The Canadian Dollar is steamrolling ahead of the US greenback, and if you want to take advantage of the deals, a long border lineup awaits. Or does it?

To be a smart shopper, grab you your mouse instead of your car keys, and seek out the savings online.

While much blame has been leveled at Canadian retailers for being slow to change their prices to reflect the dollar’s rise, you could make the same argument against them for being slow to sell online. HarryRosen.com, HoltRenfrew.com, Lululemon.com, BoysCo.com, and Aritzia.com all are beautiful websites, however none offer you the chance to make a purchase. So off to the American sites we surf.

Target is the target for most Canadians crossing the border, and while it’s easy to find great deals down the I-5 at Bellis Fair, hitting up Target.com is next to impossible for us to do. They won’t ship to Canada. Same with Nordstroms.com, Nike.com, TheGap.com, Macys.com and more. You can look, but you cannot buy.

You can get around some of these problems by opening a PO Box in Blaine, or by having your items shipped to a friend across the border, but that’s not really saving you any time waiting in line.

So if you want to do some great online saving, look to dedicated online retailers. RevolveClothing.com has a huge selection of trendy designer labels for men and women – everything from Puma to Penguin to Paper Denim & Cloth. The prices are great and shipping is always free, even to Canada.

Prices don’t just vary between countries, they can even vary within the same company. I found a Weber barbecue listed at HomeDepot.com for $130 less than the identical one at HomeDepot.ca, a great deal – but good luck getting it delivered for less than the difference.

A shiny new iPod Touch is $299 in the US from Apple.com, but if you order it from Apple.ca, you’ll pay $329.

But the deals aren’t always better in the States. Stephen Colbert’s book, I Am America and So Can You is cheaper on Amazon.ca than Amazon.com.

The hot new video game, Halo 3, is $59.99 both at BestBuy.com and BestBuy.ca.

However, shopping with an American e-tailer is usually the way to go. I looked up some Paul Frank Skurvy Socks for my son and while homegrown site Stylekid.ca is selling them for $10.50 a pair, I can pick up 3 pairs for $21.95 from TuttiBella.com out of the US.

“Shop around” would be my best advice and Google’s Product Search page is a great engine to weed through the web and find the best deal.

While the sticker prices make look great and you can find some great free shipping websites, know that the price you paid online may not be the final price you pay. Depending on how the items are shipped across the border, you could be responsible for taxes, duties and handling fees – so read the fine print.

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