Old is New Again says Carol

Shopping Santa Old is New Again says CarolRemember when banks offered Christmas savings plans and layaway was an enticing way to make purchases big or small for Christmas and other times? Layaway is back in full swing.

People are turning to layaway again so they don’t have to put out a big sum of money at once. Plus, it’s a good plan to help keep spending under control. It means planning ahead, putting a product on long-term hold and paying in installments. Jayne O’Donnell of USA TODAY says that stores typically allow merchandise to be held for up to three months with minimum purchase amounts varying.

O’Donnell’s article revealed that consumers that use layaway at Sears and Kmart usually do not have access to credit and live paycheck-to-paycheck. However, some of their consumers simply prefer to not use a credit card.

Before making a purchase or signing a contract for layaway, be sure and understand what the fees are. Generally the layaway fee is only $5. Not bad, if you don’t use layaway and end up instead paying interest on your credit card. What are the cancellation fees, restrictions and exclusions?

Some other stores that offer layaway are Walmart, Toys R Us, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and BestBuy. If you are not sure if your favorite store has a layaway plan, ask. They might start one for you.

Do you know you can even do online layaway purchases? eLayaway offers a plan for sports tickets, Christmas gift cards, jewelry, kids needs, kitchen/garden items, computers and much more. This company is an online payment processor that provides members with the ability to furnish payments incrementally toward the item(s) and/or services(s) they desire. They also have a transaction fee for each layaway item and a cancelation fee of $25 or 10 percent of the price of the item placed on layaway; whichever is less. Any money paid over that amount is returned to the member’s bank account. So, as we head toward Christmas and you want some extra help controlling your spending think about layaway or layaway online.

What experiences have you had with layaway?

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About Carol Odell

Carol J. Odell, is the CEO of the Better Business of Southern Colorado and has been with the BBB for twenty years. Even before her BBB life she was involved in the community as a volunteer and co-owner of a manufacturing business. She is a published author, speaker, wife, mother, and grandmother --- and enjoys all of these roles.