Until recently, layaway was on the “endangered strategies list,” replaced by increased use of credit and gift cards. So why bring back this dinosaur of a payment practice? It’s simple…our economy. With banks being more cautious, consumer credit lines are withering. Harvard Business Review
Everybody remembers layaway, back in the days before they gave out credit cards to anybody with a pulse. I remember layaway as that cruddy window in the back of the store, where you stood in line with your mom and all the other bored kids and their moms, sweating to death in your big old parka and getting nauseous from all the cigarette smoke. Good times.
Anyway, layaway is back in a lot of stores, but Wal-Mart is really making some noise. Their plan is probably pretty typical. Specifically…
it kicks off on 10/17 and runs through 12/16. …an item has to cost at least $15, and the total minimum order is $50. [It is] limited to toys and electronics (and most cell phones aren’t eligible), and it applies only to in-store purchases. You have to put down at least 10 percent of the cost of the total order when you put the items on layaway…you don’t get charged interest on deferred purchases, [but] the layaway program isn’t free: Walmart is charging a one-time non-refundable $5 service fee for the service, and you’ll get hit with a $10 fee if the layaway order isn’t paid in full and picked up or canceled by the end of the day on December 16. Consumer Reports
So, what do you think? Will you be taking advantage of this or other layaway programs? If you do, put me down for a Lost in Space robot, a Six Million Dollar Man
doll action figure and an Evel Knievel dirtbike!