Toys R Us and other retailers including Walmart are waiving layaway fees this year. Toys R Us is extending the deal until October 31 2012 as is Kmart.
Layaways were extremely popular years ago but then with the surge of credit card purchases and a downward economy people no longer needed or wanted to place things on one side. This year the retailers are hoping that this will spur on early holiday shopping and give the economy the boost it needs before the highly popular Black Friday Deals.
Although layaways look like a good way to plan ahead, things and circumstances change and you should be careful. Not only that but kids are fickle and what they want now they may not want soon and canceling can be expensive. For customers who change their mind or don’t pay on time you don’t get your merchandise, you lose your service fee and you’re usually hit with a cancellation fee of $10-$20.
“Beware and know what you are getting into,” says Bill Thomas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving central Indiana. Although in the past many complaints were lodged against layaway programs, “it appears (stores) are trying to make layaway programs more shopper friendly,” Thomas say. “That’s good for the consumers.”
Typically layaway programs want you to pay 10% to 25% of the purchase upfront and then you have to make biweekly payments unless you wish to pay it off earlier.
At Toys R Us they’ve waived the fee for now but all Christmas orders must be paid off by December 16 2012.