Kid Shopping Online:
A Tale of Two Heelys

Recently, my son's desire for new shoes had us looking doing some kid shopping online.



This isn't unusual for us these days. I'm not a fan of searching through stores or trying to find parking places. What struck me about this search was how things have changed in my shopping patterns in just the last few years.

In the past, shopping meant getting in the car, usually going to a mall (so there would be more than one store to choose from), buying and going home. It could also mean going to multiple places and still coming home empty-handed. Now, you can go online and do the same thing with less gas, less hassle (in my opinion) and sometimes better odds at getting what you want more quickly. I know I'm an online shopping convert with more of our family budget being spent online these days.

What about kid shopping online? Most kid spending is in cash, so that's the first hurdle. Honestly, you wouldn't let your kids go into a store by themselves with cash and shopping online is not much different. Being involved in this part of their money education likely means not only helping them with looking at how to spend wisely but also acting as the way they can buy online (they pay you and you pay the online store).

For my son's shoe purchase we sat down and comparison shopped. He wanted the best price (as long as he got what he wanted) since it was half of his money at stake. Our kid shopping online comparisons started at a search engine where we typed in "used kid Heelys" to see what we could find. Plenty of listings came up and here's the best of what we found:

  • Amazon.com's marketplace is a great spot to get deals. Plenty of businesses and individuals offer items here and on ebay - but there has also been a migration to Amazon due to some new rules that ebay put in place a while back. Amazon also has a nice mix of new and used items. Sure, they are best known for books, but don't count them out on anything. This is the first place I go when I shop online.
  • Ebay is the granddaddy of online shopping for used items. There are lots of NWT (new with tags) items, too. There are plenty of "buy now" choices so you don't have to get involved with an auction bidding process if you prefer not to. This is the first place my husband goes to buy.
  • Craigslist is a great local source for almost anything. The selection is much more limited but you can get it almost immediately because it's local. It's like an online garage sale with a directory. This is the first place we list stuff we have for sale because it is easy to use and free. And it's FAST. We wanted to sell tickets we had to a concert tonight. It was 1 p.m. and the concert starts at 8 p.m. We got on Craigslist to post them - and saw someone who had posted that they were looking to buy the same tickets. We called, agreed on the price and sold the tickets within 10 minutes of deciding to list them. How's that for fast?

There are absolutely benefits of teaching kids good shopping habits in the grocery store or mall. Just don't forget that they are at least as likely to buy something online as they are in a store as they start to spend more of their own money. Making kid shopping online part of their money education is a key to those being good buying decisions.


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