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Putting furniture on layaway is helpful for some consumers, such as those who do not need the item right away, because this process involves paying off the item gradually and then taking it home once the item is full paid off. Furniture is often a major expense, so shoppers may find layaway advantageous for a few reasons — as long as they can plan ahead. For example, they can claim an item despite not having the upfront funds to pay for it, ensuring that they get it before the store runs out of stock. They also often pay less for putting furniture on layaway than they would by using a credit card to make their purchase. Shoppers should be aware, though, that there may be cancellation fees if they change their mind, and they may miss out on sales when they use this type of plan.
Layaway shopping often rewards those who can plan ahead when buying furniture, even if they do not have the money. Despite the fact that shoppers cannot take the product home until it is paid off, they do not have to worry about the store running out of inventory, so putting highly coveted furniture on layaway can usually keep it out of the reach of other shoppers. In addition, when consumers purchase furniture as a gift for others, layaway can offer them the satisfaction of getting their shopping done long before holidays, weddings and birthdays, so they do not have to buy presents at the last minute or worry about where they are going to store the gift until it is given.
Another advantage of putting furniture on layaway is that there typically is no interest, which means it often is cheaper than using a credit card to shop, at least among consumers who do not pay off their credit card balance every month. Instead, shoppers typically make a small down payment when placing items on layaway, and this is usually applied toward the total price so it is not an extra expense. There is often, however, a flat-rate fee for layaway, but it is usually less than the average interest rate on a credit card. Even those who would normally pay cash for an item rather than using a credit card can benefit from putting furniture on layaway, because this allows them to keep the cash in their possession a bit longer. They can usually pay off debt with this money or put it in an interest-bearing savings account while they slowly pay down their layaway total without tying up large amounts of cash with a major upfront purchase.
On the other hand, placing furniture on layaway may not work for those who want the items right away. In addition, planning ahead to use this option may not be beneficial if the furniture goes on sale after the layaway plan has been started, because not every store will adjust the price of the item to honor current promotions. Some customers also may change their mind during the process, which may mean they forfeit some of the money they have already paid or have to pay a cancellation fee. To avoid these disadvantages, shoppers are advised to check the policy of the store before signing up for this kind of plan.