Once considered a dated, old-fashioned method of payment, layaway services are now back in a big way.
Layaway purchase plans are designed for people who want to buy products and services without using credit or paying the full price immediately.
When you buy an item on credit, you take the merchandise home with you. When you use layaway, you typically put down a deposit — usually a percentage of the purchase price — and pay over time. The retailer holds the merchandise for you in reserve. You take the merchandise only when you have paid for the item in full.
BBB frequently receives calls concerning layaway plans. Doing a little research on the front end can help you avoid problems later.
BBB serving Acadiana suggests you check out retailers before you do business with them at bbb.org. Some layaway sites operate like a combination shopping search engine and online shopping mart: The companies have hundreds of merchants and online retailers selling name-brand items.
First, you select a product. Then you pay. Some sites require electronic debiting from your checking account; others require that you pay by check or money order through postal mail. Still others allow you to pay with credit or debit cards, or use online payment services. Once you’ve paid the balance, the online layaway service pays the merchant, and the merchant sends you the product.
Some sites offer layaway plans for non-retail items such as travel, tickets to sporting events — even surgery. For example, if you’re planning a vacation to the Bahamas in six months or travel around the world or scheduling a certain medical procedure like plastic surgery in nine months, there are websites to handle your payment plan.
To avoid any misunderstanding get the merchant’s layaway policy in writing. Look for details on:
Start with Trust®. Check with the Better Business Bureau before doing business. BBB works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.
BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin and Vermilion.