Beware fees and conditions on holiday layaway plans. These plans, which typically require you to put down 10% to 20% on a purchase and then pay off the rest over an eight-to-12-week period, can trip you up if you don’t read the fine print.
Example: If you don’t make all payments and pick up your items by mid-December, most stores will refund your money but charge you a cancellation fee.
This season’s rules…
Kmart: Service fee of $5 (eight-week contract) or $10 (12-week contract) is waived for layaways initiated through November 23, 2013…$10 cancellation fee…down payment of $15 for eight weeks or $30 for 12 weeks, or 10% if that is greater.
Sears: $5 or $10 service fee and $15 or $20 cancellation fee, depending on length of contract…down payment of $20 for eight weeks, $35 for 12 weeks, or 20% if that is greater.
T.J. Maxx: $5 service fee…$5 cancellation fee…$10 or 10% down payment, whichever is greater. The plan is not available for jewelry or furniture.
Toys “R” Us: $5 service fee…$10 cancellation fee…10% down payment.
Walmart: No service fee…$10 cancellation fee (up from $0 last year)…$10 or 10% down payment, whichever is greater…$50 minimum purchase.