If there ever was a season for shopping online, the holiday season would be it!
Angeline has gotten to the point where she actually shops online, and I am always nervous about giving her my credit or debit card to complete the transaction! It isn't that I don't trust her, because she is a pretty good kid and would never buy something behind my back. It's more that I am crazy paranoid about where she's entering my credit or debit card information because I've had so many instances of people trying to fraudulently use my credit card in the past few years.
I found a fantastic way to let Angeline do her online shopping without a) having to go dig my credit card out and give it to her and b) having to worry about where she is shopping!
It's none other than Virtual Piggy!
Virtual Piggy is essentially a virtual piggy bank - thus the "Virtual Piggy" get it? - and it's really easy to use. You just register for an account, complete with your preferred credit card and a shipping address, and then add the children you want listed under your parental account.
For each child's account, you can create detailed parental controls like approved merchants, set up transaction limits, levels of transaction approvals and the like. Virtual Piggy is also a certified licensee of the TRUSTe® Children's Privacy Program, which has been approved by the Federal Trade Commission as an authorized safe harbor under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule, so you don't have to worry about the security of your credit card information!
Features of Parental Controls:
- Set monthly allowance amounts, savings targets and charity goals.
- Require approval on every purchase your child makes, or just some of them.
- Set a maximum limit per transaction, per day or per week.
- Restrict which merchants your child is able to shop at.
Virtual Piggy also helps teach financial responsibility!
Virtual Piggy has a motto: Youth Empowered, Parent Approved. Virtual Piggy wants you to empower your child to make their own financial decisions within the budget and controls that you set up in your parental account. When you register for Virtual Piggy and create your children's accounts, it is a great opportunity to start talking about money and financial responsibility!
Children need to learn how to balance their spending and savings goals, and this is a great way to do that! By setting the kids up on Virtual Piggy, they are in a real online shopping environment where they’re able to make their own purchases and managing the budget that you've given them in their accounts.
Virtual Piggy is currently being set up with 80 different merchants, including Aeropostale, K'Nex, Sephora and many others!
Virtual Piggy also offers an online store at shop.virtualpiggy.com with gift cards from major brands like Papa John’s, Foot Locker and Regal Theaters, many of which are totally printable, so you can use them at brick and mortar stores!
While you're checking out Virtual Piggy, make sure you check out the Wishlist!
What is the Win Your Wishlist Sweepstakes?
Virtual Piggy includes a Wishlist, where children can add the products they want to either save up for, or receive as gifts. As a parent, you can always view their Wishlist, and can invite extended family and friends to view its contents and shop from the list during birthdays and holidays.
In honor of the holiday shopping season, Virtual Piggy will randomly select ten children to win the contents of their Wishlist up to a value of $500! You can gain extra entries for your children by sharing Win Your Wishlist on social media, and getting friends to register and join Virtual Piggy too!
Win Your Wishlist runs Nov 11 through Dec 7, so check it out now!
Another great way that Virtual Piggy is celebrating the holiday season is by offering hundreds of dollars in discount holiday promo codes to families when they sign up for Virtual Piggy. Starting November 12th, you can see the special offers available on the Virtual Piggy website. Once you are logged into your Virtual Piggy account, all the promo codes will be available to you.
The Member Value Program runs November 12 through January 15, 2013 (though some offers will start or end sooner)
Now that I've seen that Virtual Piggy is already working with Sephora and Aeropostale, I can just set up an account for Angeline to do her holiday shopping for her friends all on her own without worrying!