SPONSORED The Amex Hot 100 Wishlist

The Amex Hot 100 Wishlist is brought to you by American Express Canada.

I’ve been a (hopefully) shrewd and (definitely) enthusiastic shopper for some decades already. I appreciate quality, I savour a bargain, I revel in the successful hunt. The idea of an app that can not only make my hunting easier but also make it easier for others to hunt for me? I’m all for it. (Please note: No shoppers were hunted in the writing of this article.) My pointer poised over the Amex Hot 100 Wishlist, I am ready to leap — well, click — and learn. In a way, this is a bit like social media for shopping. Fair enough, as December is arguably the most social month.

Having used, perused and made my to-purchase decisions, it’s time for the shopping itself. The chief hazard that can shatter my crystalline consumer happiness is an unpleasant business transaction. While online shopping means never being put off by a surly sales clerk, the order process must be smooth in order to merit return business. American Express Platinum Card at the ready, I proceed to the virtual sites of various vendors.

First stop: The Roots Canada store. On the Amex Hot 100 Wishlist, I saw a sweater coat named Beaconsfield and recalled my spouse once using the term ‘sweater coat’ with a spirit indicating that all right-thinking women admire sweater coats. Free shipping is on offer for all online purchases at Roots, which earns my immediate favour; their site is a breeze to use and I am checked out in a matter of two minutes. (Efficiency would only have increased had I realized that the code the site repeatedly requested along with my card number was in fact printed on the front of my card, not the back. D’oh! I share my once-private embarrassment with you so that we might all checkout faster.)

I have had the good fortune to visit New York City a number of times and have done my share of cross-border shopping, including a camera from B&H Photo — an impressive Manhattan palace of a store recommended to me by a Toronto-based photographer friend who would shop nowhere else. Lacking the plane tickets to visit in person, I take the store up on its offer of simplified shipping whereby they calculate and pay the duty in advance (~$25), securing one HD Flip video camera for my kids. Having been rudely surprised by outrageous cross-border shipping and customs charges previously, the concept of these costs being clearly identified in advance is reassuring. Checkout time: lightning-fast.

With the other members of my household attended to, it’s time to go off-menu for something more personal. What this writer always needs is another musical toy, and Canada’s own Eastwood Guitars recently teamed up with one of my heroes, Warren Ellis (of Dirty Three, Grinderman, Nick Cave’s own Bad Seeds) to create a signature tenor model. Surely, that’s going to make an elegant racket, even in my clumsy hands. The flat shipping rate of $49 is more substantial on this, which would soon add up to significant sums were I buying axes for all my chums at the holidays; still, I accept the charge, even in light of the guitar being shipped less than 50km distant from my house. The checkout process here merits one further stop, through PayPal, to process payment but is still speedy, and the language used in the confirmation email reads as though having come from a friend. Hopefully, my friends will soon be comparing my playing favourably to that of Mr. Ellis.

Another review generated by the Amex Hot 100 Wishlist convinces me to acquire something playful for…a friend. Golf Town’s offer of a home edition of the Golden Tee video game proves too hedonistic to pass up, especially in light of the fact that, with winter’s onset, there’s little chance of swinging the clubs for some time. My checkout takes a good deal less time than it typically takes me to find an errant ball in the rough.

With these purchases made, there is nothing left to do but wait for the deliveries. I’m stress-free and with time on my hands? A holiday miracle.

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