Holiday Layaway Starting A Month Earlier This Year At Walmart, With A Few Changes

Walmart customers who rely on its layaway program to get all that holiday shopping done will surely be grateful for a little extra time this year to buy gifts and pay them off in time. The store announced that layaway will return a month earlier than it did last year, and tweaked a few of the program’s rules in the process.

Layaway at Walmart will start on Sept. 16, compared to last year’s later kickoff on Oct. 17. That extra month could be quite helpful to cash-strapped shoppers paying off purchases over time. And for even more time — customers who “Like” the store on Facebook can start the program on Sept. 14.

Walmart has said in the past that a majority of its customers pay in cash, and has made other accommodations to help those who do, including a program that allows shoppers to place orders online and then pick them up at the store to pay in cash.

Layaway returned last year after it a break of five years, but this year the rules are slightly different: Customers will pay a $15 fee to open a layaway account, and will get that money back in the form of a gift card if they complete all payments by Dec. 14. Last year there was a $5 fee, a $10 cancellation fee and no reward for paying in full. There’s no cancellation fee this time.

Customers are still required to hand over  a down payment of $10 or 10%, whichever amount is greater, and must spend at least $50 to sign up for the plan. Items must cost $15 or more to be put on layaway, but there are now more kinds of products available for layaway like small appliances and some sporting goods.

Christmas Layaway is Back and Better at Walmart []


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  1. That guy. says:

    If you put something like a TV on Layaway, then before it is paid off (before Christmas), it goes on sale, do they adjust the price?

    • Not Given says:

      That’s a good question. Or what if a similar one goes on sale for a better price can you switch with one you already layawayed?
      I think I’d rather save up for stuff than layaway. If something goes on sale, and I don’t have enough yet, then maybe.

    • eccsame says:

      I would think so, since there is no cancellation fee. Otherwise you just return/cancel and buy it on sale.

      • erinpac says:

        It sounds like the $15 refundable setup fee may be basically a prepaid cancellation fee – don’t finish your payments, don’t get your fee back.

    • bnceo says:

      I would say no. Transaction starts when you put it on layaway.

    • KyBash says:

      6 or 7 years ago, a friend of mine put a large item on layaway. Every time she was in the store, she’d pay something on it. She figured she was a little more than halfway when they told her they owed her money — the item had gone on sale, and she’d already paid more than the sale price.

      I don’t know if it was policy, or a fluke, or whatever, but it was great for her since there weren’t any more on the shelves, and when it was restocked, it was at the old price.

      If you really want to know what their policy is, shoot them an e-mail. They’re really good about replying.

    • Such an Interesting Monster says:

      They have always done this previously.

    • brittanydawn6 says:

      Yes, Walmart will adjust the price of your item on layaway if it goes on sale while it is on layaway.

  2. Not Given says:

    So I can’t layaway clay targets

  3. Blueskylaw says:
  4. thomwithanh says:

    I put M&M’s on layaway once

  5. T-Bone says:

    They’ve already started winter, as well. There is nothing quite like walking into a store from 110-degree heat and be greeted by racks of heavy coats. My kids needed some clothes for the next couple months while it is still hot outside but they had mostly sweaters and pants.

    • Cerne says:

      That’s annoyingly common for clothing stores.

    • deadbirds says:

      Yes, I used to work in south Florida at a high-end department store & we would lose our swim section in late June to make room for winter coats! My manager told me this is because the store has buyers who choose what the store will sell months & months in advance. The headquarters of a store will determine when they put what up for sale, to assure the store makes the most money. Meaning selling the most stuff for the most money, regardless of what makes sense or people actually want! Even the top managers can’t deviate from the plan.

      • vliam says:

        What you said.

        When I lived in Texas, I once tried to buy a pair of shorts in August when it was over 100 outside. No dice. They had some nice winter coats out though.

        The buyers dictate the flow and reset schedule. Common sense doesn’t enter into the equation.