Friday, May 17, 2013

Shipping Woes

A while back, I wrote a post about online shopping and what sites we were using - specifically sites that offered good prices with reasonable, if not free, shipping to Nunavut. Unfortunately, in the months since that post, a few companies have now changed their shipping policies and it's left us scrambling to find alternatives. It seems counter-intuitive, but as more people started taking advantage of the shipping/buying from the sites, the more they "caught on" that they had customers here and needed to start charging more.

 Let's review what companies have changed their policies since our last post:

Original policy: $29.99 for orders under $300, $14.99 for orders over $300.
New policy: $20 shipping for orders under $100... up to $250 shipping for orders $1000 or over
Comments: HUGE change - this is actually the second change since my original post, and the first change was outrageously higher than the current policy. A few of us emailed the company and complained (1. because the change was so ridiculous, and 2. outstanding orders at the time of the change - which was sudden, and without prior notice - were contacted and told that they needed to pay more for shipping - rather than honouring orders in the system with old shipping rates if they were placed prior to the change). I found that to be pretty unprofessional! Anyways, long story short, we complained to the company and they changed the policy again. Although still much higher than the original policy, a bit easier to swallow.

2. Chapters
Original policy: Free with minimum order of $25
New policy: I can't figure it out - is it based on weight? Total spend? Number of items? Who knows! The shipping policy statement on their site does not specify shipping costs for remote areas. A $20 book was going to cost $20 in shipping when I tested it?! How does that even happen??
Comments: No communication as to why there is now a charge to ship to Nunavut, and how it's calculated. It's very deceiving and I don't like it. I'd rather shop through Amazon and get free shipping on orders over $25

3. London Drugs
Original policy: Although I didn't specifically mention London Drugs in my original post, it was mentioned in the comments and it looked pretty good at first glance (similar original shipping policy to Well's original policy).
New policy: $29.95 for orders up to $250 ... up to $157.95 for orders over $2,000
Comments: Although the shipping policy is lower than Well's, I found their customer service to be *atrocious* and would not recommend using their site. I know others have had better luck with purchasing from them, but I was not so fortunate. Short story - they had a technical glitch on their site that prevented me from being able to place my order; after going back and forth with their technical support and their customer service, it was over a month later and I was still unable to place an order. So I gave up. I felt I had given them ample opportunity to take my money, but my business wasn't a priority even though I was ready to spend a few hundred dollars! I took my business elsewhere, and haven't looked back since.

Fortunately for us, the internet is a vast database of options and we've been able to find what we need from other places that aren't the ones listed above. My latest favourite has been Arctic Connection because their website goes a bit further and adds the freight cost into your items for you (if you're shopping off their listed items). They will also go to the stores you ask them to and pick up additional items if you don't see it on their link. The only catch is if you ask them to go to a store they weren't already going to (looks like it's mainly Costco, Superstore, Walmart, M&M Meats) then you get charged a $10/store fee. BUT! That means that you can get them to go anywhere in Winnipeg and they take care of the shopping and packing it up for you to be dropped off at the airport. The convenience is there, and if you're smart and look up the flyers online to the stores they go to - you can get some really good deals!

I'll keep updating as things change or I find new sites to shop from. Please feel free to post a comment with any places you use that you'd like to share and we can all help each other!



  1. Some of the shops in this 'hood have been very "unneighborly" but this shipping store has been neighborly.

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  3. I live in a Northern Alberta town and use Melaleuca products. They ship the cleaners in concentrated form to reduce on shipping costs and offer a great selection of child safe, and environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. I also purchase my vitamins, personal hygiene items, and makeup through this company. Memberships are often at $1 and you get $120 worth in free products when you start. I have called to complain about two products in the past and was completely reimbursed for both of them. Once a product I had ordered did not ship and they provided me an alternate product in the mean time, a credit for the product value and shipped the original desired product when available for free. I suffer from sensitive skin and their products work well for me and my children. They also have some food and drink items and have a gluten free selection as well. Let me know if you need more info and sorry if I went on and on for to long!!
    Wendy Wolfe