Some retailers wheel layaway items into the back room, where they stay until they are either claimed or returned to the shelves. Others store the merchandise off-site.
Find out where you selections will be kept and how long the store has to produce them after you make the final payment, says Hutt.
This is important because if you are putting items on layaway and need them by a specific date, such as Christmas Eve, you need to know the merchandise will be ready when you are.
With some stores, the minute you make the last payment, you can pick up your item and take it home. Other retailer layaway plans will allow a period of time between the date you pay off the item and the date the store must make it available to you -- often to arrange for transferring merchandise from where it's being warehoused.
Before you put any items on layaway, be sure to find out where will your items be held and if there's a delay after paying for and retrieving the item.