Young Americans Blog

Tales from Towne: Purchasing Online

By: Mary Ellen Schuster Published: August 21st, 2014
A Young AmeriTowne citizen purchases customized dog tags at a kiosk in Towne.

A Young AmeriTowne citizen purchases customized dog tags at a kiosk in Towne.

Nowadays, it’s as easy as 1-2-3 to make a purchase. There is no need to get up off of your couch to make that happen!  With the simple click of a mouse, items can be selected and stored in an online shopping cart.  All major retailers, and even small start-ups, make online shopping a viable option for the sake of convenience.  Some may argue that online shopping has become too convenient, and consumers are more apt to overspend.  Certain companies, in order to increase revenue, are making strides to make online shopping have even fewer steps involved in the check-out process, in hopes of multiplying the chances on those impulse buys.  After all, the fewer steps needed to make a purchase, the less time a consumer has to evaluate the buying decision: Do I really need this?

Online purchases

Here at Young Americans Center for Financial Education, it is one of our goals to have students ask themselves just that: Is this something I need?  If not, is this something that I want to save up enough to buy?  It is part of our mission to educate the youth in our community, on being financially savvy in today’s society.  Nothing has played more of a role in the development of consumer sales over the past decade than the increase in online shopping.  It is reshaping the entire structure of the retail sector.  Our children are growing up with the need to be smart shoppers both in the stores, and equally online.  So, it has been a valuable addition to the students’ experience in Young AmeriTowne to have the opportunity to make an online purchase at a kiosk, by using their debit card.

The students make a decision to purchase certain products that are available solely online, here at AmeriTowne.  We emphasize the importance of the online sale by having them track the purchase in their checkbook registers.  We jump at the learning opportunity to explain how the funds on their debit cards are linked directly to the checking accounts, and the students have the hands on visual to see this.  The products that are purchased electronically are delivered to the shops that the students have been assigned to work at, by way of those students assigned to be Parcel Service carriers.  The delivery service, much like UPS, further depicts the realism behind an Amazon.com purchase or any other online mogul.  The addition of online sales has been just one of many ways that AmeriTowne has been striving to keep up with the times, and to make the children’s experience with us as true to life as possible.

 Teacher’s Tip

Go through the options for payment in Towne: cash, check, debit. Ask the children which forms of payment need to be recorded in a checkbook register.  Discussing online sales with the students is also a great opportunity to differentiate a debit card versus a credit card.

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