We were contacted by the folks from Bill My Parents after this article was published about the payment option adopted by certain online retailers that caters to kids with online shopping predilections and no funds of their own. We incorrectly stated that there was a commission and transaction percentages (via WSJ). Bill My Parents no longer charges any additional cart fees. We apologize for the oversight.
But of course, what makes us feel uneasy about Bill My Parents doesn't have to do with additional fees, but rather what it means for children to feel comfortable loading up a virtual shopping cart and sending the bill to someone else. This may be fuddy-duddy of us, but there's a distinct feeling of what something's worth when you make a physical, cash-for-product transaction for it. Learning what it means to earn your spending money, venturing out to spend it, and then dealing with the repercussions of reckless shopping are big parts of growing up to be a responsible consumer. This system—though a time-saver—cuts out a lot of the learning process. But maybe we're just bitter that we had to head over to the local mall to get our shopping jollies on. So tell us your own experiences with learning how to shop—is Bill My Parents crapping on the process, or is it providing a valuable service?