Amazon Lets Teens Shop on Their Own

Ben Fox Rubin  CNET
Ben Fox Rubin CNET

14 October, 2017

"Our new monthly payment option lets students enjoy the best of Amazon in a more flexible and simple way", Ellen Kinney, Amazon's director of Prime Student, said in a statement. The company announced today that kids ages 13-17 will be able to use an Amazon Household account to shop Amazon's online marketplace - with limited independence, of course. Through the Amazon App, teens can now shop or stream content while parents will have the right to approve all orders or preapprove spending limits for the child.

On the other end of the spectrum, the move could be seen as an effort to indoctrinate teens and get them addicted to Amazon early, before they become loyal to a competitor.

The new Prime Student plan grants subscribers the same benefits as your normal Amazon Prime subscription, but will cost students a more manageable $5.49 per month-or $49 per year-after a six month free trial. And more trusting parents can elect to sidestep the per-item approval process and simply set an overall maximum budget. When a teen finds something they wish to order, they can place the order on the app and the parent will receive a text or email showing the item, cost, shipping address and payment information. The teen can also include a personalized note like, "this is the book I need for class".

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If you have a Prime membership, you can share those benefits with your teen at no additional cost, Amazon said.

Teens who are interested in using their own login can get the ball rolling by texting their parents an invitation. "We've listened to families and have built a great experience for both teens and parents", said Michael Carr, Vice President, Amazon Households. Parents then approve or deny the order, though the system can be set to automatically approve orders if desired. Once approved, teens can create a username and password to start ordering in their own separately downloaded app.

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