Tag Archives: layaway

Know Your Layaway


We have talked over the last couple of Holiday seasons about the return of layaway, in posts like this one and this one. As many folks continue to struggle economically, layaway has grown even more popular. In fact…

While layaway currently lacks the explosive popularity of gift cards, it’s a trend that bears watching, says Butler. Depending on consumer reaction, stores offering holiday layaway could extend their programs year-round, and retailers without layaway could make it available, he says.  Bankrate.com

You may be new to the layaway game. Or you did it back in the 1970s, like everybody else’s mom. Either way, the game has changed a bit. So Bankrate.com has drawn up a handy list of 8 things you need to know about layaway. Here are the bullet points:

  • Availability may be limited
  • Different programs have different rules
  • Down payments or deposits are possible
  • Ask about payment deadlines
  • What if I miss a payment?
  • What if the price drops?
  • Your merchandise might not be held on-site
  • It’s smart to save those receipts

Like I said, bullet points MUCH more info at the original article. How about you? Will you layaway this year? Has the system changed – better or worse? Let us know at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Christmas Comes Earlier, and Earlier, and…

Kipper Williams 30 August 2012We were in Kmart over the weekend – that would be September 14th – a time when it is 92 degrees in Charleston, and the streets are still lined with garage sales. And what do we see? The Christmas displays are already out.

It’s a terrible, terrible cliché that “Christmas comes earlier every year!” But, dang! Doesn’t it seem like it?  It’ still regular season baseball. It’s week 2 of the NFL (when the Bengals still have a shot!) I haven’t even raked my first leaf!

So it’s no surprise that the Today show has already done a feature on the topic, appropriately enough, on Kmart.

Kmart is receiving a lot of attention for airing a Christmas ad a full 106 days before the holiday. Many customers feel the retailer is jumping the gun, but business analysts think the ad is necessary for the chain’s layaway program. Today.com

Meanwhile, in Walmart yesterday, I heard the announcement reminding shoppers that “our Christmas layaway is in full effect!”

Watch the video, and tell me…is 106 days too early? Does it bug you, or are you already taking advantage of the savin’s? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

The Return of the Return of Layaway!

Last year we blogged about how a bad economy and the credit crunch were leading to “The Return of Layaway” in your favorite stores. This year, there’s a new twist.

Same lame economy, but now it’s an election year. I heard on the radio that Wal-Mart is worried that with politicians buying up every moment of commercial time, they won’t be able to do the kind of advertising they need to make a profit at the Holidays. So, one thing they are doing is improving their layaway program to get your attention.

So, in addition to starting the program much earlier this year…

Walmart will refund the $15 fee to open a layaway account after customers make their final payment, and it will no longer charge a cancellation fee to customers who fail to finish paying for the item.  USNews.com

Other stores like Kmart, Sears and Toys R Us are joining in the fun, too. You can read all about it here.

What do you think? Were you planning to use layaway this year? Would this tempt you to? Let us know. And have a fun, SAFE Labor Day weekend!

(photo: fh.ext.wvu.edu)

The Return of Layaway

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!