Make us your home page
Instagram

Mad rush for discounts in cash for clunker appliance program

ST. PETERSBURG — The state's cash for clunker appliances rebate program drew hundreds of people to stores around the Tampa Bay area before dawn Friday.

About 100 people were lined up outside the Sears store at Tyrone Square Mall when the doors opened at 6 a.m.

It was a mad rush for about an hour, a manager said, but soon settled into a steady flow of customers.

The shoppers were lining up for a shot at a rebate that could cut the cost of major appliances by 40 to 60 percent.

But there's a big catch: Buyers must apply for the rebate starting at 11 a.m. and there's no guarantee there will be enough money for everyone. And it's a complicated process that can only be done online.

Beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, buyers can go to rebates.com/florida to apply for a priority reservation for the program.

But with only $17.6 million available statewide, the money may run out before the day is through.

A running tally of how much rebate money remains unclaimed will appear on the Web site, to be updated every 30 minutes. So the first hour or so will tell if anybody waiting to jump into the fray after lunch has a snowball's chance.

The program offers 20 percent discounts on six types of Energy Star-rated appliances and $75 more if you can prove you properly disposed of each old energy hog. Retailers are offering their own discounts, increasing the potential savings.

Most of the major retailers in the Tampa Bay area are offering deals and opened early to take advantage of consumer demand, including Sears, Apsco, Lowe's, HH Gregg and Famous Tate.

The demand is so great that other states that have run similar programs have had trouble processing all the applications and run out of money quickly.

"It's a good deal — if I get the rebate,'' said Tom Mollo of Treasure Island, a retired sheriff's deputy from Binghamton, N.Y. He called the process to get the rebate "a real pain.''

Some stores have set aside rooms with computers to help consumers through the rebate process.

Mad rush for discounts in cash for clunker appliance program 04/16/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 16, 2010 11:53am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul

    Markets

    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall

    Business

    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages

    Business

    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel

    Business

    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.