Thursday, May 07, 2009

Nunavummiut's Guide To Online Shopping

Here is another list for all you online shoppers. I have made purchases from most of these places, excluding a few of stores listed under Kids Stuff. Feel free to give your input and add any other sites you shop with in the comments section.

If you are an online company searching for new ideas to attract shoppers, what Nunavummiut want most, free shipping. It's simple, ship for free and we will shop.

As a general rule, do not get the expedited shipping. It's good for nothing. Shipping will happen on it's own time up north, whether you pay more or not. However, what will effect the speed is where your purchase is coming from. If you're on the Baffin side, things from Ontario will reach you faster then from British Columbia. The estimated shipping times in my list below are most accurate for the Baffin area.

Books

Amazon.ca
Shipping: Free over $39
Estimated Time: 2 weeks
Pros: You don't have to be part of any rewards "club" to get the deals. Their items seem to run slightly cheaper then their competitor.
Cons: They do not sell toys like Chapters.

Chapters
Shipping: Free over $39
Estimated Time: 2 weeks
Pros: They sell toys.
Cons: You have to be part of their "Club" to get the discounts. So not cool.

Jen of Nunavut thumbs up goes to Amazon.ca

Drug Stores

Well.ca

Shipping: FREE!!!! Let me say that again FREE!!!
Estimated Time: 1 - 3 weeks
Pros: Super customer service. FREE SHIPPING (listen, this is a big deal in the north!). A wide variety of products. PLUS they actually sell medication unlike London Drugs.
Cons: Not as many non-medication items sold. For example, items I will have to get at their competitor's site: electric razor.

London Drugs

Shipping: $30 for 4.5Kgs (base, meaning you better get 4.5kgs of stuff to make it worth while)
Estimated Time: 2 - 6 weeks (seriously 6 weeks, I'm not kidding)
Pros: This company carries a wide variety of items, food, health items, make-up. Prices are reasonable. They carry seasonable items like Christmas candy & decorations.
Cons: Their Shipping is definately not great. The worst part is that they call themselves a drug store and they do not sell over the counter medication. They show you that they have it in stock, but you can NOT purchase it online. Buying medication online is a big deal for Nunavummiut, it's not available in most small communities, except with a visit to the health centre.

Jen of Nunavut thumbs up goes to Well.ca

Bath & Body


The Body shop
Shipping: $5
Estimated Time:
2 - 3 weeks
Pros:
They have all kinds of promotions and sales that you can take advantage of. Their products smell heavenly. Great price for shipping items north.
Cons:
To shop you have to find the itty bitty text at the bottom of the page that says "Take me shopping". Seriously it should be more prominent then this. Discounts and free items are only taken off your bill at time of charging credit card. Though they do honor these discounts, it does not seem like it at first when checking out, if feels slightly sketchy.

Lush
Shipping: $8 - $17.50 (2 - 4.5kgs)
Estimated Time:
2-3 weeks
Pros:
How do I describe this company other then YUMMY! Website & checkout is user friendly and straight forward.
Cons:
Shipping isn't great & they deter you from ordering some "meltable" products in the summer time.

Bath & Body Works

Shipping: $9.99 - $12.99 (Based on how much you spend)
Estimated Time:
2-3 weeks
Pros:
YES, they finally sell online! They sell inexpensive hand soaps and body products.
Cons: Prices are in US funds. This company has some overwhelming scented products. It might be better to shop for products down south where you can judge a scent before using the online store.

Jen of Nunavut thumbs up goes to Body Shop!

Kids Stuff

Toys R Us

Shipping: Based on weight when shipping north.
Estimated Time:
2 - 3 weeks
Pros:
You can get EVERYTHING a kid needs. The best part is that they sell baby furniture, I got a crib sent up with only $40 shipping!
Cons:
Shipping seems inconsistent. Add a pack of batteries in with the crib and some how the shipping charge is $50! Balancing purchase & reasonable shipping is a challenge. You might have to tweak your cart to get the best possible purchase/ship result. The American site has way MORE stuff. Don't get confused about which site your on (.ca or .com). You might end up in tears when you can't buy that particular item for that really cheap price.

Gymboree
Shipping: $10 - $54 (Based sales, but if your spending $1,400 on baby clothing, you have a problem. More likely you're going to spend $10)
Estimated Time:
Unknown (meaning I haven't made a purchase with their online store....yet)
Pros:
REALLY FREAKING CUTE KIDS CLOTHING and some kids toys. Their bubbles are of the best bubble quality (Yes, I've tested many bubbles, just like a fine wine).
Cons:
Their prices are US and their prices are REALLY FREAKING EXPENSIVE.

Others:
Raspberry Kids - I just found this place, shipping is reasonable and there are some totally cute things. If your a mom, you MUST check this Canadian company out!
Scholarschoice - For those kids that like to learn stuff.
Funky Monkey - Cute, but overpriced baby attire, toys and doodads. For those fashion obsessed moms. Shipping is overpriced.

Jen of Nunavut thumbs up goes to Toys R Us

Clothing

Victoria's Secret
Shipping: $14 -24 (Based on Sale)
Estimated Time:
2 - 4 Weeks
Pros:
They have a large variety of woman's clothing, in a large variety of sizes. Some good sale items.
Cons:
Prices are in US funds, and some of their fashion is questionable 1990's "Fresh Prince" style.

L.L. Bean
Shipping: $5 - $13 (Based on Sale)
Estimated Time:
3 - 4 weeks
Pros:
Sell good quality Men & Woman's clothing, shoes, outdoor gear & Luggage.
Cons:
Items are in US Funds and are expensive. Some clothing items are "old lady", no one should ever wear tapered pants, and waste lines shouldn't sit above the belly button. Pant buyer beware.

Mark's Work Wearhouse

Shipping: $5
Estimated Time: 2 - 3 weeks
Pros: Reasonably priced, good quality men and woman's apparel. $5 SHIPPING! Canadian shipped, no duty.
Cons: They have a serious lack of selection, some times better, especially during the Christmas months.

Others:
American Eagle - Popular, skinny people fashion.
Buycostume.com - Halloween Costumes.
Eddie Bauer - Men & Woman's preppy and expensive fashion.
La Senza - Canadian, lady's pantaloons.
MXM - Bootylicious plus size woman's clothing, Canadian shipped.

Jen of Nunavut thumbs up goes to Mark's Work Wearhouse!

Photo

Shutterfly

Shipping: Depending on item, price increases with each item.
Estimated Time: 3 - 4 weeks
Pros: They have a wide variety of Photo products to choose from. They have easy to use layouts when creating photobooks.
Cons: Their shipping isn't fantastic and prices are in US funds. Their photo books are not nearly as well priced or done as Blurb.com. Their free shipping is a joke by the way, not for Canadians. No, Canadians must pay.

Cafepress
Shipping: Depending on item, price increases with each item.
Estimated Time: 3 - 4 weeks
Pros: They have more variety when it comes to photo products then Shutterfly. They have a new Canadian site with Canadian pricing (however I'm not sure if shipping is within Canada or US).
Cons: You do not know if you are working on an "out of stock" item until you try to add it to your cart. It's a waste of time designing something that you can not buy. Their travel mugs have been out of stock for a while. I also do not like the quality of their ceramic mug printing.

Zazzel - Photo printing on all sorts of items, I found them when Cafepress was out of stock on travel mugs.
Blurb - Great price & quality photobooks.

Jen of Nunavut thumbs split in the middle Shutterfly & Cafepress, depending on item.

Other

Costco
Shipping: Depending on the item, FREE!
Estimated Time: 2 - 3 weeks
Pros: Some large items ship for FREE!!! They have a wide variety of items that you just can't get anywhere else online.
Cons: You have to be a member to avoid and extra fee at checkout. But really they are amazing so don't even worry about that little extra fee, or just become a member, I did.

Costco.ca ALWAYS get's a thumbs up!

Online Shopping to Avoid
(I'm not linking. Seriously, don't bother visiting)

Canadiantire.ca
At the moment I'm not sure exactly what's going on with their website, it doesn't seem like you can purchase anything online. However previously Nunavummiut were excluded COMPLETELY from all shipping deals and promotions. Also when talking with customer service, they had no idea where Nunavut was. Hello your company name is CANADIAN tire, shouldn't you know all of the provinces and territories. Really, there aren't that many.

Futurshop.ca
SERIOUSLY, who researched your shipping costs? Lets pretend that we are in a big city, somewhere in the middle of southern Ontario. Then lets pretend that we live a sneeze away from one of your stores, as do my parents. Why would you give them the options of ground or air? I'm pretty sure no one is going to fly that single DVD across the street, even if we pay $9.27 versus the $1.99 for ground. Now lets take our journey back to Nunavut. If I want that SAME DVD, I am now paying $31.24. For one DVD? Costco will ship me an entire TV stand for FREE and Futureshop wants $31.24 for one DVD. Forget it. Please, if you need CDs and DVDs shop amazon.ca and you can find a full list of electronics at Costco.

29 comments:

Rob, Tina and the boys said...

LOVE THIS! The only other one I would add under photos is www.photolab.ca (Loblaws). .19/per 4x6, and they regularly have a promotion on that gives you 5x7 (regularly .99) for the size of 4x6. And regardless of how many pictures you order, flat fee of 3.99 ANYWHERE IN CANADA for shipping. I've had it shipped to both here and NWT and received them in less than 2 weeks, here less than a week.

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

Wowieeee!! Great summary. I would have added Zellers.ca b/c it was $6 shipping- but they just shut down their online shopping. Boo!

Penningtons has online shopping as well for plus size clothing. I ordered from there last summer and I am pretty sure shipping was reasonable.

Kiggavik said...

I would add MEC.ca and Apple.ca to your list. Plus there are some others that I use depending on what I need. For photo equipment I recommend both Vistek and McBains. I use thespicehouse.com for all of my spices. Its out of California, but shipping is reasonable, quick, and more importantly the spices are fresh and you can get anything you can imagine with out the hoopla of other cooking stuff.

I also disagree with you somewhat about expedited shipping. For expensive items etc I often use the expedited shipping (say for example anything I get through Apple). Here's why. It does tend to arrive quicker, it has better tracking, and while the 2-3 business days is not happening, there is usually a service standard date for delivery. If my order goes much beyond that standard I call Apple and they take off the extra shipping charge. Well worth it to me, depending on the retailer.

Oh yeah, coffee: Equator.ca (free shipping if you're on their recurring order, and Transcend Coffee out of Edmonton (again free shipping depending on quantities). Both have high quality sustainable coffees.

TC said...

Jen, Canadian Tire discontinued their online shop&ship service earlier this year.

jen said...

I have never had good luck with tracking. As soon as it gets to Montreal, the trail goes dead until some random day it just ends up at the airport here. Mystery time evaporates into space between those two destination, things can go missing or just sit somewhere for long periods of time.

I've found the tracking has only come in handy watching stuff float around down south. Watching an item go from Ottawa, to Edmonton, to Inuvik, back to Edmonton. Then finally calling UPS and telling them how they should go about sending stuff to Nunavut. lol sheesh.

Everything I've had expedited has taken longer then usual or exactly the same as post. Could just be my community lol.

I'll make sure to use it next time I buy from apple though...mmmm so much I want! lol

jen said...

Thanks TC, I was wondering what was going on when I went to check it out just recently.

indigo said...

ah, shopping on line from "old lady" duds to "circa 1990 Fresh Prince" attire :: one can never go wrong with Jen of Nunavut!

Sue Sinclair/Raspberry Kids said...

Thanks Jen of Nunavut for the shout out for Raspberry Kids!

We are are a relatively new online lifestyle store for kids and their moms and we pride ourselves on our unique product selection and our customer service.

We would love to offer your readers a 15% discount on orders over $65 from now until the end of June, 2009 to try out our service.

Please use discount code: jenofn15

I have been to Alaska and the Yukon but never Nunavut. Your pictures and photography are amazing though and I would definitely love to bring our family there one day.

Have a fresh, healthy & fun day,
Sue
--
Sue Sinclair
Chief Executive Mom, Raspberry Kids

On the Web: http://www.raspberrykids.com
Read our Blog: http://blog.raspberrykids.com
Tweet with Us: http://www.twitter.com/raspberrykids
Join our Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=25861583447

lindsay Niedzielski said...

I have to second the referral for raspberry kids..I ordered a few things from them, shipping was reasonable, and their customer service was great!!! I even shipped something down south for Christmas, but they sent me a card and a CHOCOLATE to thank me for the purchase!!!

I have ordered quite a few books etc. from Chapters, and that is free shipping, but as soon as you want to purchase a toy (even if it is really small) the shipping prices start to add up...some worth it, some not!!!

I also came across a website that has free shipping for over $100.00 (which we all know doesn't take too long to get to)...it's modernkaribou.ca and it has home decorative stuff, as well as baby stuff - all on the high end, but all gorgeous, so if you're looking for something to jazz up your place, it would be worth the look!

Thanks for the list Jen, always great to find new sites!!!

lindsay Niedzielski said...

Oh, and forgot to mention....gymboree's shipping take quite awhile, but the quality of the clothes is really good. And Victoria Secret is great to order from because even though it is in US funds, it comes from Ontario, so if you have to return something it is pretty cheap to return!

Nunavummiut Jaime said...

Some of my favourites:

www.sears.ca
Shipping is decent, and very quick. Tons and tons of everything to pick from.

www.landend.ca
Great customer service, nice clothes, bedding, luggage, among other stuff.

http://canada.forever21.com
Not free shipping to Nunavut unlike what it says. Lots of cheap, nice clothes for young women. They also have a ridiculous amount of jewelry.

http://canada.zappos.com
I could have a panic attack trying to explain how awesome this site is. THOUSANDS of different shoes, boots, sandals, etc...$10 flat rate shipping, no matter how many pairs you buy.

www.blnts.com
Never bought from here, but for those who love Blue Notes, they have an online store.

Wow, okay, I'm going to stop. My list of bookmarks in my "online stores" folder is ridiculous.

Jaime

In Iqaluit said...

Thankyouthankyouthankyou! Thanks for putting that all together. Some of it I knew, and some I didn't. It's all very helpful.

BTW, a couple more kids toys sources are:

www.grandrivertoys.ca (you can get cool personalized stools or name plates)

www.mastermindtoys.com

Both are Canadian and both charge a flat rate. It could be worth it if you order a lot or bulky items.

But I agree with what you wrote about toysrus. Shipping is weird but you can get anything. We got our crib from their too.

Now I am going to check out this Raspberry Kids site...

PS: Have you ordered prints from kodak.ca?

jen said...

Sue, thank you very much for the discount! I know many of us will enjoy shopping on your site.

In Iqaluit,
I personally wouldn't print with Kodak because I am not a fan of their paper. However I totally agree with Tina, photolab.ca is great. Also their paper quality is much better. It's the same paper that Blacks uses, but much less expensive. ;)

Alex said...

awesome! I was hoping to post something similar to this...but you've saved me much work!

One other site I can think of:

http://americanapparel.ca/
Crazy I know. About the only thing I've ever ordered there were t-shirt, everything else is...umm different. Free shipping over $50

yukonmusher said...

i skimmed through since I dont shop on line and saw victorias sectret then skimmed to the bottom, to see work wear world as your pick, made me laugh, lol

Kennie said...

Gotta add Futureshop.ca to the list. Although their shipping is slightly ridiculous (usualy around 32$), it is a lot better than having to go to the Northern to replace certain electronic devices (ie: TV's, speakers, home theater systems..). Shipping does increase depending on the size of the package and what you are buying (ie: 27" LCD TV costs 139$ to ship.)

Also, sonystyle.ca - your Sony store online with free shipping to the North (used it several times) - although sometimes you might need to call your order in depending on how your address jives in the system.

And of course .. there is always Dell.ca for electronics too .. and they have free shipping to the North as well.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that Canadian Tire did not know where Nunavut was. I am an American and even I know where it is. Some of my friends know where Nunavut is (although some of them are studying geography).

Aida said...

great list! i cant really think of anything to add

as for shipping, expedited so mean something if you are using canadapost service. i had someone sent me fabric and she sent it 2 day guarantee and it arrived here in 2 days, came from northern alberta.

not really an "everyone" thing, but i ordered a sewing pattern magazine from Finland, 4 issues (quarterly) and paid EUR 8 for shipping and any back issues,its free shipping, great deal considering they sent it priority and i've already ordered about 5 back issues.

Frank ordered his kick ass lens from Don's photo or was it Henry's and paid $15 for shipping and i think that thing was 4lbs, not bad considering i wanted to send something 1lbs from here to Toronto and PO here wanted $15.99 for it.

Alex said...

Wow that Mr. Online Shopping World sure is helpful and well informed! Almost robot-like...

I'm gonna have to say I disagree with you Kennie about Futureshop...at least for anything of a decent size. Anything bigger than say a DVD player jacks the price up by hundreds of dollars it seems. I generally don't even bother looking at Futureshop unless I know I'm going to be in a city in the near future.

jen said...

HAHA Alex, I just came in here to delete Online Shopping World's comments, same comment twice is too much, smells of spam.

towniebastard said...

I actually disagree with you on Chapters and Amazon. It depends on how much you buy, but the discount card does give you an extra advantage over Amazon.

Plus, Chapters will ship your order out over several packages over several weeks. Amazon will only ship the order once everything is ready to go. So if something has been backordered for a month, then you have to wait for everything.

Regardless, an excellent list. Well done...

Alex said...

Thanks for including us in your guide, Jen! We certainly appreciate the thumbs up, as well. :) You'll be happy to know that we have recently started carrying Brita filters. http://well.ca/brand/brita.html

And we also carry more candy now! http://well.ca/categories/gifts-chocolate_498.html

Please feel free to let me know if there's ever something you'd like to see on our site that we don't have. We will be happy to look into it! alex[at]well.ca

jen said...

Thanks for letting me know Alex, I'm always happy to see you guys selling more stuff! :) I've edited the part about not selling Brita filters!

Shelley said...

I love Well.ca, very prompt on emails and fixing any problems. Also sigelectronics.com has flat rate shipping no exceptions @ $9.99.

Kinda funny you reposted your favs list, i was just thinking about how helpful it was when i moved up here.

Nancy said...

Excellent list! Thanks! And thanks too to all the commenters ahead of me who added places, I'll be checking them out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these great links. I will find this very useful as I just moved to the Yukon.

As for Future Shop, I was disgusted with their service even before I moved. Their online service sounds just as bad.

Brigitte said...

Another children's clothing store with decent shipping is Pleasemum.com. They have $6.95 flat rate shipping and free shipping on orders over $100. They are a Canadian company, too, so no duty.

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