A layaway program is an agreement in which a store holds merchandise for a customer, who in turn makes payments until the balance is paid off.
Layaway programs are a great way to do the majority of your holiday shopping. They allow you to purchase a greater quantity and quality of gifts with affordable payments. I personally use the Kmart layaway program each year to purchase all of my children’s gifts. Most years, I don’t think I’d be able to afford the holidays if I didn’t.
Instead of maxing out your credit cards this year, consider starting a Christmas layaway. Here are some tips and tricks to help you along the way.
1. Find Stores With Layaway
There are several different stores that still offer layaway plans to customer. Some only offer holiday layaway plans, while others offer them year round. Here are a few stores with layaway you might want to consider:
2. Don’t Overlook Local Retailers
In addition to large national chains, small local businesses sometimes offer layaway plans as well. If you prefer to do your holiday shopping locally, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Some retailers may be more willing to work with you, especially in a small close-knit community.
3. Understand the Layaway Fees and Policies
Every store has different layaway fees and policies. Make sure you understand these fees and policies before you commit to the layaway. Most stores charge a small fee to start a layaway, for instance, and you must pay off and pick up your items within a specified period of time. You will also usually need to pay a deposit when you start your layaway and a cancellation fee.
4. Start Your Layaway Early
It’s a pain getting a late start, then scrambling to come up with a double layaway payment to get your items in time for the holidays – trust me! To avoid the frenzy, start your holiday layaway shopping at least several weeks before the holidays. This will give you more time to pay and you’re sure to have your items in time.
5. Decide if You Really Need an Item
Before you toss everything on the layaway counter, go through your cart and decide whether you really need or want each and every item. Just because you’re making If you decide you don’t want something later, there’s a chance that you’ll have to pay a cancellation fee. Of course, you can always return it after you pay off the layaway, but who wants the extra hassle?
Anyone else use layaway for holiday shopping? Any tips or tricks to add?