Online shopping towards the end of your pay cycle is risky business.
It’s inevitably the time you stumble upon that ‘holy grail’ dress or handbag or shoes you’ve been searching for your whole life, but you just don’t have the funds to justify buying it. And, as we all know, it’s not really wise to spend money you don’t have.
However, the days of delayed gratification might be over, thanks to a new online shopping service that’s being rapidly picked up by your favourite brands.
It’s called Afterpay and it offers all the benefits of lay-by, only in reverse.
Say, for instance, you have your eye on a $200 dress. With Afterpay, you can get your mitts on it straight away and wear it to your heart’s desire while you pay it off in four equal, interest-free fortnightly transactions of $50.
Screengrab via Afterpay.com.au
It's tempting. Very tempting indeed.
Since Afterpay launched at the start of 2015, more than 160 online retailers across Australia have embraced it. These include big names like CUE, General Pants, Tony Bianco, Review and Princess Polly.
The service isn't limited to fashion brands, either — stores selling tyres, beauty products, homewares, jewellery and sporting goods have also jumped on board, as has Optus.
In order to use the system, you need to live in Australia, be over 18 years old, own a debit or credit card. It's a free service for customers, though Afterpay does charge the retailer a fee for each transaction.
Watch: The sneaky ways bricks-and-mortar retail stores trick you into spending more. (Post continues after video.)