Canada; let’s be honest when it comes to online shopping many Canadians are still way behind with technology. I know often when I talk about a deal I got online with someone I get looks like I’m crazy. Aren’t I afraid of getting ripped off? What about using a credit card, that can’t be safe. You can easily tell those who know nothing at all about online shopping as they are the ones that quickly snap “I like going to the stores”. The most common reasons people don’t shop online as they simply don’t fully understand how it all works.
How can stores ship to you for free with Canada post when it just cost you $20 to mail a small box 2 towns away ?
How can the online stores offer things so cheap compared to in store? How can you trust them with your credit card information? Can you use coupons? How can companies give you money back on stuff you buy at another store?
I know living in Truro, Nova Scotia; way over here on the east cost of Canada Online Shopping is a gift ! Most cities in other parts of the country have populations larger than our entire province!! I live in the hub of the province; if I am shopping locally here are my options:
- Giant Tiger
- The Source
- Children’s Place
- Sobeys (2 of them)
- Super Store
- Shoppers Drug Mart
- Pharmasave (4 of them)
- Tim Hortons (8 of them)
- Liquor Stores (3 of them)
- Fast food restaurants, a few miscellaneous stores in the mall like La Senza, Bluenotes, Dollar store)
If I want access to any other stores I am driving an hour to the city! I’m lucky as there are many Nova Scotian’s that need to drive even FURTHER to have store options. In Newfoundland; they have even less variety of stores. If I want Starbucks; I’m driving 45 minutes! I know a few times I have been talking to sponsors and other marketing companies; most in Toronto and they are shocked at the limitations we have here for retail and options. Prices on the east coast tend to be much higher as it cost more to get the product here and thus the price increases & we take less quantity so our stores pay more too! We pay some of the highest sales taxes in the country; gas prices are high. Very often it is much cheaper to pay a small shipping fee than to drive anywhere! Many online merchants offer free shipping.
Online stores can offer much lower prices due to various reasons. Retail stores are expensive! You need a building, utilities, insurance, employees, loss to to shoplifting, fraud, etc Online stores eliminate many of these cost and thus can give it to you at a much lower price!! Online stores can gain items from manufactures at a much lower cost as they can purchase in column, thus driving down the price even more. We as consumers can get access to more products and options at even lower prices than many retail stores can compete with.
Coupons! Yes they have online coupons referred to as CouponCodes which often are a combination of words, numbers or symbols. When you use coupons online very often they CAN be combined with other offers giving you even greater savings! Here is an active example use the coupon code NANNIE at Yogactive and save Five Bucks!
Paying Online! One of the most popular and most trusted payment systems for online shopping is Paypal! Paypal is the leading online payment system you can send money to people, shop online, withdrawal and deposit money to your bank account. The amazing thing about Paypal is it is like a trusted 3rd party. If you buy something from me and pay with Paypal. I do NOT get access to any of your information. Paypal deposits the money in my account you pay. That’s it! Paypal has dispute resolution; can get a refund for you if something goes wrong! Paypal keeps your information safe! Just like anything online Always go to the main website; do not click on links in emails!
If the website was not secure it would be http://www.paypal.com That one little S is VERY Important!
If your paying on sites directly with your credit card always look for the secure S before you enter you information.
Using Credit Cards directly online.
If you are concerned with using your credit card online there are various different options you can do:
- Buy a pre paid credit card – This is great for those who do not have credit or are not comfortable using their credit card online. You can pick these up at most stores for a one time fee of under $4
- Get another credit card or get the limit of one of your credit card’s lowered. I called and had one of my credit card limits changed to $250. That way if something does happen it’s not on my main credit card.
Keep in mind MOST credit cards have insurance on them to protect you against fraud. Check your credit card if you don’t have insurance on it it can be easily added for approx $0.95 on every $100 balance.
Online usually one person processes payments whereas in a store, many different cashiers, supervisors, managers as they count their cash drawers, etc could have access to take your information.
Gift Certificates online are referred to as e certificates which is usually a combination of letters and numbers! They are just like gift cards you would use in stores and therefore they CAN be combined with any coupons you may have 🙂
Due to the lower cost of having virtual stores, and not having a physical store changes your advertising medium, strategies and more. Many merchants give 3rd party websites “commissions” of sorts on any products they sell and for new customers they refer!
Ebates is a great example that offers cash back on hundreds of online retailers. Cash Back amounts vary from time to time. Cash Back offers are allowed to be combined with other offers such as coupons and e certificates.
An Example. Sears is offering cash back via Ebates. I also have a coupon code to save $10 When I spend $50 and I have a $10 e certificate. I visit Ebates and visit Sears that way. I shop like I normally would, I apply my coupon and e certificate and check out! Within 24 hours If I check my ebates account I’ll see a cash amount for my purchase at Sears
If I were purchasing that same item in store I would not get my cash back option! Quite often they have free shipping options! Those are promotions are not offered to you if you phone in your order or do it in store!
Once you are comfy buying online!
There is a HUGE world of possibilities! You can get access to EVERY STORE, ANYWHERE!! More options, more variety! You can order MOST things online and therefore there is no need to fight for a parking space, stand in line, wonder if there will be any left when you get there 🙂
If your still unsure ask a family member or friend or check your favorite savings blogs to find tips or ask questions to those with more experience so that you too can began saving EVEN more without all the hassle of crowded stores!
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