Reporting Susan Koeppen
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — From toys to electronics to appliances to jewelry, almost anything on your holiday list can be yours thanks to layaway.
“I think that retailers are recognizing that the economy is not great for consumers,” says consumer expert Edgar Dworsky.
James Johnson of Garfield says his wife is getting a jump on the family’s holiday spending. She is using layaway at several stores.
“All you have to do is go and make your payments and pick it up and you got it done,” he says.
“It’s one more way for customers to pay for a purchase,” says Michelle Tognarina, the manager at the Sears store at the Ross Park Mall.
But layaway does come with fees.
At Sears, the initiation fee is $5. The down payment is $20 or 15 percent of the total cost, whichever is greater. The cancellation fee is $10. You have eight weeks to pay it off.
At Toys ‘R Us, layaway is available on big ticket items like bikes. There’s a $5 service fee and a $10 cancellation fee.
At Wal-Mart, only toys, electronics and fine jewelry are eligible. Your total layaway purchases must be more than $50, and you have until Dec. 16 to make your final payment.
For those of you who hate the mall, there’s even layaway online.
Websites like www.elayaway.com have thousands of offers. But make sure you read the fine print, before you decide to put something on layaway.
Also, realize that if you fall behind on payments, the item you wanted goes back on the shelf. The good news: most stores will give you your money back minus a cancellation fee.