H-SANTA MARIA

Nov 12, 2012 9:26 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Some retailers change holiday layaway programs

Some big name retailers are making changes to their layaway programs this holiday season, such as lowering or canceling their service fees.

The National Retail Federation said, this year, the average holiday shopper will spend $749.50 on gifts, cards and decorations; that's about $8 higher than last year.

"We found an Audi Hot Wheels, Power Wheels that she is possibly going to get for Christmas," said Arlene Purisima of Santa Maria.

Purisima doesn't usually take advantage of holiday layaway programs. But after seeing a $200 car for her daughter at Toys "R" Us, she's reconsidering it.

"It helps us a lot to spread like, I said, to spread out the money um, so we don't have to come up with it so much upfront. It's such a big item to purchase with all the other bills that's around there. It probably does help a lot of other people," added Purisima.

Toys "R" Us, Babies "R" Us, Kmart and Sears are offering free layaway this season, which means you won't have to pay a service fee to hold on to your items.

But for most of the shoppers we found, they prefer to pay as they go. "We're just buying one item at a time as we can afford it, rather than making a big pile and then making payments," said Ruth Lester of Nipomo.

Lester used to take advantage of layaway, but her motto is, 'If she can't pay for it at once, she's not going buy it."

"You have to be a lot more careful and you cut back on what you buy. You buy your grandchildren one gift each rather than a lot of things under the tree," added Lester.

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