Etsy Layaway

Whether you’re an Esty selling wanting to offer more options to your clients, or a customer hoping to spread out payments on a cool craft or other item that’s caught your eye, layaway may be an option.

If you’re a seller who would like to offer layaway, one popular approach is to set up PayPal invoices so that they recurr up to a certain dollar amount. The buyer will receive an invoice every week, two weeks, or whatever the seller chooses, and each email will include a link to PayPal. Or, you could keep track of payments manually (or on a spreadsheet) and have the buyer complete the checkout process only after all of the payments have been made. Some sellers have found that the latter approach results in fewer fees paid, while still staying within Etsy rules. Yet another option is to have the buyer go ahead and check out, but choose “other” as the payment method.

When an item is placed on layaway, it would literally be set aside for that customer. Don’t agree to sell something to someone and then turn around and sell it to someone else. If you’d like to continue to display the product or creation, you can change the description to “reserved” so shoppers know it’s not up for grabs, but can still get a broader view of your style and selection.

Sellers should be very clear on the terms of any layaway plans they may offer. How big is the deposit? Is it a dollar amount or a percentage of the purchase price? Is the deposit refundable? How long will the buyer have to pay the item off? How often are payments required? If the purchase is not ultimately completed, how will the payments-to-date be refunded? Who will cover any PayPal fees, etc.? Will a convenience or “restocking” fee be charged? Don’t forget to include shipping costs.

Layaway is a great choice for sellers who want to provide flexibility while not extending traditional credit. It’s also a way for buyers to stay within their budget yet still have the handmade items they desire. Just as brick-and-more antique and collectibles shops commonly offer layaway, the practice is becoming more and more popular on Etsy as well.

If you’re a buyer who has spied something awesome on Etsy but don’t see a layaway option, it never hurts to ask!

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