Earn some extra bucks for stuff you don’t use, and empty your attic at the same time. (Check out our Cash for Clunkers coverage here.)

1.    Cash for Kitchen Clunkers

This fall, the government will debut its next big program, offering rebates for old kitchen appliances. Turn in that tired refrigerator that keeps you awake at night and pick up a new energy efficient one.

2.    Cash for Your Old Wardrobe

While thrift and vintage stores have always offered a few pennies for your torn and frayed clothes,  now  even high end stores are allowing trade-ins. Barney’s is currently offering customers the option to get money back for old jeans.  Meanwhile, there is serious talk that some retailers may soon offer cash for suits in the form of significant markdowns on new outfits.

3.    Cash for Nostalgia

Toys ‘R Us was one of the first companies to recognize the possibilities of this marketing model. They are offering 20% off brand new baby equipment when you bring in an older version. So if you’re expecting a child or know someone who is, consider trading in your old strollers and high chairs. But don’t wait too long; this program ends September 20.

4.    Cash for Entertainment

A number of new Web sites have popped up to make it easier to get quick cash for the books and music you’re not interested in anymore. For those of you angry at Kanye West for his outburst at the MTV Video Music Awards, consider trading in one of his CDs at and using the money to buy a Taylor Swift record.  If you purchase the new Dan Brown novel and end up hating it, consider selling it at, which will pay you anywhere from 57 cents to $120 for a used book.

The same applies for electronics like your iPhone and iPod. Sites like offer anywhere from $20 to $200 for new and old items.

5.    Cash for Real Estate

OK, so this program isn’t actually up and running yet, but for the last month people have been batting around serious proposals to make it happen. This one works a little differently than the other deals we’ve mentioned because you don’t have to trade in anything old. The goal is to give all Americans heavy rebates in the form of tax incentives if they buy a new home. In the meantime, if you are interested in buying your first home, you can already get some money back from existing federal rebates.

—For a comprehensive credit report, visit the Credit Center.

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