September 28, 2022
  • September 28, 2022

Amazon Layaway: The New Amazon Prime Advantage

By on August 10, 2022 0

If you’re old enough to have parents who bought items on layaway (or they did it themselves), you’ll understand Amazon’s newest advantage for Amazon Prime: Amazon Layaway.

It’s available now, mostly to shopping back to schoolbut many generally remember a department store holiday as the staple of the department store holiday in the decades after WWII. The idea was and is this: you would book big purchases like Christmas toys for kids long before the big day and pay the purchasing department a portion of the last card every few weeks until the item is paid for and ready to be retrieved, packaged and delivered to willing children or others recipients.

Amazon Layaway works virtually in a similar way. Interestingly, this is the reverse of the hugely popular (and much more risky) buy now pay later program. Here you pay now, you will get later.

Amazon says it has thousands of select Amazon Layaway-ready products, and has no credit check, no interest, and no cancellation fees. Items are clearly marked with the “Book with Layaway” button. Layaway customers pay 20% of the total cost of the item at first checkout. The item is then reserved and the price is blocked.

The next steps are to make equal payments every two weeks for a maximum of eight weeks until the item or items are fully paid for. Faster payback means faster delivery. Not every item sold by Amazon is stackable. Amazon advises you if you want your items to arrive in time for the December holidays, to make purchases by October 23.

But is layaway a wise money-saving move?

Unlike credit card purchases, layaway schemes typically don’t charge interest – although some stores have a small “charge” for storing items in the past – and are not considered a form of debt (therefore no need to check your credit).

Amazon does not charge any fees in excess of the cost of the goods, but if other retailers are resuscitating a late payment consider whether they charge late payment (ten years ago, Best Buy charged 5% of the total late payment price, and retailers including Burlington Factory, Marshalls and Coat TJ Maxx charged a $ 5 non-refundable fee.)

Other concerns include:

  • Using layaway may cost you. If you lock the price of a product and set it aside, you will miss if and when the product will go on sale at a lower price, such as on Black Friday or during the busy holiday shopping season. Amazon confirms its prices are locked at the time of purchase and this is the final price for the put-away items, even if the product goes on sale. But in these inflationary times, there is also a plus that you set a given price that could also go up.
  • You can pay more for cancellation. Amazon Layaway does not charge a cancellation fee. Other retailers have had in the past and can still if they enliven the gaps.
  • You may not be able to afford it. At first glance, layaway seems like a more reasonable option – and it certainly is better than buying something – or a lot of things – that will end up driving you into debt. And yet the idea of ​​taking an expensive item and breaking it down into more manageable payment portions may eventually hide the total cost. In short, can you really afford it? And if you face a cancellation fee, it is bad money in addition to bad money.