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Shopping Economically

Many shops are found along Princess Street or in malls (a large building with many stores), sometimes called Shopping Centres.  Most of the malls are in the west end of Kingston and you will need to use a bus or car to get to them.

General Information

In Kingston, there are many different types of stores and sales which sell goods of varying types, quality and price. The following are a few points to remember:

  • Products in stores will have prices marked on the display or the products themselves.  It is not customary to negotiate about the price of goods at most stores.
  • Tax (Harmonized Sales Tax or HST) is payable on almost everything you buy, so the price you actually pay is the advertised price plus 13 percent (in the province of Ontario). That means that a $10.00 item will actually cost you $11.30. Some items, such as nutritional food (not candy or junk food) are tax-free. Other items that are tax-free include feminine hygiene products, foot-wear under $30, and books.
  • If you have any questions about the price or a product, ask the salespeople in the stores.

 

Some Places to Shop

 

Used Clothes, Furniture, Housewares, etc.

  • low price, little variety, old styles and modern styles
  • check the quality carefully before you buy the item

Salvation Army Thrift Store277 Bath Road
– clothes, furniture, housewares

Phase 2353 Princess Street
– clothes, some items are expensive here.

St. Vincent de Paul85 Stephen Street
– clothing, furniture

North Kingston Community Council Free Clothing Drop-In – 145 Kirkpatrick Street (basement of Queen Elizabeth Collegiate Vocational Institute)
– clothing, books, housewares

Neighbourhood Sharing – 670 Front Road
– clothing

Value Village – 1300 Bath Road (Frontenac Mall)
– clothing, books, housewares, some furniture

 

Garage Sales, Yard Sales, Flea Markets, or Rummage Sales

  • sales are usually held in front of homes or apartments and are very visible from the street (mostly in the Spring and Summer).
  • these sales occur at people’s homes where the owners have looked through all their possessions and have decided to sell the items they no longer want.
  • low prices (you may be able to bargain here), not a wide variety, old and modern items
  • check quality carefully before buying, as the sellers seldom accept returns or refunds
  • to find out where and when a garage sale is on, look at the last few pages (known as the classified ads) of the Kingston Whig Standard and Kingston This Week newspapers, or on signs posted on bulletin boards or in your neighbourhood
  • find the street on a map of Kingston and walk, ride or drive along until you pass by the sale; if a phone number is posted, you can call and ask for directions
  • be sure you are able to transport the items home

 

Dollar Stores

  • prices are low – everything usually under $5.00
  • good variety of household items, stationery, toys and more
  • items may be of limited quality

Dollarama, 176 Princess Street, 1011 Princess Street

Dollar Tree, 122 Princess Street

 

Discount Department Stores

  • prices are relatively low, the variety of items is usually wide
  • you can find almost anything at one of these stores

Giant Tiger  – 811 Princess Street

Wal-Mart  1130 Midland Avenue

It is sometimes wiser to shop at specialty stores than at discount stores, since the specialty stores will have better experience and goods than other general discount stores. This is particularly important with technology (example: computers, audio/visual equipment) and require warranties or special setups.

 

Department Stores

  • found in malls
  • a variety of reasonable quality items; prices can be high

Sears  – Cataraqui Centre, 945 Gardiners Road

The Bay  – Cataraqui Centre, 945 Gardiners Road

 

Specialty Stores

  • these are stores that sell only one thing (such as clothing or shoes or furniture) and the salespeople are very knowledgeable about the items they are selling
  • the items at these stores are usually more expensive than in discount stores
  • clothing stores are mainly in malls but there are some downtown
  • furniture stores are generally located in the west end of Kingston
  • look in the “yellow pages” at the back of your telephone book for the item you want, to find a list of stores that sell these items

 

Shopping Effectively

Look for notices from students who are leaving Kingston and are selling their furniture and appliances cheaply in order to get rid of them. Better yet, talk to other students to find out if they know someone who has completed their studies at Queen’s and will keep you in mind when they want to sell their things.

The internet can be a very easy and effective way to buy and sell used furniture and household items.

  • There is a very active student-run Facebook group called Free and For Sale  for students to sell and purchase used  furniture  and household items within the Queen’s community. Some items are offered for free.
  • Other sites, not affliated with Queen’s, are available  to buy and sell used goods,  and  include Kijiji and Craigslist.  
    Items listed may not be exactly as advertised, so be careful when making deals online.

In the newspapers, there are advertising supplements, called flyers, from stores which have sales every week. Very often, a common item will go on sale (a reduced price) once every few weeks.  Therefore, if you need to buy something which costs a considerable amount, try waiting until you see it on sale.

 

Further Questions?

If you have further questions, after reviewing the information above, advising is available (without an appointment) from the International Student Advisers at the Queen’s University International Centre from Monday to Friday between 1:00pm and 4:30pm.

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