Even though it is the age of credit cards, layby is making a comeback in a big way.  Here is why.

In 2005 American shopping giant Walmart cancelled it’s layby system in the US.  However, by popular demand it has brought it back.   On our Australian shores, many retailers like Target and Kmart offer lay-by to shoppers.

Lay-by has seen a resurgence in popularity because it is an alternative to credit card shopping.  Smart consumers are using lay-by services because they make smart money sense.  Rather than walking out of the shop with items purchased credit, and suffering interest payments along the way, shoppers are now happy to plan purchases and use the interest-free option of layby.

For minimum purchases of $20, plus a service, or ‘handling fee’, that can be up to $5, shoppers can have their purchasers safely stored by the retailers as they pay them off – without the stress of credit card interest.

Other terms and conditions require about a 10% deposit, and that the lay-by be paid for fortnightly.  Most lay-be should be collected within eight weeks also.


Some tips on how to make lay-by work for you:

  • Consider using lay-by next time you buy clothing, footwear or toys for the kids.
  • If using lay-by at your major retailer, wait for the sales – like a 30% off toy sale – and then plan your shop and buy up for upcoming birthdays or Christmas.
  • Ensure you have all the goods you want to buy together.  You don’t want to have to pay two ‘handling fees’.
  • Make sure you really need, and want, the stuff you are putting on lay-by.  Cancelling a lay-by will see you forfeiting your handling fee, while in some places you will end up paying other costs of up to $11.


So next time, rather than ripping out the plastic to make a purchases, plan your shopping and use the interest-free option of lay-by.