Put That Cruise On Layaway, Please: Sears Launching Vacation Service

Vacations can be quite the costly endeavor — especially if you’ve got a lot of family members coming along, which might cause you to write off certain trips as too expensive. That’s exactly why Sears wants to lure in customers with its new service, SearsVacations.com, which will allow customers to put vacations on hold or pay off the total cost, in its familiar layaway style.

The travel Web site will offer vacation and leisure travel packages, with added offerings of flights, hotels, cruises and car rentals, Sears announced today, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Potential customers will be able to check out the new service starting tomorrow, including purchasing pre-paid vacation packages, financed vacations and vacation purchases made using Sears credit cards. The company is licensing the operation to an Arizona-based travel company, International Cruise and Excursions Inc., for travel fulfillment and customer support.

There will be about 100 vacation packages stating at $399 available until July 31.
SearsVacations lets you put trip on layaway [Chicago Tribune]


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  1. Coffee says:

    If you’re going to pay for a cruise on layaway, make sure you save enough money on the side to purchase alcohol on the ship. If I’m not drunk on a cruise, I’m vacillating between suicidal and homicidal.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:


    You don’t need to give someone your money to hold onto with penalties for getting it back without purchasing their product.

    So freaking ridiculous.

    • RedOryx says:


    • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

      Three words (one whole word, one hyphenated one, really): price lock-in.

      If my cruise will cost $2,000 today, but $3,000 next January, it makes sense to lock in the price by beginning the purchase of it now.

      However, knowing Sears, fears of them telling me the wrong port of call, or delivering the tickets to another person would be a concern.

      • vastrightwing says:

        Heck, the boat won’t work. it’ll be in port for maintenance the whole week of your trip. Or they’ll overbook the ship because their old computers won’t have up to date info on the capacity of the ship. Yea, this won’t end well.

    • George4478 says:

      That’s my method — using line items in Quicken that subdivide my savings and checking account balances.. I set aside a little bit each month for wifey and i to go to Italy for our 30th anniversary in three years. I started immediately after our 25th anniversary Alaska trip.

    • FatLynn says:

      My credit union has a “special savings” account for just this purpose, so I assume most banks have something similar. You set a goal, and you can transfer money in, but not out*, until you hit your goal, and once you do hit your goal, they give you a small bonus for making it.

      *You can get it out, but you have to do it over the phone or in-person, not via ATM or online transfer.

  3. We Have a Piper Down says:

    Wait wait wait. They can’t sell anyone anything these days without futzing it up royally and now they want their mitts on my vacation so they can possibly strand me far from home with no hotel and no way home?

    No thanks.

  4. CrazyEyed says:

    Please tell me this is a late April Fool’s joke?

  5. Vox Republica says:

    “Yes, we’re here for our cruise.”
    “Sorry, we don’t have any cruise ships in stock right now. We will gladly try to order you one from the warehouse.”
    “But we–“
    “[flimsy impersonation of a dial tone]”

  6. RandomLetters says:

    Which point is this in the death spiral? The futile grasping at any straw step or the lets rake in some fast cash to pad our pockets right before we file bankruptcy step?

    • Sunrisecarole says:

      Yeah, that’s the ticket….put my vacation on layaway with SEARS so they can include my deposits in their bankruptcy filing. Smart.

  7. mbz32190 says:

    Don’t we have enough travel websites already? Yes, let’s license the Sears name to anyone with a pulse, even if it has nothing to really do with our main business..Brilliant marketing plan. I still don’t get them selling Craftsman products to ACE hardware stores either…

  8. lvdave says:

    Oh yeah.. I’m soooooo gonna let these asshats handle a vacation.. After all the horror stories I’ve seen posted about the one-great Sears, I wonder why it just doesn’t roll over and DIE already….

  9. Marlin says:

    Sears can’t even sell tools or appliances very well anymore and now they are “branching” out?

    Get your house in order before adding on to it.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Braching out is often the initial signs that a business is failing. When a business isn’t doing well at their core business, they try to find other fringe ways to increase revenue.

    • incident_man says:

      No kidding. Besides, travel agencies have been fouling up their customers’ vacations quite nicely by themselves; they don’t need any competition from Sears in that department.

  10. StarfishDiva says:

    I’m sure they’ll run out of the cruise ships and substitute my Aunt’s trailer in West Virgina with the exposed septic tank as an acceptable replacement.

    At least the quality of the swimming pool’s water would be the same.

  11. incident_man says:

    Oh I just can’t wait. This one has FAIL all over it. I can see it now….a customer puts a vacation on “layaway” and when it comes time to pay it completely off, the vacation has been cancelled “mysteriously” without explanation and it’s too late to book another.

  12. backinpgh says:

    Great idea! Show up with your family and all your bags packed and find out there’s no cruise ship at all!

  13. SweetJustice says:

    They can’t repair or replace our new lawnmower that keeps breaking, but sure, I’ll throw money at them for a vacation. What could possibly happen?

  14. CrazyEyed says:

    Vacation Horror Stories in 3. 2. 1.

  15. Costner says:

    What a joke. Sears already has clothing sales, appliances, electronics, tools, an auto service center, kitchenware, home decor, prescription eyeglasses, a photography studio, home appliance repair, parts distribution, jewelry, exercise equipment, furniture/mattresses, lawn and garden, and probably 30 other departments I can’t think think of.

    All but two of these struggle, and the only thing they seem to be able to do well is sell tools and appliances (note when I say “do well” it is in comparison to the other departments, not in comparison to competitors who understand customer service).

    Come on Sears – get with the program! You shouldn’t be diversifying… you should be killing off the areas and the departments that don’t work. Let’s start with furniture, jewelry, and electronics… just stop already and focus on the core business.

    • incident_man says:

      That’d be fine IF they could do their core business well, which, by most accounts, it doesn’t seem that they can even do THAT right.

      Their Craftsman tools don’t even carry a lifetime warranty anymore, so what’s the point? They don’t have anything for sale that can’t be bought somewhere else with same or better quality.

  16. rlmiller007 says:

    We’ll get you on the cruise ship in under 5 minutes …..ha ha ha. Who would ever book a trip from Sears?

  17. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I laughed and nearly inhaled my cole slaw (eating lunch as I read). OMG what a disaster this will be.

  18. Hartwig says:

    Cue this story “I arrived at my cruise only to find out that sears lost my order and said they couldn’t help me since the cruise was now full, i showed them my confirmation email but they said that the system must have miss counted the available rooms on board. “

  19. evilpete says:

    If I put one on layaway, my will a secret Santa pay for it?

  20. Sarek says:

    Craftsman Cruises – if the cruise liner breaks, you can get a free replacement. Oops, we no longer stock cruise ships in that size.

  21. oldtaku says:

    Consumerist must be rubbing your hands with glee at all the new customer disaster stories this will result in.

  22. AllanG54 says:

    All I can say is….”this is scary.”

  23. scoosdad says:

    Didn’t take long for Michael Francis to move over to Sears with more of those great ideas he was planning to use at his old job at JCPenney.

  24. El_Cheapocabra says:

    First thought: Sears knows it’s folding soon, and this is just one more way to grab some money before the receivership. Pre-purchasing anything from Sears right now is a waste of money.

  25. Sunrisecarole says:

    Yeah, that’s the ticket….put my vacation on layaway with SEARS so they can include my deposits in their bankruptcy filing. Smart.

  26. Sunrisecarole says:

    Yeah, that’s the ticket….put my vacation on layaway with SEARS so they can include my deposits in their bankruptcy filing. Smart. they’re likely to “Roe” away with my “Buck” (s) on this cruise.