Our Laybuy Service

April 08, 2022

Stack of printed clothing from Hoopla Kids

Every now and then we get inquiries about our laybuy service. We offer laybuy the original way you might remember from the 1990's (or earlier); of making manual part payments on an order and receiving your goods once it's fully paid off. Sometimes we're asked why we don't shift to using one of the new online laybuy systems available, and that is a good question which we can happily answer.

Simply put, we like the old school laybuy system for its' honesty. There are no hidden tricks. You make an order, pay it off as you can manage, and then you get your lovely gear. If you can't pay (for whatever reason), the order is easily cancelled.

The new online versions of laybuy look quite like hire-purchase agreements. Afterpay, Laybuy, Zip, Humm, and their ilk offer the benefit of instant gratification for our shopping. Happy taglines of 'buy now, pay later' accompany images of cheerful people delighted with their snappy purchases. But as customers accept the products before paying for it, these arrangements are loan debts.

Breaking prices down into four easy payments plays a trick on our brains. Many of us only see the smaller number, ignoring the larger total. From there it looks fine to tack on an extra $10 to each tiny payment, and before we know it we've been up-sold. Such easy buy-now-pay-later shopping can be great until you find yourself still tied down to your purchase/s long after you've gotten the stuff, used it, and any shopping dopamine has dissolved.

This all feeds into a noisy, hyped up consumer culture brimming with opportunities for us to quickly spend hard-earned money.

The financial literacy website Sorted lists some real risks and possible consequences to taking on buy-now-pay-later debts, especially if people find themselves committed beyond their means. They've got some great suggestions on handling these laybuys with care. Currently, banks are also taking a dim view of buy-now-pay-later debts in their lending assessments, which could be an issue if you suddenly needed a loan to deal with one of life's curve balls.

As a budgeting tool, laybuy (however you frame it) is very useful for breaking down large costs into smaller, manageable payments. Life is heavy and expensive right now, and we need to do what works best for our situations.

From a business perspective, it's tricky to compete in a marketplace of constant sales, one-click spending, and general hustle. It'd simplify our business admin to use one of these online services, but we have ethical concerns so we handle our laybuys manually. We'd love to have an online traditional laybuy tool for our website - so far there is currently nothing like that available. Side note: if you're an entrepreneurial software developer, then we've got a business idea for you!

With all of that in mind, we're sticking with the original laybuy approach where you can choose what you need and work towards paying it off, enjoying the fruits of your efforts freely at the end. We won't tie any strings to you, and we're happy to make personalised arrangements to suit your budgeting and family needs.

As an ethical clothing retailer, we think carefully about the consumer messages we send to you. Behind each order that comes through Hoopla Kids, we know there's a person who's made a considered choice to spend their money with us. We promise not to exploit that decision.

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