If you are like anything like me when you shop, you like to find good deals. Its been a tough few years on the economy and we have all felt it in some form or another. The one thing I have always hated is spending a lot of money on kids clothes. They grow so fast. So paying 30 bucks for a pair of ordinary jeans, just wasn’t worth it to me. If you know Jr. Puff, you would know that he was a big baby and a fast growing one as well. He grew through clothes like a revolving door.
Back in 2006 – 2009, my husband and I used to drive over the border to the Fashion Outlets in Niagara Falls, New York at least 4 times a year. Mostly to buy Junior Puff clothes. It was well worth it. I remember walking in to the GAP Outlet and buying 17 articles of clothing for 150$ USD. Again, this was before the GAP Outlet came to Canada and before all the great sales and promotions and stuff that we have seen in recent years here.
Around 2009 -2010, I noticed that the price of kids clothes started to drop significantly. So we stopped crossing the border for kids clothes and spent more time and money shopping here. Sales have been fabulous. In fact I remember a time when the only time you could get a good deal was at the end of every season or boxing day. Those days are long gone. There seems to be great sales happening all the time, every week from store to store. I was no longer interested in crossing the border for kids clothes anymore. I had great deals right here. In fact, they opened a GAP outlet right here at Vaughan Mills Mall. It couldn’t get more convenient than that.
A couple of weeks ago, we went to Florida. Guess what I learned – that it was still far better to cross the border to buy my kids clothes than shop at home. From toys to clothes.. everything is still much cheaper. Did you know that Target sells Lego sets for significantly cheaper than any store that I have seen in the GTA?
Junior Puff typically needs to pairs of running shoes. he needs an indoor pair for school only and any everyday/outdoor pair. We buy him Geox running shoes. At the Geox store – running shoes can go for 80 – 100$ for the latest and greatest pair. Don’t get me wrong, they can also go for that amount across the border too – but at the Geox outlet stores here in GTA – shoes are about 40 – 60$ for last seasons model. We typically buy 2 pairs and spend about 100-120$ for them. In Florida last week, I was able to buy Junior Puff 3 pairs of shoes and Junior Princess a beatiful pair of shoes at the Geox Outlet for 100$. That is 4 pairs of Geox shoes for 100$ In fact, I bought Junior Princess Black Mary Jane Ecco shoes there that sell for 80 – 100$ here for 29$ The shoes, all of them are in and of itself a great deal and well worth the commute (I say communte because we drobe to Florida and back).
Thats nothing, I have many more stories about the great purchases I made in Florida compared to here. But it did remind me why I used to cross the border frequently to shop. Don’t get me wrong, I support the Canadian economy, I still do 98% of my shopping here and that includes kids clothing – but I cannot lie, it still is far better to cross the border to shop for certain things. Places like the Bay and Sporting Life in the GTA sell Kids Ralph Lauren clothing. But it is a lot more expensive than the outlets in the US. I bought my son 2 long sleeve Ralph Lauren polo shirts for 30$ at the outlet. I have not seen that here anywhere.
Where do you do your shopping? How many of you cross the border or order on line from American websites and pay the shipping and duty cause you feel it is still far more worth it?