Sears and Toys R Us are among retailers who have brought back layaway programs to help boost sales, reports Eve Mitchell at the San Jose Mercury News. Not all stores think it’s worth the effort, so you won’t find it at JCPenney, Target, or Walmart. However, if you want to use layaway at retailers that don’t offer it, there are now websites that can help.
Consumer electronics, appliances, toys and games are sold at http://www.lay-away.com, which charges no service fees to consumers because revenues come from sales commissions paid by retailers. A $35 fee applies on canceled orders.
Consumers who go to http://www.elayaway.com are charged a 1.9 percent transaction fee on merchandise purchased from retail partners that include Apple, Bass Pro Shops, Best Buy and Home Depot. Cancellation fees are $25, or 10 percent of the cost of the merchandise, whichever is less.
I can’t recommend either site without knowing more about how well they work, but a quick comparison of a Nintendo DS Lite at eLayaway.com showed one available from Best Buy for $129, the same price being offered on the official Best Buy site. As always, read the fine print and make sure that any hidden costs aren’t being bundled into the total price.
“Layaway makes a return as stores court strapped consumers” [San Jose Mercury News]
(Photo: No Trams To lime Street)