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A recent study from McAfee found 58% of Canadians plan to shop online in the upcoming weeks. With more shoppers turning to the Internet to make their last-minute holiday purchases, deals are in high demand.

Luckily, Free Shipping Day Canada is set to take place on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. The annual event provides holiday shoppers an opportunity to get free shipping, discounts and delivery by Christmas Eve. In fact, Free Shipping Day was so popular last year, imitators have emerged trying to latch on to the success.

One such copycat creating confusion is No Minimum Monday. They have displayed the Free Shipping Day name on their site in an attempt to capture some of the attention. However, don't let these attempts fool you. There's only one real Free Shipping Day, and it's in no way associated with No Minimum Monday or any other deal site named after the largest species of the deer family.

Free Shipping Day offers will be revealed at 12 a.m. EST on Dec. 12, and will run throughout the day. To view participants, visit the official site at

Online shopping in canada

If there's one thing consumers share the world over, it's a new and feverish propensity for shopping online. The trend is no different in Canada, with buyers from Ontario to Nunavut spending $15.1 billion on websites in 2009, an increase of nearly $3 billion in two years.

This new wave of virtual shoppers does regular business with sites south of the Canadian border. Buying from U.S.-based merchants is in vogue and, given the current strength of the loonie, more affordable than ever. Yet unspoken costs, from tariffs to shipping fees, can turn a syrupy-sweet deal into a splitting financial headache.

Most American sites don't go into detail about these fees because, to be honest, they aren't required to. In the past, this left you to navigate the murky waters alone -- but not anymore. Follow these 10 tips on how to prepare for and occasionally avoid the most dubious charges for cross-border commodities.

Online Shopping Tips Canada

If you're shopping a U.S. web site, there are things you should know before plugging in your credit card number. Unless the merchant or its shipping center are based in Canada, you may need to figure in shipping, exchange rates, customs, taxes and custom brokerage fees.

Here are seven factors you should consider before finalizing that purchase at a U.S. website. Keep them in mind for a happy and safe online-shopping venture.

1. Shipping to Canada Availability: Before you even begin to shop, you'll want to check whether the site offers shipping to Canada. It's incredibly irritating to reach the last page of your purchase and find you'll have to make a trip south of the border if you want to pick up that purchase.

2. Shipping Charges: Valid sites list their international shipping policies and procedures up front, usually on the Q&A, Customer Service or Help pages. Some sites charge a flat fee for purchases under a set amount and offer free shipping for purchases above that figure. Others determine shipping charges by weight, size, distance and speed of delivery. Read the details carefully.

3. Exchange Rate: Remember to factor in the exchange rate as well as the cost of the merchandise. Yahoo offers an easy-to-use currency converter. Your credit card company may also add a charge for currency conversion.

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