More people turning to layaway for holiday shopping - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

More people turning to layaway for holiday shopping

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Got a tight budget these days? You're not alone. Many are already starting to Christmas shop and they're looking to layaway to cut down on some of the holiday stress.

The Halloween costumes are half off, and many stores are already playing Christmas music.

Misti Fisher of Sikeston is already way ahead of the game.

"End of September they had a really good deal on a flat screen and I didn't want to pay for it all at once," said Fisher.

She turned to layaway. Kmart offers layaway year round. Several other places like Wal-Mart and Toys R Us only offer layaway during the holiday season.

"With the economy layaway has become a much bigger focus for customers," said Kmart Manager Nathan Miller.

Miller says his store already has more layaway accounts than last year.

"It's becoming stronger and earlier for the holidays," said Miller. "In September and even in August people start laying away."

Joey Ikerman is one of them.

"I usually start about August," said Ikerman. The father of two says it's all about budgeting.

"I have layaway at Toys R Us, Wal-Mart and at Kmart," said Ikerman.

Every retailer that offers layaway has a different policy.

Here are a few basic things you need to know:

-There might be a service fee. At some places, it's free while others charge 5 bucks or so.

-There might be restrictions. For example, at Kmart you can layaway anything from bikes to socks.

-Some stores only allow toys and electronics. In most if not all cases you can cancel and get your money back, but expect anywhere from a $10 to $20 fee.

-Expect to have to make a down payment. Usually, 10-20% down is common depending on the retailer.

-Some places like Kmart require payments every two weeks.

-Some stores require to you to have your items paid in full by mid-December.

"It's easy to use and you don't have to come up with all the money at one time," said Ikerman.

Some retailers even allow you to make payments online, so you don't have to come into the store until you're ready to pick up your items.

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