What is layaway?

Point of Sale (POS) Glossary

Layaway is a buying method where a store allows a customer to place a deposit for merchandise and pick it up after paying off the balance. Implementations include variations on predefined payments, fixed dates, and penalties. Others are more flexible and only require an initial downpayment and payment in full before pickup. The policies depend on the merchant.

Layaway is particularly useful for holiday shopping as customers may be buying many gifts for friends and family. Layaway lost popularity in the era of widely available consumer credit cards, but in recent years has returned as it is more challenging for customers to secure credit.

Layaways can be tracked by robust point of sale software. A fully-featured POS system may allow customers to make payments, check their balances online, and more.

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