Monday, May 7, 2012

Canadian Beef ( my beef that is )

1) I can remember asking at Chapters ( e.g. Barnes and Noble ) why it costs so much more for books here and they replied well it's the currency difference, mmmm, ok I guess I can accept that. But now our currency is on par and some days ours is higher and still we are paying a significant difference for books - so once again, last month I put the same question to the store clerk - the response?  A giggle and a shrug of the shoulders.
I am talking even Canadian Authored books!!!  WTH?  No sense at all!

2) Electricity and Gas -  absolutely absurd that the province I live in and pay taxes in, produces and exports Electricity to our neighbouring northern states and charges them  LESS THAN US 
Even if they don't want to give us a little teensy itty bitty break - at least charge us the same?
Enough said -

2) Lately I've been seeing more and more people reverting to home made chalk paint because of the cost ( I have tried to do it - but am not quite so happy with the results and I really do love ASCP ) but here's the thing,
here in Canada we are still part of the Commonwealth -  there is a direct connection to this country and that country - so why does it cost us 50.00 dollars for a can of paint - as opposed to the 35.00 our cousins are paying in the States????????
I can't wrap my brain around it - but it's a lot of money.
Justifiable perhaps if you have a special piece of furniture that you are doing for yourself but really expensive when you are doing it to restore furniture to sell.
Why do we have to pay excessive duty and taxes?

4) When I decided I wanted to try the Subway dressers - the instructions were to get stick on letters from Hobby Lobby - and I think the prices were 2.00 and 3.00 ( or something very close to that ) we do not have a HL - so off I went to our big box office supply store - and for the same thing - I paid 7.95 and 9.95!!!!!!
Even if they are made in the States ( this is a paper product - one of Canada's major exports ) how much can it cost to ship in bulk - it's paper for crying out loud.

5) Now here is my absolute biggest rant.....................all over blog land people are picking up dressers - vanities - sideboards etc from their local Savation Army - Goodwill and the like for 15.00 - 20.00 - 30.00 - even 50 and 60 dollars.  Extremely decent prices -
Here is what happened at my local Sally Ann on my last trip.

- Oh look at that Dining Room set John - isn't is beautiful?
- Not really - look at all the damage Suzan, that needs a lot of restoration
- Well John that's why it's priced so low -

- Excuse me, could you tell me the price of that dining room table and 4 chairs in the corner over there?
- 695.00 Madam
- Pardon me?
- 695.00 Madam
- Pls tell me you're joking?
- No ma'am - this is quality furniture
- But it's in awful condition -  (and this is the S.A. I shouldn't be having this conversation)
- Can I speak to your manager please?

Out comes a young girl - looking very flustered and pissed off that she actually has to speak to someone with a calculator in her hand - part 2 follows

- This gentleman tells me the price of the dining room set is 695.00 - there are gouges and holes in it - the fabric is ripped and extremely dirty - surely there must be a mistake?
- No Madam - there is no mistake - we have an antique expert who comes in and tells us what our furniture is worth
( my blood pressure is raising - did I hear this correctly?  antique expert? Salvation Army? )
- But you are not an Antique Store - you're the Salvation Army ( I obviously have to remind her ) you do not pay for anything you receive - these are all donations - how can the less fortunate afford to shop here?
- But it keeps people like you from buying it ( she is so lucky I didn't slap her right across the face at this point)
- PEOPLE like me?  Can you explain that please ( John is tugging at me to leave now - but it ain't happening buddy )
- Well if people like you come and buy everything then there is nothing left for the less fortunate.
- Listen honey - with prices like this I am part of of the less fortunate - and how dare you speak to me like this?  I'm a customer - you have no way of knowing my financial situation - HOW DARE YOU????
And by the way - you do not have to worry about the less fortunate shopping here - they can't afford to -
They're better off at Ikea.

John is dying now - he is not one for confrontation on any level - I am to the other extreme -

She quickly starts calculating something on her portable brain machine - and says
- I can let it go for 660.00 and just so you know Madam we have a 1/2 price off sale several times a year.
- Ok - when is the next one?


- I am not allowed to tell you policy Ma'am

and that is the Montreal version of the Sally Ann - unfreakingbelievable!
I've seen dressers there for 600 - 700 dollars, honest to God.
now I know this province is known for corruption but isn't this a little much?
I have picked up deals there - but you have to be almost once in a life time lucky
to do so.

Anyways I am off to the bank tomorrow - I am going to take a loan out so I can get some paint - stick on letters - and maybe a dresser or 2.

(oh and btw - our beef is actually quite reasonably priced, lol.)


  1. LOL - as a fellow Canadian I couldn't agree with you more. It is absolutely insane. Saw some dishes the other day in the thrift store for the reduced price of $500.00.

  2. Lol - hope you grabbed them quickly - they'll go fast at that remarkably low reduced price ( probably belonged to the Queen previously )
    BTW - you're a no-reply blogger! Cannot reply to you directly -

  3. Don't you just love it? Sometimes there's just no Rhythm or Reason!

  4. Oooooh, you're sooo right about everything! Good for you for speaking up at the Sally Ann! They have indeed changed a lot. I saw an Indiana milk glass compote dish that probably sells for $15 on eBay going for $19.99 at S.A.!!! Yes, it's still cheaper because I don't have to pay for shipping costs, but this is a second hand store, not an antique shop!!

    I still stop in, but now I rely on garage sales, Kijiji and curbside shopping. Forget S.A. and V.V. They'll soon see that if "people like us" won't shop there, the expensive stuff won't go out the doors. After all, I can pay the same price at an antique shop for something that is undamaged.

  5. Amen sister. I too live in Canada and drool over US prices. Why does a comforter that costs $30 cost $100 to ship here? Michaels is beyond expensive compared to Hobby Lobby. Target doesn't ship to Canada. No wonder I make the 3 hour trip over the border on a regular basis. I probably would have ripped the SA's manager's head off too. Since when don't people IN CUSTOMER SERVICE jobs have to have manners? I am so sick of going into a store and having the sales people texting instead of paying attention to me - the customer!!!! Thank you so much for this post. I LOVED IT!

  6. LOLLING!! I forget how many times I have b*@tched about these exact (and more) frustrations to my other half and anyone else who will listen!! I've been a resident of Canada for almost 5 years (originally from Scotland), and have had the fortune of spending a lot of time in the States due to my occupation and cannot BELIEVE the price differences and variety of products available. As much as I love living in Canada, I have to admit how I find shopping, and in particular, online shopping very limited and extremely expensive! My fiancé and I have been through 3 major house renovations (I know, in the space of 5 years whilst working out of the country too, is hard to believe) and have been extremely frustrated to find limited availability of home improvement products in Canada. Items as simple as kitchen hardware or door handles are abundant over the border and much MUCH cheaper, and our choices are left to the generic offerings of the big box home improvement stores at prices which are ridiculous! I too am an avid fan of a bargain, and one of my favorite pastimes is an afternoon of thrift store shopping. I often take a gander in the likes of Homesense then make my way to Value Village and am gobsmacked to find (ugly) paintings and picture frames priced comparable to the brand new modern ones available in Homesense... And don't even get me started on their clothing prices... I could go on but alas, this is not my blog. Just wanted to say, very well put...

    1. I guess it's something that pisses us all off - and why border crossing has become a national past time - wow could I have some funny posts about that - palms sweating - hearts racing - DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO DECLARE? No, just went for lunch lol.

  7. I too live in Canada and have spoken to store managers many times about the high prices we are paying here in comparison to our neighbours to the south. It annoys me to no end!! Michael's Crafts tears the US price off their merchandise stickers so we don't see how much more they are charging us. Many times the Salvation Army and Value Village has prices that are too high for the condition of the items. My money now goes to items on Kijiji or using garage sales to get the best's to your fantastic rant! I loved it too and second everything you said!

    1. Thanks - Montreal is so close to the border ( 45 minutes ) that I know a ton of people that actually go to the States for their groceries!!!!! Can you imagine?

  8. I think we Canadians are going to have to band together and make more noise (or are we too polite by nature?!?)

    1. I think that's the biggest misconception out there? Anyways I destroy that myth entirely - I make as much noise as I possibly can - and as you can see am not so polite when tested, lol

  9. this post jsut made me LMAO! And yes, I don't go to Goodwill here in the states anymore (like Salvation Army), just for this reason. How stupid is that guy, he doesn't want you to buy it so the less fortunate can buy it for $700. Moron!

  10. I am always shocked at price tags at Goodwill and Value Village. (we don't have a SA very close). Sometimes I can get the items cheaper at Walmart! I saw these large glass mugs priced 1.99. I told my husband "those are just like the ones I got at the Dollar Tree. Ha! Twice the price and used! Everythng is ridiculous! I won't even donate anymore. I feel like they are are ripping off desperate people with my free stuff. I donate to a charity who gives stuff away. I may be reselling the items but I work hard on them first. And we ARE low income.

  11. Unbelievable!!! Second hand stores selling items from the dollar store for twice the money? Sickening..............
    And people are probably saying 1.99 for a glass mug? I'll take them all.
    Sad state, isn't it

  12. you so crack me up! I've been reading thru your old posts backwards and just want to say I thought our Goodwills and Salvation Armys were out of sight on the prices, but yours are unbelieveable. Our Goodwill loads the stuff you give them on a truck and ships it out, now I know where they're sending it out to. I stopped giving them stuff and only donate to a local community resale store that uses its profits to stock a local food bank. Love your "afters" and don't fret so much about being a young 53 (or was it 52?). I'm 62 and just starting to think I might not be 19 any more.

  13. Just came across your site and ended up spending two hours reading your posts. Made me laugh! I totally agree with you on the Salvation Army - I recently purchased a dining table that was a little on the high side but my justification is/was that the money is going to a good cause. Hopefully - at least that is what I keep telling myself.

    1. LOL Rinny - let's hope the money is doing good -
      Thanks so much for coming by and staying for 2 hours - WOW - that must be a record of some type!!!

  14. Oh my God, are we related? I have already been in contact via Hometalk after your I Paint Furniture post. Although I Live in Buckingham England I so feel your pain. I too drool over not only the price of things in the States but also the range of products available. When I find something brilliant on Pinterest and google for suppliers I find only one in the whole of the UK and the price they are charging I might as well fly to the US and buy it myself! (At least I could hide it in my suitcase and avoid import duties). I also used to buy lots of furniture from charity (goodwill) furniture shops and I mean LOTS - probably over £1,000 over a couple of years - but not any more. I recently worked out that they are now often charging more than I do for donated items that have had no work. Did I mention they also get reduced rents and local tax? I too have pointed out fairly forcibly that the days of a dealer 'stealing' all the best furniture to sell on at a profit are long gone and that any genuinely needy person (and I include myself in that category) couldn't possibly afford their prices. I know it's all for a good cause but the last straw was when one of our local shops started selling painted furniture, presumably done for free too, meanwhile their sister shop is closed half the time due to lack of volunteers! They are a CHARITY not a retail chain. Ok rant over now...

    1. LMHO !!!
      Thanks so much for defending me Gerry on Hometalk ( wasn't that a controversy sideboard? )
      And ( in a sick way ) I'm glad to know it's not just Canada getting totally ripped off by the system :)


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