Big W Toy Mania shoppers frustrated, confused over lay-by rules

Big W’s annual Toy Mania Sale is one of the most awaited events by shoppers, but some have been left confused by the store’s lay-by policy.

During this year’s Toy Mania event, shoppers are able to place products on lay-by for Christmas, giving them the opportunity to have an extended lay-by of six months.

But some customers have become confused after being told they were unable to pick up their lay-by before December - even if they had paid it off.

However, a Big W spokesperson has told Yahoo News Australia there’s a good reason why some lay-bys can’t be picked up early.

Big W store front.
Big W customers have been left confused by the rules surrounding their toy sale lay-bys. Source: AAP

One mum, who had put birthday gifts on lay-by said it was all very “confusing” because she was told she couldn’t collect the gifts earlier.

“I have paid off my lay-by and they are saying I can’t pick it up until December,” she wrote on a popular Big W fans Facebook page.

“I need the items as they are birthday presents for my son, nephew and little sister.

“I’ve also gotta pick up another lay-by tomorrow which is more birthday presents but I’m wondering are they're allowed to hold my things until December if I’ve paid for them and need them now?”

Her question was met with different responses by other Big W shoppers, who had all had differing understandings of how the Christmas lay-by system worked.

Big W's giant toy sale gets a huge reaction from customers every year. Source: Big W
Big W's giant toy sale gets a huge reaction from customers every year. Source: Big W

“I had this problem a couple of years ago, paid lay-by off, couldn’t pick up early, went back at Christmas sorry your lay-by was cancelled because you didn’t make fortnightly repayments. I was livid,” one shopper said.

“This happened to me a few years back and the lady said unfortunately due to the high demand of lay-bys for Xmas they can't hold it all at the one shop so they send it off-site,” another said.

“Was this during the toy sale? Because some items are for pre-order and can't be collected until December,” said a third.

Big W shoppers claim 'you certainly can do it'

However, others said they hadn’t had an issue, with some already having paid and taken their toy sale items off lay-by.

“You most certainly can pick it up once it’s paid. You just need to wait for it to drop into the system as ready to collect. This doesn’t happen instantly,” one shopper suggested.

With another agreeing saying: “You most certainly can collect early. I have the past 2 or 3 years for the same reasons.

"You may just need to call and give them notice so they can pull the items out of deep storage or from pallets out the back.

"I had to give 2 or 3 days’ notice last year but I was able to get it out in September.”

Big W clears up lay-by confusion

While it seems different shoppers have had different experiences, a Big W spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News Australia that customers can access their lay-by as soon as it has been paid off.

“Big W offers families many ways to shop including both in-store and online lay-by options,” the spokesperson said.

“During our Toy Mania event, we also offer extended Christmas lay-by which allows our customers to store their goods away from prying eyes while slowly paying them off until December 9.

Big W has issued a simple explanation to clear up customer confusion. Source: AAP
Big W has issued a simple explanation to clear up customer confusion. Source: AAP

“However, should customers wish to pay off and collect their lay-by earlier than December they can do so at either the Big W store they placed the lay-by or through their Big W accounts for online lay-by.”

There was one reason why some items couldn’t be collected earlier, which the store says was indicated during the sale event.

“Please note bulky goods and products labelled as ‘pre-order for Christmas’ will be delivered from mid-November,” the spokesperson said.

If customers have any further questions about the Toy Mania event or their lay-by they should check the store’s FAQ page here.

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