Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Do you remember layaway

Layaway is something that many places have done away with and I will tell you that it really made me sad.  I am not ashamed to say that many times it has saved us at Christmas time.  You know the process pick out your items put them on hold by paying a down payment and make payments with no interest until you pay off your items. 
Well why not offer this service for your customers.  Let them pick out the items that they would like to buy and come up with a down payment that you can agree on.  I use a base of 20% of the total but the goal with this is be flexable work with your customers trust me they will appreciate it.  Then you come up with a payment schedule it could be weekly or monthly.  Now this all depends on the length of the catalog and the time frame needed. 
I do not order the product when the customer gives me the 20% I hold off until at least 75% off the order is paid for.  This will cover your cost if your commission is 25%.  The key to making this work is knowing your companies shipping schedule and giving yourself plenty of time to get the order in.  For my company and my piece of mind I make the last payment on a layaway order for Christmas the last week of November.  This gives me time to get the order in and account for shipping and then the lovely unpacking the order and delivery.
I can have the order shipped directly to the customer but I choose to have it delivered to me.  That way I am able to put my label on the bottom for reorders.  I will also offer my customers free gift wrapping service.  I hit the dollar store for some wrapping paper and gift bags and take care of it for my customers.  It does take some time but that little extra touch that may take me a couple of hours will leave me with a very satisfied customer.

Well I have started my layaway plan for the holidays can't' wait to see how well this works this year. 

What do you offer your customers for the holiday shopping season?  I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Till next time


  1. I don't have a business so I can't offer any suggestions. I do want to comment on the layaway plan. Layaway has almost disappeared in today's easy credit card economy. But, Sears is now advertising putting appliances on layaway. The catch is that you have to pay for it in 8 weeks. How is that going to help?

  2. Sunny I know the layaway has just up and disappeared and I really miss it. I know it's easy to get credit cards but I am just against those will not own one at all. So I liked being able to take advantage of the extra time without interest. Really how in the world is eight weeks going to help pay for an appliance. I know KMART offers it as well but I have found there prices on stuff is higher then Walmart so I just stay away from that. It's sad in this economy you would think big box stores would want to help people out. Guess its just not good for their bottom line.

  3. That sounds like a creative way to work with your customers. The benefit is that it doesn't cost you anything either. The gift wrapping is just an amazing idea. I hate to wrap so would love to receive my purchases already wrapped.

  4. Thank you Small town mommy it has really been a great business builder for me. If I am able to help someone get what they need or want that makes me really happy. As far as the gift wrapping part goes I get a couple of my friends together they help out and get a free candle and some food and drinks for their help. Make it a little party and we all have fun.