For many of us bloggers who talk about shopping, parenting and fashion, this is also a time when we get bombarded with a lot of information about what our kids must have before they go back to school. Unfortunately, most of what I’ve received has been directed at U.S. consumers. Since Bargainista is really a place where Canadians who love shopping connect, I thought I’d share the couple Canadian items with you.
Visa Canada (a client of Fleishman-Hillard and iStudio, my employer) released a study last week looking at the shopping habits of Canadians, what they buy and where they shop, in the weeks leading up to Labour Day.
Here are some of the findings:
• Canadians parents and students plan on spending an average of $600 online before Labour Day, with approximately 15% going towards school supplies
• Of the online shoppers who plan to make an online purchase between now and Labour Day; popular purchases include books (49%), travel (36%) and computers (31%)
• Canadian online shoppers made an average of 7.1 purchases on Canadian websites, 4.8 purchases on U.S. websites, and 0.5 purchases on international websites
I don’t know about you but with two growing boys who have gone through tremendous growth spurts in the past few months, our back-to-school spending will be through the roof. We’ll be doing our best to keep costs down while knowing we need to buy school supplies, clothing, cell phones (their contracts have expired, we’ll opt for new plans with “free” phones) and have some money left over for some family fun before school begins.
For school supplies, read the comments on It’s School Supply Time in Canada! for tips.
For clothing basics, check out Bargainmoose shares her Old Navy bargain hunting secrets for great tips on how to save at Old Navy.
My kids love Threadless and they’re having a big sale now through August 17, 11 a.m. ET. If you shop today by 11 a.m. ET,
Looking for desks and other furniture on a budget? Don’t forget to check out sites like Craigslist and kijii.
If it’s big ticket items like laptops and cell phones you need, Wishabi* is a comparison shopping community that will help you find the best products at the lowest prices. Wishabi has just launched a text books search for university students.
“It’s an interface that allows students to find the best deals on text books compared to their University book store,” according to Wishabi’s CEO, Wehuns Tan, “Students being money savers love this kind of stuff and we compare books on both sides of the border. What we’ve seen is that with the high CAD/USD conversion, purchasing across the border is heating up significantly.”
And on the subject of cross-border shopping, if your finding unique items or better prices on U.S. websites, Visa Canada has partnered with Borderlinx – a new service providing Canadian’s with a U.S. address. Borderlinx will even calculate currency conversion, duties, taxes and shipping so you can see the total cost before you decide to buy. Also, if you want to shop at several U.S. online stores, Borderlinx allows you to consolidate your purchases so you can save on shipping costs.
Membership in Borderlinx is free (regularly $30) and you’ll save 15% on shipping costs for the rest of the year if you have a Visa card. Now I’ll be able to get my little one some of the licensed wrestling paraphernalia without the hassle of crazy shipping fees for Canadian residents.
Where do you do the bulk of your back-to-school shopping? Find any deals? What are your favourite shopping tips?
*Note: Mark Evans and Jodi Echakowitz on behalf Echo Communications provided information about their client, Wishabi.