CONSUMERWATCH: Online deals
People can find great deals while shopping online, just ask Lorraine Taylor. She bought about a dozen pairs of eyeglasses on a U.S. site called zennioptical.com.
"They were so inexpensive that I wasn't worried about wasting money," says Taylor. "If they didn't work out or didn't look good, 10 to 15 dollars was no big deal."
Once you have a prescription the site shows you how to measure your eyes to get the proper fit.
Taylor says shopping online is worth it because the high Canadian dollar balances out shipping costs.
However, if the Canadian dollar takes a dive, consumers may not want to shop on American sites. Online shopping expert Joanna Track says there are not a lot of Canadian based retail sites for Canadian shoppers. To solve that problem Track created dealuxe.ca.
"We're definitely seeing the landscape change," says Track. "Sites like dealuxe.ca and other Canadian brands are really understanding that consumers are looking not to walk away from bricks and mortar retail stores, but to have their options."
Dealuxe.ca is a Toronto based site that offers trendy looks and lifestyle products with simple return polices. The concept is similar to Montreal based beyondtherack.com, which offers designer labels for less.
Consumers are also looking to coupons for savings. Denise Hobbs of gocoupons.ca says she has seen website traffic jump by 282% compared to last year.
"People are trying to maximize their budgets," says Hobbs. "It's a great way to do it and it's free, so why wouldn't they?"
Hobbs says gocoupons.ca ships manufacturer's coupons to members and it is free to sign.
A trend report by shop.ca says by 2015, online spending by Canadians will nearly double to 30.9 billion dollars.
For more more information on the websites mentioned in the report: