Tips & Tricks

Linens ‘n Things To File For Bankruptcy – Use your Gift Cards ASAP

Linens ‘n Things To File For Bankruptcy - Use your Gift Cards ASAP

Linens ‘n things is expected to file for bankruptcy on Tuesday. If you have Linens ‘n Things Gift Cards use them asap before the become obsolete.

Linda Young – AHN Editor

New York, NY (AHN) – The sluggish economy is taking a toll on home retailer Linens ‘n Things Inc., which is expected to file for bankruptcy court protection by Tuesday.

Consumers have less money to spend and that is creating problems for the nation’s retailers. According to the Wall Street Journal, after the housing crisis slowed sales of home-furnishings a buyout allowed Linens to go on when Apollo Management LP acquired it for $1.3 billion in February 2006. A bankruptcy would turn that into the largest buyout to go bust since the credit crisis last summer. If Linens files for bankruptcy it would also be one of the first major retailers to go under during this slowing economy, MarketWatch reported Friday.

Company officials are scheduled to meet with its lenders and largest vendors on Monday in a last ditch effort to work out agreements that would allow it to stay out of bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reports.

New Jersey-based Linens lost $242 million on sales of $2.79 billion in 2007 and it lost $154 million in 2006, according to Walls Street Journal reports.

In March, the company had reduced inventory purchases and store staffing to lower its costs, according to MarketWatch reports.. It has 589 stores in 47 states and seven provinces across the U.S. and Canada.

Thanks gues77 for the heads up.

7 Lies You’ll Hear From Salesmen At Future Shop

Very useful article posted at the Consumerist:

Future Shop is a Canadian consumer electronics retail chain. Charlie used to work there, and has now passed along the 7 most common lies he heard salesmen use on unsuspecting customers. Whether you have a Future Shop in your area or not, you’ll find these lies familiar.

1) “The Service Plan covers everything” In fact, it doesn’t cover most things. Don’t believe any salesman who says it covers physical damage, spills, cosmetic damage, etc. Also, after you have you machine replaced (after 3 repairs), the Service Plan stops working. The salesman will act like the replacement is a benefit, really it’s so Future Shop can wash their hands of your buggy hardware.

2) “I’m going to give you a discount”
More often than not my co-workers would lie about high priced items, claiming to take off hundreds of dollars on cables or warranties to trick uninformed shoppers. Always shop around and find out how much things are worth, and watch what the items scan in at instead of taking his word.

3) “This model is a Future Shop exclusive”
Danger Will Robinson. “Exclusives” are always a repackaged retail product, usually with a slight cosmetic change, but bumped up several hundred dollars. As my manager put it: “They move the speakers from the bottom to the sides, repaint it and we mark it up”. Salesmen make about triple commission on these models, so there’s strong incentive to push them.

4) “Setup will avoid hours of work”
This only applies to computers, but it’s good to know. Most salesmen try to push this on technophobes, saying that it’s a complicated procedure involving special tools. Really, they click through the Vista install, run regedit to stop some software and burn a backup disk. Oh, and it’s automated. Unless your time is worth about 30 dollars an hour do it yourself.

5) “You’re saving on x”
With some products there are legitimate discounts available for bundling, and managers have the authority to offer real discounts on unbundled product. However, avoid bundles like “Pay 350 dollars for setup and get free Office and Antivirus”. You end up saving about 20 dollars on Office and Antivirus, but you’re paying 80 dollars for useless setup still. If you’re going for a discount refuse to tack on anything you don’t want, and try to push the salesman. It’ll hurt his numbers to help you, but he won’t want to lose a big sale.

6) “You need Monster Cables/Setup/x to make this work well”
Monster Cables are a scam, so avoid them like the plague. They make the salesman about 25 dollars per cable, and leave you with very expensive copper. Similarly, some salesmen say computers won’t work well without setup, which less technically-inclined customers tend to believe.

7) “You have to buy x”
Legally, the store is obligated to sell you any available (nondisplay) product at the advertised price. Many stores “pre-setup” their laptops to avoid making customers wait for setup. Salesmen see this as an excuse to force the setup on you. Legally (at least in my store), if the customer didn’t want setup we had to give them the laptop at the sticker price, with setup. If the salesman is too pushy ask for a manager, who will know the rules a lot better.

Toys R Us (Canada & US) “Not Made in China” Toys

Toys R Us (Canada & US) “Not Made in China” ToysCame across a list of toys “Not Made in China” at That does not necessarily make the toy any better but reduces the chances of it having lead or toxic paint. The website also lists lead free toys and other useful info that you may want to check out before buying your Christmas Gifts. Here is the list of “Not Made in China” toys by

Item # — Name of Toy

64286—Little Tikes Fold N Store Picnic Table

329287—LIttle Tikes Easy Store(TM) Jr. Table


Canadian Passport – How to Get a Passport within 2 weeks

The Canadian Passport - How to Get a Passport Within 2 weeks

As you all probably know by now, US will require Canadians to present a passport to enter US whatever your means of transport is.

There are 2 ways of applying for a passport:

  • Either by mailing an application to Passport Canada
  • or visiting a Passport Canada office and applying in person

Chatting with some of the employees at the passport office I’ve found that it takes a significantly shorter time to go to a passport office and apply in person. When you apply in person your application is verified on the spot, you don’t have to mail out your birth certificate and you receive your new passport by courier within 2 weeks. If you mail out your passport application you’ll receive your new passport within 3 months.

Although the press claims that Passport offices are overwhelmed with people and you have to wait for hours and hours, it took me less than an hour at the Ottawa passport office to finish the whole thing! The secret is to go nice and early and have your application filled out and ready. Right now the Ottawa office caters to 1,000 walk-in applicants per day. In January, 2008 they are expecting this number to increase to 5,000.

There is also a new guarantor policy that makes finding a guarantor a piece of cake! Anyone including family members can now be a guarantor as long as they have a valid non-expired Canadian passport.

So here’s a summary of my tips:

  • Don’t mail in your application, visit your nearest Passport office and apply in person.
  • Go early in the morning.
  • Don’t postpone applying for a passport until 2008.
  • Get anyone you know with a non-expired Canadian passport to be your guarantor.

Hope that helps 🙂

If anyone has any experience applying for a passport please share it with us.

How to save money on AA batteries in a year


Note that this is not applicable to all 6V batteries. If you come across 6V batteries that have AAs or don’t please leave a comment with the brand name to let us know.

Update: Colin Boyd for pointed out that this is nothing more than a joke. After looking into it apparently most 6V batteries do not have AAs.

How to Avoid a Speeding Ticket in Ontario

Interestingly, Chris posted this information as a comment in an irrelevant place which qualifies it as spam. However, unlike most spam I come across, his comment is useful so I thought I’d post it here:

SpeedingThe best advice is not to speed. But it’s going to happen, everyone speeds, the police, the Judges and the prosecutors.

How do you avoid a ticket? There are times and places where you are more likely to get a ticket. School zones and anytime you see a Community Safety Zone are areas that the police are going to target with speed enforcement. Be aware on long straight stretches of roadway, and as you come over the crest of a hill or going down any hill.

The police look for good places to catch offenders. They don’t always base the set up of a speed trap on the whether there is a good reason to do enforcement, but more on the fact are they going to get tickets.

Always pay attention to the posted speed limit. If you don’t see the speed signs the limit in the city is 50 and outside the city its 80.

If you re driving 10 to 15 km/h over the limit your very unlikely to get a ticket. The police are regular people doing a job. They are going to use common sense and not stop people speeding a little over the limit. Most officers will set a personal limit as to what they feel is acceptable. A lot of officers will use over 15km per hour and some will say 20km/h. The limit the officer makes is totally within his discretion, and an officer could write you a ticket for even one kilometer over the limit, but we have never seen it happen.

If you see a police car or officer, stay within the speed limit. If you pass a police car even speeding slightly you could be stopped and given a ticket. It’s wise to let police vehicles pass or reduce your speed in the vicinity of a police vehicle.

Some officers using radar target the passing lane, especially on the 400 series highways in Ontario. Conventional radar targets the largest, fastest object therefore don’t be the lead vehicle.

Laser radar can pick a vehicle out of a group of cars all the officer has to do is target the vehicle and pull the trigger recording the speed. Again if you’re the first vehicle, your going to be the first vehicle checked for speed. Never be the first vehicle in a line of speeding vehicles. You can read more at

35 Most Outrageous Fees (and how to avoid them)

Tips & Tricks 0 comments has just posted a great little article on a number of ridiculous fees that we’ll all face at one time or another in life, and what we can do to avoid them. A few of them may not apply to Canadians, but ignore those and you’ll find more than 2 dozen great tips and tricks to help you save in airfare, real estate, banking and more.

Read the article 35 Most Outrageous Fees (and how to avoid them) at

Stay Warm, Save Money

Thanks to global warming many of us here in the Great White North have been able to stave off the cold for a few weeks longer than we’re used to. As we creep closer to January though, it’s good to be prepared for the winter weather that awaits us and the high heating bills that come with it. The Ontario Ministry of Energy has put together a handy energy saving guide titled “Conserve Energy and Save Money.” Not only does it offer a number of handy tips for reducing your heating costs this winter, but it’ll give you some other environmentally friendly money saving tips that you can use all year round.

Heating-related highlights include;

  • Use area rugs on cold floors – if your feet are cold, your body will feel cold.
  • Clean or replace the air filter on your furnace every month to improve efficiency.
  • If you feel cool, put on a sweater rather than simply turning up the thermostat.

You can check out the online version of the guide here, or you can order a print version here.

Air Travel in Canada: Contest

Jawaad just posted the second part of his “Air Travel in Canada” series. To make things interesting, we’re having a little contest. The winner gets a $20 Chapters/Indigo or cara Gift Card.

Try creating/finding the cheapest return fare from Montreal to Honolulu
Departure: January 26th , 2007
Return: February 10th, 2007

You don’t have to fly directly from Montreal. If it significantly helps reduce costs, you can take the coach to a nearby US city and fly from there. In that case, the cost of the coach must be taken into account. There are many options and a huge variety of possible routes. Reading Jawaad’s article will help you find the best routes.

The winner will be judged based on the practicality (duration) of the trip and the total price.

To enter the contest all you have to do is leave a comment with your trip details. Include price details, and where you got the prices from. Also include the total time your trip takes.

The winner will be announced on Thursday.

Air Travel in Canada: Part II (The United States of America)

Let’s be honest, Canada is a great place to live, but outside BC, there is very little that doesn’t turn to ice in the winter. Snowbirds make the annual pilgrimage to the United States of America every year, and I don’t blame them one bit. Even as a patriotic Canadian, it is quite annoying to have to live through constant cloud cover and freezing cold weather. However, being the neighbour of the largest economy in the world, we are afforded certain inherent benefits; mainly, the variety of environments that accompany the vastness of the United States. Ranging from beautiful Hawaii to rugged Colorado, there are a large variety of experiences awaiting the curious traveler. It is a source of great frustration that parents reason that, family budgets being what they are, we can’t all spend a week in Hawaii or on Miami Beach. At the very least, that is the lie that doubtlessly convinced my parents that West Virginia (where the main attraction was eating at Taco Bell) was more worthwhile than Florida. So, what can be done to get a cheap flight down south?

This second part will examine the unique challenge of flying from Canada to the United States. Flying from Canada to the US is a profoundly different experience than flying between Canadian cities. For one, Air Canada and Westjet do not have an oligopoly going on; they need to be able to compete against several American airlines. As well, there is much heavier traffic from Canada to the US; although the era of branch plants might be over, a lot of business decision-making happens south of the border; this means a lot of businessmen are flying there all the time, meaning more flights, more competition, and better prices. If you read through this and internalize the “3 Power Techniques used by Successful People to Save Money on Airfare” (which will be discussed in the last section), you will be in a far better position to get the best rate on a flight.

Fact 1: If You Fly Out of Canada, You Are Effectively Locked Into Your Geographical Region

First, you must realize that geography means you might be locked into particular destinations for the best deal. It might be off-setting for a metrosexual Montrealer to be surrounded by fat 70 year old Quebecois from the boonies wearing speedos in Florida, but rest assured that the $130 ticket fare that you will pay will offset your initial disgust. Destinations for cities vary, but generally if you want to fly out of two of the three major Canadian hubs (Montreal and Vancouver), you will have a distinct set of choices; “specialized fares” as I call them.

Montreal generally has cheap tickets to Florida, and little else. If you are dependent on Montreal, you are SOL.
Toronto is Canada’s main hub. You can generally fly “cheaply” almost anywhere in the US from Toronto. There are no “specialized” fares available.
Vancouver has extremely cheap fares to Hawaii and San Francisco/LA available.

Generally, the “specialized” fares that you get are very competitive. Unfortunately, just like domestic fares, Canadian airports charge exorbitant fees and “improvement fees” which is reflected on your ticket. As well, the deceptive practice of adding a “Fuel Surcharge” means that Air Transat can advertise $30 fares to Tampa Bay, but the amount you end up paying is almost $200. The only way to avoid this is by flying through the United States.

Fact 2: The Major Travel Websites Are Great for Low Fares – on Non-Stop Flights.

As shown in my last article, the major sites (Expedia, Travelocity, et cetera) are horrible for Canadian air fare. However, these large ticket brokers provide excellent fare to America, especially to major cities. To illustrate this, I have collected some examples of flights from Montreal to Tampa. I simply chose the cheapest one-way fare for a flight leaving on December 13th 2006 and the January 26th 2007. (All fare information was collected on the 11th of December, 2006, and are listed in Canadian Dollars unless otherwise noted.)

Montreal (YUL) -> Tampa (TPA)
Website Last Minute Price (12/13) Early Bird Price (1/26) $180.88 $146
Expedia $180.74 $143.64
Air $417.47 $186.40 $150 $222.52 $298.84 ~$200 $173.91 $146.30 $155.00 $180.00 is the best for last minute fares as it appears to lack a $7 charge for booking, as there is with Travelocity & Expedia; however both post very competitive rates, as you can see.

Now, let’s try a less popular destination; Montreal -> Oklahoma City.

Montreal (YUL) -> Oklahoma City (OKC)
Website Early Bird Price (1/26) $271 $271 $264.53 $264.48 $277.33 (CAD) $293.01 Error message (?!) $264.53

It is clear that you can save very minor amounts of money by looking around, but that the big sites are a very very good indicator as to what the lowest price will look like for non-stop flights. You can save a few bucks at times by looking at the websites for the airline companies and some other smaller websites, but it isn’t likely you will save much. (You might save money on a hotel by booking on one of these websites, but this is beyond the scope I can cover in this series). For flights which require connections, these sites are ripoffs and I strongly urge you to either book through a travel agent, or to pay attention to the next section. These is very much a “Buyer beware” situation; look at these flights from Montreal to Honolulu:

Montreal (YUL) -> Honolulu (HNL)
Website Early Bird Price (1/26) $430 $431 $719.25 $388.25 (USD) = $445.47 (CAD) $451.83 $454.66 $667.95

Although Expedia provides you with the cheapest price, it is still an incredible ripoffs, as you will see in the next section. Using the 3 Power Techniques to Save Money, which I will introduce to you in the next section, you will be able to find a fare that is nearly half of what is being offered at the expedia site. The biggest prizes are available for those of us willing to book through a US airport.

Fact 3: You can save a lot of money traveling from the US; however you need to pay attention and apply the 3 Power Techniques.


Montreal has quite a few neighbouring International Airports in the United States that are within reasonable bus range. Both Burlington and Albany can save you money if you pay attention. In the previous article, I explained how it was possible to save some money on airfare within Canada by flying from Burlington to Seattle and taking buses. Of course there are some drawbacks to this method; no one likes taking a long bus trip. However, you can save a lot of money by flying through the US. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t do the necessary legwork, resulting in paying a lot more money than they should have. To see the pitfalls, take a look at Burlington -> Tampa.

Burlington (BTV) -> Tampa (TPA)
Website Early Bird Price (1/26) $102 USD = $117.06 CAD $104 USD =~ $120 CAD $120 CAD $104 USD =~ $120 CAD

Since these are direct flights, one can rest reasonably reassured that there will be little available that is significantly less than Expedia’s offer. Accordoing to our previous work, Montreal->Tampa is $173.91, at its cheapest. Thus, we have savings of about 56 dollars; however this savings is mainly a mirage. The money that is eaten up by the Greyhound ticket and the taxi fare to the airport, not to mention additional time spent going. If you are going to try to beat the specialized fare tickets (Montreal -> Florida, Vancouver -> California), you are going to have to do some legwork. You are going to have to use the 3 Power Techniques.

The 3 Power Techniques used by Successful People to Save Money on Airfare

1. Get a list of discount airlines and examine where they fly from. I am referring to Southwest, but Wikipedia yielded the following as well: AirTran Airways, Allegiant Air, ATA Airlines, Frontier Airlines, go!, JetBlue Airways, Primaris Airlines, Skybus Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Ted (United Airlines), USA 3000 Airlines, US Airways, and Virgin America. In the case of Montreal, Southwest flies into Albany, New York. I didn’t even know Albany had a major airport until I read that. There is more frequent Greyhound Bus service to Albany; it is further away than Burlington and costs more to go to, but the savings on air travel can be substantial.

2. Try to incorporate heavily traversed routes into your itiniary. When going from the East to the West Coast, it is essential that you save money over the longest haul of the trip. Luckily, this trick is a great way to do so, especially in the US. Taking a flight to a city like San Diego or San Francisco is very competitive (read: cheap); this means you can travel vast distances for very competitive rates, and you can then switch over to short-haul flights to take you to where you want to go. Airlines work like this, but unlike them, you aren’t forced to take any one airline in particular; it won’t violate some sort of union contract for you to take a United flight to San Diego and then another flight to Hawaii (more about this particular route’s amazing savings later)

3. Don’t Forget to Look At Smaller Local Airlines and Charter Aircraft. There are many routes that simply do not have a low-cost carrier. In this situation, if the major airlines are giving you a bum deal on your flight, take a look at smaller airlines that enter into a particular city. You will be surprised at how much the lack of organized labour and old 70s era contracts can depress the prices.

Keeping these three techniques in mind, how much do we save to Tampa?

Tampa Flightplans

First, we have investigated Burlington and Montreal already – but both were a big mistake, because we didn’t do step 1. Southwest doesn’t touch down in Montreal or Burlington, but it does in Albany. Checking the Southwest website, you can find a fare for $89.62 CAD. The Greyhound bus fare is a steep $55, but it goes straight to the airport. Thus you have a sum total as $144.62. This is a 17% savings over Montreal’s CHEAPEST route!

Now, 17% might not sound like much, but when I was a student, it was a BIG DEAL, especially on a round trip ticket. You are basically saving food money; and the possibilities for savings are not yet exhausted. It is a lot easier to get a deal from Greyhound than it is to get a deal from an Airline. You definitely can find ways to chip away at this; a student/hosteler might be able to do the same trip for $115 (with the right coupons), giving you a 34% savings; or buy 3, get one free!

So we’ve established that we can save money on the best fare Montreal has to offer. How about on the worst fare, the Montreal -> Honolulu fare?

Montreal to Hawaii

Burlington (BTV) -> Honolulu (HNL)
Website Early Bird Price (1/26) $371 USD $742 USD $369 USD $363 USD
Albany (ALB) -> Honolulu (HNL)
Website Early Bird Price (1/26) $339 USD $339 USD $392 USD

These fares are not that great. Sure we could knock a few dollars off these fares, but what I want is the big money savings. $339 with the Greyhound $55 is about the same as what we get in Montreal. What can we do to flip the tables on these airline companies?

First, we need to set our methodology; Honolulu is far harder to get into than it is to get out of Burlington. That is why we are going to start there – it is the “choke point” so to speak. Honolulu is an interesting destination as it doesn’t have much in the way of discount liners that serve it. US Air is supposedly a discount carrier, but its only flight to Honolulu (Phoenix -> Honolulu) costs $748!. Thus Rule #1 does not apply; however, Rule #3 does, and we get the interesting situation involving Aloha Air and Hawaiian Airlines. Both ostensibly specialize in Hawaii, with small hops over to the mainland. This works to our advantage because both offer flights to some major hubs; including a little gem called San Diego (SAN). Burlington offers some insanely cheap to San Diego; I chanced onto a $104.59 USD fare by playing around on Using Delta Airlines 5421, one goes from Burlington to Cincinnati, whereupon someone travels from Cincinnati to San Diego on Delta 691. Hawaiian Airlines then offers a San Diego (SAN) -> Honolulu flight for $160.21 CAD. What does this mean?

Burlington (BLV) to Honolulu (HNL), using the 3 Power Techniques:

Burlington (BTV) -> San Diego $117.06 via Delta Airlines ($104.59 USD through
San Diego (SAN) -> Honolulu (HNL) $160.21 via Hawaiian Airlines

117.06 + 160.21 = _$227.27_ CAD for a flight to Hawaii from Montreal!!

Even including the bus fare, this is simply a fare that cannot be beat out of Montreal, Toronto or even Vancouver! You could take 3 people on this flight for the price of sending one person via Air Canada’s fare on Air!

Now a word of caution. Setting your own connections is dangerous in that flight status cannot always be foreseen beforehand. Be sure to leave a lot of time for the connection, and don’t let yourself end up stranded in the airport! This is a great way to save some cash, but only if you are comfortable with spending extra time in the air, and carrying your own luggage around in different airports.


For those willing to tolerate some potential risk during the trip, it is entirely possible to fly across the continent for less than a week’s salary. Although this method of travel is not ideal for families – moving luggage and keeping noisy brats in line during a 2 hour bus trip is not an easy endeavor in today’s climate – the fact remains that it is possible, without switching airports; which is far more than the impression I was given.

One should keep in mind that there are new requirements for crossing the border into the US; I wouldn’t chance going without a passport and two pieces of ID. I have been interrogated by Homeland Security once in the past, and the ones I encountered were a decent and pleasant bunch; however, you don’t want to end up there if you can avoid it. Don’t be a joker and leave your ID behind, especially in a foreign country (which the United States surely is).

Frankly, even I am surprised at how cheaply I could fly to Honolulu. Honolulu, which is effectively 1/2 way between Montreal and freaking Tokyo – for $227.27, one way? Well if that is possible how much would it cost to go from Honolulu to Tokyo? Unfortunately, this trip is NOT the same thing. International Travel is hobbled by many rules and is controlled by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA). A flight from Honolulu to Tokyo is showing up as being an incredibly overpriced $1074. Keep in mind that during the height of the oil spike, I only paid $930 to go to Tokyo from Montreal! How is this possible? This conundrum will be tackled in Part 3 of our series; world-wide air travel.

So looking to save some more cash during the Christmas Season? Would a gift certificate help? is running a contest for those of you who think you can find a cheaper route to Hawaii from Montreal; we look forward to seeing your entries!

GAP Canada, Old Navy & Banana Republic’s so-called “Gift Cards” Explained

In follow up to the post “Banana Republic Canada: Cheating its Customers“, Nina who has worked at GAP for a long time explains why people get cheated with GAP, Old Navy & Banana Republic’s “gift cards”. Thanks for this very useful info Nina. It will sure help a lot of us avoid getting tricked again.


I myself worked at the Gap for the longest time, and unfortunately this is not a new thing with these so-called gift cards ! They are actually not real gift cards but a sort of promotional card which is most certainly not the same. If you purchase something with a real gift card at GAP, Banana, or Old Navy you will be able to return items / exchange them etc. and your money will be put back onto a gift card.

However with this promotion and a few others, it is nearly impossible to get your money back, because it is a one time deal. I personally think it’s not a fair policy and as a cashier always made a point of letting my customer’s know about this “fine print” that most people do not pay attention too.

In the end, your best chances are to either ask if you can exchange the item against the same item in a differnet size or colour, but in my experience that is all that the manager’s will do for you (even though you might get lucky and run into a store that is a bit more lenient with their policy). The only other thing you can do is to call Gap customer services, and they most of the time will send you some kind of a gift card or so just to keep their customer’s happy.

In the longrun, the best thing to do when you use any “giftcard” is to read the fineprint and ask the cashier about the exchange policy etc., before using the card to make a purchase because sometimes you will run into these problems and I myself have had hundereds of customers which were left standing there without a store credit or anything. It sucks, but it is actually part of their policy and I doubt you will be able to do much about it. The only thing that might change the mind of the people at the head office would be thounds upon thousands of complaints and requests to change their policy. You can always give that a try too.

But for now, as I said, your best solution to this is to be an informed consumer, because this happens all the time, and you really will not find a lot of cashiers that will give you the heads up on these policies (because in the end it’s bad for bussiness).

I hope all this works out for you guys though !

Oh, and by the way. If you do make a huge purchase and get one of these facy little “gift cards” and you return the whole purchase, you still get to keep your cards unless you volunteer to give them back. I have never encountered a situation where that was a problem.


Online US Stores that Ship to Canada – Updated

Came across this very useful post on and thought I’d share it with my readers (I changed it slightly so that it focuses on Canada)

I’ve received quite a few questions from readers regarding what US based online stores ship to Canada and other international destinations. Below is brief list of stores that ship abroad and of stores that don’t (Target still doesn’t ship abroad, which seems like a lost opportunity to me). If you know of any other stores, please feel free to add them below.

Who ships to Canada
American Eagle
eBay– Make sure to check where the seller ships BEFORE bidding– must call 1-888-888-4757– must call 001-1-513-573-8170 for international shipping
YOOX.COM and (via AccessUSA)
Bare Necessities– (via it’s UK site) – looks like they don’t ship to Canada anymore. Thanks for the info ceci 🙂– Must have a Canadian Billing and Shipping Address.– rates are ridiculous but sometimes sale prices justify it
Thanks for the info M@ 🙂– free shipping to canada
Thanks for the info lisalikespink 🙂
Thanks for the info cubalis 🙂– shipping fees, duties, etc. apply
Thanks for the info jenn 🙂

Who doesn’t ship to Canada
SaksFifthAvenue – thanks for the info Matt 🙂

For those who want to purchase from the above sites, you can sign up for a service called Access-USA, which creates a US mailing address for you to use for purchases (and things like magazines) and then forwards the items to your international address. A word of caution: the service isn’t cheap, but if you live in China and are desperate for that Isaac Mizrahi dress, this is an option.

VIP Student Price Card (SPC) for non-Students


frugiedh this post is especially for you 🙂

So you’re not a student but you still want to make use of the loads of shopping benefits the Student Price Card (SPC) offers? Here’s the solution:

Subscribe to Lou Lou magazine for 1 year for $17.95 here and you’ll get an SPC VIP card. On this VIP card it says “Student ID Not Required VIP”.

Even for $17.95 (instead of $10 for the regular SPC) I still think this card is worth it. You’ll also get Lou Lou magazine which in my honest opinion is one of the more interesting and useful magazines out there. I think it’s much better than Roger Publishing’s other fashion magazine, Flare.

To get this VIP SPC card and Lou Lou subscribe here

How to get a PlayStation 3 or Wii from Future Shop

PlayStation 3 – Friday November 17th:

  • On launch day (Fri, Nov 17) all Future Shop stores will open at 8am and each store will have a minimum of 10 PlayStation 3 units. The majority will be 60GB ($659.99), and a small quantity will also be available online at
  • No pre-orders or layaways will be taken and all available product will be sold on a first come, first serve basis.
    In order to ensure that all available units are allocated to customers, Future Shop staff are not permitted to purchase the product on launch day.
  • The exact number of units per store will be posted on a sign outside the front doors prior to the store closing on Thurs, Nov 16th.
  • Future Shop staff will be on site approx 2 hours before store opening to assign a ticket to each person standing in line, assuring the purchase of a unit (only one ticket per person).
  • Replenishments to stores are expected in coming weeks, and the best way to keep up to date is to frequently check or contact your local store.

Wii – Sunday November 19th:

  • On launch day (Sun, Nov 19th) the majority of Future Shop stores will open early, but times vary from province to province (website will provide specific opening times for all stores) and each store will have between 15 and 60 units (Wii cost: $279.99). A small quantity will also be available online at
  • No pre-orders or layaways will be taken and all available product will be sold on a first come, first serve basis.
    In order to ensure that all available units are allocated to customers, Future Shop staff are not permitted to purchase the product on launch day.
  • The exact number of units per store will be posted on a sign outside the front doors prior to the store closing on Sat, Nov 18th.
  • Future Shop staff will be on site approximately 2 hours before store opening to assign a ticket to each person standing in line, assuring the purchase of a unit (only one ticket per person).
  • Replenishments to stores are expected in coming weeks, and the best way to keep up to date is to frequently check or contact your local store.

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