Thursday, September 07, 2006

Shipping up north

It occurs to me that since we now have a small Nunavut blogging community one of the things we ought to do occasionally pool resources. For example, a list of places from which you can order online that have reasonable shipping. I got the idea when reading a post on Claire's blog.

People down south probably can't fully appreciate the cost of shipping things up North. I've all but abandoned Canadian Tire since the last time I tried to order something, the cost of shipping was close to double the cost of the actual item. Most places down south that offer free shipping normally have a little asterisk and when you read the fine print discover that it applies to everywhere except Nunavut.

There are exceptions, though. Places that offer free shipping, or free after you spend so much money. Or even just plain reasonable shipping. So what I'm going to do is compile a list of places that I know of that have free or reasonable shipping. Other people are encouraged in the comments section to add any places they know of and I'll update it this post. I'll also probably put a permanent link to this post on the sidebar so people can find it easily enough. I'll also update it when I find some new place.

One thing about Iqaluit, once someone finds a good deal on shipping, they tend to tell others. Once they ruthlessly abuse it for themselves first, of course.

And yes, I appreciate that I should shop locally and support local businesses. And I do, believe me. But there are some items you simply can't find in the North or you would be crazy to pay what they're charging here when you know you can get it considerably cheaper elsewhere.

Support local business doesn't mean being stupid with your money.

Anyway, the list I have so far.

List of online retailers with reasonable shipping fees
1. Chapters - Free shipping on purchases over $39. Mostly books, music and DVDs, but some computer games, gifts and iPods. iRewards card gets you extra discounts on books for an annual fee.
2. Amazon - Much the same deal as with Chapters. Free shipping over $39 on books, music, movies, video games, software and other items.
3. Apple - Offers free shipping on purchases over $75. Primarily computers, although iPods, some electronics and software also available. iTunes store has music available for purchase online. Also has an educational discount for teachers and students. And, to be honest, is fairly easy to get. Just know the name and address of a local school.
4. Equator - Free trade coffee. If you purchase four pounds or more on a regular basis (weekly or monthly) the shipping is free. Plus, fair trade coffee benefits coffee bean growers more.
5. Sony - Free shipping on items over $24.99. However, I believe there are restrictions on large TV sets, so check first before ordering. Sony sells TVs, DVD players, cameras, MP3 players, Playstations, computers and tons of accessories.
6. The Source - Shipping of $29.95 per order. That's not a great deal on cheap items, but a fantastic deal if you want to order a new TV set. The usual selection of electronics.

Note. Future Shop is not included in this list as they're recently started charging for shipping.


jennifer said...

Fabulous idea, Craig!!

Way Way Up said...

Great information to know. I know I could easily spend more than $39 at Chapters.

J Consortium said...

Thanks for the list, We've been meaning to try the Chapter's trick, but haven't yet. And the Sony thing sounds amazing -- we need another TV for the bedroom, but don't want to pay $500 for a 19".

Somewhat related: We searched around a bit for the best prices on Canada Goose parkas and found that Weaver and Devore in Yellowknife had good prices (better than SIR by 15-20%), decent shipping (airline cargo), and friendly service.

vickyth said...

You folks have a Sears catalogue pickup spot there. The Sears site says that shipping to those is free.... Are they making exceptions for Iqualuit?

Kara and Matt said...

Matt and I are big fans of ebay. We find Americans who have one rate shipping to Canada. We got a 66lb meat grinder in a wooden crate shipped from California to Kugluktuk for $80. We thought that was excellent!

Another place that I buy books from is the Queens Printer from the government of BC. They have good educational resources, especially for Adult Education. The shipping is very cheap! Go to and look for the links for the Queens Printer.

I was also able to scam the home shopping channel in Canada. I got some scrapbooking stuff sent for free. Then I tried to get a bow flex sent for free and they finally figured out where I live!! But I am sure the free shipping they offer on small items would work! I think is the site.

We just ordered a surround sound system from Future Shop and shipping was actually reasonable! The box weighed 18kg and shipping was only $34.

Clare said...

One I forgot, and I can't believe I did, is Lee Valley Tools. They don't have free shipping but the most you are LIKELY to pay for shipping is $12.50, a pretty fair deal. There is a caveat however, they say that on certain items there will be a separate shipping quote, for the really large bulky items.

J Consortium said...

Great post!

Another good place is North By Northwest. They sell name brand outdoor clothing and shipping is free if your order is over $99. That's a great deal if you want a pair of boots or a parka because you'll likely be spending more than $100 anyway.


P.S. They used to sell Canada Goose merchandise but I just checked out the site and they don't appear to sell them anymore for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Things have changed. When I lived in (thereabouts) one of the major dept stores paid shipping, so did a pharmacy. But most of it had to come in on a ship once a year, or maybe, if lucky, the Twin Otter. That depended on how friendly you were with the pilot, and if he had room. Never lived anywhere big enough to have that sized aircraft come in, although we once had one hella ice breaker to get us out.

Do you know of any Inuit bloggers?

{Found your site looking for Codco DVDs}