Although my mother has been an advocate for this method of shopping for many years, I had never really considered lay-by shopping until recently. Over this past weekend I came across a jet black faux fur coat which I knew upon seeing that I NEEDED to own. I unfortunately didn’t have the cash to purchase the coat on the day and experience has taught me never to ‘wait until next week’ to get whatever item, in that particular store because nine times out of ten the following week or even day is always too late.
I generally prefer to use cash when buying small items like shoes and clothing and hardly ever use credit. However, as I was leaving the store I discovered the option of laybying.
All I needed to start the process at the store was my ID, some personal details as well as a 30% deposit to secure the item.
So what is laybying and is a better option than credit?
According to an article published on News24, a lay-by agreement is defined as a way of paying for goods over an agreed period of time, whereby the service provider holds the goods until the consumer has paid their full price.To lay-by goods, the consumer pays a small deposit, and subsequently makes regular repayments until the total price is paid.
With lay-by agreements robust credit checks aren’t a part of the deal and when and if you can no longer afford the installments or decide to change your mind, you as the consumer have the right to claim a portion of your money back from the retailer, provided that it’s within the agreed period. Another advantage to this purchasing method is that there are no interest charges.
Know your rights as a consumer
The first step before signing an agreement with any retailer is always ensuring your understanding of what is expected of you as a consumer and knowing what your rights are. In this case as a consumer, these are some the rights the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) supports.
- The right to a formal agreement which states the amount due as well as the weekly or monthly payment dates.
- If the retailer charges any penalties for cancellations you are entitled to knowing that they are there and how much they are.
- You have the right to return defective items.
- You should never be charged a storage fee for the items that remain in the store.
Although the instant gratification that comes with taking home a new pair of shoes or coat in my case is a delayed, laybying is to me a better purchasing option over credit when you do not have the cash to buy whatever it is you want on a specific day.