Monday, April 30, 2007

Dear Bargainista - #10

Dear Bargainista,
My lovely wife is thinking of getting an Apple computer. Is this a wise move? Please advise and we will do whatever you say.

Regards, M.S.

Dear M.S.,
Here’s my two cents...
Home computers are a matter of personal preference.

For the last seven years, I have used both Macs and PCs at work. As I wrote in an earlier post, I’ve always owned an Apple computer. I used DOS briefly in 1989 and didn’t touch a PC again until 1999 when I changed jobs and learned to use Microsoft Windows. Today, I use both PCs and Macs at work.

I prefer Macs for multi-media applications. To be honest, I’m not sure of the configurations on my PC but boy that sucker is fast. Like my home computer, at work I use an iMac with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. In my experience, Apple computers are easy to use, easy to set up and intuitive. There’s no shortage of user information available on the Internet.

But don’t take my word for it...

Read Jay Moonah’s insighful post, The Cult of Apple - why I’m NOT buying a Mac”. PC and Mac owners also had a lot to say in the comment section.

Here’s what another Bargainista reader from Calgary had to say:
“Ah, the iMac Core 2 Duo.

I think Apple has had major manufacturing issues with this model.
They’ve been very, very silent about them, but I know the problems exist.

1. New iMac fails after one week of use. Spontaneously shuts down, turns
on only sporadically, then not at all.

2. Send new iMac (on Applecare, no less!) in for repair.

3. iMac languishes in repair shop for six (count ’em!) weeks while they
wait for a replacement “logic board” (which i take to mean “motherboard”
-- “logic board” is just a fancy, obfuscatory term). Turns out Apple has
a massive backlog of orders for replacement boards. Hmn... I wonder why?

4. I finally get the Mac back -- and something else is broken -- the
ventilator fan is toast; also, the unit was improperly reassembled, so
the DVD drive doesn’t eject discs properly (they get jammed and don't
come out while the eject motor chugs away)

5. I spend an afternoon on the phone with Apple in Austin. After
considerable back and forth (I manage to remain generally polite), I
finally convince them that it is time to replace the whole blooming thing.

6. Defective iMac shipped back, new iMac arrives... only it’s not new.
It's refurbished. It came out of the same facility I sent my toast iMac

Oh man. It leaves much to be desired. Lofty promises from Apple, but
lousy execution. This experience made PCs look good. I will reserve
judgment on the refurbished unit, but I don't know how I'm going to
explain that to my customer...”
Bottom line: Do your research!
Talk to your friends, family and co-workers - see what they have to say.
Read as much as you can. There are lots of reviews on the Internet.
Write a list of everything you want in a computer and buy the one that fulfills your needs
Check out the technical support service, warranties and any additional costs.

FYI, Apple recently introduced a free consulting service to help customers with their purchasing decisions. (I know, I asked how it differs from speaking with any sales associate. I’m not sure I fully understand but apparently, it is.)

And if you (or your wife) decide to make the switch, consider spending the extra $100 and splurge for Procare. You’ll get assistance migrating your files from your existing computer and up to one lesson a week on anything Apple along with some other services.

Last but not least, whatever you do, let us know what you bought. E-mail me or leave a comment.

Dear Bargainista would love to hear from you too! Want to weigh in on this issue? Have a question about shopping, fashion or food? E-mail us.

Technorati tags: Apple, computers, customer service, electronics, iMac, Intel, Microsoft, Windows

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Toys “R” Us: Wii (don’t) play

I received this e-mail from Toys “R” Us this morning.
Wii Play was advertised in a Toys “R” Us flyer I received on Friday. It wasn’t available online that morning. I requested an e-mail notification but didn’t hear from them until today. I found it yesterday (busy day for gift shopping) and bought it at another store.

In addition to sending the e-mail notification sooner, they could have enhanced their customer service by offering a price guarantee.

Technorati tags: customer service, e-mail marketing, Toys “R” Us, Wii Play

Thursday, April 26, 2007

H&M lauches video podcast

H&M launched a video podcast yesterday. It’s available on iTunes. New episodes will be released every two weeks.

Watch the trailer (you can click on it to see the video podcast in a new window):

Will you subscribe? What do you think about retailers podcasting? Does it make sense for H&M?

Technorati tags: fashion, H&M, marketing, retail, video podcast

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Weekly wish - wedding ring redux

My love for fine jewellery is probably genetic. When he first came to Canada, my late grandfather became a jeweler. I learned to appreciate jewellery at a very young age.

I’ve always admired Anne Sportun’s gift for modern jewellery design. According to her website, her inspiration comes from the “...natural world around me.” I’m not sure how she makes the pieces in her collection, but they all look hand-made and have wonderful organic shapes. Each item is more beautiful than the next.

What I like most about her designs are their casual look and feel, while being very special at the same time. Casual elegance at it’s finest. Unfortunately, she opened her Experimetal Jewellery shop the year after our wedding.

So this week, I’m wishing for an engagement ring and wedding band makeover. I’m not sure exactly which of Anne’s designs I’d choose. I’ve included some of my favorites for you to ponder. Prices start around $1,400 and up. Which would you choose? Let me know. Leave a comment.

Well, great news. PR blogger extraordinaire, Ed Lee told me Experimetal is having a special sale. (Just in case you’re wondering, Experimetal isn’t one of his clients.) Thanks for sharing, Ed.

I’m not sure if I’ll remodel my rings, but I may be able to own a piece of wonderful jewellery at an affordable price.

2nd Annual Sale: Anne Sportun • Experimetal Jewellery
Necklaces starting at $20! Earrings from $5!
(Update: In Anne’s own words “Huge discounts on discontinued designs...”according to our e-mail conversation.)

The Smith Gallery/Café
107 Shaw St. (just north of Queen St., east of Ossington)

Apr. 28: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Apr. 29: noon to 5:00 p.m.
May 5: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
May 6: noon to 5:00 p.m.

All sales are final. Absolutely no exchanges, alterations or refunds (Visa, MC, Debit and Cash accepted.)

Technorati tags: Anne Sportun Experimetal Jewellery, jewelry, jewellery, rings, sales, wedding bands

TZATZ late nite shopping party

TZATZ Late Nite Shopping Party
Complimentary wine bar opens at 6:00 p.m.
Shopping until 9:30 p.m.
Receive a TZpecial gift with your purchase!
Win a $100 or $200 Gift TZertificate (no purchase necessary)

Apr. 26: 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

2512 1/2 Yonge St. (map)
5 blocks north of Eglinton Av. at Castlefield Av.
Green P parking is located directly behind the store
Enter lot from Castlefield Av.

Technorati tags: clothing, fashion, sale, shopping, TZATZ

Friends and family save 25% at Roots

• Friends and family celebration
• 25% off with discount code• Remember to use the discount code “FFAPR7”

• Apr. 26 (print a copy of the e-mail offer and bring it with you)
• Apr. 27-29 for everyone else

Online and at a store near you

Note: Check the website and a store near you for the fine print.

Technorati tags: accessories, clothing, Roots, sales, shoes, shopping, yoga

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wild Wednesday: 50% off at Goodwill

Goodwill Wild Wednesday
Save 50% off most merchandise (some exclusions)
New items arriving hourly.
Great way to reduce, reuse and recycle!

Find a location near you.

Wild Wednesday Apr. 25
Check stores for hours.

If you go, let us know what you think. What did you get? How much did you save?

Technorati tags: bargains, clothing, furniture, Goodwill, Wild Wednesday, sales, shopping

Monday, April 23, 2007

PUMA warehouse sale: April 25-27

PUMA Warehouse Sale - Direct from PUMA, the only authorized warehouse/sample sale this year!

Style Democracy promises huge savings on PUMA clothing, shoes and other accessories.

Metropolitan Centre at St. Nicholas Church (map)
3840 Finch Ave. E. (at Kennedy Rd.)

Apr. 25-Apr. 27: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

If you go, let us know what you think. What did you get?

Technorati tags: clothing, PUMA, sales, shopping, Style Democracy

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch VI - the recap

As we welcomed the warm sunny weather, we also said hello to a new meeting spot: Brassaii.

And what a warm welcome we received...

In addition to reasonable prices, ample comfortable seating, and delicious food, we had excellent service and complimentary mimosas. Not one complaint. We’ll be back!

Other bloggers in attendance were:
Adrian from Fashion Verbatim
Anita from I want - I got
Carolyn from the Toronto Fashion Incubator
Danielle from Final Fashion
Sonja from
community members: Andrai and Kasia.

Danielle, Sonja, Anita and Carolyn shared their perspectives and opinions about TFI’s Ultimate Platinum:
Should we support Canadian designers just because they are Canadian or do they have to earn our praise?
What does it take to be a good designer: innovation, commercial appeal, a bit of both?
What do you think?

Anita and Sonja were both chatting away on their new KRZR’s. The MP3 player rocks. Like most camera phones, the camera has room for improvement. We tried to take some pics on Anita’s phone and after six different shots, still didn’t have one we wanted to use on our blogs. Regardless, KRZR’s design sure is slick and made my relatively new phone seem pretty uncool in comparison. Maybe, I’ll get to test one out and let you know all about it first hand.

What would Earth Day have been without some discussion about organic fabrics and sustainable clothing? A few of us got into quite the philosophical discussion about consumer behaviour and materialism. What do you think?

Last but not least and certainly not unique to fashion (or shopping) blogs, was how to pitch a blogger.

Got a great product or service you want us to write about?
Do your research.
Read our blogs.
Make sure you know who you’re targeting.
Think like a boy scout: be prepared!

Join the TFBB group on Facebook.

Technorati tags: blogging, Brassaii, Earth Day, fashion, KRZR, TFBB, Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch, Ultimate Platinum

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Reminder - Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch VI - Apr. 22

You’re invited! Calling all local fashion bloggers or fashion blog lovers:

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch (TFBB)

461 King St. W. (map)

Apr. 22, 2007
11:30 a.m.

RSVP asap, log on to

Technorati tags: Brassaii, blogging, fashion, social media, TFBB,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Weekly wish - organic clothes from oqoqo

Unless you’re living under a rock, you probably know Earth Day is this Sunday. To be honest, I’m am becoming increasingly more concerned about the environment but know very little about sustainable or organic clothing.

An onslaught of stores are promoting their “new” organic collection this spring.

One of the Canadian forerunners in organic fashions is Lululemon (before they changed their name to Lululemon Athletica.)

In 2005, they launched a new clothing line: oqoqo (pronounced oh-ko-ko). Every garment in the line is at made from at least 75% natural, organic or sustainable materials (i.e. bamboo, hemp, organic cotton or soy.)

oqoqo clothing is available either at stores by the same name or at some Lululemon Athletica locations. Prices start around $50 for tops and go up to $200 for jackets.

My wish this week is to get some cool oqoqo clothing, information about organic clothing and why wearing it will help the environment.

Share your knowledge, leave a comment and help make the world a better place.

Technorati tags: Earth Day, environment, Lululemon, oqoqo, organic clothing, sustainable materials

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lida Baday’s sample sale - April 27

Lida Baday’s semi-annual sample sale

Her collection is available in only the best department stores including:
It’s one great sale you won’t want to miss! Whether you’re looking for something sophisticated for a day at the office, a night out on the town or that special something for a holiday party, this Canadian designer is not to be missed.

Friday, April 27

70 Claremont St.. (See map.)

Let is know what you get if you go.

Technorati tags: bargains, fashion, Holt Renfrew, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, sample sale, shopping

Monday, April 16, 2007

Original Live Aid concert tees auctioned for African famine relief

James Applegath, Toronto-based owner of Defunked (an online vintage t-shirt boutique), discovered 20 mint vintage Live Aid concert shirts. He’s auctioning them on eBay between now and May 10. According to Applegath, some Live Aid shirts have fetched up to $500 in online auctions.

100% of profits are being donated to benefit the original cause through Africa Aid - a non-profit organization helping to enhance the quality of life in underprivileged African communities.

Live Aid, the world’s biggest rock festival was held in 1985 to raise money for starvation in Africa.

What do you think of using online auctions to raise money for charity?
Did you bid on one of these tees? Tell us about it?

Technorati tags: Africa Aid, Defunked, eBay, fundraising, James Applegath, Live Aid, vintage clothing

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Eat My Words - the sweetest taste of all

A group of us were given the sweetest gift on Friday. Cupcakes. Not just any cupcakes. They arrived in a glamourous turquoise hat box, tied with a chocolate-brown bow called a “Treat Box.”

They were the most beautiful cupcakes I’d ever seen and tasted as scrumptious as they looked. Each delectably delicious cupcake was topped with a work of art: a colourful, impeccably-detailed flower (one even had a lady bug) made of rich candied icing.

And that’s not all, they came from a local organization, Eat My Words. Each “Treat Box,” includes a generous donation (part of the price) to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, helping ease the pain and suffering of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

How sweet is that? Yummy!

Note: Delivery is available throughout the GTA. Cakes and gingerbread houses are also available.

Technorati tags: bakery, cupcakes, Eat My Words, gifts, Stephen Lewis Foundation

Saturday, April 14, 2007

After a Fashion: third time lucky

Our third After a Fashion excursion in Second Life (SL) was on Monday, April 9.

There were 11 of us: Catherine, Connie, Jenny, Joy, June L., Kate, Kathryn, Mish, Sonja, Tamara and me.

We have a great new meeting place we can almost call our own: Katicus Sparrow’s Hideaway. Us gals had such a good time chatting, we almost forgot about our shopping trip. NOT!

Luxury items were on the jam-packed agenda.

First stop: House of Nyla. Nyla is a real life Canadian fashion designer based in Vancouver. Her shop in SL is incredible. She offers everything from a host of uniquely designed accessories including footwear (personally, I’m loving the thigh-high black boots in the entrance way), masks and hats to spectacular evening gowns.

Mish bought an awesome mask - it included a beautiful shopping bag, tissue paper and all!

Nyla’s signature is her wonderful use of bright colours, quality and richness of her work. Real photographers have a hand in her displays. Outstanding!

Next we ventured to RICX Fine Jewelry - the SL version of Tiffany’s. I bought my gold and diamond necklace there a couple weeks ago. In addition to the regular collection, RICX offers custom work and a limited edition boutique - Chloe and Paradise had a great time uncovering rare gems there.

Designer Lucas Lamath’s EARTHTONES boutique is another jewelry store not to be missed. Organic shapes and colours make their way into the designs. I bought the dangling earrings in the “bandana” head shot below. EARTHTONES offers lots of demos and prices are lower than RICX. Several of us wanted to buy a couple of the dresses worn by the models too.

Our final stop was Hair Fair ’07 (a Locks of Love fundraiser). It was so busy that many of our computers crashed and members had to leave without saying proper good-byes. For those of us who persevered, there were lots of freebies and L$1 gift packs to be had. Paradise can’t wait to try on all her new goodies.

I scored a ton of stuff so next time you see Paradise, she'll probably be wearing one of her a new doos. Doesn’t she look devine sporting “Casual” in chestnut from Elika Tiramisu Designs (ETD)? (It’s the one she’s sporting in the picture.)

Note: April 14 is Bandana Day for Locks of Love in SL. If you’re visiting, buy your Bandana at the Hair Fair and be sure to put it on.

See you soon at our next “After a Fashion” event. Stay tuned!

photo credit of Katicus’ Hideaway:
Kathryn Lagden

Technorati tags: After a Fashion, Catherine Winters, Connie Crosby, Eden Spodek, Jenny Bullough, Joy Boyson, June Li, Kate Trgovac, Katicus Sparrow, Kathryn Lagden, Locks of Love, Michelle Tampoya, Paradise Wunderland, Second Life, shopping, Tamara Paton

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Weekly wish - outfit for Ultimate Platinum

I scored two tickets for the Toronto Fashion Incubator’s Ultimate Platinum event on April 17 at The Carlu, but I haven’t got a thing to wear.

This week I’m wishing for some new clothes designed by homegrown designers. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a choice?

I can’t remember the last time I bought an outfit from a local designer or any designer for that matter! I used to own several and loved shopping at a boutique with only a limited number of each item. My disposable income pretty much disappeared with the onset of motherhood. I’ve been living up to my bargain shopper reputation ever since.

Just thinking about designer wear is giving me goosebumps. The care that goes into designing each outfit - cut, fabric, fit, workmanship - a wearable piece of art!

This week, my wish list is from the spring ’07 colletions of two Ultimate Platinum designers:
Arthur Mendonça’s fabulous metallic sheath dress for a more formal evening; and,
Jason Malto’s sexy, sporty three-piece pant suit is just my understated style and perfect for the Ultimate Platinum event. I love the cropped leather jacket, deep-cut top and sleek black pants.

• Do you like these outfits? Would you add them to your wish list?
• Are you going to Ultimate Platinum? What are you wearing?
• What do you think I should wear? Let me know.

Share your shopping wish. Leave a comment.

Technorati tags: Arthur Mendonça, fashion, fashion shows, fundraiser, Jason Malto, TFI, Toronto Fashion Incubator, Ultimate Platinum, weekly wish

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Premium Retail Group featuring GUESS? Jeans warehouse sale

Premium Retail Group featuring GUESS? Jeans warehouse sale - April 25-29 - International Centre, Mississauga

Get ready for the summer with some hot deals on the greatest fashions from GUESS! Save from 60-90% off on denim, handbags, jackets, tops, sweaters, dresses and more! Fashions for both Men and Women!
More info
Get the VIP treatment

April 25, 12 noon - 9 p.m.
April 26, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

April 27, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

April 28, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

April 29, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

International Centre, Hall 4 (see map)
6900 Airport Rd.

Mississauga, Ontario

L4V 1E8

Note: This is a sponsored post. The links don’t work in the graphic above but the links are available in the “What?” section.

Technorati tags: clothing, GUESS? Jeans, shopping, warehouse sale

Monday, April 09, 2007

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch VI - Apr. 22

You’re invited! Calling all local fashion bloggers or fashion blog lovers:

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch (TFBB)
Time to talk about TFI’s Ultimate Platinum

461 King St. W. (map)

Apr. 22, 2007
11:30 a.m.

Special shout-out to Danielle and Anita for their support; and, of course Adrian for another fabulous poster.

RSVP by logging on to

Technorati tags: Brassaii, blogging, fashion, social media, TFBB,

Penny for your thoughts

A friend suggested I start exploring advertising and sponsorship for Bargainista. Everything I’ve shared with you has been straight from the heart. I won’t allow any advertising or sponsorship on Bargainista to compromise my integrity.

I’ve had mixed feelings but I have spent a lot of my own time and money researching and attending events. So I have a proposal...

Let’s experiment together. I may post the odd ad or two. I may try Google AdSense too. If I’m being paid to post something on Bargainista it will be obvious. If there are paid banner ads or links, it’s your choice whether or not to link through for more information.


I can’t do it without you. Let me know how you feel and if you have any questions, leave a comment.

photo credit: A pretty penny ii by mrs. tiggy-winkle on Flickr

Technorati tags: advertising, blogging, sponsorship

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Apples, lemon and honey: my iMac story

This is the story of how through patience and persistence, I got a new 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac last weekend. [Warning: this is a long post even with major edits. ; ) ]

I’ve only owned Apple computers. The last one I bought was in May 2005 - the day Apple opened it’s first Canadian store. It was a new G5 iMac and at first, it worked like a charm. It was the only Apple computer I owned that ever needed service other than a memory upgrade.

I started having problems last fall. I thought they were related to my Internet service - NOT! The fan hummed and there was a constant buzz whenever the computer was on. Eventually, performance started slowing down too.

A month ago I did some home diagnostics but nothing showed up. I took advantage of my AppleCare service. They did some diagnostics and fixes with me by phone but nothing changed. Off to the Apple store I went...

In a nutshell, I visited the Genius Bar about 8 times, replaced the logic board and ran diagnostics , with AppleCare tech support and on my own.

After several attempts, I couldn’t replicate the problem for the mac geniuses. Even after an overnight diagnostic visit, neither could they. I bought ProCare so I could have quicker service. (I was having anxiety attacks at the thought of being sans computer for a week.) I started feeling like the boy girl who cried wolf.

The service I received was excellent. There were a few exceptions and a bit of misinformation from some of the staff. Overall, the passion the staff share not only for the product but for the customer is what separates the Apple store apart from other local Apple resellers.

A week ago Friday, I had enough. I spoke to a manager, Maheen, who assured me they’d help. I also wanted a plan in case they couldn’t fix my iMac. He wouldn’t provide one. (Throughout the experience, I had been told Apple’s policy is not to replace a computer until it’s had three major repairs, i.e. new hardware.) I didn’t ask for a new computer; I asked for one that worked. I didn’t care if it was 22-month-old iMac or a replacement. I just wanted a working computer and I wanted one soon! I never got angry; just held firm.

He booked an appointment for the next morning and put me in Agatha’s capable hands.

When I arrived (with kids in tow), I asked Agatha about “the plan” in case they couldn’t fix my iMac. She said they’d start “a case” - Apple retail speak for ordering a replacement. Finally! If they could fix my iMac, great. If not, at least the wheels would be in motion. Within minutes, Agatha decided to give me a new iMac but it would take 10 to 14 biz days.

In the meantime, Tyrone - a mac genius - would do his best to patch up my computer in hopes I could use it in the interim.

Tyrone was great. It sounded like there were hardware problems and a software issue stemming from an AppleCare tech support call. He gave me all kinds of tips. More than two hours had passed. I needed to get some lunch into the boys. I left the iMac at the store while we went for a bite.

I returned a couple hours later to pick up my sickly iMac. Tyrone told me he had good news but I had to speak to Taylor. She’d be back in 15 min. Off I went to entertain my uncharacteristically patient boys - ice cream works wonders.

Fifteen minutes later, Taylor gave me a brand-spanking new new 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac, with 1GB of RAM, a SuperDrive and a webcam - an upgrade. Good things do come to those who wait! Well sort of...

Went home. Opened the box, pulled out the new iMac. Plugged everything in. Started installing an online software update and guess what? It crashed!

I immediately called the Apple store. They said they were too busy to help me. I called AppleCare. The tech support guy tried helping me on the phone. No change. He told me to go back to the store. And so I did.

Graham, another mac genius checked out my new computer. In his words, it was “D.O.A.” - a lemon. By 7:30 p.m., I received my second new computer of the day and went home.

Where does the honey play into all this?
During this whole debacle, I remained unusually calm. I never raised my voice. I never demanded anything. I was patient and worked with Apple. I was co-operative every step of the way and treated people with the same respect I expected from them. I made it easy for the staff to help me and I was rewarded.
So there you have it, my story about Apples (Apple store/company + Apple iMacs), one lemon and lots of honey. ; )

Do you use honey or vinegar when you shop? Share your customer service stories. Leave a comment.

photo credit: honey jar image courtesy of

Technorati tags: Apple, AppleCare, computers, customer service, honey, iMac, Intel, lemons, ProCare, technology

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Danier offers spring savings

Buying a new leather jacket this spring just got a bit easier thanks to Danier:

Save $100 when your total minimum purchase is $399 or more. Save $50 on purchases between $249-$398.99.

Find a store near you.

Note: This is a Canadian promo and applies to regular priced merchandise only.

Technorati tags: deals, Danier, fashion, leather, shopping

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Toronto Fashion Incubator presents...

I’m going to Ultimate Platinum. TFI’s 20th Anniversary Gala. Are you?

Ultimate Platinum. TFI’s 20th Anniversary Gala:
7:00 p.m. - Silent auction and wine tasting by Vin de Pays d’Oc
9:00 p.m. - Silent Auction closes
9:00 p.m. - TFI New Labels Show presented by ELLE Canada
9:30 p.m. - Ultimate Platinum Celebrity Runway Show
10:00 p.m. - Evening concludes

This is a fundraiser and ticket sales will directly benefit community programming offered by TFI - a non-profit organization that helps new fashion entrepreneurs.

The Carlu (map)
444 Yonge St., 7th Fl.

Tuesday, April 17
7 p.m.-10 p.m.

Buy a $50 Guest Pass
• Reserve your guest pass at the TFI Shop
• Advance orders only (not available at the door)

Guess Pass Includes:
• All the events above plus a gift bag from ELLE Canada.

Technorati tags: fashion, fashion shows, fundraiser, TFI, Toronto Fashion Incubator, Ultimate Platinum

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Weekly Wish - shoes from Holts

In honour of my birthday today, I'm launching a new series called "Weekly Wish." (Thanks for the inspiration, Mish.)

Every Wednesday, I'll be sharing one shopping wish with you. Maybe if I'm lucky, an attentive manufacturer or retailer will take note and grant my wish. ; )

Today, I'm wishing for a new pair of shoes from Holts' new shoe department. I think these Christian Dior aged brown leather sandals are out of this world. For a mere $885, they should be. Don't they look like they're worth every penny?

At barely 5'3", I wear a size 9 to 9.5 shoe! Shoe shopping isn't the easiest but it certainly is rewarding. I can't think of a birthday gift I'd like more than a new pair of designer shoes from Holts.

If my wish comes true, I'll be sure to tell you all about my adventure. Maybe I'll even try producing a video podcast. ; )

Of course, if I could have anything in the whole wide world, I'd wish for world peace; an end to world hunger, poverty, global warming; and, a cure for all diseases. Hey, a girl can dream.

Share your shopping wish. Leave a comment.

Technorati tags: birthdays, Christian Dior, Holt Renfrew, sandals, shoes, shopping, weekly wish, wishes

Monday, April 02, 2007

Dear Bargainista - #8

Update: Best Buy Canada Inc. (owner of Best Buy and Future Shop) has announced it's eliminating mail-in rebates and offering more instant rebates instead. Their decision isn't unique, Staples made a similar decision two years ago.

On the eve of another special sale from Future Shop, Peter from Vancouver writes:

Hi Bargainista!
Found your site because I was looking for the rebate conditions on the “Trendnet Wireless-G Router and Wireless-G USB 2.0 Adapter package”. I got the $15 rebate check, but didn't get the $30 one, instead got a letter from Trendnet saying
Purchase was made outside the qualifying period. I didn’t think so... Made the purchase on Dec. 31, but can’t find proof either way.

Would you happen to have the rebate conditions stored in your archives somehow??

I have a copy of my rebate submissions, but not of the actual conditions. I’d like to get back to them if I AM entitled to the other rebate - which I think I am, but have no proof.

Thanks for looking into this and helping!

Dear Readers,
I responded to Peter’s inquiry within minutes letting him know I needed some time to investigate. I’m happy to report a couple hours later he sent me the following reply:

Hi Eden,
Thanks for your reply. You’re welcome to publish my email (sorry I said hi instead of dear :-D).

To follow up, I called Future Shop, and they put me through to Trendnet, and they discovered it was a mistake, and a cheque will be on it's way. I’m quite impressed actually how helpful both Futureshop and the Trendnet rebate center were.


As a footnote to this story, I was pleased to learn this story ended up well for Peter.

It’s always a good idea to keep a copy of any documents you send to manufactures for rebates. That way, if you don’t receive your rebate cheque in the specified time or run into any problems, you’ll have a record you can use when following up.

Have a shopping tip you’d like to share? Leave a comment.


Dear Bargainista would love to hear from you too! Have a question about shopping, fashion or food? E-mail us.

Technorati tags: customer service, electronics, Future Shop, rebates, routers, shopping, Trendnet

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Soprano bags let you travel in style

My friend Marian’s sister, Sylvia is the face of Soprano Leatherbags. She’s celebrating her second anniversary on The Shopping Channel this week.

As a treat for viewers, she’s offering two showstoppers on Tuesday – two different styles of bags in new spring colours. I’m not sure what she has in store but you can have a look at what’s in store.

One of my favorite items from her collection is the 6-piece leather travel package. It comes in five different colours and includes a passport wallet and matching luggage tags. You can get the whole kit and caboodle for $246 (+ shipping).

Tues. Apr. 3: 12 a.m. (midnight) and repeated between 2 a.m. - 5 a.m.
7 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 7 p.m. & 10 p.m.

Wed. Apr. 4: 1 p.m.& 6 p.m.

Have you ever bought anything from The Shopping Channel? Ever watch it? Share your experience.

Technorati tags: bargains, handbags, purses, shopping, Soprano, The Shopping Channel