How to Shop: The Ultimate Shopping Guide To Your Favourite Stores

If shopping is your jam, check out this list that will surely help you save money and shop better.

For everyone that loves some good shopping tips, this article is for you. We’ve compiled all our best shopping tips and put them into one convenient article. If shopping is your jam, check out this list that will surely help you save money and shop better.

Beauty Shopping

How to Save Money at Sephora

While a bit of shopping at Sephora can act as the perfect retail therapy, it can also do some serious damage to your wallet. In an effort to be kinder to our wallets while exploring the luxury beauty aisles of Sephora stores, we’ve compiled a few tricks to decrease your bill. Here are our top tips for how to save money at Sephora.

Tip #1: Embrace Value Sets

Sephora is fantastic at curating limited edition value sets containing a mixture of items within a particular product category. Cosmetics within each Sephora Favorites set can range from trial size to full size and contain multiple colours, shades and/or formulas that will appeal to the broadest selection of customers, while still offering variety. Check the label on these Favorites Sets to reinforce just how much money you’re saving; it’s going to be a lot!

Tip #2: Try Before You Buy

Sephora is amazing at offering free samples of your favourite beauty and skincare items. Simply ask a store associate for some assistance and they’ll equip you with a sample to take home along with a print out of the product’s ingredients and usage instructions. If just one take-home sample size isn’t enough to give you a realistic impression of the product’s performance, return to the store for another sample. Quality cosmetics and skincare are not cheap. Don’t spend your money unless you know the item is right for you.

Tip #3: Shop Sephora Collection Items

The developers at Sephora really know their stuff! So much so that they take everything they’ve gathered about customer shopping behaviour and product preferences to create their very own beauty line. The Sephora Collection is expansive with over 500 unique items and offers everything from false lashes to night cream for half the price of neighbouring high-end cosmetics lines.

Tip #4: Utilize In-Store Technology

The more knowledge you can have about a beauty item before you buy it, the less likely you are to waste your money! Being aware of your purchase’s ingredients and peer reviews on the spot will help you to make a smarter purchase. Bring the item you’re looking to purchase to the touch screen at the back of the store to scan its barcode and find out everything there is so know about that product before you splurge on it.

Tip #5: Keep Your Receipt

This Sephora shopping tip is a no brainer.! This beauty mecca offers a killer return policy just in case the item you’ve picked up just doesn’t work for you. Always save your receipt and return your items for a full refund within 30 days.

How to Get Free Beauty Samples in Canada

The phrase, “try it before you buy it” not only applies to big-ticket purchases like cars, clothing, and eyewear but cosmetics, too! With the price of drugstore and high-end makeup constantly increasing, it’s always great to start off with a sample before committing to the full-size of any beauty product. The benefits to starting off with a sample include learning whether the product’s formula works for your skin type and figuring out your correct shade. For Canadian consumers, however, cosmetics and skincare samples are a bit tricky to come by. We did our research and found out where to score some awesome makeup freebies. Here’s how to get free beauty samples in Canada.

Free Samples at Sephora

Sephora makes scoring free samples of any beauty or skincare item super easy in-store. Simply ask an associate for a sample of the beauty item(s) you’re lusting over and they’ll put some into a take-home container along with all of the product’s info. Online Sephora shoppers can select up to three free beauty samples to add to their shopping cart upon checkout.

Free Samples at MAC

Hit up a MAC store or MAC beauty counter in the Hudson’s Bay to request a sample of your favourite liquid beauty product (think primers, foundations, and skincare items). Associates will gladly scoop some up into a container for you. When placing an online order at MAC, select a free premium beauty sample to add to your online order.

Free Samples at Shoppers Drug Mart

Visit a Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique location for free pre-packaged samples of the newest beauty items to hit store shelves. Store associates have a ton of cosmetics and fragrance samples on hand at the checkout – all you have to do is ask! When shopping online at the Beauty Boutique, select up to three free samples to add to your cart before completing your online order.

Deals Forums and Blogs

If you’re at your computer and not looking to make a purchase in order to get a free sample, there are still plenty of websites to help you out. We found a ton of websites that specifically round up the active free samples giveaway from various beauty brands all in one section. The trick is finding websites that compile samples that can be mailed to Canadian residents. We found Free.ca, CanadianSavers.ca and WomenFreebies.ca to be the best at rounding up (active) promos for free beauty samples which typically ship within 7-10 business days of submitting your mailing information.

 

Home Décor Shopping

6 Places to Shop for Home Décor on a Budget

 

Decorating your new home is best done on a budget, especially when you’re making a lot of purchases all at once. When it comes to new home décor, you’ll often find that you either don’t have a defined style yet or that your finances limit your tastes. Therefore, when you’re furnishing your home for the first time, shop at budget-friendly home décor retailers.

Here’s our list of where to shop for home décor on a budget:

Factory Direct

Factory Direct is your best bet for discounted electronics, outdoor items and miscellaneous, “As Seen on TV” products. This catchall for discounted home décor and appliances is pretty incredible. Factory Direct is theplace to go for larger purchases when you’re not concerned about having the latest model but are looking to buy a brand that you recognize (think TVs, window air conditioners, and microwaves).Home Décor on a Budget Image via Cristina Avila

Wal-Mart

Have you checked out the home décor section at Wal-Mart lately? Here you’ll find trendy, well-priced home décor and accessories specific to the season. We especially love Wal-Mart’s private label brand hometrends for table accents that knock-off the likes of Urban Barn. Be warned: we’ve found that Wal-Mart’s décor is not necessarily made to last. Furniture pieces should be purchased sparingly and to hold you over until you can invest in long-term pieces.

Real Canadian Superstore

If you’re a fan of President’s Choice products (food or otherwise), Real Canadian Superstore is here to serve all of your kitchen needs. We found that PC really delivers on quality and a great price point whether you’re buying anything from wine glasses to kitchen towels. You can find a bunch of PC home décor at Loblaw stores across the city, however, you’re going to get the largest variety of kitchen tools, appliances, and accessories when you visit a Real Canadian Superstore.

home decor on a budgetImage via Cristina Avila

JYSK

With 20 locations across the GTA, JYSK is a great source for all things home organization. JYYK has amazing prices on all of those tedious but necessary, home storage solutions like hangers, shelving systems, baskets and shoe racks. While you can shop online, we recommend making a trip to one of their stores – not only will you save on shipping costs, but you can browse through the clearance sections unique to each location.

Kijiji

Kijiji is a great source for purchasing unique art and collectibles on a budget. It’s amazing how many new and interesting items you can find for sale on Kijiji by just changing your keywords in the search bar. Often times, sellers are looking to get rid of items quickly so you can easily haggle them down by a few dollars off of their asking price. Tip: When contacting a seller, see if they’re interested in a product swap instead of cash. Offer up a trade of your oversized mirror in exchange for their dining room table and save yourself the cash.

Home Décor on a Budget Image via Cristina Avila

HomeSense

HomeSense is every homeowner’s guilty pleasure. The savings on home décor and accessories storewide can get a little out of hand when you start to justify purchasing every single item. Stick to the ends of each aisle for the clearance sections. Here you’ll find red stickered items that are reduced an additional 20-50% off the already low price. Tip: look out for damaged pieces marked “AS IS” on the sticker. If you’re crafty, you may be able to utilize these items for a DIY project, otherwise, be careful – these items can be dangerous with broken glass and sharp edges.

 

10 Things Every HomeSense Shopper Needs to Know

 

We’ve rounded up the 10 things every HomeSense shopper needs to know. Keep reading for the top tips for shopping at HomeSense.

New Product Shipments

Looking for the latest and greatest inventory at HomeSense? Ask a store associate which day of the week their location receives new shipments and plan your next shopping trip accordingly. Most staff will be happy to share with you their store’s delivery days as well as which day of the week they mark down the prices on older inventory.

 

Where to get the best selection

No two HomeSense locations are alike. We’ve rounded up the top 5 HomeSense locations to shop from across the GTA for the best inventory selection and service.

 

Know Your Inventory

Still can’t find the product you’re looking for? Don’t forget to check out TJX sister brands Winners and Marshallsfor hearty selections of off-price home decor. Both stores have sizeable home furnishings departments with overlapping items also sold at HomeSense.

 

Return Policy

HomeSense offers a generous 30 day return policy for members of the TJX Canada Style+ loyalty program. If rushing back to a HomeSense location for a return isn’t convenient, you can always head over to sister stores Winners or Marshalls, who will gladly accept returns of HomeSense merchandise.

Ask About Delivery

No access to a vehicle? Most HomeSense locations partner with a local delivery service to make getting items to your home easier. Fees start at $45 and are coordinated with the delivery service directly, not HomeSense.

 

Get The Right Size Furniture for Your Space

HomeSense makes getting the right size easy! We love the handy paper measuring tapes hanging throughout the store. Grab one to make measuring easy and take tons of photos of an item to bring home and determine if an item will work within your space.

 

Buy it or Regret it

When shopping at discount department stores like HomeSense, it’s safe to say that if you see an item you like, grab it before someone else does. We’ve made several trips to HomeSense in the hopes of picking up that one item that we saw that one time and never purchased… Take it from StyleDemocracy, buyer’s remorse is always safer than buyer’s regret!

 

Clearance Items

We love spotting those little red stickers on items. For the best deals at HomeSense, check the back of each aisle for a ton of discounted merchandise. See an item with a damage that you feel should be on clearance? Don’t be afraid to ask a store associate. They will likely be happy to mark down an item for you on the spot if there is an irreparable damage.

Goodies by the Checkout

Gift giving made easy! We are suckers for all of the items lining the checkout lines at HomeSense. If you’re in need of a last-minute holiday or housewarming gift, here’s where you need to start looking. Find the cutest candles, glasses and kitchen towels – the perfect little addition to a nice bottle of wine!

 

Get Social for Gift Cards

HomeSense is constantly running contests on social media to give away gift cards. Entering to win is easy – just a post a photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram of your most recent HomeSense purchase and tag your photo with the hashtag #MyHomeSense. Regardless if there is an active contest at the time, publishing your photo on social media will prep your entry for when the contest period opens up again.

 

Featured Image: Instagram:@the.property.stylist

10 Things Every Wayfair Canada Shopper Should Know

Shop the Canadian Site

To ensure you receive the best Wayfair shopping experience, always make sure you’re shopping on the Canadian site (Wayfair.ca) and not the American. You’ll know you’re on the right website because you’ll receive free shipping on orders over $75 Canadian and you won’t incur any additional duties or taxes!

Wayfair Pricing for Business Customers

Calling all designers, event planners and business owners! Register as a business customer with Wayfair and receive special pricing on select items sitewide. Not sure if you qualify as a business customer? Click here for all of the details on becoming a Wayfair Business Customer.

Wayfair Rewards

We always love more ways to save. Did you know that Wayfair will pay you just for introducing your friends to their website? Each new friend who uses your referral email link will save $10 off of their purchase and you’ll earn $10 off of your next purchase. Click here for all of the details on the Wayfair Rewards Program.wayfair canada

Shop Closeout Deals

Looking for more savings? Shop Closeout Deals on Wayfair for deep discounts on overstock and discontinued products. The prices of merchandise marked down in this section are pretty incredible!

The Power of Product Reviews

Wayfair has a community of loyal shoppers who are open and honest when it comes to providing product feedback. We found it highly beneficial to read through a product’s reviews before making a purchase online. Customer reviews will give you a great idea of whether the product you are about to purchase will live up to your expectations. Bonus: each time you submit a review you’re entered into a draw for a $500 Wayfair gift card.

Know Your Return Policy

Just in case you’re not satisfied with your purchase, Wayfair offers a generous 30-day return policy. Note: Wayfair will either send you a shipping label and deduct the cost of shipping from your refund total or you’ll have to pay to ship back the item yourself. Keep this in mind, as the cost of shipping large and heavy furniture pieces will not be cheap!

Request a Quote from Wayfair

Wayfair goes above and beyond to fulfill your product wants and needs. If you can’t find the exact item you’re searching for on their website, simply request a quote and Wayfair will do the legwork for you by scouring suppliers and vendors for the exact style and quantity of items you’re looking for.wayfair canada

Use Wayfair Idea Boards

When it comes to decorating a room from scratch, Wayfair Idea Boards make the job of designing so easy! Create digital Idea Boards using your Wayfair account for each room of your home and save products to each board. Once you’re ready to commit to a design scheme, add the products to your shopping cart and checkout!

Wayfair Emails

Here’s a simple way to save. Sign up for Wayfair emails and you’ll receive coupons, sale alerts, inventory updates and notifications when an item you’ve saved to your Idea Board drops in price.

Wayfair Customer Service

Let’s talk awesome! We are so impressed by the speedy and genuine customer service at Wayfair. If you are ever dissatisfied with an order or product, simply contact Wayfair to get help ASAP. Remember: the more details you provide about your order to the Customer Service Team, the better they can help you. We’ve found that the online chat support is the quickest method to reaching a resolution.

8 Beauty Brands you Wouldn’t Expect to Find at Costco

Here are the 8 beauty brands you wouldn’t expect to find at Costco.

The Honest Company

I love The Honest Company products. This two-pack of their best-selling face and body lotion is such a deal, and is a great buy if you’re looking to try out this brand for the first time.

beauty brands at costco

Image: Cristina Avila

Dr. Brandt

Bet you didn’t think you could find Dr. Brandt at Costco! His signature DNA (Do Not Age) line ranges in price from $90 to $160 at Sephora, therefore you’ll save a ton of money by picking it up at Costco.

beauty brands at costco

Image: Cristina Avila

Peter Thomas Roth

This Peter Thomas Roth mask is amazing and this price is unbeatable (compared to the retail price of $72 at Sephora). The container is huge, so don’t hesitate to split the cost with a friend and share the product.

surprising beauty brands at costco

Image: Cristina Avila

Marcelle

While this drugstore brand isn’t too costly or hard to come by in big box stores, you can’t beat Costco’s bulk pricing! Grab two full size Marcelle mascaras at Costco for the price of one.

beauty brands at costco

Image: Cristina Avila

LaCoupe

If you’re looking for a shampoo and conditioner free of sulfates and parabens, you can’t go wrong with the price of this LaCoupe two-pack. The cost of two 1L bottles is less than half the price of two 500 ml bottles at most drugstores.

beauty brands at costco

Image: Cristina Avila

 

StriVectin

StriVectin is a fan favourite of spas and celebrities. While the price tag of this beauty brand is similar to what you’d pay at the Beauty Boutique, Costco throws in some bonus travel size items to make your splurge worthwhile.

beauty brands at costco

Image: Cristina Avila

Borghese

High-end beauty with a twist! Costco’s private label, Kirkland Signature, has partnered with luxury beauty brand Borghese on quality skin care and cosmetics at a deep discount. Shop their endcap display of serums, creams, moisturizers and mascaras.

beauty brands at costco

Image: Cristina Avila

Hask Beauty

If you’re obsessed with argan oil, this shampoo and conditioner by Hask Beauty is a no-brainer! Costco gives you the best bang for your buck with two 1L bottles for less than what you’d pay for three regular bottles at Walmart.

beauty brands at costco

Image: Cristina Avila

 

Store Shopping Tips

9 Things Every Walmart Shopper Needs to Know

Hidden offerings, insider secrets and the ultimate savings… we’ve rounded up the 9 things every Walmart shopper needs to know. Keep reading for the top tips for shopping at Walmart.

Know Your Return Policy

While we love Walmart for their generous 90-day return policy on most items, there are exemptions to this rule. Most electronics can only be returned within 14 days and only if they remain unopened. Trying to return a book or underwear? No way… these types of items are final sale!

Online Orders

Shopping online or through their mobile app for everyday essentials is pretty seamless! Shipping to your home(free with a purchase totalling $50 or more,) will take 2-8 business days to arrive. In our experience, a Walmart order to downtown Toronto has never taken longer than one business day!

Grab Your Groceries

Walmart may not be your first stop for groceries, but they will surprise you with their service and efficiency when shopping online for groceries. They now offer grocery pickup at Walmart stores and select pickup locations across Toronto. Read our review of Walmart’s grocery pickup service here.

walmart shopper

Price Matching

Get the best deals with Walmart’s Ad Matching program in-store! Walmart will gladly match the current in-store retail price of any local competitor’s ad (printed or digital) for an identical item (provided that the item is in stock). This is a great time to utilize your favourite shopping app to comparison shop.

Price Adjustments

Keep an eye out for sales and markdowns at Walmart! This big box retailer offers a Price Drop Guarantee. Within 30 days (with receipt), if a customer has purchased an item from any Walmart store that is now offered at a lower Walmart price, the store will refund the difference of the price.

Apply for a Walmart Credit Card

If you’re a frequent Walmart shopper, you can’t go wrong with signing up for the Walmart Rewards MasterCard. Earn an easy $25 in Walmart Rewards upon your first two transactions. Then earn 1.25% cash back on Walmart purchases and 1% cash back on all other MasterCard transactions. We love getting paid to shop!

The Best Times to Shop

Walmart aisles and checkouts sure can get hectic in the afternoon and early evening. Avoid the crowds by shopping early. We mean very early (between 7 am and 10 am) for the best selection, service and comfortable while rolling through the aisles of your favourite big box store. This is also the best time to grab the freshest perishable items!

Checkout51 Savings

Clip coupons like a pro at Walmart using the Checkout51 app. We love this app because, like all the best apps, it pays you to shop! Take a quick scan of Checkout51 weekly offers before your shop. Many coupons will be specific to items only if purchased at Walmart. After your shop, snap a photo of your receipt and see your cash back pile up!

Mobile App Barcode Scanner

Can you ever find a Price Checker when you need one inside Walmart? We love the Walmart.ca Mobile App for it’s built in barcode scanner to display prices as well as ratings and reviews of all of their products. Shop online using the Walmart mobile app and ‘favourite’ items to receive notifications when items get marked down.

 

The Best Marshalls Locations in Toronto

With so many shopping possibilities, how does one decide which Marshalls store is worth their time and effort? Here’s our breakdown of the best Marshalls locations in Toronto:

Yonge and Gerrard (382 Yonge Street)

This flagship Marshalls location is larger than life! Located all on one level and conveniently above a Bed Bath and Beyond, visit this Marshalls store for a huge (we mean huge,) home décor department. We were lucky enough to spot a slew of Kate Spade cookware and dinnerware for sale here. Need kids clothing? The children’s department at this Yonge and Gerrard Marshalls is equally as impressive with the cutest brand name clothing for the little ones. Tons of quality gift options throughout the entire store.

John St. South of Richmond (126 John St.)

At this downtown, two level Marshalls location you’ll find an impressive selection of ladies’ apparel and accessories. Yes, we pretty much drooled over finding Rebecca Minkoff leather cell phone cases and Ralph Lauren purses in immaculate condition. The selection of brand name cosmetics and hair care items at this Marshalls is huge; displays were well stocked and organized so you don’t have to do too much digging. At this Marshalls we also spotted a dedicated area for organic, ethical and eco-friendly products which was nice to see.

Dufferin Mall (900 Dufferin St.)

With it’s own convenient entrance from the underground parking lot of Dufferin Mall, this Marshalls location is a shoe mecca! Here, you’ll find all of your favourite seasonal footwear styles right at the entrance. Hit up this Marshalls location for a sizable home décor section as well – we were impressed by the larger furniture items like wardrobes and nightstands towards the back of the store. There’s also a big selection of season-specific décor items like wreaths and tableware. Shopping Tip: If this store doesn’t do it for you, there’s a Winners location (Marshalls’ sister brand,) at the other end of the mall.

The Queensway (158 North Queensway)

Tucked in behind a slew of other big box retailers, you might miss this Etobicoke Marshalls location if you’re not looking for it. We were very impressed by the huge selection of brand name and designer ladies apparel in the center of the store. While home décor selection was small, housewares and knick-knacks by the checkout area housed a ton of trendy and affordable gift items. The checkout line moved efficiently and this store was implacably organized even during our visit on a busy weekend afternoon.

 

Are You Really Getting A Deal When You Shop at Duty Free?

 

Known for deep discounts on goods like alcohol, tobacco, and cosmetics, Duty-Free shops remove local and national taxes and duties on goods based on the premise that they will be taken out of the country by travellers.

At Duty-Free, you can encounter major price reductions on everything from decadent chocolates to luxury handbags. With the promise of big savings, it’s easy to overspend in a hurry, however, are you really getting a deal at Duty-Free? Keep reading for tips on what items to steer clear of and which to save on at Duty-Free.

Alcohol and Tobacco

Buy! This deal is a no-brainer. You won’t find better prices on alcohol or tobacco products than at The Duty-Free Shop. If you’re unsure about liquor prices, I recommend downloading the LCBO app on your smartphone. The handy barcode reader will allow you to compare prices on the spot and reassure you of a great deal.

Designer Fashions and Accessories

Do your research! My weakness is luxury handbags and when I reach The Duty-Free Shop, I instantly begin to rationalize large designer purchases. However, purses, jewellery, and sunglasses are not always the best bargain when travelling. If you have a fashion or accessory purchase in mind, know your prices before travelling and always travel with a currency converter app on your smartphone for quick calculations on the go.

Electronics

Don’t buy! I always recommend passing on electronics at the airport. Most items are poor quality and won’t last you the duration of your trip. Forgot to pack your headphones? Purchase a $5 pair on your flight rather than taking a chance on a high-end pair at Duty-Free. Remember: making an exchange or return on a Duty-Free item after you purchase it will be next to impossible; you’re safer buying electronics at home before your trip.

Cosmetics and Beauty Products

Don’t buy! In my experience when it comes to duty-free cosmetics, if you needed the item, you probably would have purchased it at home already. There are so many ways to score discounted brand name cosmetics in stores and online; there is no need to waste time calculating if a 3-pack of mascara is worth the price in the middle of a busy airport.

Know your prices before indulging at Duty-Free rather than making a large impulse purchase on something that you can probably buy at home. Be a smart shopper – ‘Duty-Free’ does not always mean ‘Deal’.

10 Things All Etsy Shoppers Need to Know

Get Paid for Shopping on Etsy

We’ve told you before about our obsession with Ebates and earning cashback just for shopping. Earn 2% cash back on all of your Etsy purchases by first logging on through your Ebates account. Don’t have an Ebates account? It’s so easy to join and even easier to earn money on your purchases – click here to sign up!

Favourite Everything!

Favourite your heart out on Etsy! By adding things (both items and shops) to your Favourites, Etsy will get to know you better and make more relevant product and shop recommendations for you. Tip: These recommendations can often result in similar products and shops with lower prices and/or more convenient shipping options.

Contact the Seller

If you’re on the fence about purchasing an item off of Etsy, don’t hesitate to contact the Shop’s Owner! By doing so, you can learn so much more about an item than simply what is listed online. Ask a seller to send more photos of an item, clarify fit, expedite shipping or even include gift wrapping. You’ll be surprised by just how accommodating Etsy Shop Owners can be.

Negotiate your Pricing/Buy in Bulk

There is power in numbers! Don’t be afraid to reach out to an Etsy Shop Owner and request a discount for buying items in bulk. Most sellers are happy to oblige – these sellers make it easy for buyers to save by creating a custom listing for bulk purchases at a discount. Tip: Some Etsy Shops will hide a bulk discount coupon code as part of their cover photo image.

etsy shopper

Engage with the Seller

Be in the know with your favourite Etsy shops. Reach out and ask to be added to an Etsy Shop Owner’s e-mail list and follow them on various social media channels! These are great ways to keep tabs on news of any flash sales, coupon codes and new product launches.

Shop Local and In Real Life 

Play around with Etsy’s “Shop Location” and “Ship To” settings to hone in on local shops and support the creators in your community! To meet your local makers IRL, keep an eye on your city’s Etsy Street Team. Follow them on social to find out about upcoming markets, workshops, art shows, and more. Follow the Toronto EtsyStreet Team here.

Save on Shipping Costs

One of the perks to shopping local with Etsy is the convenience of buying from a Shop Owner right in your backyard. Before placing your Etsy order with a shop located in your City, contact the Shop Owner to negotiate if an in-person pick-up is possible to save on shipping costs. Most of the time, they will be more than happy to oblige and meet you at a mutually convenient public place.

Play with Search Terms

The key to finding exactly what you’re looking for on Etsy is creatively using keywords in your search. Try to be as detailed as possible and test out different adjectives – you’ll be surprised by the varying search results that populate when you describe an item as “red” or “maroon” or “wine” coloured.

etsy shopper

Read Buyers’ Feedback

Read an item’s reviews prior to placing your Etsy order. The review of a recent, previous buyer is the best indication of an item’s value. Satisfied customers generally go into detail about how fantastic a product or service and therefore,  you’ll likely enjoy it as well. Steer clear of any items with complaints on Etsy (especially any negative feedback that isn’t responded to by the Shop Owner ASAP).

Save on Your Next Purchase

From our experience, many Etsy Shops are likely to toss in a coupon code with your order upon shipping to entice you to make a repeat purchase. Therefore, if you’re inclined to place a second order with a Shop or tell your friend about a great buy, hold off until you receive your first shipment for that handy discount coupon off of your next Etsy order.

 

10 Things Every Indigo Shopper Needs to Know

 

Stay and Play

Indigo is our happy place! We can spend what feels like hours inside this store, either sitting in a cozy corner flipping through a new book or testing out fitness accessories in the tech department. No two Indigo, Chapters or Coles locations are identical. We recommend checking out Indigo’s first cultural department store in CF Sherway Gardens to explore way more than just books.

Share Your Wish List

Speaking of gift giving, have you made yourself a wish list online at Indigo yet? Like a wedding registry, you can easily add items online to your Indigo Wish List in anticipation of a special occasion like a birthday, holiday, or housewarming. Share your wish list with friends and family so that they know exactly which items you’re lusting over.

More Than Just a Book Store

There’s no denying that a trip to Indigo offers something for everyone. We are constantly impressed by the widening variety of lifestyle products, from cosmetics to bath accessories to table linens, available at Indigo. Indigo is a one-stop shop for more than just books these days and makes gift giving a breeze when you’re in a time crunch!

Reap Those Rewards and Savings  

We absolutely love the Indigo Plum Rewards loyalty program. While the Plum Rewards program doesn’t offer a merchandise discount, Indigo’s iRewards program does! For a $35 annual fee, iRewards members score savings on books, toys, magazines and home decor. Discounted ($30) iRewards memberships are available for teachers and seniors.

Earn Bonus Rewards

Want to rack up your Plum Rewards points? We learned that by downloading the Indigo App, you could easily earn 10 bonus points for writing a product review and earn 1 bonus point for rating a recommendation. Visit ‘My Offers’ to view the promotions curated just for you.

Free In-Store Events

Indigo offers a ton of perks for shopping in-store from exclusive author appearances and book signings to children’s activities. Subscribe to Indigo’s e-newsletter and keep tabs on their social media channels for event announcements.

Get Paid to Shop at Indigo

We love the perks of shopping online through affiliate sites like Ebates and AIR MILES Shops to save more. If you don’t need to make a trip to an Indigo store, why not make your purchase online from the comfort of your home and reap some additional perks like cash back or Air Miles points?

Compare Your Prices

We are very guilty of doing price comparisons while shopping in stores. The handy Amazon app (equipped with a barcode scanner,) makes it so easy to scan items using your smartphone to make sure that you’re getting the best possible price on books, stationery, and tech items.

Easy Returns at Indigo

Indigo makes returning an item in-store easy with a flexible 14-day return policy. Even without a receipt, we found store associates to be super helpful in processing an exchange or store credit for an items’ value, so long as it’s in resalable condition. Whenever possible, we recommend returning online orders in-store to avoid the cost of return shipping with Canada Post.

10 Things Every Canadian Tire Shopper Needs To Know

At StyleDemocracy, we know shopping! We deliver the scoop on all things retail related including how to get the best value at your favourite stores. Hidden offerings, insider secrets, and the ultimate savings… we’ve rounded up the 10 things every Canadian Tire shopper needs to know. Keep reading for the top tips for shopping at Canadian Tire.

1. Selling More Than You Think

As an irregular Canadian Tire shopper, I was surprised to find that this retailer has a much bigger product assortment than just tires, sporting equipment, and power tools. Yes, I was impressed that I could easily pick-up a ton of cleaning supplies, kitchen utensils, plants, electronics, pet food and more at Canadian Tire. This store offers everything you’d need for the home, just shy of groceries.

5. The Perks of Price Matching

Luckily, most Canadian Tire locations will honour a Price Match Guarantee. This means that Canadian Tire will match a competitor’s price as well as give you an additional 10% of the lower price back in Canadian Tire Money. Sounds like a win-win.

6. Sign Up for Sales Alerts

If you happen to be eyeing a big-ticket item at Canadian Tire and hoping for it to go on sale, I’d recommend registering for a FREE  My Canadian Tire account online. Among other program features, I find the most beneficial perk to be the ability to ‘Add a Sale Alert’ to items online. If and when an item goes on sale, Canadian Tire will notify you via email of the price drop.

7. Canadian Tire Money Goes Digital

Still have stacks of old paper Canadian Tire money in drawers and hidden in your car? Pick up a Canadian Tire Money Card on your next shopping trip and hand your paper money over to the cashier. Go one step further by downloading the Canadian Tire app and tossing away your physical card to lighten your wallet entirely.

8. Save with Efficiency

While a bit messy and overstocked, Canadian Tire store layouts are extremely easy to navigate when you’re specifically looking for items advertised on the weekly flyer. As a rule of thumb, check out large floor displays for flyer specials and end cap displays for big value discounts.

9. As Seen On TV Products

Canadian Tire offers a hodgepodge of merchandise, including your favourite ‘As Seen on TV Items’. Yup, those gimmicky, bizarre but awfully tempting gadgets that seem too good to be true, well Canadian Tire has a whole department of those items.

10. Online Shopping

Ship product directly to your home via UPS! You can also ship items to your closest Canadian Tire store for pick-up within as little as four hours – It’s cheaper and pretty convenient! For a store stocked with thousands of products across hundreds of product categories, Pay & Pick Up may be your best bet for hassle-free shopping.

Featured Image: Instagram/@CanadianTire

10 Things Every Hudson’s Bay Shopper Needs to Know

we’ve rounded up the 10 things every Hudson’s Bay shopper needs to know. Keep reading for the top tips for shopping at Hudson’s Bay.

Earn Those Points!

The easiest way to reap the rewards of a retailer is by signing up for their free loyalty program. The Hudson’s Bay Rewards program is your ticket to earning points for every dollar spent at Hudson’s Bay; these can then be redeemed for free gift cards. Spend enough at Hudson’s Bay and you can upgrade your Rewards status to VIP. VIP members receive coupons and invites to special events like Mariah Carey’s unveiling of the holiday windows at the Queen Street store!

Charge it!

Increase your rewards earning power by pairing your Hudson’s Bay Rewards Card with payment on a Hudson’s Bay Credit Card. This isn’t just another department store credit card with a high-interest rate… the HBC MasterCard qualifies you for additional savings on top of existing in-store and online discounts (including lower spending thresholds to qualify for free shipping when you shop online).

hudson's bay shopper

Increase Your Savings!

So long as you’re shopping online at Hudson’s Bay, be sure to first log onto your Ebates account to earn cash back on your purchase! What is Ebates? We’ve got all of the details here.

Toys, Toys, Toys

Streamline your holiday shopping by embracing Hudson’s Bay’s new and expansive toy department. That’s right – Hudson’s Bay now sells toys, offering greater selection and convenience to shoppers. Be sure to check onlinefor an even larger toy selection for children from pre-kindergarten to age 12.

hudson's bay shopper

Ship it to Me

Shopping for shoes at Hudson’s Bay and they don’t have your size? Never fear! Store associates have the ability to check stock levels at other locations and have the item shipped to your home free of charge if you pay for the item up front.

Hudson’s Bay Makes Returns Easy!

When shopping online at Hudson’s Bay and an item doesn’t work out, simply return it to your local store for a full refund. This saves you the time and hassle of having to repackage and return it by mail like other online retailers.

Save Your Receipt!

Despite the allure of a fancy department store, Hudson’s Bay is a friend to the budget conscious shopper! Buy an item for full price? Be sure to hold onto your receipt – Hudson’s Bay offers price adjustments on items within seven days of their purchase date.

hudson's bay shopper

Price Match Guarantee

Did you know that Hudson’s Bay offers a price match guarantee? If you find a lower, online advertised price at a qualifying CANADA-based competitor for any item that Hudson’s Bay has in-stock, they will gladly match their price!

A Little Local Love

We are in love with the introduction of Drake General Store products throughout Hudson’s Bay stores. Pops of unique and affordable Canadian themed gift items are a great addition alongside so many national brands. Shout out to local apparel brand Peace Collective for also having a home online and in-store at Hudson’s Bay.

hudson's bay shopper

Iconic HBC Stripes

It’s no secret; we’re obsessed with all things featuring the iconic Hudson’s Bay stripe. From the wool blanket to knit gloves, we love that there is a classic gift item full of Hudson’s Bay heritage available at any price point. Try the mug for only $8!

Bonus: There’s an HBC Sample Sale in Toronto

If you’re looking to score some of those iconic stripes, try checking out the bi-annual Standard Apparel sample sale. While they won’t have all the same styles or quantities you’ll find at a Hudson’s Bay store, you will be able to shop a selection of blankets, clothing, and accessories for wholesale prices. Good things come to those who wait!