How Kinek Changed My Life (By Saving Me $$$)

For anyone who lives in a border town (or within a few hours of one) and likes to save money, boy, do I have a service for you. It's called Kinek and I've been using it for about 3 years now. They call themselves an 'alternative delivery solution'. They offer a few different services, but the one I use, and the one that benefits my fellow Canadians the most, is their Border Network Service.

Description from the Kinek Website:
Border Network: Kinek’s border locations are conveniently set up for Canadians. Easily sign up for your US Shipping Address and start saving on international shipping and brokerage fees.

 Basically, anyone can sign up for a Kinek account for free. They are then provided with a unique ID number which can be used at any Kinek point you are interested in picking up your packages at. The website provides a quick and easy search tool for finding Kinek offices closest to any Canadian/US Border point. Pricing and Operating Hours vary by location, but most of the offices I've used charge a standard pickup fee of $5 per package (under 30lbs). There is no monthly rental fee associated with Kinek, so it's like having a pay-per-use P.O. Box.

I'm posting about this service now because I've been using it a lot lately. I had already planned a trip across the border for some Christmas shopping, so I put in Black Friday orders for the little girl with California Kisses, Discount Dance Supply, and All About Dance. Right now California Kisses is only available in one dance supply store in Canada, and the cost mark-up is atrocious. Shipping to Canada is a minimum of $30 and there is a separate charge for duties and taxes. Getting an outfit on sale isn't as attractive when it costs almost double to ship it. Shipping to the US? Free for any purchase over $100. The DD also has her ballet exams coming up and the standard body suit for her studio changed, as well as the slippers. I could have bought them here for $30 a piece, but instead I bought both from All About Dance for $25 together, and then free shipping of course. Her ballet tights came from Discount Dance Supply for $3.25 a pair vs. the $16 I usually pay at home. Even with the currency exchange and gas cost factored in ($40), I made out like a bandit. 

Dance is an expensive art/sport, and for any parent in Canada whose kid wants to play hockey, I envy you. For all the other dance parents who don't mind an extra drive to save some cash, I urge you to look into Kinek. For more info, check out their Shipping to the Border FAQ

P.S. There's also an App for that!

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