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Amazon’s layaway option is free and won’t hit your credit

Amazon’s layaway option is free and won’t hit your credit
Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 11:47:08-04

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If you’ve ever used a layaway program at a store, you know how helpful they can be when you have a large purchase that you want to secure but can’t afford to pay for all at once.

Did you know that Amazon also offers that service for online shopping? Amazon’s layaway program offers the option to purchase an item via smaller payments with no extra fees or credit checks. There are also no interest charges, late fees, sign-up fees, service charges, cancelation fees or restocking fees if you return the item.

How To Use Amazon Layaway

To use layaway on Amazon, you have to first find an item that is eligible. According to Amazon, products will be marked with a label that states, “Reserve with Layaway,” near the product’s name.  The selection of items this is available for appears to be limited as of publication time, but the company advertises a huge array of product categories that can be bought with layaway.

Amazon

Once you add an eligible item to your Amazon shopping cart, you will have to pay at least 20% of the total cost to lock in the price, including any deals being offered at that time, and reserve it. The amount paid at checkout will be the first of five payments scheduled on an eight-week layaway plan.

Your item will ship after your final payment, meaning you can get the item early if you finish your payment before the eight weeks is over. If you need to cancel your layaway or do not complete the payments, you will be refunded everything you had paid on the item.

Your layaway payments are calculated by dividing the total price of the item, excluding tax and shipping fees, into five payments. For example, if you have an item that costs $500, you would have to pay $100 right away, then the same amount again every two weeks until it was paid off in eight weeks.

Amazon’s layaway program is available year-round, including on Prime Day and other holidays.

Adobe

Amazon’s layaway isn’t new, but you might not have known about it. The program launched in August 2021 in select markets, but has since expanded to more delivery locations. It’s currently not available for any orders being shipped to Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania or Washington, D.C.

The layaway program is also not available on all products and only works for items shipped and sold by Amazon. If you only want to shop for items that offer layaway, you’ll want to visit the layaway homepage and click through items directly from the page.

However, when we followed links from that page, we still had a hard time finding products that gave us the option to use layaway, so your mileage may vary at this time.

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Other Stores With Layaway

There are a few other major retailers that still offer a layaway option these days. While layaway programs do vary by retailer, they mostly operate in similar ways: choosing an item, then making regular payments until you can take the item home. Many retailers require a fee or credit check for using the service, however, making Amazon’s layaway program one of the least restrictive you’ll find.

One of retailers that offer a layaway program is Burlington Coat Factory, which requires a minimum deposit of $10 or 20%, whichever is greater, a non-refundable $5 service fee and a $10 cancellation fee.

Walmart also offers layaway, but it is only available seasonally. You can bookmark the company’s layaway page and check back as the holidays get closer.

Walmart does, however has teamed with Affirm to allow customers to buy an item, get it immediately and pay later. While Walmart’s Affirm partnership works similarly to a layaway program, unlike Amazon’s layaway, it does have a fee. For example, on a $150 purchase using Affirm at Walmart, you’d pay $13.92 per month for 12 months, which includes interest.

That’s a markup of 20%, meaning you’d pay about $167 for the item by the time you were done. Your credit could also be affected by the program.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Other top retailers, like Target and Kohl’s, do not currently offer layaway programs, so, if you see something at one of those stores that you’re interested in, you may want to check Amazon to see if you can find a similar item eligible for the no-interest payment plan.

This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money. Checkout Don't Waste Your Money for product reviews and other great ideas to save and make money.