Ebates Back to School Survey: Buying Name-Brand Clothes and Shopping on a Budget Top Stressors for Parents and Teens

Teens List “Dorky Clothes” and “Old Cellphones” as Most Embarrassing Purchases Made by Parents

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Parents and teens may not agree on much, but they agree that clothes shopping together is an unhappy chore. According to a new survey conducted on behalf of Ebates, a leader and pioneer in cash back shopping and subsidiary of the global internet services company Rakuten, both parents and teens anticipate that they will feel the most tension when shopping for clothing together this back to school season.

The national survey, conducted online by Propeller Insights on behalf of Ebates in June 2016, was fielded among 1,024 adults and 501 teens. In terms of general back to school shopping stress, for parents, it’s money; for teens, it’s not being able to find the stuff they want:

What adults dread most about back to school shopping   Percent who said this   What teens dread most about back to school shopping   Percent who said this
1. Not being able to afford everything   46 percent   1. Not being able to find what I need   60 percent
2. Not being able to find what I need   45 percent   2. Not agreeing with my parent   43 percent
3. Waiting in line   44 percent   3. Not being able to afford everything   43 percent

"For the third year in a row, our annual back to school survey shows that being frugal is a top concern for parents,” said Kevin H. Johnson, CEO of Ebates Inc. "At Ebates, we want to minimize the stress of back to school shopping, making the experience as easy and affordable as possible. Back to school shoppers can use Ebates.com to find the best deals on all the hot items on their shopping list in time for the first day of school while earning cash back in the process.”

Both parents and teens anticipate the most tension when shopping for stylish name-brand clothing (52 percent), off-brand clothing essentials (20 percent) and technology (16 percent) this back to school season.

This tension around clothes shopping may be due to the fact that a full half of teens (50 percent) admitted to feeling embarrassed by a clothing-related purchase their parents made last year.

Most embarrassing thing your parents bought last year for back to school:

  1. Dorky clothes, gym clothes or shoes – 50 percent
  2. An old cell phone – 20 percent
  3. New glasses – 11 percent
  4. A rolling backpack – 9 percent
  5. Cooler lunchbox – 7 percent

Communication is key

While navigating the careful negotiations of back to school shopping, there are a few sayings that parents and teen are not looking forward to hearing.

Parents are dreading these classics:

  1. “I have to have it—literally everyone has one.” – 49 percent
  2. “I promise I won’t ask for anything else.” – 45 percent
  3. “My teacher told me we need one.” – 42 percent

Teens, meanwhile, are getting eye rolls ready for these:

  1. “We can’t afford that one. Let’s get this one instead.” – 50 percent
  2. “Don’t you already have one of those?” – 44 percent
  3. “You don’t have an unlimited budget. Spend it wisely.” – 24 percent

Taking the edge off of the stress

The survey also asked parents how they planned to ease the stress of back to school shopping. Half of parents (50 percent) say they will skip the chaos of the mall and shop online, and another 30 percent will indulge in some retail therapy:

How will you make back to school shopping less stressful?   Percent of Americans who said this
1. Shop online   50 percent
2. Buy some clothes or accessories for myself   30 percent
3. Plan a weekend getaway without the kids   18 percent
4. Plan a date night with my partner   18 percent
5. Take a long, hot bath   15 percent

From now until August 31, back to school shoppers can receive up to double cash back on select retailers via Ebates. For more details on specific retailers participating in the special offer, visit Ebates.com. Shoppers can also download the free Ebates.com app at Google Play and the AppStore.

About Ebates

Ebates rewards consumers with cash back on purchases while also providing access to thousands of coupons, discounts, promotions and special deals, including free shipping, at over 2,000 retailers. Free membership allows consumers to shop online at their favorite retailers while earning a percentage of every purchase they make, paid quarterly in the form of a "Big Fat Check" or through PayPal. From niceties to necessities, members of Ebates benefit from incentives at top-name merchants for everything from furniture to fashion and appliances to airfare. Because shopping with Ebates is hassle-free—with no rebate forms to fill out and no points or miles to redeem—the site supports a strong community of savvy shoppers across the country and around the world.

Ebates is a registered trademark of Ebates Performance Marketing, Inc. Rakuten is a registered trademark of Rakuten, Inc. Google Play is a registered trademark of Google Inc. App Store is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. PayPal is a registered trademark of PayPal, Inc.


Priti Khare


Priti Khare