I often receive e-mails from deal-seeking readers who are looking for the best price on beauty or fashion finds. Normally, I’ll try to steer them in the right direction, whether it be through re-sellers, coupon codes or the location of their nearest outlet store. Playing “deal detective” is a hobby and a challenge!
Recently, I’ve been tasked to find the best price in Canada for a Michael Kors Hamilton Large Tote. A classic, designer handbag that never goes out of style (and therefore, never goes on sale), it is available at Canadian Michael Kors retail stores for $395.00.
Okay, first things first. It sells for $358.00 in the US, so there’s definitely a price discrepancy for north-of-the-border shoppers. However, only you can decide if the $37.00 surplus is worth your time, gas and duty charges to cross the border and find it in the States. And don’t even think about ordering it online and shipping it home; the delivery and extra charges will surely surpass the $395.00 Canadian price.
Hence, we’re working with a Canadian selling price of $395.00 plus tax, which totals $446.35 if you’re in Ontario, like me.
If you are a Costco member, your first option is to purchase the handbag from Costco online or in-store. Curiously, it is referred to as the “North South” tote, but for all intents and purposes, the bag is seemingly identical to the original.
Pros: The Hamilton Tote retails for $319.99, with shipping and handling included. That’s $75.00 off the retail price! The total, plus HST, is $361.59.
Cons: Since Costco is not an authorized dealer for Michael Kors, the manufacturer’s warranty does not apply. In place of the manufacturer’s warranty, Costco will refund your purchase price if you are not completely satisfied with the product. Since Costco is known to have a very liberal return policy, this does not bother me.
However, I’m much more deterred by the fact that the handbags are ONLY available with silver hardware; because the Hamilton Tote with gold hardware is the stand-alone favourite, MK stopped selling the totes with silver detailing last year. Hence, me thinks that Costco got their hands on a plethora of overstock, which justifies the discounted price. And yes, I am vain enough to reason that if no one wants silver hardware, why should I??
Your second option is to purchase the handbag through SHOP.CA – where you can find the Michael Kors Hamilton Large Tote in Luggage (soft brown – with gold hardware!) for $356.00 with free shipping.
Pros: While this is already preferable to the retail option, it actually gets better. First, there are several coupon codes you can find online, offering savings of $10 off. (RetailMeNot shares SHOPRMN1040 as their exclusive code. Tried it today; it works!) Next, if you pay via PayPal, eligible PayPal customers will receive a deposit of $25 in your PayPal Account to spend on an order of $75 or more between May 8, 2014 and June 30, 2014.
So, if you do the math, $356.00 plus 13% HST is $402.28. Now, minus your $10 off coupon and $25 PayPal savings, and you’re down to $367.28. Since you’re receiving a Hamilton Tote with gold hardware, you’re apples-to-apples with the retail store (unlike Costco’s discontinued silver-only option). Therefore, with SHOP.CA’s current promotion, you’ll save $79.07 off the regular Canadian price. Score!
Cons: The PayPal promotion ends on June 30th, so hurry!
Now of course you can find a Michael Kors Hamilton Large Tote at a Michael Kors Outlet – in either the US or Canada – but keep in mind that the outlet version is decidedly different than the original, with a name plate in the place of the lock. Purists will argue that the lock and key is the definitive feature of the Hamilton, but it’s really up to personal taste (and budget).
Well, mission accomplished for this deal detective! If you’ve found a cheaper Canadian price for an original Michael Kors Hamilton Large Tote with gold hardware, be sure to let me know in the comments. But for now… SHOP.CA is the winner! $79.07 back in your wallet, fashionistas!