In many families the week is strictly planned with kindergarten, school, work, doctor’s appointments, sports and and and. Sometimes there is hardly any time left for anything else. All the more convenient when you can do things from home, such as online shopping. Shopping over the Internet is extremely popular and is part of many people’s everyday lives. Of course, it’s much more relaxing to buy Christmas presents from the comfort of your couch and without the crowds than in crowded shopping malls. Especially in the weeks and days before holidays, online retailers entice customers with offers and discounts.
Your child grows up taking for granted that products can be ordered over the Internet with the click of a mouse. Especially for teenagers it is very tempting and easy to send orders on their own. But in doing so, they don’t necessarily have a sense that money is being spent because it’s not in their hands. This is no different with in-app purchases than it is with online shopping. As a parent, you should talk to your child about the fact that you should also shop consciously over the Internet and pay attention to some things.
Only those who have reached the age of majority have full legal capacity. This means that children under the age of 18 are only allowed to make purchases and enter into contracts within their allowance. More information about this is available from the consumer center.
In order to store online, you often need a credit card or a Paypal account in addition to an account with the respective store. However, you must also be of legal age to do so. However, sites such as Amazon and the like do not check the age for sure when registering. So you should make sure that your child does not have access to your credit card information. Even if your son or daughter orders online on account, the order – i.e. the purchase contract – is only legally binding if you have approved it beforehand or subsequently.
Inform your child about this. It is best if you only shop together on the Internet.
Especially before holidays like Christmas or on special promotion days like Black Friday, online retailers lure customers with special offers on various products. Often tricks are used, e.g. the manufacturer’s recommended retail price (RRP) is set against the special price, although this is rarely demanded by a retailer. Time-limited special discounts put pressure on the consumer to buy immediately. Children and young people in particular could be strongly influenced by these offer deadlines.
In addition, there are more and more dubious and fraudulent online stores that can hardly be distinguished from real stores. Take a close look at such providers and research the experiences of other customers. Talk to your child about this so that once he or she is old enough, he or she will not fall for scammers. After all, shopping at a fake store can quickly turn into a rip-off trap with financial losses. Tips on how to recognize fake stores are also available from the consumer advice center.
Just because online shopping is so easy and fast doesn’t mean everything has to be ordered over the Internet. So the batteries can also be bought in the supermarket or the book in the bookstore around the corner. Make your child aware that there is a long delivery process behind every order. This not only means a lot of hassle for many people, but for many orders it is also bad for the environment. Order only the goods and quantity you need to avoid unnecessary deliveries and costly returns. Furthermore, it is important that your child learns not to be lured by discounts and bargain offers. Before each purchase, therefore, the question should be asked whether the products offered are really needed.