Not To Be Outdone By Toys 'R' Us, Sears & Kmart Also Drop Layaway Fees

UPDATE: A rep for Kmart and Sears tells us that the report we cited has it kinda wrong — right now the free layaway is only on for Kmart, and not Sears. Bummer!

Most of the holiday angling we’ve seen from retail stores has been just that — holiday angling. But after Toys ‘R’ Us announced this week that it would be dropping layaway fees during this year’s prime shopping season, Kmart and Sears have jumped on the bandwagon and then some. Both stores are getting rid of layaway fees forever. For. Ev. Er. Year-round, as well.

Sears’ parent company made the announcement this week in what could be a move that cuts right on in to Walmart’s layaway business, as that store still has a $5 fee. Walmart tried to lure in some more customers by extending its layaway period, but it might have to do a bit more to woo prospective customers after all this no-fee fun that’s going on.

All this no-feeing and laying away puts consumers in a a pretty darn good position — after all, stores are jockeying for our approval and money and it’s working out nicely for our wallets. Just don’t get too crazy and spend all your money in one place and then realize you have to fork over cash at the end of the layaway period.

If you do forfeit your layaway at Kmart or Sears, a $10 penalty will come into effect. Shop wisely and free of fees, my friends, while we let the big box stores duke it out for our dimes.

Kmart and Sears will drop all layaway fees year-round [USA Today]

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  1. Hoss says:

    Do these customers sign a credit agreement when they set something on layaway? Just wondering what gives the store the ability to charge $10 to back out of the transaction

    • benminer says:

      They agree to the rules as a condition of joining the program. The rules are clearly published in stores and online.

  2. redskull says:

    Layaway was a staple of our household when I was growing up. I remember my mom had things stashed in layaway at several different stores, and would go around paying a bit on each thing every week. It was always a big event when we finally got something out of layaway.

  3. Blueskylaw says:

    Layaway fees gave these stores a LARGE return on their money – they
    weren’t doing it because they were trying to be nice to you and help you out.

    “Suppose a consumer puts $100 of Christmas gifts on layaway at Thanksgiving for pickup on Dec. 24. She pays $20 down and $20 each week and a $10 service fee up front. That’s $10 on an $80 loan for one month, which is about 44 percent interest on an annualized basis. If she had used a credit card, the interest rate is likely somewhere between 19 and 25 percent.”

  4. valkyrievf2x says:

    Wouldn’t trust those two companies on layaway to begin with…. I got my current desk from Kmart years ago on layaway (it was a clearance sale price). Picked it and took it to the counter. Paid it off in a couple of weeks later after I got paid. When I was gonna pick it up, they didn’t have it in stock in the layaway room!! They went through multiple associates and managers, and no one knew what was going on. They had another one in a different color that I ended up taking (mine was the light cream color, settled on the dark wood color). I do wonder if someone else got screwed out of their desk…

    But these companies seem to have a bad track record of managing their own finances and inventory. I don’t think I can trust them to take care of items on layways for any amount of time. And when something does go wrong, no one will take the blame and help out the victim.

  5. samonela says:
  6. dorianh49 says:

    For. Ev. Er? You’re killing me, Smalls.

  7. luxosaucer13 says:

    Too bad Sears and K-Mart can’t put themselves on layaway.

  8. DeLeon says:

    Walmart’s $5 fee is fully refundable unless you do not pay your layaway off. Sears and Kmart charge a $10 penalty for not paying it off. It looks like Walmart is the better deal to me.