6 Websites that Offer Online Layaway

Family Matters on 10.20.11
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Photo: D. Sharon Pruitt/Creative Commons

Pining away for that new iMac or the iPhone 4S? Those are just two of the items trending at YouLayAway.com, an online layaway site. With holiday spending and credit card debt stressing people's finances, online layaway is a budget-savvy combination of old-fashioned responsibility and modern-day technology

In the digital version of this classic payment plan, you pay bit by bit for big items from the comfort of your own home. No time or gas wasted on making payments in person, and no temptations (hello, sparkly earrings) as you walk through the store.

Thinking about trying online layaway? Here are some stores and websites where you can pay now, play later:

1.  eLayaway.com

elayaway

This layaway clearinghouse includes merchants such as Joann's, the Apple Store, and the Discovery Channel Store, along with more specialized markets like Backyard Discovery (a swingset and playset company) and eSpecialNeeds (adaptive equipment for those with special needs). The transaction fee is 1.9% of the initial purchase price, but membership to the site is free.

2. & 3.  Sears.com & Kmart.com

sears online layaway

Thousands of items from the Sears and Kmart inventory are available for layaway, including digital cameras, video games, toys, and appliances. Figure out bi-monthly payments with a calculator tool. Eight- and twelve-week payment plans are available (with $5 and $10 service fees, respectively). Check to see if layaway is offered at your location, because items are picked up in store.

4.  Lay-away.com

lay-away online

Little to no service fees at this layaway aggregator (it's paid by the manufacturers) and you can drag out the payments for as long as six months. Lay-away.com also offers free shipping, however, all payments must be made by online check or mailed check or money order (no credit cards).

5.  HSN Stores

hsn layaway

Multi-channel retailer HSN offers a slightly different verion of layaway that it calls FlexPlay. After paying the first installment, plus tax and shipping, payments are automatically billed every month to your credit/debit card or PayPal account. No service fee, and the product ships as soon as you make the first payment.

6.  Layaway Travel

layaway travel

If the Cancun fund keeps getting pilfered, a vacation layaway plan is not a bad idea. Layaway Travel specializes in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe, where they have arrangements with select resorts and hotels. Airfare can be included in the package if you like. After specifying your preferences (honeymoon, family vacation, etc.) and selecting a destination, dates, and a resort, an agent contacts you with a quote.

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