The pros and cons of lay-by

Lay-by can be a cheap and convenient way to budget but you should be aware of the pitfalls.
 
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04.Online lay-by

Where are the presents?

When it comes to lay-by and online orders, things don’t always go to plan. In 2011, media reports gave voice to furious Big W and Target customers who were waiting for their Christmas presents to arrive after putting items on lay-by or ordering them online.

Big W published an apology on Facebook on 19 December 2011 and Australia Post admitted to problems with Christmas deliveries from online retailers, calling it a “learning process”.

Cash still king when buying online

We looked at a number of online sites offering lay-by, including My LaybyLay-by Store and Boredom Busters. The first two offer a large range of items from appliances to furniture and holidays, while Boredom Busters specialises in family entertainment and gift cards. 

These sites don’t charge service fees or a deposit, and My Layby and LayBy Store offer up to 52 weeks to pay the items off, much longer than traditional stores.

While the stores sell most items at or close to the RRP, other online retailers offer some expensive appliances for hundreds of dollars less, especially if you’re able to pay for them outright.

And always check if you can get the item directly, how much it costs and what the payment terms are. For example, Boredom Busters sells tickets for the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb at about a 10% premium, but you can get a 12-week lay-by from Bridge Climb directly with no extra cost.

And My Big W Online offers the Apple iPod Touch 8GB for about 10% less than Layby and LayBy Store, as well as a 10-week lay-by period.
 

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