Friday, November 30, 2012

Online Shopping Guide

With Christmas around the corner, and a distinct lack of physical shopping at hand, we've (let's be real here, I'm the shopper in this family!) had to learn to be resourceful at using the internet to find sites that offer online shopping.

The trick is to find retailers that offer reasonable, or even better, free shipping. Some sites will do shipping for free in the South and because Nunavut is considered "remote," we may not qualify for these deals.

I thought it would be helpful to list some of the sites that I have found really useful/helpful/lucrative for our shopping needs. Mos of the Christmas shopping we've been doing for friends and family at home have come from these retailers. *I will update the list as I discover more sites I like.

Before I go into the list, I will point out that not only do I sign up for email lists for these stores so I can be notified of free shipping promos, sales, coupon codes, etc. but I also check Red Flag Deals frequently to see what kind of deals are online. It's a quick one-look stop that gathers all the deals online (or if you're in the South, at actual retailers - based on your location). Saves a lot of time scouring through separate websites, and often posts deals I'd never have found on my own!

They've also started a Cash Back program - you register an account with RFD and if you shop at any of their participating online retailers (many of which are posted below, plus a whole bunch of other useful links), you get a percentage of your purchase back!! It's free money, so why not!

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Apparel, Shoes & Accessories 
Store: Old Navy, The Gap, Banana Republic (all same company)
Shipping: Free over $50 plus free returns
What they sell: Unisex. Casual/lounge/sporty wear to business casual clothing and accessories. Old Navy also has started selling Big & Tall clothing for very reasonable prices (looking at you, George Richards and your over-priced craziness).

Store: Ricki's
Shipping: $9.95 ground, flat rate - will often have free shipping promos if you sign up for their emails
What they sell: Women's. Casual and business casual clothing. I buy a lot of my work clothes from here. They also have a "no sale is ever final" policy - so even if you can't ship it back at their cost, keep the tags on and the packing invoice and you can return it to a store when you go South (if you remember!).

Store: Smart Set
Shipping: $7.50 ground, flat rate
What they sell: Women's. Similar to Ricki's - casual and business casual clothing.

Store: Bluenotes
Shipping: Depending on value of order, ranges between $6-$14. Keep an eye out for free shipping promos.
What they sell: Unisex. Casual clothing, graphic T's, jeans.

Store: Sears
Shipping: I have a love/hate relationship with Sears.ca - because their remote shipping charges can get pretty excessive (compared to retailers that ship free). It can range anywhere from $7.95 to over $20 depending on what you buy. Factor that into the cost of your cart upon checkout.
What they sell: Anything from furniture to clothes to household appliances.

Store: The Bay
Shipping: Depending on value of order, ranges between $5.95-$23.95. Free shipping sometimes happens around holidays.
What they sell: Similar to Sears - everything you can think of for the house and yourself.

Books, Entertainment, Electronics, etc.
Store: Chapters
Shipping: Free with minimum order of $25
What they sell: Books, movies, music - "Lifestyle" items for home, etc. will not ship to Nunavut.

Store: Amazon.ca
Shipping: Free with minimum order of $25 if sold by Amazon directly.
What they sell: Books, movies, music - they have expanded to include household items lately as well to be more in line with their American counterpart.

Store: Best BuyFuture Shop
Shipping: Free with minimum order of $20 - unless it's something big or awkward, then there is a charge based on what it is.
What they sell:  Electronics, movies, video games. Future Shop also sells household appliances.

Miscellaneous
Store: Well.ca
Shipping: $29.99 for orders under $300, $14.99 for orders over $300. Best if you can get some friends/neighbours together and do an order together to split the cost.
What they sell: Household items, appliances, vitamins, toys, non-perishable food...it's like walking into a large Shoppers Drug Mart. I like that they have a lot of organic and natural food choices as well.

Store: Costco
Shipping: Many items ship free, some have cost - will be listed on product page.
What they sell: Limited non-perishable food (frozen things will not ship to Nunavut), furniture, household items. *Note: you need a Costco membership in order to make purchases

Store: Swanson Vitamins
Shipping: Cost of freight - again, you have to be careful with this one...I've had it as low as $6 or as high as $50 (but the cost savings on items makes it worth it)
What they sell: Vitamins, healthy non-perishable foods, natural remedies for ailments. They have lots of Buy One, Get One Free promos, and some of their products are significantly lower than I have found anywhere else on the web. *Note: they are US-based so it will take time to arrive, and prices are in US dollars. Not sure if extra duty or customs are charged, but people I know have purchased from them and have not had any issues.

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I could go on and on all day about other stores I shop from online, but these are the major ones I keep coming back to. 

How about you? What sites do you shop from online that we can add to the list? Any suggestions would be really appreciated!

-L

7 comments:

  1. One of the ones I use and enjoy is London Drugs. They have a fairly good shipping policy and have more of a selection on food items than Well.ca.

    Thanks for the heads up about RFD...I had no idea!

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  2. Was just peeking at London Drugs...thanks or the tip! I found lots of things I'd be interested in!

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  3. Not a store, but I get my dad a subscription to new scientist yearly. (bday, not xmas) Magazine subscriptions are pretty good! Rogers actually has lots of magazines... Let me get the link.

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  4. http://www.rogersmagazineservice.com

    Ta da!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Ohhhh good idea!! Wonder if they have Cosmo, ha!! (Not quite on the level as New Scientist, but my guilty pleasure!)

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  5. Kudos to the people of B&T Direct too, for uplifting the confidence of big and tall men in fashion.

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  6. I just launched a new online Canadian shopping mall eViewVillage at http://www.eviewvillage.com. It advertises sites that offer products/services online in Canadian dollars (CAD) and ship across Canada.

    ReplyDelete