One of Messie Jessie’s most ardent supporters recently brought this to our attention so, I just thought I’d share it with you.  Layaway – it’s an old fashioned type of arrangement which harks back to harder times, when someone might ask a shopkeeper to put something aside until they could afford to pay for it. That something would no doubt be a necessity such as a new coat for a growing child or piece of furniture.

Today, with so many governments taking austerity measures, many of us are begining to feel the pinch. Not so much when it comes to the necessities of life but, I’m sure many of us now think twice about buying those little treats and luxuries which cost a little more. So, what do you do when you see that item you want and the wallet is a not quite up to it?  Do you buy it and be dammed or do you wait until your next pay day and hope nobody else will hot have bought it before you?

Sue and I had a chat about this, deciding it would be a shame for someone to miss out on being able to buy some of Sue’s more costly pieces because they had to wait a couple of weeks. So, I had a look around Etsy to see what other sellers thought.  It turns out, “can I pay by instalments” is an often asked question of Etsy sellers and the Etsy checkout system will support it.

Splitting Etsy purchases into two or more listings is against Etsy’s rules. A listing HAS to be an “item for sale,” so of course, one or more of those listings wouldn’t be. Also, it artificially inflates sales numbers, which isn’t right, either.  So, how do you offer Layawy? Here’s how:

  • Agree “layaway” terms with your customer;
  • Change the item to reserved for them (if you want you can also change the item description to include the terms of the layaway plan e.g. to be paid by two payments of $x each, the first on xx/xx/xxxx and the second on yy/xx/xxxx etc)
  • Change your payment methods to accept “other” (they will now be able to proceed through checkout but will not be asked for immediate payment)
  • Notify your customer that the item is now ready for purchase.
  • If you do not usually accept “other” as a payment method, I would suggest you remove this from your payment options once the purchase has been completed. Otherwise, another customer may choose this option without first agreeing terms.
  • When the purchase has been completed and confirmed through Etsy, use PayPal to send your first invoice (this invoice should clearly state the layaway terms again)
  • Send the remaining invoices as per the agreed schedule.
  • When the final invoice is paid, ship the item to your customer.

If you wish you can make the first payment a non-refundable deposit for the item but, be sure to state that it is a non-refundable deposit in both the description and on the invoice through Paypal.

So there you have it, a simple way we hope to help our customers and one which in turn may benefit us.

View the policies section of Messie Jessie’s Etsy shop for our full terms for “layaway”.

To purchase any of my art work please visit my shop on Etsy or contact me by e-mail at

2 Replies to “Layaway”

  1. Hi Linda,

    Yes, were hopeful it will help the buyer and, we must be honest and say, it may well benefit us as the seller.

  2. So glad to know that this is an option!! It definitely would work for me!

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