Thursday, 26 May 2011

My top three Canadian online stores

In honour of being part of the Vancouver mom-blogger community, I am dedicating this week to highlighting some local and Canadian businesses. On Tuesday I shared my top three local kid-friendly activities, and today I will be highlighting my top three Canadian online businesses. We'll finish the week off tomorrow with a giveaway!

Well.ca

Well.ca is Canada's largest online health and beauty store. I recently discovered their website while trying to find a place that sold a particular brand of shampoo and conditioner. Having been unable to find it locally, I was pleased to come across a Canadian online store that had it in stock.


What is one of the most cost-prohibitive parts of online shopping in Canada? That's right - the shipping. So imagine my surprise when I learned that Well.ca offers free shipping to all locations in Canada! Their 60-day no hassle return policy guarantees free return shipping as well.

At the time I placed my order, Well.ca offered free shipping on all orders, with no minimum purchase. Their website currently offers, however, free shipping with a $20 minimum order (or a CDN$99 minimum order for free shipping to all locations in the United States). According to their Facebook page, the $20 minimum was a temporary test, and free shipping on all orders should be back in place by now. Unable to find any shipping rates for under $20 orders, I went ahead last night and attempted to order $15 worth of products. The shipping continued to stay free right up to the point where I would have had to pay (at which point I cancelled the order), so although I can't say for certain, it would appear that their policy continues to be free shipping on all orders with no minimum purchase.

But $20 minimum or not, it's certainly no stretch to find $20 worth of necessities from Well.ca! The online store offers far more than your typical health and beauty shop. Their categories range from the expected (Beauty, Medicine Cabinet, Skin Care) to the unexpected (Specialty Foods, Toys & Games, Office & School Supplies). They include a wide range of Canadian products and are adding new brands every week.

My items from Well.ca (shampoo, conditioner, and a little special treat for a rough day) arrived at my door a few days after placing my order. They were well packaged and included, of all things, a hand-written thank you note! It's that sort of personal touch that turns me into a repeat customer.

New customer to Well.ca? Use the coupon code TAKE10OFF40 to receive $10 off a minimum $40 order. This code expire July 24, 2011.

Ape2Zebra.ca

Ape 2 Zebra is an online toy store that offers the best eductional, creative and imaginative toys from around the world. They aim to search out products that are "unique, safe, smart, whimsical, happy and natural". From their website:

Ape to Zebra Toys specializes in Natural Toys, Wooden Toys and educational toys that allow babies and children to explore creative, free play without boundaries. Our baby toys and toddler toys are safe for children to explore with all their senses (including their mouths!) and our educational toys will entertain and educate preschoolers to teens. We have a wide selection of pretend play toys, train sets, building blocks and construction toys. Our wooden toys and natural Waldorf toys are heirloom quality toys, some of them hand made in Germany.

Based in Campbellville, Ontario, Ape 2 Zebra ships worldwide and offers free shipping with minimum purchase (threshold depends on location).

I first ordered from Ape 2 Zebra when purchasing a (late) Christmas present for the boys. I was impressed with their wide selection, fast shipping, and excellent customer service.


There is no shortage of toys to browse through on their website. Narrow your search by age, manufacturer, country, type of toy, and more. Add items to their online wishlist for future reference or to send to family when they ask for gift ideas.

Ape2Zebra is the one-stop shop for high-quality natural toys and unique gifts!

Heartsy (Etsy, EtsyKids)

Heartsy features exclusive daily deals on handmade items from a wide range of Etsy stores. It's like Groupon for Etsy. What could be better??

Oh, I know! $5 off your first deal. Sign up using my referral link and receive a $5 credit to your Heartsy account.


I'll confess - I'm cheating here. Although Heartsy isn't officially a Canadian company, they do offer deals from Etsy artists around the world. And handmade goods from around the world are second only to handmade goods created locally! Ah, Etsy, how I love thee.

After you create an account with Heartsy, they will send you a daily email with several exclusive Etsy deals. No spam, no endless sponsor emails, nothing like that - just one daily email full of great offers. Each offer has a limited number of vouchers, so if something interests you, don't sit on it for too long! Some of the vouchers are gone in a matter of minutes, while others still have vouchers left for purchase the following day.

Thanks to Heartsy, I recently scored an awesome deal on hand-dyed superwash yarn from Sunrise Fiber Co. $8 for $20 worth of yummy yarn? Yes, please!

Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of children's items on Etsy? Need some suggestions for a unique handmade baby gift? Check out EtsyKids. EtsyKids is a group of Etsy sellers who gather the best kid-related Etsy finds into one big A to Z Shopping Guide. The shopping guide is updated quarterly, with fresh new items added each season.


I hope you enjoyed the reviews and found something new to check out. Please do share your favourite online store in the comments below!

Disclaimer: All reviews are unsolicited and uncompensated, just my honest-to-goodness favourite stores online.

5 comments:

  1. New follower here! Found you from a comment you left on Just West of Crunchy.

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  2. Thanks, Emily! I'm glad you're here!

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  3. Great list! I'm going to have to tell my in-laws about well.ca. Looks like something that would be so useful for them.

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  4. I too love Etsy. I've purchased from a number of Etsy stores and have been very pleased! I love browsing all the unique shops!

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