Archive for the 'Shopping Tips' Category

Jun 19 2012

Fashion On A Budget – Possible?

Published by under Shopping Tips

How important is fashion? Well, considering the industry rakes in over $150 billion dollars a year, clearly it’s important to a lot of people. Trends come and go and the good ones, stay around forever or make come-backs – fashion is an integral part of cultural definition. It is a form of self expression and a means by which designers, seamstresses and tailors can convey their art and creativity. Both men and women enjoy a fashionable existence as what you wear is also a facet of communication, a means by which you say something about who you are, what you do and what you’re about.

There are many things you can do to achieve a fashionable wardrobe without taking out a second mortgage. The first step is being realistic – no one likes debt and certainly not debt incurred as a result of attire. It is always a good bet to be creative with what you have and look within what you already own to create new looks. After you’ve recycled all you can with what you have, the next step may be discount shopping. A good idea of this for example: If you love clothes from the Gap, why not use Gap coupon codes to shave a few bucks off the price tags?

Here are a few tips that you can use to add flare to your wardrobe without setting fire to your wallet!

  1. Whenever you go shopping, please ask for a discount. You have nothing to lose in doing so as the least that a clerk can say is no and the most as they can say is yes. There’s an art in doing this – chances are you are willing to pay the price on the tag if you’ve gotten as far as the checkout. Don’t be haggardly and demanding, just ask firmly but politely. You have to make them WANT to give a discount because most times clerks and store managers won’t see the benefit of doing so.
  1. When the fashion season is almost to its end, that’s the best time to get in on sales and pre-sales. Stock from the ending season takes up a lot of room and represents money lost if it is not sold. Nothing is physically wrong with clothes items that remain at the end of a season and this can happen for several reasons – sometimes items are overstocked either in error or overestimation of sales and other times certain designs are just not as popular. If you enjoy a challenge and like having some extra money for other important things, take advantage of the surplus and browse the internet for ideas on how to use your sale and pre-sale items.
  1. If you want to make sure that you don’t overspend, give yourself a budget or rather, enforce a budget by all means necessary. A good idea can be realized by the purchase of gift cards or certificates. When you’re shopping on the regular days, pick up a few of them and when the new season starts shop with those instead of cash or credit cards. Don’t walk with your cash or credit cards when you go shopping with gift-cards – set yourself this budget and stick to it!

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Sep 14 2010

What Tax to Charge for Out of Province Shipped Goods

Published by under HST,Online Shopping,Shopping Tips

If you buy only with Canada, from another province, the HST/GST rates are now different since July 1st, 2010.  Online stores based on provinces (except QC) are required to charge the tax based on the table below, from CRA.

The GST/HST rates for the goods recipients:

On or after July 1, 2010 On or after January 1, 2008, and before July 1, 2010 Before January 1, 2008, and after June 30, 2006 On or after April 1, 1997, and before July 1, 2006 Before April 1, 1997
Alberta 5% 5% 6% 7% 7%
British Columbia 12% 5% 6% 7% 7%
Manitoba 5% 5% 6% 7% 7%
New Brunswick 13% 13% 14% 15% 7%
Newfoundland and Labrador 13% 13% 14% 15% 7%
Northwest Territories 5% 5% 6% 7% 7%
Nova Scotia 15%* 13% 14% 15% 7%
Nunavut 5% 5% 6% 7% 7%
Ontario 13% 5% 6% 7% 7%
Prince Edward Island 5% 5% 6% 7% 7%
Saskatchewan 5% 5% 6% 7% 7%
Yukon 5% 5% 6% 7% 7%

For example, if you order from an online store registered to operated in Ontario, the shop owner will charge you the tax on the 2nd column based on where you live (shipping address).

People in QC are still lucky.  Out of province shopping only cost them GST at 5%.

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Oct 27 2009

What’s the duty/tax on Plasma/LCD HD TV?

Lately I was asked a lot of questions regarding importing large screen Plasma/LCD TVs from the US.

After a brief survey, I wasn’t surprised that there’s a sharp price disparity between the US and Canadian prices. Take the popular Sharp – AQUOS 52″ 1080p Flat-Panel LCD HDTV for example, both and have a special offer, one at US$1299, the other at CA$1,899. 46% price difference.

So it makes all the sense to shop in the US. Or is it?

Now how much duty or tax will you be charged? This may change the equation significantly. Here’s the list of taxes that you’ll have to pay when importing that big screen TV.

  • US state tax, depending on which state you purchase the TV. New Hampshire has 0% state tax, whereas Washington taxes 6.5%.
  • Duty of 5% (8528.72, covering high-definition, flat-screen, projection, CRT ), if the TV is not made in Mexico or US. One reader reported 7% being labeled as “luxury tax”. I cannot find reference on excise tax.
  • GST/PST on top of all above.

If you have stayed outside Canada over 48 hours, you can claim your personal exemption of $400 or $750.

One tip, many good brand TV, e.g. Panasonic 50″ Plasma T.V, are  made in Mexico. You can get away without paying the duty by choose those brands. When you cross the border, choose a senior-looking officers who would be more experienced in dealing with NAFTA and duty issues, and make less mistake in calculating the duty/tax.

Do your math, then you know whether it’s worthwhile.

Update Jan. 6 2010: A reader reported that the duty of an HD display TV is 3.5%,  assuming it’s made outside North America.

Another Update: If you live close to the border, try get free shipping to a UPS store near the border and you can go pick up. has the best deals on HDTV, Cameras, and Computers. I saved myself 25%, doing this, see blog here.

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