Amazon's new plan aims to get teens hooked

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If parents want to give their teen more autonomy, they can skip the approval step altogether and just set spending limits.

For Amazon, getting teens to shop now could turn them into customers for the rest of their lives, said Brendan Witcher, an e-commerce industry analyst at Forrester.

The idea here seems to be establishing an independent way for teenagers to begin taking over control of their own shopping, but not completely independently of their parents. The teen can also add a note to their parents.

Amazon is launching a new account feature that lets parents share Prime benefits with their teenage child.

A Household allows you to connect and share Amazon benefits with the whole family.

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The requests are sent via text or email, and include a message from the teen - for example: "please please buy this for me Mom!" - and parents can approve or reject it instantly. "We've listened to families and have built a great experience for both teens and parents", said Michael Carr, vice president, Amazon Households. Amazon won't require age verifications to sign up for the new program and the company didn't create a limited set of items specifically for teens, other than legal restrictions on certain products, such as beer.

To get the ball rolling, parents must enter their kids' contact information, and indicate which of their payment cards is to be used for purchases.

Parents can supervise loosely by simply setting a pre-approved spending limit per order, or set it up so they're notified of every order and must approve it. In the past, this is the money teens may have spent at the mall instead. It's a rite of passage for many teens and tweens.