The old-fashioned payment plan has made a big comeback in recent years and many businesses are capitalizing on its success. When purchasing items on layaway, the consumer typically makes a down payment and pays any storage fees, and the retailer will hold the items until they are paid off. The consumer is not charged interest on the items and cannot take the items home until they are fully paid for.
BBB offers the following guidance on using layaway for holiday purchases:
Know the terms. Although the premise is the same, the programs can work differently. Ask for a written contract and make sure to read it carefully. Understand when payments are due and how much time is permitted to pay the items off. Be aware of any down payments, set up fees or storage fees that may apply, as well as the refund policy.
Do your homework. BBB maintains reviews on businesses across the country. Before signing a contract, research the business at bbb.org.
Know your budget. Make sure the payment schedule fits your budget and be aware of any penalties you may incur if a payment is missed.
Keep records of payment. Hold on to receipts to avoid any disputes that could occur. These payment records will also be needed for any returns or exchanges.
For additional advice this holiday season, visit www.bbb.org.
About BBB serving Eastern North Carolina
Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation serving 33 counties in eastern North Carolina. The organization is funded primarily by BBB Accredited Business fees from more than 3,000 local businesses and professional firms. BBB promotes integrity, consumer confidence and business ethics through business self-regulation in the local marketplace. Services provided by BBB include reports on companies and charitable organizations, general monitoring of advertising in the marketplace, consumer/business education programs and dispute resolution services. All services are provided at no cost to the public, with the occasional exception of mediation and arbitration. Visit bbb.org.