Niche Marketing

Do Teens Have More Expendable Income Than Their Parents?

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

They've got pocket money or allowances, money earned from weekend jobs or doing home chores, cash gifts from kindly grandparents. Never overlook the teens as a consumer market because you think they don't have spending power.

It's a common misconception but many business people avoid the teen market because they believe teens have no money.

In actual fact the average teenager has quite a lot of expendable income at their disposal. Okay, they're not earning fortunes and many of them aren't earning at all, but, what they do have is theirs to spend as they wish and they have no financial commitments.

Unlike the young adult who works and still lives at home the teen who is still in school and residing at home isn't expected to pay keep to their parents. But, they do have income from the following possible sources:

  • Allowance or pocket money from parents
  • Cash rewards for doing chores
  • Money from babysitting
  • Money from car washing
  • Paper round payments
  • Earnings from all other types of part-time work on weekends or holidays
  • Cash gifts from relatives

It has long been the case that parents have claimed their teenagers have more money 'to waste' than they themselves have.

What do teens spend their money on? Here are just a few suggestions if you are thinking of setting up a business with teen appeal:

  • Cosmetics and hair products
  • Music CDs and movie DVDs
  • Concert tickets
  • Sports tickets
  • Cinema tickets
  • Gym membership
  • Fan-club membership
  • Clothing
  • Accessories like bags and shoes
  • Jewelry/piercings
  • Electrical goods and technology – computers, mobile phones, TVs, music systems, iPods, etc.
  • Socializing
  • Sports items: skateboards, bikes, skates
  • Computer games
  • Books and magazines
  • Game subscriptions online, such as World of Warcraft

You may feel that there are greater profits to be had from selling expensive items to the teen market. Things like TVs, PCs, stereos and phones. However, the less costly stuff that teens continually buy such as cosmetics, jewelry, clothes and accessories represent rich pickings too. This is because of the regularity with which such purchases are made and the high probability of repeat sales. Of course with clothing and cosmetics, jewelry and other accessories many teens exist at the mercy of fashion so their needs are ever changing. This means if you supply up to the minute products that stay abreast of trends you have a fertile market to serve.

Online shopping appeals greatly to teenagers, they're au fait with how the internet works as they have grown up with it. They are not, as some of the previous generation can be, reticent about making online payments. They are also part of the 'want it now' breed so the instantaneous nature of internet purchasing really appeals to them.

With very little financial commitment and access to reasonable amounts of funds teens shouldn't be overlooked as a prospective market. They are also known to buy impulsively and respond to persuasive marketing, particularly that which conveys the lifestyle or image they want to portray or adopt in life.

They're teens, yes, but their budgets are often far from teeny.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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