Don’t get taken by cheap ‘Canada Goose’ parkas

Garments on display at the cheap Canada Goose Inc.

This piece was originally published in 2013.

Having indulged in a lot of online shopping this Christmas, I should’ve remembered that famous Abraham Lincoln quote that pops up on the web from time to time: “One shouldn’t believe everything one reads just because they see it on the Internet.”

I bought books from Amazon.ca and Chapters.ca, products from Apple.ca and even got a great deal on a Lumix telephoto lens through Futureshop.ca. There were fabulous deals to be had, and I was a seasoned online shopper. Or so I thought.

In retrospect, my ‘seasoning’ this month may have been poultry seasoning.

You see, I found – or thought I had found – the motherlode of deals on one of those ads that pops up on Facebook. A Canada Goose Expedition Parka, regularly $700, on sale for only $287.

I clicked on the link and it took me to something called the Winter Parka Outlet. The site had the Canada Goose logo. In fact, the Canada Goose logo and trademarks were all over the site, together with other trademarks such as ‘McAfee Secure’ and very professional photographs of people wearing the iconic coats in all sorts of cold environments.

There was free shipping and no tax, presumably because the GST/PST/HST was incorporated in the price. Clearly, one of Canada Goose’s subsidiaries or dealers was liquidating inventory in conjunction with Black Friday and Christmas. How could I lose? What a deal! So I went ahead and bought a coat.

I filled out the online information so the vendor had my residential address for credit card billing purposes, and my office address for delivery purposes, just like Apple, Amazon and other online sales companies do. My order was confirmed by e-mail a few moments later in the usual way.

“What was your first clue that things weren’t quite as they seemed, Sherlock?”

Well, I guess no tax and free shipping could have been a giveaway. Maybe I should have paid attention to the keywords on the website’s landing page: Canada Goose Cheap Sale.