Layaway is a way to secure an item through a payment arrangement with a retailer or seller before the item is purchased. The layaway system allows a consumer to reserve an item with a deposit, make periodic small payments and once paid in full have purchased the item from the seller. The seller ensures the product is available to the buyer at the time payment is made in full.

Putting goods in layaway is an alternative way of making purchases without the use of credit cards or installment loans that add interest to the total cost of the purchase.