How to get what you pay for when buying online



If you fail to take a few minutes to read over the small print you might just be surprised what you are actually buying.

With the holidays fast approaching and many people scrambling to buy their Christmas gifts many people buy online, especially if they can score a great deal.

We often talk about how we like to sometimes buy online vs. in-store whether from Kijiji or picking up the odd items on Ebay or Amazon but with that comes caution when spending our money.

Buying online items is not something new and it’s well secure for the most part but what happens when the buyer is the person who is trying to scam you out of money even though it’s plain to see you are getting what you pay for.

I was reading a Yahoo post the other day about a 19-year-old guy from the UK of all places who was hoping to get his hands on the new X-Box One that was recently released.

He also has a 4-year-old child whom he stopped at nothing to make sure he was able to get the X-Box One for but he was duped at the same time, but was he really?

He ordered what he thought was the actual  X-Box One from a seller on EBAY and paid a whopping $750 only to receive a photo of the new X-Box One rather than the actual unit.

So, yes he paid $750 for a photo of an X-box One and although the matter has since been cleared up and his money has been ordered to be returned by EBAY it really made me think and many others about how easily they can lose their hard-earned money if they are not careful.

Here’s the kicker though, the seller did not forget to mention that what the potential customer would be buying is a photo. The young buyer even though he read that it was a photo never gave much thought to that until he actually received the photo instead of the game system. Sometimes what we do is fail to read the fine print or any print when investing our money in making purchases whether online or in-store.

The good thing about buying in-store is that you can easily return an item that you don’t want or maybe purchased the wrong one as opposed to having to ship an item back through the post. You also get the opportunity to physically hold the item in your hands.

Many readers who left a comment had lots to say to this 19-year-old boy about failing to read the fine print but many that supported the fact that the seller was in fact scamming him.

It was clear the seller set out to see who would actually send him the money for the photo with-out reading all of the information that was in plain sight. The product was not misrepresented it was simply a case of let’s see how many idiots are out there. Clearly he was more interested in getting his hands on a product than to read what he was actually buying.

If I am going to be dishing out that much money you can bet I’ll be reading everything I need to know about what I’m getting. I’d certainly be emailing the seller to ask questions about the product to make sure I’m getting what I pay for.

As you can see below many of the fans were more concerned that he had a young daughter rather than trying to motivate and help him so he doesn’t make that mistake again.

For one thing, when I wish to deal with a new (too Me) seller, after reading the full product description, I P.M. the seller and ask Him to tell Me exactly what I will be getting before I make a purchase. If this person lies and sends something else, the proof is in the site’s mail server, and PayPal can use it to get a refund. -Markleaman50

Next issue, not overpaying for something you can get a bit later. Unless it’s something rare that won’t be made for long I won’t line up or pay ridiculous amounts.-cute

It happens and not online only. I paid $CA 1,400 for a laptop including settings, software and everything. I told to come the next day to pick-up my purchase. however, something inside me told me just open the box and see if there are no scratches on the screen. So they open it for me and guess what? Empty box, only a heap of newspapers and old magazines. I am lucky to get my money back simply because it is a real store “BestBuy” and not a virtual one The lesson is that Check it before you kick it, no matter where does it come from or whom it goes to.- Hassan


Tips to help you get what you pay for and safely


  • Make sure you are on a secure site… normally there will be a symbol of sorts to alert you that it’s secure such as a padlock with a secure statement or https:/ in the url
  • Read the fine print including model numbers and anything relevant to the product
  • Research the product on various websites to price match and see what others are selling for.
  • Ask questions to the seller about the product you are purchasing to confirm all pertinent information.
  • Read the positive and negative feedback which gives weight to the selling reputation.
  • If the going rate for a product is $200 but you’ve just found it for $50, is it the real McCoy?
  • Use a credit card with a low available credit and some form of fraud protection just to be safe.
  • If you receive an email for a great deal don’t use the link in the email go direct to a website unless it’s a trusted website that you receive emails from such as a clothing store etc. just to make sure you aren’t being sent somewhere unsecure or fraudulent.
  • Use a good anti-virus on your computer to keep it safe and check to make sure it is running frequently.


How we limit our exposure to fraud


The amount of stories I’ve heard over the years that involved e-mail fraud where an e-mail is sent to someone stating that they have won the “Euro lottery” and they should e-mail back their details to claim the prize.

These types of e-mails and phishing schemes are not only fraudulent but plain dangerous. Once you’ve given up your personal details, they’ll ask for your banking details to deposit your winnings. Unfortunately you’re going to be as far away from that $100,000 winning feeling as you can possibly get.

Now that these unscrupulous individuals have all of your details, your bank account will be suddenly devoid of any cash you had in said account. What’s even stranger is the fact that your details will start to buy all manner of items over the internet and be shipped to some weird and wonderful place you’ve probably never heard of.

Identity theft has been on the rise over the last few years and it’s not surprising to see why and another good reason to make sure you check your free credit report every year.

Displaying important information online or even discarding it in the garbage can give some people enough of an edge to gain access into your life. We destroy old bills and wage slips, you can choose how you destroy yours, burn or shred.

There is an internet only credit card in our household, the limit is $400. That way, if information gets plucked from the air waves while buying something, at least we can afford a loss of $400. Don’t use that Gold or Platinum level card, you’re just asking for trouble.

I’ve probably said it before but I’ll say it again, “If it’s too good to be true it probably is”. If you’re unsure about the validity of an e-mail or phone call, don’t just give out information, call your friends, wife or husband and ask their opinion. Advice is free, so take it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly ok to go online and shop, just be careful where you go and what you buy. You can use secure payment sites such as PayPal to buy items. That way if something does go awry your credit card number isn’t on the front line.

Try to limit the amount your prepared to pay for something over the internet. If your prepared to potentially lose $1000 by all means go ahead. Personally, I have a small limit, mainly because I’m just not prepared to pay more than $500 for something online without touching and feeling it first.

Have you ever bought something online only to not get what you paid for?

Have you been or know someone who has been a victim of an online fraud scheme?


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Saturday Weekend Review #11- What’s Happening Mr.CBB?

Weekend Review

What’s Happening At The CBB House?

I’ve worked like a mad man trying to get things done around the house this past week and as you all know multitasking is not what I’m good at and neither is Mrs.CBB. Besides my career, the blog and hanging with the wife and friends I’ve set aside time to work on plans to get some renovations done around the house which are long overdue. Our plans so far include new updated bathrooms a new kitchen and some simple landscaping.

Making sure we  keep in line with what comparable homes have sold for to get the best return for our renovations. The last thing I want to do is over-renovate and lose money. The catch is we now have to save the cash to do these renovations  since our savings account will be depleted shortly. We knew we would be using up our cash to pay off the mortgage and are in no huge rush to renovate. That only means our plans will be stretched out over the course of the year and into next year.

We planted the garden as you would have read the past two weeks and I’ll be starting my flower seedlings shortly which I will blog about. I’m going to be getting rid of lots of plants in the back garden that we no longer need. I’m thinking about asking the neighbours (the nice ones) if they are interested in some free plants. There is nothing wrong with them it’s simply that we have too many varieties. I also have to split our Hostas this year as we have no space for them. If they don’t want them I will list them for free on Kijiji or freecycle as I’m sure someone would be happy to get their hands on therm. If you are looking for free plants a great place is freecycle as we picked some up in 2012 from a woman who was clearing up her garden as well.  What are your favourite flowers?

What’s Happening With The Mortgage?

We also paid a large amount off the principle of the mortgage the other day, part 1 of a few to get rid of it once and for all. I’ll be blogging about what’s new with our mortgage and what we will be facing in the upcoming months before we pay it in full. Sometimes things seem easier said then done and in this case it was something that was easier said then done, but we’re well on our way to owning our home outright and that makes us happy.

We’ve worked very hard to be where we are today and although we are far from an early retirement we know that learning from the mistakes we have made along the way has helped us gain an inch and sometimes a mile. I’ve read so many personal finance articles about what we should and shouldn’t do when it comes to paying off the mortgage, investing and keeping money in an emergency savings . I realize that all that matters is making an action plan that’s a fit for us. There is no right or wrong answers as we all have unique situations and I think that those that know what they want are one step ahead of the rest and that’s good.

What’s Happening With Life?

We don’t always know what we want so we take time to investigate and learn about our options so we can make informed decisions. I’ve learned about money since I was young and although I could have made better decisions here and there I’m happy with the path I’m on. One post I read that I agreed on although we are FAR from millionaires is “5 things your millionaire neighbour isn’t telling you” at the College Investor. If it’s one thing I’ve learned it’s to keep my mouth shut with my friends and family about money. I also learned to live below my means and love my wife and work with her so we are on the same page when it comes to finances and life. Divorce can cause your finances to take a huge hit. All work and no play is not a great mix when it comes to marriage. We are making plans to spend some quality time together this summer and maybe do some travelling in and around Ontario. We also have a date night once per week where it’s just the two of us, a good home cooked meal and a movie.

What’s Happening With  Canadian Budget Binder?

I have been on the hunt for some amazing new posts by my fans which I enjoy sharing. It’s always nice to dedicate one day a week to post a personal story that someone in our community wants to share with us. Canadian Budget Binder is NOT just about budgets. The budget binder has categories and every one of those categories represents a part of our life so Canadian Budget Binder is about Money and Life. The blog design is still in the works and I know many of you have emailed me asking about it. Hang tight because you never know when something special is going to happen here.


This week I’ve decided to hold a “Quickie Contest” at the blog and many of my fans who have been around since I started the blog know that a Quickie has nothing to do with jumping in and out of bed in a hurry. A Quickie means I’m holding a Giveaway for the fans that is only on for a certain amount of hours. Today I’m hosting a Quickie Contest for my Canadian readers to WIN $25 in Canadian Coupons. Read this post and at the end of the post you will see the Giveaway Widget, click on it and Good Luck!!

For all my other readers from around the world there is a contest on right now that I am co-hosting where you can walk away with $500 CASH through PayPal if you are the WINNER! Enter via my blog post- Starting Our Frugal Garden From Seed. You can find the link just below in the next section. In that blog post you will find a widget to Rafflecopter, click it and all the details are there! Good Luck!!

Expect an upcoming blog posts about “the neighbours”  and how they can get on our nerves and have no interest in cooperating to make our outdoor living space not look like a dump. Do you have a neighbour that rubs you the wrong way? Send me your story and I might include a snippet from it in my post! 

 Canadian Budget Binder Blog Posts 

If you would like to contribute a post to Canadian Budget Binder I am currently accepting posts from fans and fellow Bloggers! 

Canadian Budget Binder Mentions Around The Web

Thanks for sharing Canadian Budget Binder with your fans!


Not many this week as I didn’t really submit to any.

Top 10 Facebook Fans This Week
  • Mary Campbell
  • Christine Weadick
  • Nicola Don
  • Jen Peacock
  • Wendy LeDrew
  • Juanita Paul
  • Katrina Bearinger
  • Beth Anne
  • Tammy Burke
  • Tricia Murphy Sanders

web search terms

Search terms really help me to understand what people are looking for at Canadian Budget Binder! Any typos below are simply how the person who searched typed it in search, or me ;-) Another week of thousands of searches but only a few good ones worth mentioning.

Top Pick: Irish Illegals In Toronto and how many? – Like I’m going to know….

  • Abuse of the Scanning Code of Practice- That’s interesting as I didn’t know it could be abused or really thought much about it to be honest. If a company is alerted that a product has an incorrect price it is now up to them to get the price fixed immediately. If someone were to come in the next day and you STILL haven’t fixed it how is that the customers fault? Am I missing something? If so, let me know what’s going on with SCOP. :-)
  • ID for Illegal Immigrants in Toronto- Nope you won’t find any of that funny stuff here although I’m sure someone is making a killing in extra side income on this one.
  • Heck Out 51- lol.. oopsie missed the “C”
  • no yes- well which is it, no or yes haha
  • Why Filing for Mat Leave Sucks- haha, oh brother I can’t stop  laughing. Although I’m sure it sucks when you lose a good portion of your income.

Rafflecopter Giveaway<<< CLICK THE LINK Contest Ended

Quote-Budget and Money

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

  • Follow Mr.CBB on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest
  • Subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder>> Everyone else has, why wait!
  • Do You Have A Question For Mr. CBB? The best way to get in touch with me is on Facebook

Merry Christmas To All!

Surprise Christmas Gift

Merry Christmas to all the fans who read and follow Canadian Budget Binder. I know today is supposed to be The Grocery Game Challenge but SURPRISE I’m bumping that post to tomorrow. Actually a few of my posts will be different this week as I have a special post slated for Friday so my blog post picks will be on Thursday.


Don’t forget to ENTER the $100 CASH GIVEAWAY that I am co-hosting. Open to USA and Canada or as long as you have PayPal. Giveaway ends on December 28,2012~ Contest is now closed.

I just wanted to take a moment today to thank each and every one of you that reads Canadian Budget Binder. I put a lot of effort into making this a fun, informative environment where we all learn from each other’s successes and defeats.

Canadian Budget Binder will be coming up for its one year anniversary soon and I’m thrilled to see how fast we continue to grow. I really wanted to do something special so if you don’t already know the blog will be going through a re-design for the new year. I want to continue to champion this site to grow and it’s with your help that I can make this happen. If you have any brilliant ideas you want to share with me please email me.

The Budget

With 2013 just around the corner now is the time to start setting financial goals and really take a look at areas you can make changes in your budget. If you are not using a budget and want to 2013 is a great starting point. You can read my budgeting series 1-10 which details how Mrs.CBB and I designed and use our budget. If you haven’t had a chance to read how one fan got her budget back on track because of what she learned here at Canadian Budget Binder take a few minutes to read her amazing story.

The Grocery Budget

If you really want to work on lowering your grocery budget and if I can motivate you to post your grocery shop with us each week I’m doing it now. It’s super easy and you can track your shops all year-long. All of us that post our shops help each other out with suggestions and ways to save whether it be coupons, flyer specials, frugal recipes and more. Join in the grocery game challenge fun starting every Tuesday on the blog. I’ve updated the rules to the grocery game challenge to include some new figures that we wanted to track all year. Have a peak and let me know what you think.

I’ll be spending the next few days with our family and friends but I’ll be checking in to see what you are all up to.

Love and Laughter To All,

Happy Holidays,


It's Not About How Much Money You Make It's How You Spend It

Mr.CBB’s Quote

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If you are new to Canadian Budget Binder >>>Start here!

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Do You Have A Question For Mr. CBB? The best way to get in touch with me is on Facebook…

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Shopping Addiction- Contest Winners

I’d like to take a moment on behalf of Canadian Budget Binder and our Fans to THANK Erika for offering up 2 lovely Paypal Prizes for 2 of our fans who entered our contest. Having a shopping addiction can be costly to the budget but recognizing the signs and how to avoid digging the debt hole are imperative.

Are you a WINNER?……………………….

Congratulations to our Winners! Please contact me via email at or Facebook

1-Hope Britton $10 Paypal

2-Wendy Ann $10 Paypal

Coupon Prize Pack

3- Maria Williams

Thanks again Erika for a lovely guest post and we hope to have you back again to share some more great stories jam-packed with money-saving tips!


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Canadian Credit Cards Can Provide Some Great Perks! What’s your cup of Tea?

Is there any mystery as to why some people were not meant to own a credit card? When I talk to most people about debt they tell me that it’s the fault of the credit card they carry in tucked in their wallet. They fail to recognize that the card isn’t doing the shopping, it’s them.

It’s reality that a credit card is sometimes a necessity to book a hotel, rent a car  or use paypal and other on-line frequencies. If you don’t have one the consumer hears , you are not privy to use our services or we don’t know if we can trust you.  It’s like a gold ticket for these retailers, you mess up, they have your number.

If you credit score isn’t up to snuff you might find yourself  lagging your mates who are able to capitalize on all the perks a credit can offer.

What is a Credit Score?

According to Industry Canada a credit score is a judgement about your financial health at a specific point in time. You can check your credit score for free once per year.  You are rated on a scale of 1-9 where a 1 means you pay your bills within 30 days of the due date.  If you have a rating of  9  well you have some explaining to do.  This means you never pay your bills or you have went into consumer debt repayment proposal.  Know your score, it’s important to your financial well-being and if you don’t understand your report  you can learn all about it just by clicking here.

Credit Cards don’t have to have a bad wrap if they are used properly and paid in full at the end of the month. The best part may be the incentives involved if used properly although credit card companies simply want you to pay the minimum balance.  Then what happens? You know all those perks.. well you are now paying for them in interest charges. Not all cards are created equally so it’s up to  you to decide what’s best for you.

Oh, and make sure you read all the fine print and know what your interest rate and any “other” potential charges are. If it doesn’t make sense to you ask. The only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask.  Many people toss the fine print in the bin and then when something goes wrong they blame the credit card company…. READ!

People who use these credit cards to their advantage like us take the perks and run with them. Whether you get Air Miles, groceries, money-back, scene points or gas  it’s money back in your budget, provided you pay the bill when it comes knocking.

The hard part is figuring out what credit cards are right for you and leaving the one’s you will never use behind. Don’t be fooled or enticed to Spin the Credit Wheel by discounts and deals if you won’t use the card.

The last thing you want is more credit on your credit report that you aren’t using just to get a discount.  It’s better to leave a long-standing credit card on your report than to cancel it.  You may want to read up about how cancelling a credit card could potentially hurt your credit score.

If you think Pre-paid credit cards are the better option, think again. I received one for a Christmas Gift and what  load of hooey.  They charged me a $5.o0 activation fee on a $20.00 card. What kind of crap is that? Who buys these cards? Read the fine print or you might be spending more than you bargained for.

We have a couple credit cards which we prefer to use and I’ll tell you why

Canadian Tire MasterCard

Canadian Tire

  • I simply love this card as I’m a handy man and spend alot of money at Canadian Tire buying tools and household items.  My Canadian Tire Money has come in handy or more than one occasion and has saved money in our home maintenance and vehicle maintenance budget.
  •  I use this for everything we purchase for the home and fuel in the vehicles. I also like to take advantage of email coupons sent by Canadian Tire which offers 10x points or other deals.

PC Financial MasterCard

  •  Free Groceries, sure bring it on.  We’ve lost count how much we have received back in PC points and used towards FREE groceries. We purchase all our groceries with this card as well as get points through paying our bills online and bringing our own shopping bags.  This has been a lovely incentive credit card for us and we plan to use this as long as they offer PC points.

Here’s what some of my Facebook Fans had to say about Why they LOVE their Credit Cards?

  • Allyson Turner- It’s gotten me free movie tickets, free gas, and a great credit rating which will allow me to buy a house without needing my parents to co-sign for.  It allows me to not miss paying my phone bill, and make instant payments through paypal, as well  making purchases online where paypal is not accepted.
  • It allows me to buy my gasoline without going in to the store and having to wait in line.  I don’t live off of my credit card, but it definitely has had some pretty good uses. :)
  • Coupon Christine  I LOVE my credit card! I never ever carry a balance (especially now that I am a full-time couponer and never ever buy above my means). If I want to get something fancy like a new pair of jeans, something else must go that month.
  • I have always been a PC MasterCard girl because of the perks I get when buying and using my card. Free groceries?? Yes please! I also benefit from using my credit card at the PC Gas bars too where I get 4% cash back in the form of an in store coupon redeemable as well on FREE GROCERIES (yes please once again).
  • I have always been a smart shopper as well as I hate paying interest, that makes it just feel wrong as we already pay 13% tax .. who wants to pay another 18% on that … it would be just wrong.
  • Shelley Ann McInnes Chenier- My hubby loves our credit card because he gets Canadian Tire money on the card. We do pay it off within days of using it!

Image representing PayPal as depicted in Crunc...

  • Jen Peacock -I wouldn’t have a PayPal or eBay account or many other accounts for that matter without one!
  • Zayba Butt Ramoutar- I love my credit card!!! I have a Shoppers Optimum MasterCard and usually only spend on my card, which is always paid off every month. It helps me keep track of my spending and gets me extra Optimum points! I end up redeeming every few months…of course I wait for the spend your points events!
  • Michelle Dacey- My credit card has a $39 annual fee and I receive 2% cash back on all recurring bills, pharmacy purchases, gas and grocery purchases and 1% cash back on every other purchase. My payout is in November and I received $245.17 back in my chequing account. So for $39 I made $206.17 just for using my credit card. I’d be silly not to use my credit card for every purchase!!
  • Meeow Meow- I have the pc one which is my main one and get points every time I use it. I can cash points in at RCSS for gas or other rewards. Usually i don’t carry a balance. they are a good financial tool used right.
  • Jodie Munshaw -I get travel rewards. I have a short-haul flight and a good chunk already towards next winters vacation. I can also choose to put it towards an investment such as an RRSP if I want.
What Incentives do you get with your Credit Card?
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