See It, Find It, Buy It …

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This piece is on its way from Australia …

The world is your oyster, when it comes to shopping these days. Some areas of the world are better to shop from, than others. I have always said that, shopping from just any site that appears on the internet, may not always be wise.

Just because a site looks slick and authentic, and the merchandise is what you want, if you aren’t familiar with a particular seller, my caution is always the same:

Buyer Beware !!!

Social media has gone through many incarnations. And the ability to see something online, find it and then buy it, has become much easier, and A LOT more reputable. I have made some serious mistakes in trusting just any site out there, having been burned for hundreds of dollars by Shanghai gangsters.

I still will not shop in Asia. Not even on a selling platform like Ebay.

And lately it seems that something is going on, on Ebay. In the past, you could filter your shopping destination, to a particular zone. It is too bad that Australia is lumped in with Asia.

I try to stick to North America, and Australia, when I hit Ebay. Now, Ebay has disabled the filter by zone feature on their website. And the first location that masses on the front pages are items from China and Hong Kong.

To find what it is you are looking for, you have to scroll through pages upon pages of Asian merchandise to get to someone from the zone you are really looking for.

Pain in the Ass …

If you take, in combination, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Etsy, and Snapchat, you can find anything that is photographed, and attach it to a reputable seller. Like I said, this ability to link up with a reputable seller has gotten much better.

Over the past few months, my Instagram has ballooned. Friends of mine sport clothing they have bought from a particular creator, and posted photos of said clothing on their social media sites. We come along, see such clothing, and if you are like me, you probably wanted some of your own.

From this came clothing designers who come to my Instagram, and they follow me, and tell me to buy from their inventory and post a photo of that piece you have bought, and tag the creator. Etsy is a new site I shop at, because of Casey Neistat. He made a purchase, posted a photo, which generated huge business for the Etsy creator. Instagram is a huge site where you can confidently, see, find, and buy.

A few weeks ago, I was on a friends blog, and he posted a photo from a creator in New Zealand, called Odyn. I went over to Odyn and scored some of my own, from their Odyn collection, which will arrive here tomorrow. It took a month for them to hand sew all their gear.

Well worth the sweat equity.

I saw another set of gear from a seller in New South Wales, Sydney Australia. I had to wire the payment from my bank to their account, on the other side of the world, which added a few more days to shipment. But that was painless.

All of my gear from New Zealand and Australia is en route tonight.

The perk with shopping by zone, is the exchange rate. The best place to shop is where your dollar goes the furthest. If you can make a purchase and the exchange rate not kill you in the process, that’s the way to go.

Shopping in the U.S., Euro Zone or the British Pound, will cost you. I shop in Australia because the exchange is almost dollar for dollar. The Canadian Currency is about par, if not a few cents cheaper, going towards Australia. My shop in Australia saved me seven dollars on the exchange. New Zealand went with the U.S. dollar. So I paid a bit more on that one.

Each zone you shop from will either sell in their local currency or they will choose to run with a particular currency that translates across the world selling platform. Like the U.S. Dollar.

I’ve found that the trustability factor goes up, if you follow the logic of someone posting photos on social media. Because if they either create it, or wear it, that piece came from a reputable creator or seller.

Instagram has blown up with creators and sellers. To the point that new creators that have garnered business from a single photo, have expanded to go to other social media platforms and opened groups and business accounts, which has spawned even more business for their companies, moving product to further corners of the world.

The fitness clothing rage is alive and well. Now in year number two, as fitness clothing goes. I remember when I first noticed it, when I started loosing inordinate amounts of weight because of my medical regimen, which changed the way I live my life and the clothing I choose to wear.

Over the past year and a few months, cool clothing creators have come out of the wood work, so to speak. My friends sport clothing they buy, which spawns their friends to repeat that purchase, which drives business way up, and every time you buy something from a creator and you post a photo of your gear, YOU drive the business for the creator you sport.

When I went to Ottawa a couple of weeks ago, we photographed all the gear I had bought over the last month and Instagrammed them. This proved very good for each of the creators I sported.

Buy great clothing, by creators and designers, that work hard to produce quality gear. Creators that do their own work, “in house” by hand, always gets my vote.

It may take a few weeks to produce your gear, but it drives business in big ways. I’d rather buy from creators who want to make an honest days wages, because they are making the clothing we buy every day. By Hand …

There is good stuff to be had, created by great creators.

Get out there, and share in the creative cycle …

April 4, 2018 … Spring ???

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Let’s not kid ourselves … It IS April now, and we thought that Spring would be just around the corner … We were wrong !!!

Over the past few days, the weather people have been warning us of impending doom, when it comes to weather. It seems the weather people are all about DOOM weather predictions, and for the most part, they have all been seriously off their game.

Over the past few days, they have been watching a system come up from the U.S. Midwest, coming over southern Ontario, into southern Quebec, which is where Montreal falls geographically.

Montreal is situated, geographically, on the St. Lawrence River, and we are nestled in a valley, that for the most part protects us, from serious weather, that happens in the other cardinal points on the compass. Namely North, South and East of Montreal.

Last night, as day turned into night, the warnings were coming fast and furiously. Shit was coming, it was going to get ugly, Snow, Rain, Freezing Rain, and Wind. They told us that the weather was going to get very ugly overnight.

**** NEWS EDIT 11:00 P.M. EST ****

Sadly, tonight, on our National News, Ontario was hit with serious storm winds, rain, snow, into whiteout conditions. Hundreds of thousands without power, homes destroyed, trees down. The storm damage in Ontario was more severe than what was warned might happen here, overnight last night into today.

Damage in Montreal is wide, Ste Catherine’s Street is closed to traffic at this hour because of winds and falling debris, cars were destroyed by falling signs, and on the South Shore, on the South side of the river, damage is extensive with thousands without power across the South Shore and on the Island of Montreal.

Over night, I cancelled all my appointments for today. Hubby decided that if the weather was inclement, that he would work from home. Last night I went to bed, knowing that I did not have to be up at o’ dark thirty.

Hubby did indeed stay home, and when I finally got up, the freaking sun was shining, the skies were moderately clear, as far as we could see WEST. It was obvious that all that gloom and doom warnings were for naught.

I had enough rest for the day, and while the sun was still shining, I decided to go shopping and get my hair cut, if I could get a spot, which I did. I checked Environment Canada before leaving the house, and skies were clear, but a wind warning was up for the city.

If you know anything about my specific neighborhood, we are nestled in the middle of sky scraping condos, on all sides. The Chinese Consulate, The Old Forum, Alexis Nihon Mall up the street, and retail restaurants and shops up and down Ste. Catherine’s street.

I had my granny cart with me, because I cannot carry heavy bags, because of my back issues. As I left the building, I was caught up in a wind tunnel. My granny cart went flying out of my hands. I thought to myself, I needed a sky diving jump suit on to navigate the sidewalk to and from the mall.

Winds have been gusting through the buildings and at the seventeenth floor level we are at, the windows buckle in their casings.

I stopped by my stylist, and got a spot, thirty minutes later. So I went and did my shopping and returned to get my hair cut.

**** **** ****

Yesterday, I did some shopping online. I’ve been collecting items in my Ebay shopping cart for some time. If I see an item I like, I cart it. If I cannot complete an outfit, it sits in my cart, until I find the item to complete the set. Over the weekend, several new pieces were put up for sale in particular shops I shop from, internationally.

I was able to complete an outfit, so I purchased the two pieces. One from the U.S. and the other from Australia. The exchange rate internationally, between Australia and Canada is almost a penny on the dollar. The U.S. exchange still sucks.

I made my purchase yester-DAY. Because of the fourteen hour difference, between Canada and Australia, my confirmation did not come until later last NIGHT. A few hours into evening, I got a response from Australia, saying that the Australian postal system did not recognize my particular address, in their postal system. However they DO ship to Canada. The shipping department, then refunded all the money I spent with them, because they could not find me, geographically.

I wrote them back inquiring why they could not find me. It seemed the item I wanted, could not be found in stock, even though the stock showed available in the system. They offered me other items, along the same lines, and free shipping, telling me that they would go Over the Counter, for shipping, directly, instead of their shipping system, that could not seem to find me. They should have just Googled my address …

The other half of the wardrobe item I purchased earlier yesterday was shipped out last night. When you buy from an Ebay seller in the U.S. each package takes an “Over the River and Through the Woods,” kind of journey. From where ever you buy, that package ends up in Erlanger, Kentucky, at the Ebay sorting center. That is the main hub of Ebay packages coming from all points, going to all points Internationally.

The packages usually travel into Mississauga, Ontario, and then are passed on by truck North to Montreal. Door to door usually take seven to ten business days, end to end.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a deal on Aronik Fitness gear, that was half price, however the one color I wanted for my collection was out of stock. Last night, my friend Jeffrey, down in Chicago, posted new photos of his new line of colors and styles, for his fitness gear. He’s been adding some great new styles and colors to his palette.

He added Burgundy to his color choices. Today I made an order for his Burgundy Milliskin fitness series. This was the missing item from Aronik that was no longer in stock.

Jeffrey, hand sews all of his gear, one piece at a time.

Just as Odyn does the same in New Zealand.

Hand sewn goods from reputable sellers, is better than buying sweat shop items from far flung places, where workers are not compensated correctly for a days work in wages.

That little piece of personal service appeals to my purchase dollar ethics.

We need Spring to come … Soon !

Planting season for gardens and parks usually falls within the month of May, around the 24th of May. The trees have yet to start budding. Temps in the city have been above normal for the most part over the past few weeks. Winter, just does not seem to want to give up the battle just yet. It is 5c at this hour, a little chilly still. And Windy.

Temps are still all over the board, hovering just below and just above freezing. Whatever weather comes in this direction, because of where we are situated, whatever falls to the ground is hit or miss, snow or rain. Several degrees in any one direction, rules what falls from the sky.

Aronik has put up their new summer swim suit collection.

IF ONLY MONTREAL HAD A BEACH TO GO TO THAT ISN’T OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS TO GET THERE, KIND OF LOCATION.

Alas, there really isn’t a beach that is like a BEACH down South or in the Islands.

UGH !!!

Not that I’ve never been to a beach in Montreal, since the day I moved here.

It’s not like South Beach or Fort Lauderdale or Cuba or the Caribbean.

Thursday – What’s Going On ?

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The holidays have come to the city-scape. There was a huge kerfuffle this past Remembrance Day, here in Montreal, where a particular shopping mall had scheduled Santa coming to see the kids on November 11th … Remembrance Day.

People were incensed. Lots of people were pissed off because the mall would disrespect the memory of those who died in Canada’s conflicts, with Santa … On the same day.

Cue Indignation and Protests.

Santa came anyways.

Christmas decorations go up, as soon as Halloween is over. That was NOT the case this year. The street workers hung the lights on the street light poles last week, and they are lit tonight.

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The Alexis Nihon Plaza put up decorations over the past few days. This is the tree in the Atrium just outside the Canadian Tire. It spans two floors. And has hanging ornaments up above in the ceiling.

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We usually don’t put up the tree until after American Thanksgiving. It’s not Christmas until the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade goes off in New York City. Hubby wants to change-up our decorations this year, since we have not invested in new ornament nor lights in over a decade. We really need a new tree, but $300.00 for a fake tree at the Tire is just so cost prohibitive.

This week, I did some Winter shopping. I needed some new shirts, because my old Winter standard under shirts and Henleys are ripped and torn, and every year I just sew them back together after the Winter.

Have thread and needle – will sew …

I could not find the White nor the Green Henleys I really wanted, Gap shirts. I even went to Gap to see if they had them in stock. I saw a boy on the bus to Ottawa wearing one (Green) and I really liked the color, but I wasn’t going to ask him where he bought his clothing !

I was at Winners yesterday, and they had over stocked their Winter gear. I found a white Henley in the style I wanted, and it’s off white … I also found a couple of winter shirts in red and purple to go with my wardrobe. I need to be able to accessorize my tights collection. I found some BAUER hockey thermal gear (I don’ play hockey) at the Tire last week so I am set to go.

Last night I was searching my platforms for clothing. I usually comb Ebay and my assorted sites that send me email sales flyers. I’ve been looking for a purple long sleeve Under Armour shirt, on a particular site I shop at, and the shirts are cheap, but are on back order for three weeks, but shipping is a kick in the ass at $32.00 per item.

If the shipping cost MORE than the item itself, that’s a deal breaker.

Back on Ebay last night, I am always on the hunt for rare pieces that nobody else is selling anywhere world-wide. Hot Ticket tights are rare. And I’ve searched all over the world for stuff I see on Tumblr and Pinterest. They give you photos, but not necessarily a sales point to find them.

dynamics skins white

I was trolling the list when I came across a “RARE” Skins brand pair of tights that were white. They were authentic, and I carted them for a few minutes while I completed my scan. I ended up buying them because they came in really cheap. I paid a total of $40.00 U.S. plus shipping. After I completed the sale I thought about the item that I had just bought.

People selling on a platform don’t necessarily do their homework before they put an item up for sale, like, is it a “RARE?” Is anyone else selling something similar ? Is that RARE item available from the specific sales point (read: SKINS) ?

People tend to haphazardly list an item with no searches. And when that happens you can get away with a RARE for very little money.

This afternoon, I wrote the seller and told him he lost good money selling a RARE for little cash, when he could have sold that specific item for 4 to 5 times the price he sold mine at, and made some serious cash in his pocket. Because SKINS brand tights sales begin at $100.00 and go up to over $200.00 depending on where you are shopping and the exchange rate in either the Euro, the UK, or Australia. Plus shipping.

Today I ran errands all afternoon and took a power nap, before the meeting. I forgot one particular piece of information. I got up, sorted new clothes to wear, showered and coiffed, (I got my hair cut yesterday – it’s quite sleek now). I got dressed, and walked up to the bus stop, got on the bus and when I arrived at the church realized that I indeed forgot that: THE MEETING WAS CLOSED TONIGHT.

UGH – I hate Old Timers Disease.

The weather here is slowly moving towards Winter. Nights are cold, going down to minuses with a little rain. Which under the right conditions will turn to snow flurries, which leads to snow itself. We are still sitting in flurry territory this week.

That can all change depending on what direction the wind is blowing from.

Hopefully this year we might get a white Christmas.

More to come.

Shopping Haul Post…

www.imagehandler.net

Adidas – Ace Tango 17.1 TR Solar Red – Solar Orange – Core Black – Soccer dot com
I just bought these this evening – sweet soles …

Retail Sales Points:

One of my favorite past times is shopping. Because that’s what you do when your Keto Diet drops your weight over 35 pounds down, and I need to look GOOD !

I’ve often wrote towards specific sales points as being the most optimum locations to shop, because of security, availability of product, and sellers who are honest.

I’ve shopped online with sites located on the web, where those sites were fronts for counterfeiters located in Shanghai China. That happened to me twice, with a loss of over $300.00 CAD that I had to recoup from the R.C.M.P. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)

I won’t shop on a site that is not reputable, or shop from a site that I have not shopped at before. Listed above are sites I would recommend shopping at, given what you are looking for, the list is varied and popular.

I usually troll my Tumblr and Instagram or Pinterest for product. I then take that photo and plug it into Google search. That search usually takes me to a site where the product is sold.

Proviso … Google does not moderate the sites that are online. They do not secure a site in the sense that not every site online is a secure, reputable, product seller. Buyer Beware.

But if I am on the hunt for something particular, I’ve learned from experience, if it ain’t available on a platform, and I cannot find it on a reputable site, I won’t buy from a site that looks too slick or too good to be true.

Odd sneakers or one-off styles you might see on an athlete, let’s say on Tumblr or Pinterest, that is probably a one off, even if a slick site has them in stock in the colorway and style you really want. Buyer Beware …

Athletes get shoes and sneakers made, one-off all the time, by Name Brand shoe sales like Adidas and Nike and Mizuno and others.

And some purveyors of shoes, take these images and load them into a slick site and attempt to scam you into buying them, knowing that they really do not exist for mass consumption by the public.

Sites in China and in Asia, the counterfeiters hide behind slick-looking websites with reputable locators like (CO.UK / or CO.AU/ or a North American/CANADIAN DOT COM)

Their sites might look slick with lots of product, but from my experience, I got the same knock off product twice, from TWO sites online, that came from the SAME counterfeit address in Shanghai, China.

If you’ve never bought from a site before, it behooves you to check your sources and see if there are comments or complaints on the site, and if you are not sure, then your first choice is a local selling platform like AMAZON or EBAY or a reputable CO.UK CO.AU.

If you are buying from a platform like EBAY – you can select selling locations. You just need to be aware of the local currency conversion for your location.

Amazon does not always specify where the seller is but they give you a price. Once you make your purchase you find out where that product is coming from.

I’ve bought reputable items from South Korea before, on Amazon Global.

Stay Away from anything sold in China. Because you never know if the product you are buying on a site is the real item or a counterfeit.

The Canadian RCMP is actively seeking legal action on many counterfeit sites in China and Shanghai. I found that out after getting burned by Shanghai gangsters.

Be a savvy shopper. Know your websites. Scrutinize those websites if they seem too good to be true. Because if it looks slick and the products sold look to be the same styles High End athletes wear on the pitch … You might be scammed …

Just be careful with your money …

Tuesday: The Many Faces of Amazon

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Do you shop on Amazon, from where you live ?

In the quest to be the best looking sporty man who I can be, takes me on the hunt for the latest and greatest sports gear, from around the world. In my purchasing history, I have found that one needs multiple Amazon accounts, spread over all of North America.

Including accounts on Ebay as well.

You need several platforms of purchase power at your disposal. That means all of Ebay, world-wide, and all of Amazon world wide. Because history has taught me severe lessons in shopping off platform.

On a platform you are Guaranteed Product, Insured, and Shipped from a reputable seller. You do not get these assurances shopping on suspect (off platform) sites that look too good to be true when they offer items you cannot find anywhere else.

Buyer Beware …

China and Shanghai are terrible for buyers because the possibility of suspect items, counterfeit and bogus sales are a dime a dozen. And the R.C.M.P. here in Canada saved me some serious cash when I got ripped off for more than $300.00 cad.

After that buying nightmare, I will only shop on a platform that guarantees their sellers and the products they sell.

A while back, I wrote to Amazon about the problems of shopping in Canada. Many products one purchases on Amazon will ship Internationally here to Montreal.

That is not always the case though …

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When I was shopping for the Nike Hyper Cool Woodland Dark Emerald and Total Orange tights, I saw in this photo, I scoured the world-wide web looking for them. After an exhaustive search world wide, I finally found 1 pair on Amazon U.S.

Sadly, they would not ship this specific item to me here in Montreal. A friend of mine who lives in the U.S. received my package from Amazon U.S. and forwarded the package on to me in Montreal.

I wrote to Amazon to inquire about their shipping strategy and procedures. I sent a lengthy email which got a very extensive reply from an agent at Amazon. And I was directed to look at shipping guidelines and they also offered another platform to buy from as well.

  • There is Amazon.US
  • There is Amazon.CA
  • And There is Amazon Global

The other day, I saw an item of clothing that is HOT, right at the moment, from Under Armour. (Photo above) of the Under Armour Exo Compression Leggings, Men’s Black, Cobalt and Bolt Orange.

I looked around Ebay and Amazon.CA for the item. The list price for this item of clothing started at $200.00 plus shipping and import taxes for a total of $225.00 for one item of clothing.

That is ridiculous. And cost prohibitive.

But I carted the item, nonetheless, because I could not find the item anywhere else.

Until about an hour ago.

I have an Amazon Global Account. That account affords me the ability to shop on the Global Market Amazon Wide, and have it ship directly to me here in Montreal.

Amazon Global runs on the U.S. Dollar. And the Loonie took a HUGE tumble today because of the American Administrations levy on Lumber imports to the U.S. Border politics, affect every area of Canadian Business when it comes to the United States, and what rules they place on our international businesses.

I plugged the item into Amazon Global and was rewarded handsomely.

That $200.00 CAD item on Amazon.CA was selling on Amazon Global for $70.00 U.S. plus taxes, shipping and import taxes. (shipping was free)

I bought that item right away, because it was too good to be true that a $200.00 CAD item was selling for only $70.00 US on another partition of the same Amazon.

In the end I spent $87.00 U.S / $121.00 CAD for a $225.00 CAD item. Saving $100.00 CAD in the end.

Boo Yah !!!

The world runs on Online sales. One must be careful in who one trusts On Line.

On our Indigo/Chapters book site, when you purchase books online from their site, you pay the online price. When I shop in the brick and mortar store here in the city, you pay for stocking, rent, and shelving price, that can run upwards of $30.00 more in purchase price.

I’ve heard it said by people I know, that they won’t shop brick and mortar stores. BUT, they will visit the store, find the item they want, figure out the discount, go back home, and visit the same online version of a brick and mortar, and make their purchases.

It pays to belong to as many wide platform selling sites that you can, because if you are a savvy shopper, there are deals to be found. Those deals come with those particular guarantees that single online websites don’t necessarily offer. Even if the suspected website boast of its guarantees. They don’t necessarily, Guarantee anything.

They just want your money and your account information…

Those dime a dozen Chinese sites are numerous and you can never tell if they are reputable because counterfeiters and bogus sites hide behind trusted web addresses located in Countries, that for the most part, are reputable by reputation.

We have found that bogus Chinese sellers hide behind the CO.UK suffix, or the CO.AU or CO.NZ. You think you are buying from England, Australia or New Zealand, when in reality you are purchasing from a seller that can be located anywhere in the world, and if you are not careful in your shopping choices, you too will be taken for a ride financially.

I shop the EU for specific clothing like sneakers and socks. Sneakers and Socks are BIG business in the Euro Zone. Soccer is as well in the UK and in the Euro Zone. I do shop on single seller sites in the UK and the Euro Zone because I have bought from them before, and once I buy from a trusted site, that is guaranteed, I bookmark and shop there often.

Google translate does very well when shopping internationally in the Euro Zone.

But, you usually get killed on the Exchange Rates on the Euro and the British Pound. That has to be factored in when shopping the Euro Zone.

In my purchase history with Euro sites, I have made purchases and my bank does the conversion for me. When the transaction is slated on my account, they adjust the exchange rate on the day the bank slates my purchase.

I have worked on my skills at seeing a photo, figuring out what the name of the item is, and then locating it within my trusted online platform sites. It is skillful work, to be sure.

A little Tumblr, a little Google, a lot of Amazon and a lot of Ebay.

Not all Websites are just like the others …

If you are not careful, you and your money will soon be parted.

And whatever item you bought, becomes a ghost in the ether …