What Is Layaway - Pros & Cons and Stores with the Best Layaway Policies

What Is Layaway - Pros & Cons and Stores with the Best Layaway Policies

Imagine you are shopping at a store and found a dress that you can`t afford to miss but, at the same time you cannot purchase it with an empty wallet. What will you do? Obviously, you will request the store representatives to reserve your desired product by paying some down payment. You will get your product later after making the full payment. This scenario which we have discussed here is called Layaway in simple words. Whether you have benefited from this opportunity before or not, there is a chance that you are at least familiar with the term. If not, then let us tell you everything that you need to know about Layaway. 

What is Layaway?


Layaway is a golden opportunity for all the shoppers throughout the world. It works with a different approach as compared with shopping by credit cards or using installment billing plans. Layaway allows you to make payments over time while your purchases remain in the store until you make your final payment.

Every store has generated its own terms and conditions but, these four basic rules are found in all Layaway programs:

1.Most of the stores offer Layaway on certain categories such as electronics, cosmetics, apparel and much more, you can choose the items from allotted groups to put on Layaway.

2.When you choose an item, you must pay its down payment. Some stores allow you to pay by your feasibility, while others charge an amount calculated on your total purchase.

3.Another rule is that you can make the payments over time which is also considered as a benefit of Layaway program. According to the store`s policy, you can make weekly or monthly payments.

4. Once you have made the full payment along with any Layaway fees, you can take away your items with you.

This apparently straightforward method has a myriad of complicated fees. Stores charge some or all of these following fees whereas every store has a different policy to some extent. 

•Service Fee:

The customers who become the part of Layaway program has to pay the service fee. It is charged to cover the store`s cost of processing various payments and keeping the items off the shelves with full safety and security. The service fee usually ranges from $5 to $10 for all customers. 

•Cancellation Fee:

Almost all the stores who offer Layaway program charge a cancellation fee if the customer decide to cancel their layaway plan or cannot make the full payments by the preassigned due date.

•Restocking Fee:

Several stores imply a restocking fee if you are not making your payments on time, or unable to pay the full amount by the due date. 

Pros of Layaway Plans:


There are multiple methods of financing purchases but, Layaway can be an ideal option for the following reasons:

1.Interest-Free Purchasing:

Layaway charges some additional amount on different conditions but, you won`t be charged any interest on your purchases. Even the payment along with fees is very less as compared to holiday purchases was credit card.

2.More Buying Options:

Layaway provides a substitutetousing a credit card to make payment for your purchase. If you are not a credit card holder and don`t want to obtain a store card, layaway offers another way to pay your purchases in a given time period. If you have a credit card but would like to make it throughout the holidays without making your account empty, layaway might be the finest option for you.

3.Availability Of High-Demand Items:

Layaway proves to be a very useful program during the hectic holiday season when latest electronics and toys can sell out quickly. Reserving a desired item on layaway ensures that you can have it for holidays.

4.Available Online:

Holiday shopping can lead to hassle of dealing with holiday shoppers, waiting in long lines, or going to numerous stores to buy your desired items but, online layaway can save you from all of them. Some sellers provide the offer of layaway only for those purchases which are made through their online stores. 

5.Easy Acceptance criteria:

Every seller needs authentic information at the time of Layaway because these programs do not conduct income or credit checks before agreement as compared to credit cards. To be eligible for layaway you simply require proof of identification assuring that you are at least 18 years of age and a amount of down payment. Since approval policies are generally quite relaxed, even people with previous credit problems can easily qualify for a layaway program. 

Cons of Layaway Plans:


Everything has two sides positive and negative. Similar case is with Layaway, it offers great convenience and best chance to buy holiday gifts. Unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages which you need to consider:


Layaway fees can be very high, especially for trivial purchases. For example, on purchasing a laptop for $600 the store charges $10 service fee which is acceptable, but on purchasing a $50 toast the store charges the same $10 service fee adding anoutrageous 20% to the whole cost. Unless you are worried about a hot ticket product selling out before the holidays, wait until you have the cash in hand to buy your needed items without any service fee. 

2.Down Payments:

Layaway programs are different from credit cards therefore; most of the layaway programs require that you must pay a down payment before the store will qualify you for layaway and hold your desired item for you. Amount of down payment varies by store to store, but few stores can charge up to 10%, a great fee for big-ticket items. 

3.Strict Payment Terms:

Countless layaway programs arrive with strict payment conditions. For example, the store may oblige you to make a payment by coming to the store in every two weeks until and unless you pay the total amount. Under these terms, you will have to visit the store in every two weeks to make the required payment. 

4.Potential Losses:

People come into layaway programs with positive intentions, but things happen opposite to it. You might make half payment of your purchase, but then realize that you cannot afford to pay full. Or you may realize that you don`t want to buy the item after paying its installments for several weeks. Most of the stores charge a cancellation fee for cancellation of layaway agreements while, others charge an additional restocking fee.

5.Not  Available For Every Purchase:

Multiple stores offer layaway program but on limited sections which includes purchasing of restricted products. For example, a brand or a store may only provide layaway for electronics, jewelry, cosmetics and other big-ticket items, but if you wish to use layaway for a latest toy, you might visit some other store. 

Top Stores Offering Layaway Plans:

Offering Layaway Plans

Layaway is the best opportunity to get your desired products over the time. It also has some pros and cons as we discussed above. Well, most of the premier stores are offering this program; some of them are as follows:

How Does Layaway Work At Walmart:

Walmart is the leading brand offering in-store layaway for some of their exclusive departments.

•Eligible Items: You can purchase everything from toy, jewelry and electronics departments. Every product starts from at least $15, and your overall purchases should be equal to $50.

•Service Fee: Walmart charges $5 service fee on each layaway.

•Cancellation Free: Walmart charges $10 cancellation fee on each layaway.

•Down Payment:  Every customer must pay 10% of their total purchase price.

•Payments:  Payment dates can fluctuate according to agreement. All installments ought to be made completely by a fixed date within December. You have to visit the store to make further payments. 

How Does Layaway Work At Best Buy:

Best Buy is the best online store who offers in-store layaway for the majority of items. 

•Eligible Items:  Layaway is available in the store on most of the products. However, your total purchase must be equal or more than $250.

•Service Fee: Best Buy charges 5% service fee.

•Cancellation Free: Best Buy charges cancellation fee according to the purchase.

•Down Payment: Every customer must pay 25% of their total purchase.

•Payments:  You must make payments in every two weeks, and the last payment must be done within 12 weeks. You can make the payments in-store or over the phone through a Best Buy layaway card which contains your total dues and information related to payments. 

How Does Layaway Work At Kmart:

Kmart is the first-class brand offering both online and in-store layaway plans for its happy customers. 

•Eligible Items:  From warm sweaters to lawnmowers. You will find everything for layaway online carrying an `Available for Layaway 1 logo.

•Service Fee: Kmart charged $5 service fee for online layaway and $10 for in-store layaway.

•Cancellation Free: Kmart charged $10 cancellation fee on each layaway.

•Down Payment:  Every customer must pay 10% of the purchase.

•Payment: You have to make the Biweekly payments, which you can pay off online over an eight-week period, or in-store over 12 weeks.

How Does Layaway Work At Toys R Us:

Toys R USis the top-of-the-line brand which offers in-store layaway for most of the items. 

•Eligible Items:  Layaway is offered on limited items such as large and small toys, juvenile clothing, infant and toddler gear, and electronics. It is not available for special order or clearance items.

•Service Fee: Toys R Us charges $5 service fee on each layaway.

•Cancellation Free:Toys R Us charges $10 cancellation fee on each layaway.

•Down payment: Every customer must pay 20% of your total purchase price.

•Payment: You can pay installments according to your schedule. However, you have topay minimum 50% of the full amount within 45 days, and pay the last layaway payment within 90 days. You should make your payments in the similar branch where you signed your layaway plan.

How Does Layaway Work At eLayaway:

eLayaway is a service industry who works differently than other traditional layaway programs. With eLayaway, you can sign a layaway plan according to your preference of several retailers. You can make the payments of your layaway through eLayaway, and at the time of full payment the retailer delivers your purchase to you. 

•Eligible Items:  It depends on the policies of the selected store.

•Service Fee:  It alters with the type of purchase. For example, the allotted service fee for retail purchases is more than 3.9% of your total purchase, while the service fee for health-related purchases costs more than 7.9% of your entire purchase.

•Cancellation Free:eLayaway charges10% of the whole purchase price or $25, whichever is less.

•Down Payment: You don`t have to pay any down payment at eLayaway.

Layaway is a good alternative to pay for an expensive gift, you can find lots of better deal when shopping at holiday sales or looking for highly usable items. For example, you can discover countless exciting deals on the event of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Remember, before you place any purchases on layaway, estimate your budget and ensure that you can cover the total amount of the purchases by the agreed due date.

Have you ever taken benefit from Layaway program before? If yes, then share your experience with us and if not, then go for it now. Happy Holiday Season!