UPDATE: A Bill My Parents representative contacted us to clear up a few points. We’ve pasted their email below.
“There is absolutely NO commission percentage ever attached to shopping carts made using the BillMyParents payment button (Supervised Shopping program). The only fee is a $.50 per cart fee, and that fee has been waived for the majority of merchants (including Amazon, PacSun, etc), so users DO NOT PAY for anything other than their final purchase amount with those merchants.”
And appropriately, we’ve revised some of our opinions on the service. Instead: Not at all scammy! And kind of handy!
The birthday list, the holiday gift list, the wedding registry are all designed to help your loved ones know exactly what you want. Because after all, even the people that know you best need a little bit of guidance when it comes to the shopping department.
Teenagers are especially particular about what they want. Choose the wrong color t-shirt and hormones erupt. Suggest a brand that may not be the latest and greatest and expect harsh laughter in your face.
How do you solve the problem of getting a bratty teen exactly what he or she wants? Bill My Parents claims to have found the solution.
“Now there’s a way for you to get exactly what you want — the right brand, the right color, the right style. That’s because YOU do the shopping,” the site promises teens. “Shop millions of items online at a BillMyParents participating retailer. Create a shopping cart filled with exactly what you want. Your parents are sent the shopping cart to review and check out.” Currently, teenagers can enjoy products from Amazon and PacSun.
But what’s the difference between sending a shopping list through Bill My Parents and simply creating a “wish list” on any e-commerce site? Ah, that’s right! The fine printed 3-5% commission and transaction fee. Because in addition to buying your 13-year-old a shirt that he or she will hate in a week, mom and dad would love to pay 5% extra!
So in the case of Bill My Parents vs. The Wish List, we’ll have to vote in favor of the oldie. Bill My Parents may have a flashy website and Ryan Sheckler as a spokesperson, but if you ask us, the whole thing seems a tad pointless, if not scam-y.