Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My guide to online shopping

  I do a lot of shopping online.  There are various reasons why I dislike shopping in downton Toronto (I could be here all day listing them) but basically I do not like the prices, the styles available, and I don't have a car so I'm limited to stores nearby me which are always busy.

Here are my general tips:
* Items valued > $20CAD or that are made in North America are exempt from duties.
*Canada Customs randomly charges duties and usually only charges expensive packages.
*To find out how much customs you may be charged search this PDF file from Canada Customs and add the usual sales taxes you would pay in your province/territory.
*Just because you order something from an U.S. state nearby you doesn't mean that you'll get the package quickly.
*Be prepared that the item may not fit or be the right colour.  This is why I only order cheap things so I can afford to get them altered or give them away.
*American sites tend to charge you the duties up front even if they're items that are exempt (but will refund you a few months later).  This is why I rarely order from the U.S.
*If an international site offers free shipping and you want to order more than 1 thing place mutiple orders.

International sites I'd recommend:
ASOS: I shop here more than anywhere else.  They sell clothes, accessories, and beauty items.  Orders are shipped right away and shipping is always FREE!  Canadians have to order off the UK site though so be prepared to wait as long as a month depending on where you live.  They have amazing sales so if you see anything you like bookmark it and check back on Boxing Day.
Sleek MakeUp: A British makeup brand with amazing lipsticks, eyeshadows, and blushes.  Shipping is just under $4 and packages are shipped priority mail (I usually get mine in 2 weeks).
Ebay: Not as scary as it sounds!  You can find literally anything and usually for cheap.  Shipping rates vary but are usually reasonable.

Canadian sites I'd recommend:
Nail Polish Canada: A nail polish & cosmetic store based in B.C.  The shipping is always cheap and they have an amazing selection of products.
FTB Beauty:  An Ontario based store with hard to find products by brands like E.L.F., Barry M, Milani, NYX and many more.  Products are shipped quickly and by Express Post.
Devu Cosmetics: A Brampton, ON based online store where you'll find brands like Barry M, Sleek, TheBalm, NYX, and much more. Like FTB, products are shipped quickly and by Express Post.

There are obviously many more great sites out there but those are just some of my favourites where I've had good customer service experience with.

Does anyone have an online store to recommend?



  1. I never online shop mainly because I don't have a credit card but Wow I would have never known about those Ontario based websites! Thanks Christine:)

    Do you buy often the Devu company? and the FT one?

    1. Some websites let you pay with your bank debit card now (the only one I can think of right now is Aldo). I've ordered about 3 or 4 times from both Devu and FTB beauty. I always get their packages within a couple of days.

  2. im a huge fan of ebay and asos but had no idea that shipping is so cheap with Sleek! i have been eyeing a ton of their makeup so i am so very tempted now!

    1. It's cheaper to order from Sleek than E.L.F. so I really recommend them for a cheaper brand.

  3. I love shopping at asos. Buying cosmetics/clothes that I can't find here in the US and free shipping is my kind of shopping website!

    1. ASOS is the best isn't it. I love getting hard to find things with free shipping. I always get my packages quickly too.

  4. What an informative post! Thanks so much. I use well.ca and ftbbeauty and Tarte is awesome too as I have never been charged duty. I got charged taxes from ELF once plus the 10 bucks that CBSA charges so I don't want to order from them anymore. Forever21 is awesome and they have makeup/beauty items too.

    I really want to order from Sleek so bad but don't know if Canada ends up charging duty or not?