Being a customer you’re always on the look-out for ways to save money. We all love to shop at Wal-Mart and can’t wait to find the next bargain or sale. I’ve been going there for so long that I sometimes forget that I have other choices to look for sales. One in particular is K-mart which wasn’t considered until I needed some paint supplies and didn’t want to travel 20 minutes out of my way when K-mart was just 2 minutes away.
Then as the holiday rolled around all my family kept talking about was that K-mart had Layaway! Oh those magic words of getting everything you needed, putting it aside and paying for it a little at a time. It was like music to my ears. Well the same holds true for online businesses. I thought to myself… hmm why can’t I offer Layaway to my online customers?! Sure, I can, after all I do own my site and I am the boss!
Customers love to purchase handmade gifts and pay for them a little at a time. With the economy the way it is, saving money is always appreciated. So I thought I would share some tips on offering layaway for your on-line business. First you will need to set up some guide-lines, a breakdown on how it works and the policy.
Layaway Tips 1. Your description should include full price along with the layaway price. Inform the customer that once you receive the order you will email a payment plan to follow with the total amount due.
2. Payment plan should be broken down into 2-4 easy payments. Payments can be made every 2 weeks until paid in full. If the customer is unable to make payments in this manner; then it’s up to you on how you want to work out the details.
3. Obtain a down payment for all orders. This is done at retail stores so why not for your site. I would ask for a $10-$15 depending on the total (non-refundable).
4. Include shipping fee & taxes in the payment plan. Insurance should be optional. But I would stress to the customer the importance of insurance and that without it you are not responsible if their products are lost or stolen.
5. If they pay by check; products will be shipped once check is cleared.
6. Delivery in 2-3 weeks or sooner depending on check clearance or quick email responses.
Refund Policy: If the customer changes their mind about the order, you could refund their money and charge a 10% restocking fee. The percentage is up to you but you do want to get something for your time and the possible sale you could have had if items weren’t on layaway. These are just a few tips and of course they could be changed has your business grows. One thing I didn’t mention was accepting PayPal or credit cards for your orders.
This is something that’s totally up to you and how you want to handle the fee’s involved. I know that when you return money to a customer; PayPal does take out a fee. So you might want to work that into your equation and see how your customers feel about it. One thing I would suggest is to be fair to your customers and give them the best price for their dollar. Remember you are not only a business owner but a customer too. Good Luck!