Toys 'R' Us Dangling The Holiday Shopping Carrot Of Free Layaway

If you’re into shopping really really early for the holidays — and there are only 111 days until Christmas — Toys ‘R’ Us is determined to woo you with a head start on layaway this year. Not only will the program start way ahead of the prime shopping season (as in right now), but layaway will be free for part of that time.

From now until Oct. 31, Toys ‘R’ says it will be waiving the upfront fees that usually come with putting products on layaway, reports CNN. After October customers can still put items on layaway but will be charged the $5 service fee.

There are a wide variety of merchandise available for the free layaway, including  common gift items like toys, video games and swing sets. Don’t try to get any clothing, drinks, diapers, batteries or, oddly enough, “holiday-related items” on layaway, however. Those products aren’t eligible for the program.

As long as shoppers put down a 20% down payment and pay off 50% of the total price within 45 days, and pay for the whole thing by Dec. 16, they’ll be good to go.

Other retailers are already vying for their hunk of the layaway pie, including Walmart with its early start on this year’s program.

At this pace, we wouldn’t be surprised if eventually layaway will just start the day after Christmas and turn into a year-round thing.

Toys R Us offers free layaway [CNN]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    My preferred method of layaway is to using a checking account.

    • MaxH42 needs an edit button says:

      My preferred method of layaway is to set up automatic transfers from our checking account to a savings account set up for that one purpose. (And, of course, it can be repurposed after the purchase for the next thing for which you want to save up.)

    • JJFIII says:

      So if you find something NOW, you pay in full today and have the product taking up space in your home. With lawaway, you are only out 20% of the cost

      • JJFIII says:

        nd r nt strng th prdct. Wh s t ll th dchbgs n ths st, thnk thr w s th w VRBD shld rn thr lf. Nbd s vr frcng t s lww, s gt th fck vr rslf.

        • The Cosmic Avenger says:

          Yeah, everybody just shut the fuck up and stop offering your opinions!!! (Unless, of course, you do things exactly like JJFill and he pre-approves your opinion.)

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Unnecessary swearing, 10 yards, repeat 3rd down.

        • The Beer Baron says:

          I say, my good man, you certainly told us! Never have I seen someone acquit themselves so adroitly in Telewebnetworktube debate! Bravo, sir! Add this to your coat of arms: “Dominus disputator omnium interrete,” for you have certainly earned it.

  2. Its.Just.Me says:

    It’s just not worth doing business with Toys R Us. Their policies are not beneficial to the consumer in any way, and it frustrates me to do business with them. If someone needs layaway (and it does benefit many people who are on limited budgets) Wal-mart (sigh, I hate Walmart) might be the best way to go.

  3. Hagetaka says:

    Before you jump on the OP for his language, I would say I sympathize. After getting out of Army Basic Training in 2002, I found out none of my paychecks for the whole time had been making it into my bank account, and my wife had to move out of her apartment in with my parents. She mentioned none of this in her letters because she didn’t want to stress me out while I was going through, you know, boot camp.

    When I finally got a two-day pass after basic to go home and fix this (I had sent a pay inquiry through the Army side and they were sending my pay to the right place, it hadn’t bounced back), I walked into the bank and politely (since it wasn’t the teller’s fault this was happening) explained the situation. After a while in there I kept getting kicked upstairs until I was in the office of the bank’s VP (it is a small local credit union), where she explained that despite all my direct deposit information with the Army being filled out correctly, and the Army sending it correctly, once it got to the bank that money was floating around somewhere in limbo. Her words. It wasn’t even in the wrong account. It was just somewhere in the bank.

    15 minutes later I was walked out of there by Mobile PD. I’ve never cursed so loud and long in my life. I’m a very polite person, but that was the breaking point. My wife came out 30 minutes later with our money and a closed account. Pay issues hit home harder than almost anything.

  4. hoi-polloi says:

    The Toys ‘R’ Us site refers you to individual stores for details. I’d be curious to know what happens if an item you have on layaway goes on sale. Do you get the sale price? If not, what’s the penalty for canceling the item? (Their site also states this doesn’t apply to Doorbusters. I assume there are lesser sales, as well.) This seems like a good way for TRU to lock in a specific price and avoid any comparison shopping as the season goes on, with very limited benefit to the consumer.

    • mmoschella says:

      I work at a Toys”R”Us store…

      You pay the current retail of the item the day you put it on layaway. If the item goes on sale, you have several options:
      (1) cancel the layaway, pay a $5 cancellation fee and place it on layaway again for the sale price,
      (2) pay off the layaway completely, then return it and re-buy it for the sale price

  5. Outrun1986 says:

    Toys R Us, at least here seems to overcharge for everything, at least several dollars higher than the other stores. A Wii remote is like $43 at our TRU, MSRP on the item is $40, also Wii Nunchucks are 21.99, MSRP on them is $19.99. This is just enough of an annoyance for me to write the store off as overpriced and not buy anything there. If you are putting a video game on layaway, it will likely drop to 50% off its original retail price by the time Xmas rolls around. I am guessing with their almost always inflated prices, TRU can afford to do this.

    I am also curious as to what happens if an item goes on sale, as TRU is turning into one of those “always on sale” stores with higher than normal prices if you buy something at regular price, but sale prices that pretty much match the other stores. I am guessing they will put more names on their sales like, “best value” or “best price” then exclude those items from prior layaway purchases. If it excludes doorbusters, then they can just put the title doorbuster on almost any ad and that item will be excluded.

    • mmoschella says:

      look for the “lowest price of the season” deals – they will be the best deals.

      doorbusters are specific deals, but most of them are special, one-time buys which is the reason why they are not eligible for many promotions.

  6. Samuelm456 says:

    I like this. Much preferred over parents or single guardian of a child that won’t shut up for 5 hours.

    On a recent flight, an almost two year old screamed “NO” and basically cried the whole CA->NY flight. The mother/father at no point told the kid that being this loud was inappropriate. AT NO POINT did they try to shush the kid. They just tried to get him to play with his Ipad, which he clearly didn’t want to do.

    The kid was old enough that the parents could have TRIED to talk to him – but no, they preferred to turn the IPad up loud enough so that the entire plane had to hear that AND the screaming kid.

    So yea, these parents giving out earplugs are cool in my book.

  7. Budala says:

    Layaway is the dumbest program out there. It’s for the people who have 0 wilpower to put money aside and actually save. Those people are easy to pick out, just spend a few hours in front of a check cashing place, a furniture rental place, a cash advance place or a buy-here-pay-here car dealer.

    The same people spend their paycheck in 2-3 days and are broke for the remainder until their bi-weekly paycheck hits. The public education system is to blame partially for that, the other part is their parents who didn’t teach them to safe and last blame is their own as they don’t want to even try to change anything on their situation.

    • AzCatz07 says:

      You must be a blast a parties.

      And by blast, I mean you seem like a judgmental ass. There are lots of reasons to use layaway that have nothing to do with a lack of willpower. I won’t waste my time educating you, however, since you seem to think you know why everyone does what the do anyway.

      I may be a product of the public education system, but I can guarantee I’m a better person than you are… and smarter too.