I’ll be honest – since I love to Shop, I put up with a lot.
Specifically: Inflated designer prices. Convoluted return policies. Suspicious sizing. Indifferent customer service. Taxes, surcharges, delivery costs, membership fees, tariffs, restocking fees and more.
I’m not exactly sure why I’m such a martyr; perhaps, as a Canadian, I’ve been programmed to believe that the best products – and deals – can only be found south of the border. And so I subject myself to the perils of cross-border Shopping in a quasi-masochistic way; scanning US websites in a desperate attempt to find one that will bring the product(s) to my door for an amount that does not rival a car payment.
Those surcharges really are the bane of my existence.
Sometimes, I get creative. It was almost 5 years to the date that I began looking for gifts for my then-bridesmaids. They had all done such a wonderful job helping me plan my wedding; I felt it was only right that I reward them with something fabulous. And I knew exactly what I wanted to gift – the Limited Edition Coach Patchwork Carly. The golden-hued handbag is in the classic Carly shape – while being highlighted with patches of python, leopard, suede and signature prints. Back in 2007, it was kind of a big deal.
Alas, at the time, getting Coach on your shoulder necessitated a trip to the US or a visit to a knock-off retailer – the second being a big no-no, of course, unless you wanted to sport oblong “O”s instead of “C”s. And since Coach.com did not ship to Canada, I felt my hands were tied.
So I went on a mission. First, I looked into purchasing a PO box in Buffalo. That idea was immediately rejected, because if I could drive to Buffalo to pick up my parcel, then I could cross the border and just buy them from the Coach store in the States. Next, I contemplated a cross-border delivery service – one that ships the purses to a US address, and then in-turn re-routes them to my home. This seemed like a winning solution until I discovered the final cost after shipping, brokerage fees and extra charges: almost $170 for four purses! (Many of these services base their charges on the value of the goods, and Coach handbags aren’t cheap, obv).
In desperation, I even called the closest Coach store – and offered to purchase the purses over the phone by credit card, having my own courier come pick them up (amazingly, the FedEx quote for this was quite reasonable at $86)… but alas, they didn’t bite.
Now you may be wondering – why not just drive into Buffalo? It’s only about an hour and a half from Toronto. Well, here’s the thing: the combined value of the purses would be well over $800, and I really didn’t want to get nabbed at the border with unknown duty charges. The shipping fees, the brokerage fees – these were all black and white. Who knew how much they’d ding me when trying to re-enter the country?
Still, I was on a mission. So I
bravely foolishly threw caution to the wind and jumped in the car with hubby-to-be, crossing the border and hell bent on buying those purses – and NOT declaring them.
I won’t tell you how the story ends, because I’m not so silly as to confess to a crime on a public website. Of course, my bridesmaids got their Patchwork Carly :)
I guess my little tale is just a roundabout way of emphasizing how much I loathe cross-border Shopping. Either the products are not available for sale to Canadians, are too pricey to re-route to Canada, or are too splendid to resist – necessitating missions and shenanigans.
That’s why I’m SO exited about SHOP.CA; or as we like to call it, the Canadian Shopping revolution. It’s the end of cross-border Shopping, and the beginning of friendly, hassle-free online Shopping – created by Canadians, for Canadians.
Sign-up NOW and receive $10 SHOP.CA Rewards on your first purchase of $100 or more when the site launches in May!
Sign-up NOW and you’ll receive 5x the Rewards for all of your purchases for the rest of 2012 (that’s 2.5% for every dollar you spend!)
Connect your Facebook account to your SHOP.CA account and be entered to win $500 SHOP.CA Rewards, a Samsung TV or a trip to St. Lucia or the Bahamas! (Details here)
And of course, signing up is completely FREE! Later today they’ll announce the lucky winner of the $500 reward giveaway! Hurry!
Do you have your own cross-border Shopping #Fail? Do tell!
I am SHOP.CA’s Official Shopaholic and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.