How do your teens spend money?

Prime targets of marketers, influenced by their peers, brand consumers: these are just some of the words that come to mind when thinking of teenagers and their spending habits. In your opinion, are these perceptions accurate? You'll probably be glad to learn that most teenagers usually have sound spending behaviours, according to a 2010 study conducted among 431 Quebec teenagers, a third of which from the Montreal and Quebec City metropolitan areas1.

They compare products

The teens surveyed seem to adhere to the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. A large majority of these teens compare products prior to buying (75%) and try to find the retailer offering the best price (62%); in order to do so, they check online discussion forums or talk with their family and friends.

Should a problem arise during the purchasing process, 62% of teenagers answered that they'd rather let their parents take care of the problem. However, should the product purchased prove to be defective, 75% of teenagers said they would not hesitate to return it themselves to the store.

They're not aware of their rights as consumers

The 2010 study also revealed that teenagers have limited knowledge of retailer practices and of their rights as consumers. The teens surveyed took part in a questionnaire on that matter, and the average score was 47.5%. However, there are countless websites packed with relevant information on these topics, such as the Office de la protection du consommateur's (OPC) - External link. This link will open in a new window. website.

Based on information requests it received from your consumers, OPC has listed 7 topics that seem to be of particular concern for teenagers:

  1. Mobile telephony
  2. Driving lessons
  3. Buying a used car
  4. Buying online
  5. Accurate pricing
  6. Product warranties
  7. Prepaid cards

They learn from their parents

Interestingly enough, teenagers believe that their parents are their best source of information and education when it comes to spending (first out of 13 suggested sources). They also learn from specialized websites, school, teachers, and social networks.

As a parent, you have a double responsibility to influence your teenagers. They look up to you and consider you as a credible source of information and education, and your spending behaviours and habits have a direct influence on them. Kids largely spend through imitation.

By being open and transparent with your kids, you'll be able to share with them the knowledge they need to become responsible and informed consumers.

To do with children