Cyber Monday turns 10 this year, as does my daughter. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we’re going to have the Talk. Not that Talk. This one is in regards to shopping online.
Any savvy shopper knows there are lots of benefits to shopping online on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, such as: a lack of lines, an easy way to compare prices, and shopping in your pajamas (although, full disclosure, it’s not unheard of for me to also shop in person on Black Friday in my pajamas. It starts at 5 A.M. What do they expect?)
This year I’m going to invite my daughter to shop with me. She’s got a list of family members she would like to buy gifts for and needs to learn how to budget her money and comparison shop. Sorry, kid, once you’ve hit double digits, macaroni necklaces don’t cut it as Christmas gifts anymore. Combining Retailmenot, or other coupon sites, with the exclusive offers available on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and how to NEVER EVER pay for shipping, will help take the $5 a week allowances she’s saved up a little further.
Besides learning these basics, it’s equally important to educate kids about the potential pitfalls of online shopping. Bookmark a few sites you trust and show your kids how to navigate through them. Introduce them to customer reviews and teach them how to us them. Explain the process of the “shopping cart” and make sure they know to double check the quantities so they are not accidentally buying multiple versions of the same item. Caution them against the “bonus” offers that pop up as you’re checking out. Warn your children about giving information that isn’t typically required, such as social security number, and to be wary of sites that don’t use secure internet connections (look for the ‘https’ at the start of the website checkout page).
Now I’m by no means going to let my ten-year-old have free range with a credit card on the world wide interwebs. I will be watching and she’s not making any purchases – just exploring the sites, picking gifts for her cart, and learning how the whole thing works. Once she’s old enough to shop without me over her shoulder, I will probably set up a Paypal account with set funds so she won’t succumb to overspending. But my hope is that by instilling these good, safe shopping habits early, she’ll be a responsible online shopper for Cyber Monday’s 20th anniversary. These lessons are almost as important the other Talk.
By the way, Cricket Media will be having a great Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale of our own so be sure to check out our store for awesome deals on our award-winning magazines such as Cricket and Cobblestone, and as much as 60% off of toys, games, puzzles, and other products, plus (naturally) free shipping.
Cricket Media Mama is happy her daughter is learning to navigate the wonderful and wacky world of online shopping but that’s not going to stop her from waking the kids up at 4:30 to hit Black Friday together as a family. She’s already bought everyone matching slippers and robes in case we get separated in the crowds.