So it’s a lovely day and you are huddled over your smart device doing a little online shopping. You find the perfect shirt with a great pattern and it is just your size. Or maybe it is that hard-to-find oil pump housing bracket for your boat. Perhaps it is a garden gnome that matches the shade of your bougainvilleas. Whatever the heck it is, it’s there, right on the web site at a price that looks to be unbeatable. Pleased with your find, you begin entering all of your shopper data and then you see the hint. Could be a weird area code, mention of a state or some spelling that is lacking a “u”. Oops. An American website. The pricing is in US dollars. Not quite the deal you were hoping for.

OK, well it’s a bit pricey, but the hunting is over and it is almost yours. Forward you go, entering your name, address, billing address, credit card data, phone number and almost done. Oh, then we have one of those Captcha things where you have to select which windows have street signs on them. Hmm, some of them just spill onto the next window. Do I click that one or not? Ugh. Let’s try another. Ah, lighthouses, easy. OK, past that now and they just need your mother’s maiden name and the name of your second best friend from high school. Oh, and your blood type.

Last bit now is your shipping address. Uh oh. Has to be a US address. What? After all this? What a waste of time. Could you send it to your uncle in Nebraska? Maybe, but you haven’t talked to him in a few years. Unlikely he will drive it up to your home in Chicoutimi. Foiled.

Or maybe you made it through the US web site gauntlet and then, when the package finally arrives you get stuck with a customs bill and some nasty shipping charges. Overall, about twice the cost of buying it in Canada. Not fun. Bad enough you make you head to the mall. Or e-shop on only Canadian sites.

Fear not, Canadian shopper. Check out shiplama.com. Love these guys. Takes about 10 minutes to register on the site. They give you a US shipping address that works on those American sites with all of the great stuff. It is just like you really live in Wisconsin. Store it in your smartphone as your US address. Very cool. Anyway, buy your gear, use your name and your new Shiplama US address. Then you send your Shiplama friends your purchase confirmation so they know it is coming. They then handle the border brokering and get it shipped to your home. You can even track your stuff along the way. I find that their prices are fair and their customer service is top notch.

Enabling US shipping can be useful with things like car parts that are often much more expensive in Canada. Do some shopping around before you buy to make sure that the US sites are actually less expensive after the Shiplama charges and currency exchange costs.

Working with Shiplama is an easy personal finance hack that can save you some time and money. For a complete set of 60 cash flow recipes that can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next decade (yes really), check out the Cashflow Cookbook.

For some other products and services that will help on your financial journey, have a look at our ingredients page.

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