Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Nunavummiut's Guide To Online Shopping

Lets start by informing all non-Nunavut residents about what Nunavummiut
(I can't actually pronounce this word) is exactly and why we do a lot more online shopping then anyone else in the country. First of all Nunavummiut means "Residents of Nunavut or Nunvik". The community that I live in is lacking certain everyday items that in the south we take for granted. In the south you can just hop in your car and cruise on over to the local Walmart and pick up anything you need. Up here your choices are limited to only what can be purchased online and shipped to you on a plane. Not to mention certain stores like Walmart have failed miserably in joining us in 2007 and only offer a "shopping list" feature on their website. Their American counterparts who do offer online shopping don't allow shipping internationally. So I had to search for a few good Canadian stores and some American that do ship to Canada. Here is a list that I have compiled (with useful information) of a few online shops to cover any of your needs while living up north.

GENERAL

LONDON DRUGS
http://www.londondrugs.com/
This site has been a lifesaver for me, shipping all bath & beauty products and much adored Cadbury Mini eggs when I couldn't possibly find them anywhere else. The shipping here works by weight; 0-4.5kgs is a flat $30. So if you get one item its not worth the shipping fee, they get you that way, because you want to use up all your weight allowance and keep adding things to the cart until you come in right under 4.5kgs. Shipping usually takes more then 2 weeks, so it's not fast. However you can't get the products they sell on here on any other Canadian online store.

CANADIAN TIRE
http://www.canadiantire.ca/
Shipping is better here then londondrugs, however it really isn't that great. I got some Christmas decorations and furnace filters on this site, I ended up having to call and the woman said "where is Nunavut?", after I told her it was a giant territory she clued in.

COST-CO
http://www.costco.ca/
I haven't bought anything from here yet, but it looks promising. I read a lot of northern bloggers have had good shipping with them, getting huge items for very inexpensive shipping costs, I guess they haven't figured out about Nunavut yet.

LINENS AND THINGS
http://canada.lnt.com/home/index.jsp
I am not sure what shipping is like for this site, but it takes a lot of restraint to not buy everything on the site! I have a friend who has bought from this site, so I know it's good and their product gets where it's going, but I haven't bought anything here....yet! One annoyance is the Canadian & American websites look similar, make sure your shopping on the Canadian site! And if you find yourself shopping on the American site and switch over to the Canadain, you might see they haven't compensated for the new and better exchange rate for the Canadian dollar! Things are still exceedingly cheaper on the U.S site. So save yourself the grief and don't compare prices!

BATH AND BEAUTY

LUSH
http://ca.lush.com
All I can say is FREAKIN amazing! These products smell good and work amazingly! They don't send to a P.O box so you have to just make up a street name and they also don't send certain products in summer as they may melt.

CLOTHING

MARKS WORK WEARHOUSE
http://marksworkwearhouse.com/
This one is good for clothing and shipping isn't too much either. The clothing changes for each season, so you can get fleece lined jeans, but closer to winter.

LA SENZA
http://www.lasenza.com
These guys are great for girlie underwear, awesome sleepwear and lounge wear. They also have a mens line of undergarments and lounge wear. The prices are good and shipping is pretty good.

PETS

1-800-PETMEDS.COM
http://www.1800petmeds.com/
This one is good for some medications, and a few toys and other pet things. They are located in the states, so prices are American and you do have that chance of paying duty.
I have shopped with them, and the experience was good. You can even call them up and talk to a person, which is just a plus. I try not to shop with a place that doesn't have a 1-800 number.

PETSMART
http://www.petsmart.com/ps/main.jsp
This place is my new favourite! Sure it's in the States, so you run the risk of paying duty, but it's so worth it. Where else can you buy 30lbs of cat litter with free shipping? Here is the scoop on this one though, you have to spend more then $50 to get free shipping. You also CAN'T buy food of any kind on here, and if they cancel litter or any other item, you just need to call their 1-800 number and talk to a person on the phone and they will put your order through. Sometimes on really heavy orders they charge a flat couple of dollars fee and there is also shipping to remote area fee for $20 or so, but really if you think of what you can get it's not so bad.

FOOD

BULK FOODS
http://www.bulkfoods.com/
I also haven't shopped here, but I hear it's another great place and they definitely ship up here. The only problem is that they don't calculate shipping rates until after you place your order.

You can also stick London Drugs perfectly into this category!

OTHER NOTABLES

I could also add in the notable Amazon.ca, however we all know this one, but think of this, if they haven't accounted for the change in exchange rate, you might actually get a cheaper book deal
buying from Amazon.com. You would have to look into it factoring in shipping to Canada costs.

There is also Futureshop.ca and Bestbuy.ca, however if you are buying cd/dvds/games, check out Amazon.ca. I find Futureshop.ca charges ridiculous shipping costs on cds...$4 for shipping for one cd? How much do they think it weighs? Amazon.ca ships free after $39.00! Not to mention I find Futurshops website irritating and harder to navigate then most. I am still waiting for a lot of larger businesses to join up with the rest of the world in 2007. For example you from Ontario might know Shoppers Drug Mart, but I am not holding my breath for Walmart!

Please Add anymore Online Shopping sites that are of interest, I am always looking for new stores! And the shopaholic lives on even if she is now a Nunavummiut!

66 comments:

J Consortium said...

Awesome post!! Here are some words of wisdom from the resident shopaholics of the Kivalliq:

1. MEC has free shipping for orders over $150. Not hard to spend when MEC's stuff is made for the great outdoors.

2. Dell has free shipping on computers at least (that's all we've ordered so that's all I know for that).

3. Never ship anything from Winnipeg Outfitters. Their shipping is downright ridiculous and their prices are already too high. They have nice stuff, but it's not worth it. I was inside the physical store in Winnipeg, and everything from the catalogue was marked down (some even 50% off the catalogue price). Knowing that, I could never order from the catalogue again.

Do you mind if I link this page from our blog? I keep meaning to write useful entries like this but I never get around to it, haha.

--Jaime

P.S. Nunavummiut is pronounced nu-na-vu-me-oot.

Kara and Matt said...

Just found another place with cheap shipping ($30) www.feelgreatorganics.com

And costco rocks! We got a tv with free shipping!

Jen said...

Jaime,
For sure link this page! Maybe you just want to re-write it using the collected information with whoever else posts on the comment page? Will check out the sites, and thanks for the pronunciation!

Kara,
Thanks, I will totally check that site out!

towniebastard said...

Chapters is a better deal for speed. If you want to get your items quickly, then Chapters is the way to go. You can often get it days after you order, as opposed to Amazon, which takes its sweet time.

Also, if you want a good computer, then Apple also order free shipping. As an added bonus, get a teacher or student to buy it for you and get a discount

The Source also has $30 shipping. No good if you're ordering headphone. Quite a good deal if ordering large TV sets. We did that about 2 years ago and were told they spent $400 shipping it priority.

Oh, and if you have people that need their coffee, then go here (www.equator.ca). This one probably works best if a group of you go in on it.

towniebastard said...

Also, LL Bean, with the right code (which is easy enough to get) offers free shipping. They do nail you on duty, tho, but the prices are still reasonable.

Jen said...

Townie Bastard,
I can tell you are a mac person, I also own the "good" kind of computer! I am going to give chapters a shot, amazon does take their sweat ass time getting to you, but only if you select the free shipping option.

towniebastard said...

Well, yes, but I find it sadly easy to drop the $40 worth of items needed for free shipping pretty easy.

Put it this way, I recently put in orders at Amazon and Chapters. The Chapters order arrived two days ahead of the Amazon one (all told, 4 work days) even though the Amazon order went in a week beforehand.

That's the main reason I ordered the last Harry Potter with Chapters, even though Amazon is marginally cheaper. I'm sure I'll get the book on Tuesday or Wednesday. I wouldn't even want to guess when Amazon would get it to me.

Tina said...

Just found the site of Jen's blog. I am recently new to the North but did find that www.avon.ca will offer FREE shipping on most orders. Your first order has free shipping and then when you spend 50.00 you get a "free bonus". I placed the order, it came within 2 weeks,and shipping was in fact free. Now I keep getting emails offering free shipping for additional orders. And, since they have great sales on the site, it's not hard to spend the money! I stocked up on shampoo, soap and bubble bath, since they are so concentrated they last forever.

Karen said...

Old Navy also will ship to NU. When I lived in Iqaluit I used to get stuff shipped up all the time. Although you can't order online. What you do is look at their US website and pick out things that you like. Then you have to call a store (I called one in Ottawa)and tell them what you want and they check to see if it is in stock. They will pick it up and take your address and send it along! I can't remember how much shipping cost but I don't think it was a lot or I wouldn't have ordered stuff all the time! It's awesome!

Karen said...

I also used to order stuff from The Shopping Channel too.. haha... shipping was whatever was listed on the TV!

Alex said...

Hey Jen, great list! I stumbled upon this post a bit late but I wanted to let you know about Well.ca. We're an online Canadian drugstore. We sell all the over the counter stuff you'd find at London Drugs, including cosmetics. Shipping is $3 anywhere in Canada and free for orders over $99. We get positive feedback from our Nunavut customers and if you want to know more feel free to drop me an e-mail. We'll have to look into selling Cadbury Mini Eggs, good idea!

Shelley said...

Hi Jen

I just found an electronics store in Ontario that ships flat rate of $7.99! No catches and they don't exempt post office boxes or our postal code.

http://www.sigelectronics.com/

Nadine said...

Hello everyone!!!! Nadine here from Ottawa wanting to inform you of a great service I would love to offer!!!
You give me your shopping list, I hunt down the best deals, go shopping, pack it, and ship it!
I have already done this for a few in Nunavut and they loved my service!
My rate is $20 per hour but a lot gets done in an hour, give me a shout!
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da_deaner@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

The Body Shop has a $5 flat rate for shipping no matter how big your order, via Canada Post. Things actually arrive in a reasonable time, too!

Christa said...

Hi Jen,

I just wanted to let you know I linked to your page from my own online shopping review. I can't wait to try out some of the sites you and your commenters have mentioned when I need those items. I found this page to be SO helpful when figuring out where to do my shopping from.

Thank you for posting this blog as it was so helpful in my transition from down South to here in Nunavut :D

Anonymous said...

I just ordered from blinds.ca - free shipping anywhere in Canada, including blinds up to 96 inches wide! (and very good prices to start with, too)

Anonymous said...

Lots of places have Christmas free shipping specials: Marks Work Warehouse is free shipping until Dec. 31; so is Sears (up to 25lbs); so is MEC...

Thrive Consultant said...

I can offer flat rate shipping for $24 USD on large cans of food.
http://thriveshop.shelfreliance.com/thriveshop

JR said...

I just launched a new online Canadian shopping mall eViewVillage at http://www.eviewvillage.com.

eViewVillage advertises sites that offer products/services online in Canadian dollars (CAD) and ship across Canada.

Check it out at http://www.eviewvillage.com.

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