Offbeat: Tyler Perry paid off 1,500 Walmart layaway accounts, but the service can be risky for low-income shoppers - PressFrom - US
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OffbeatTyler Perry paid off 1,500 Walmart layaway accounts, but the service can be risky for low-income shoppers

07:40  13 december  2018
07:40  13 december  2018 Source:   vox.com

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Perry cleared the Walmart layaway accounts of 1 , 500 Atlanta-area shoppers , a deed that totaled 4,000. Inspired by the Madea star, Kid Rock paid off For low - income shoppers without credit, layaway may be one of few ways to gradually pay for merchandise. But it can be financially harmful

Perry cleared the Walmart layaway accounts of 1 , 500 Atlanta-area shoppers , a deed that totaled 4,000. Inspired by the Madea star, Kid Rock paid off For low - income shoppers without credit, layaway may be one of few ways to gradually pay for merchandise. But it can be financially harmful

Tyler Perry paid off 1,500 Walmart layaway accounts, but the service can be risky for low-income shoppers© Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images Retailers like Kmart saw an uptick in the amount of customers using layaway after the Great Recession hit.

Layaway is popular once again, but it can be financially harmful to vulnerable consumers.

This week, filmmaker Tyler Perry and musician Kid Rock made headlines for taking part in what’s become a holiday tradition among some wealthy people: paying off the layaway accounts of strangers. Layaway allows shoppers who can’t pay for merchandise all at once to reserve the product and pay for it in installments. While stores offer layaway year-round, it is especially popular during the fall when consumers use it to purchase holiday gifts that typically cost at least $50.

Saints owner Gayle Benson pays off layaway items for more than 400 Walmart customers

Saints owner Gayle Benson pays off layaway items for more than 400 Walmart customers New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson spent more than $93,000 to pay off roughly 400 layaway items for unsuspecting Walmart customers.

— Nadra Nittle, Vox, " Tyler Perry paid off 1 , 500 Walmart layaway accounts , but the service can be risky for low - income shoppers ," 12 Dec. Layaway is a delayed payment method. A customer deposits a fraction of an item's price, and then the retailer stores the item for a specific period of time.

Tyler Perry gave 1 , 500 strangers a Christmas surprise when he paid off the remaining cost on all layaway items at two Atlanta-area Walmarts . " Tyler Perry ’s generous donation is making an unbelievable difference for so many families, and we can’t thank him enough for his kindness

Perry cleared the Walmart layaway accounts of 1,500 Atlanta-area shoppers, a deed that totaled $434,000. Inspired by the Madea star, Kid Rock paid off $81,000 in layaway balances at a Nashville Walmart. And last week Gayle Benson, owner of New Orleans sports teams the Saints and the Pelicans, paid off about $100,00 in Walmart layaway balances.

Perry explained his gesture in an Instagram video post: “I know it’s hard times and a lot of people are struggling,” he said. “I’m just really, really grateful to be able to be in a situation to do this. So God bless you. Go get your stuff.”

View this post on Instagram

I was trying to do this anonymously but oh well!!!

A post shared by Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) on

Celebrities aren’t the only ones playing the part of layaway fairy, or angel, as they’re often called. Anonymous donors have recently made headlines for paying off layaway balances at Walmarts in Philadelphia, Clarksville, Tennessee, Augusta, Georgia, Uniondale, New York, Derby, Vermont, and Longmont, Colorado. The practice has become so common that there’s even a group called Pay Away the Layaway devoted to the cause.

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Tyler Perry Plays Santa Claus Drops Over 0K for Holiday Shoppers . Sources close to the situation tell TMZ the famous actor and filmmaker wrote a couple big checks to 2 Atlanta area Walmarts Thursday, to cover the cost of outstanding layaway items that were registered at the stores

Tyler Perry Pays Off 4,000 in Walmart Layaways for 1 , 500 Shoppers : ‘It’s Hard Times’. Tyler Perry at The Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South So I just wanted to go ahead and tell you,” he said of anyone who had items on layaway before 9:30 a . m

Although these gestures are great PR for companies like Walmart and for the donors who come forward, the press about layaway often overlooks the ways it can actually hurt low-income shoppers. While layaway may be attractive to people without spare cash or access to credit, customers should know its potential pitfalls, especially as the service enjoys a resurgence in the decade after the Great Recession.

Layaway took off during the Great Depression

The concept of debt dates back to the ancient world. The Bible alone mentions debt and possessions more than 800 times, according to Forbes. But the practice of layaway isn’t even a century old. While 19th-century Americans did rely on installment plans to buy expensive items, Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn told the New York Times that layaway as we know it wasn’t popularized until the Great Depression of the 1930s, which left many shoppers unable to buy basic necessities, let alone holiday gifts.

Tyler Perry covers $434k worth of Walmart layaways for holiday shoppers

Tyler Perry covers $434k worth of Walmart layaways for holiday shoppers Tyler Perry paid for all existing layaway items at two Atlanta-area Walmarts.

Tyler Perry spent more than 0,000 to pay off the layaways for roughly 1 , 500 Walmart shoppers . Tyler Perry just dropped nearly half a million dollars to give 1 , 500 lucky shoppers a very expensive Christmas gift when he took care of their layaway payment at two Atlanta area Walmart

The actor and producer Tyler Perry paid off layaway accounts in two Atlanta-area Walmart When Walmart shoppers visited their local stores this week, some walked out with a holiday surprise. Others walked away in shock. “We have so many customers on a fixed income ,” Ms. Williams said.

Unlike loans and other types of installment plans, layaway does not involve interest. Instead, layaway customers put some money down, often about 10 or 20 percent of the purchase price, to reserve an item. They then make regularly scheduled payments until the cost is covered in full.

The name layaway stems from the fact that businesses that provide the service “lay” goods “away” in storage for customers until they are paid for completely. Some businesses charge storage fees in addition to requiring shoppers to put money down for items. Layaway thrived for decades after its invention but began to wane in the 1980s when credit cards became commonplace.

When the Great Recession began 11 years ago, financially devastated Americans turned to the service once again. In 2011, for example, NBC News pointed out that the number of layaway contracts at stores like Sears and Kmart had more than doubled since 2008. During the same period, Toys R Us expanded its layaway program to include a greater number of products.

In addition to these stores, retailers such as Big Lots, T.J. Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, and GameStop offer layaway. For low-income shoppers without credit, layaway may be one of few ways to gradually pay for merchandise. But it can be financially harmful to such consumers too.

Kid Rock pays off 350 layaways worth $81,000 at Tennessee Walmart

Kid Rock pays off 350 layaways worth $81,000 at Tennessee Walmart Kid Rock gave the Walmart store about $81,000 to pay off 350 layaway accounts.

— Nadra Nittle, Vox, " Tyler Perry paid off 1 , 500 Walmart layaway accounts , but the service can be risky for low - income shoppers ," 12 Dec. 2018 Despite his cover being blown by the hiring manager, Cash’s innovation pays off . — refinery29.com, "Sorry To Bother You," 10 July 2018.

(CNN) Tyler Perry is spreading holiday cheer in his city of Atlanta. Perry shared a video on Twitter announcing that he paid off all the layaways at two A Walmart spokeswoman confirmed to CNN the actor and filmmaker paid off 2,635 worth of layaway items at two stores in the Atlanta metro area.

Layaway comes with risks for low-income shoppers

Writing about how Rock and Perry recently paid off layaway balances at Walmart, Chicago Tribune reporter Dahleen Glanton pointed out some of her concerns with the service.

“The problem with layaway ... is that most people who don’t have the money to pay for things upfront won’t have it four months later,” she said. “They could end up losing not only the items they had put aside but also must often pay a cancellation fee and forfeit the service fee, if one was required.” This can leave low-income customers worse off financially than they were at the outset.

Glanton also argued that the fact so many holiday layaway balances had yet to be paid two weeks before Christmas signals the extent of the problem, as it’s unlikely that all of the customers helped by Perry and Rock would have been able to clear their balances in a fortnight.

Tyler Perry paid off 1,500 Walmart layaway accounts, but the service can be risky for low-income shoppers© Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images Sears revived its layaway program after the Great Recession hit.
Sears announced in 2008 that it was bringing back layaway as customers struggled financially after the Great Recession.

Better Business Bureau president Claire Rosenzweig told Consumer Reports that shoppers like layaway programs because they avoid paying interest fees, “but there are some risks that consumers should be aware of, such as the company going out of business.” In that event, layaway customers may find it difficult to recover the money they’ve put toward an item.

Kid Rock Stuns 350 Walmart Customers by Paying $81K in Layaway Accounts

Kid Rock Stuns 350 Walmart Customers by Paying $81K in Layaway Accounts 8 Stars Who Switched Their Endorsements in 2016 Presidential Race:All Walmart customers want for Christmas is Kid Rock. Taking a page from filmmaker Tyler Perry, the "All Summer Long" rapper got into the holiday spirit Saturday, paying off all 350 of the layaway accounts at a Tennessee Walmart to the tune of $81,000, according to the store manager. "Kudos to Kid Rock for making such a gesture in our community," Walmart manager Tom Meyer told the Tennessean. "I think that's a pretty Nashville proud moment." Rock, whose real name is Robert James Ritchie, said he was inspired by Perry, who tweeted Thursday that he had paid off the layaway accounts at two separate Georgia locations.

Tyler Perry paid off 1 , 500 Walmart layaway accounts , but the service can be risky for low - income shoppers . Layaway is popular once again, but it can be financially harmful to vulnerable consumers. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle)

He reportedly went to two Walmart stores and paid off 4,000 in layaways; ultimately picking up the bill for 1 , 500 shoppers . He took to Instagram to You got to go into the Walmart , get your layaway and pay a penny, one penny, and you get your layaway . I know it’s hard times and a lot of people are

And that’s not the only issue. Customers who change their minds about a layaway purchase may not be able to get refunds, or they may be required to pay a 10 percent restocking fee, according to Consumer Reports. Sometimes shoppers make their last payment on an item only to discover that it is out of stock because stores tend to prioritize customers who can pay in full over those using layaway.

Before putting an item on layaway, it’s important for customers to get a written contract and find out if the store offering the program charges service or restocking fees, provides refunds or store credit, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Shoppers also should know whether the item they want will be reserved specifically for them or if there’s a chance it could be sold to another customer. Plus, they need to be aware of payment due dates; the length of time merchandise can be placed on layaway; and, if applicable, the estimated delivery time for their item. (Some stores don’t actually order an item placed on layaway until the customer has paid for it in full.)

A decade after the Great Recession, many Americans have yet to rebound financially, making layaway an appealing payment option at the moment. In fact, for people who don’t qualify for credit cards and have little cash to spare, services like layaway may be their only way to pay for holiday gifts.

It’s certainly admirable that celebrities and anonymous donors recognize these consumers’ precarious financial predicament, but it’s also important to recognize the costs and drawbacks of this payment system.

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Rejoice procrastinators! There are still ways to buy those last-minute gifts online.
Some companies, including Amazon and Walmart, are extending their shipping deadlines, giving procrastinators a way to buy online this week and still have certain items arrive before Dec. 25. That also means more work for carriers like UPS and FedEx.

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