NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 07: A shopper walks down Broadway on February 7, 2013 in New York City. In another indicator of a slowly strengthening economy, chain stores including Macy's Inc., Target Corp and Gap Inc. reported today January sales that exceeded analysts' estimates. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Banana Republic
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
By Melanie Hicken

Truckin' & Stylin'. Shooting Stars. Timeless Elders. Based on where you live, how much money you make, and where you shop, you may be classified into one of these categories by one of the country's largest data brokers.

Using its massive database filled with personal data on shoppers and their buying behaviors, data giant Acxiom places each of the U.S. households it tracks into one of 70 categories, ranging from the wealthiest -- dubbed "Summit Estates" -- to the bottom of the income spectrum -- or "Resilient Renters."
According to Acxiom's marketing materials, the "clusters" allow "marketers to better know -- and anticipate -- their customers' demographics and buying behaviors." And the categories help retailers decide the location for a new store, for example, which television stations to advertise on, or which customers they should market a new product line to.

But critics say that the groupings can result in biases toward different shoppers, often based on socioeconomic factors like income.

"It's really being put into a box," said Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum. "And that's the problem."

Wondering where you fall? Here's how Acxiom describes various types of consumer households in its marketing materials:

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I don't fit in any of these either. Not even close.

April 22 2013 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They missed me. Make over $200K, kids grown, rarely shop at all, and buy (many times) at the \"Dollar Store\", \"2nd hand Thief Stores\", and use the net to buy used/new items from owners at 50-70% off store prices. Go to the mall once a year at x-max, for 30 minutes.

April 22 2013 at 1:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i'm a broke consumer

April 21 2013 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good ! They apparently don\'t know who I am since I don\'t fit any of the above !

April 21 2013 at 6:55 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply