DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An old way of shopping is making a comeback this holiday season. Several retailers have introduced (or brought back) layaway programs, and many shoppers are excited to take full advantage of the option – especially those with children.
Their wish lists are long, but you are a little bit short on cash. “My kids, they want so much this year,” said shopper Kim Robinson while browsing the aisles at a local Walmart store. But she has a plan.
Instead of buying every gift for her two girls at once, Robinson is going to use the layaway program at Walmart. “I don’t have to worry about paying it all at once or figuring out how to come up with the money,” Robinson said.
Walmart is not the only store offering the layaway option this year. Big retailers like Sears, Best Buy and Toys R Us have all started their own layaway programs to help ease some of the pain on your wallet.
“When I was a kid, my parents used it all the time buying toys… so many things,” recalled shopper Torrey Hibbler. He is now using the layaway option to buy gifts for his own kids, and said that it will help him pick up more presents – including some of the more popular toys that will surely be picked from shelves in the coming weeks.
“It’s very popular,” said Toys R Us store manager Richard Galan. “We can’t even keep up with demand in our back warehouse to keep up with the boxes that we have.”
“I’m a working class man,” said Hibbler. “When it’s all said and done, we’ll go into the new year debt-free, as opposed to worrying about how we’re going to pay for toys.”
But before you decide to use the layaway program, there are some things that you should know. Most stores require a non-refundable service fee – usually around $5 or $10. Also, you must make a down payment ranging from 10 percent to 25 percent of the price of the items that you are putting on layaway.
And there may be restrictions on which products can be put on layaway. For instance, at Walmart stores, only certain items are available for the layaway program – including toys, jewelry and electronics.
Also, check with the stores if you are hoping to put a Black Friday item on layaway, as the rules vary with each retailer. Walmart will allow it, but only after 8:00 a.m. on Friday. Toys R Us will not allow it at all.