Saturday, March 17, 2007

The return of Layaway?

When Wal-Mart closed its Layaway department, customers were hit hard especially in the run up to the holiday season. Kmart was one of the few retailers who understood the problem faced by consumers and retained its Layaway department. Now there is a new service called eLayaway where consumers can create a schedule of payments and pay online. The eLayaway service is also on offer with several small merchants such as shopperschoice.com, BSP Rewards, BBQGuys, DCS Ranges, Electric Grill Depot and even some plastic surgeons and laser eye operation outfits.

Consumers select eLayaway as their choice of payment when they check out online and pay a 1.9% fee for service, and create a no-interest payment schedule that they will be able to adhere to. Once the full payment is completed, the product is shipped to the customer. This new service is likely to bring back Layaway into favor with retailers again.
The company claims a number of benefits for the retailers in its program, as well. According to the company's website, almost half of all Americans spend more than they earn each year and eLayaway gives them the opportunity to attract shoppers that are overextended financially with high credit card debt, etc. This feature alone, eLayaway claims, gives merchants access to new groups of consumers who would never consider making a purchase for many items and services, especially those with high ticket prices.

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