Maximizing My Online Shopping Discounts and Savings on the Black Friday Sales

Although we try to keep our present giving to a reasonable volume, between Christmas and birthdays, we still have lots of things to buy at this time of year. Many things, like clothes, I only like to buy in a real store where I can see the true colour and feel the weight and hand of the fabric. Others, though, like books, Blu-rays, Corelle bowls, Vellux blankets, and even Nikon cameras, I will buy online if the price is right. Recently, I noticed some good discounts online to save me money due to Black Friday sales that start a week before the American Thanksgiving, and luckily I remembered to maximize my cash back by buying through my Great Canadian Rebates account.

(If you’d like to join Great Canadian Rebates, please consider using my referral link.
It won’t cost you anything but it might earn me a tip!)

What are the Differences Between Using Great Canadian Rebates and Just Shopping at

To understand how Great Canadian Rebates works, you have to understand a bit about marketing and internet advertising. Basically, many stores offer a small “commission” to people that bring them business. So if you click on an Amazon ad on my website and then buy something at Amazon, I may get a small cash reward for encouraging you to shop at Amazon. (So far that has never actually happened!)

Similarly, if you start at the Great Canadian Rebates website, and have joined GCR, and then you open the website from the GCR link on their home page, then GCR will get a small cash reward if you actually buy something at Amazon. To encourage you to do this, Great Canadian Rebates will SHARE the small cash reward with you. They even tell you before you shop what % of your purchase you will get back.

Generally, does not offer any % back if you are buying books. But if you are buying, say, a Nikon camera, it may offer back a % of your purchase price. The % can change from week to week as there are “specials.”

A few weeks ago, I got 1.3% back on my purchase of several Blu-rays. That doesn’t sound like much but the movies were already on sale. It only took me a few extra seconds to sign in to my Great Canadian Rebates account, then click on their link to then do my shopping as usual. For that I got back as much cash as many cash-back credit cards offer. And over time, it adds up, often getting me $10+ a month.

How Does Great Canadian Rebates Pay Me?

In my case, I’ve signed up for payment in the form of email gift certificates. Once a month, GCR sends me an email with a code to use when I buy something at Amazon. I can wait and use up every month’s gift certificate on one purchase if I want. (In coupon terms, they are “stackable.”)

How Can You Join Great Canadian Rebates

You can just go to their website and sign up.

Or you can be really nice to me, and go to their website from my link, which will pay me money if you ever use GCR to make a purchase. My link is

They have a scheme where if you use my referral code to sign up with GCR, then you get your % back on online purchases made after clicking through to online stores like from the GCR website. And I *also* get an even smaller % back just because you did. It doesn’t change your earnings, it just increases mine.

Like I say, you don’t have to use my referral to join but I thank you in advance if you choose to do so. (I will never know that you joined or what you bought. I just might get a few more cents per month if you sign up and then use GCR as the entryway to making a purchase online.)

In the meantime, I’ll keep trying to remember to use the GCR website to start my online shopping. If I can save $20 on my shopping, I can take the family out for dim sum!

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Do you try to maximize your online savings by using a rewards credit card and making your purchases through an online portal like Great Canadian Rebates? Please share your strategies with a comment.

If you’d like to join Great Canadian Rebates, please consider using my referral link.
It won’t cost you anything but it might earn me a tip!

How Does Walmart Online Shopping and FlexDelivery with Free Pickup at Canada Post Work? A Review

A recent present I wanted to buy was an iPod case in a specific colour and pattern that was ideal for the person who wanted it. That specific Exian case was on the Staples, Walmart and Amazon websites but was not available for in store purchase at any of them. The only one offering free shipping for the item, at the time I made my purchase, was It offered free shipping to any nearby Canada Post location where I would have to go to pick it up, or free delivery to my home by Canada Post. It was more convenient, and sneaky, for me to pick the item up at a Canada Post location inside my nearby Shoppers Drug Mart. So I signed in to Great Canadian Rebates, clicked through to, and ordered the iPod 5 case for free Flex Delivery to the Canada Post location for pickup: here’s how it went.

Remember You Can Get a Buck or Two Back On Many Purchases Via Great Canadian Rebates

As I’ve written before, if you are buying something online anyway, if you start your shopping expedition by signing into your account at GreatCanadian and then clicking through to your store of choice, you can often get 0.5-4% of your purchase price back in gift certificates.

So  I started my shopping at I signed in using my email address and password, then I selected from the QuickLinks drop-down list.

That took my to the website.

How Easy Is It to Online Shop at

I used Walmart’s search box to find the iPod cover easily. In the text box labelled “What product are you looking for?” I typed iPod 5 and clicked on the magnifying glass icon.

The case I was looking for came up on the first search page. I clicked on it, then clicked on the Add to Cart button.

The sales process was quite straight forward.

I typed in my email address and clicked the Next button.

I clicked to select Pick up at Walmart Grab& Go or Canada Post Office.

I typed in my First and Last Name and the postal code to find a pickup location nearby.

I clicked to select the nearest Shoppers Drug Mart which has a Post Office inside.

I clicked the Next button.

After reviewing the order and the cost, which included no cost shipping, I selected my credit card type, and entered my credit card data.

I typed in my billing name, address and phone number.

Then I clicked on the Place Order button.

They emailed my receipt with a confirmation number immediately.

How Did the Canada Post FlexDelivery Free Parcel Pickup Service Work? A Review

The next day, I received a Canada Post email advising me that my order had been received for shipping and providing me with a tracking number.

Although the item was sent by “expedited” mail, I notice that it was received into a Canada Post facility on a Friday afternoon and did not move again till Monday morning.

Two days before the “expected delivery date” I was advised by email that my item was ready for pickup at my nearby Shoppers Drug Mart.

As advised, I took a piece of government issued photo I.D. with me and walked over to the Post Office. (The email delivery notification did provide me with a letter I could use to authorize someone else to pickup the item if I wished.)

Somewhat to my surprise, given the large number of parcels they were managing that week, my Canada Post outlet had no trouble finding the package. I did have to show my id, not just the notification letter, but after that the envelope was in my hand and I was wandering through the aisles trying to remember if we needed any toothpaste or President’s Choice items.

Overall, I’d rank the FlexDelivery service as excellent. One delivery isn’t really a big test but it was a small package during a very busy time of year and it arrived early and undamaged.

I’d try it again.

UPDATE: In July 2016 Walmart is no longer listed as a store from which I can buy stuff through Great Canadian Rebates. I hope they will be available again in the future!

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Have you tried this “almost home delivery” service to your nearest Canada Post outlet? Did it work out ok or did you resolve to never try it again? Please share your experience with a comment.