How much is $2.45?

September 3, 2006 at 10:51 pm 15 comments

We went on a final school-supplies shopping trip yesterday.  Back-to-school shopping doesn’t only include supplies but clothing as well. 

After looking at a few stores, Ryan had finally found a pair of shoes that he liked.  The cashier at Payless ShoeSource had already totaled my purchases, size 6 runners and an extra pair of shoelaces.  She said, “$41.12.”  That can’t be right, I thought.  The shoes were $34.99 and the laces were $2.99 minus 50% discount on the laces.   

So, I said, “Oh, hold on.  Those shoes are for my 12-year old son.  You didn’t charge me the 7% PST did you?” 

She pulled the receipt from the register and checked her entries.   “No, I only charged you the 6% GST.” 

Here in Canada 6% GST (goods and services tax) is charged on the sale of certain goods and services.  And each province also charges PST (provincial sales tax) on all purchases but children’s clothing is exempted.  In Manitoba, PST is 7%. 

Ryan already wears men’s size shoes and I have to tell the cashier that the shoes were for a child and not an adult so she won’t charge me with the additional 7% PST. 

After she handed me the shopping bag, I told my kids to wait before we leave the store as I wanted to check my receipt.  It said right there, 7% PST $2.45.  She was either trying to lie to me or was too lazy to ring up my purchases again.  Hmmph.  I wanted my $2.45 back.  If it were just a few cents, I would have let it go.  But $2.45 is still two dollars and 45 cents.  I could buy something useful with my $2.45. 

I went back in line.  There were only two other people.  I was so eager to demand my money back and couldn’t wait until I got to the front.  I saw a sales clerk pass by. 

Me:  Miss, there has been a mistake.  I was charged the PST for my son’s shoes. 

Clerk:  How old is your son? 

Me:  He’s 12. 

Clerk:  Did you tell her that? 

Me:  Yes, I told her and then she checked the receipt if she charged 7% and she said she didn’t but it says right here on the receipt, 7% PST. 

Clerk: You have to tell us. 

Me:  But I did. 

She went to the front, called me and asked me to sign a refund voucher and I got my money back. 

What could I buy with $2.45?  A gallon of milk, or a bag of cookies, or three big plump mangoes at Superstore.  I’m glad that I got my $2.45 back. 

Note to self:  Next time, remember to tell the cashier that I am buying clothes or shoes for my 12-year old son before she rings up my purchases.


Entry filed under: My life as a mom, Winnipeg.

Back to School – Part 1 Early signs of Fall

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ipanema  |  September 4, 2006 at 1:00 am

    Wow, taxes here and there huh. i can’t understand why they have GST and PST over price. Where do all these taxes go?

    Same here niceheart, I always fight for what is right. 🙂

  • 2. ladybug  |  September 4, 2006 at 4:14 am

    I hate those kinds of cashiers. Just the other day, when I was shopping for groceries, the machine could not read the price of the product I bought so the cashier had to enter the code of the product manually, and the price will just automatically register. I saw her looking intently at the price which appeared. Had I not noticed that, I wouldn’t have checked. Turned out the price which appeared at the register was 69 pesos while the price of the product as it appears on the tag was only 39 pesos. The cashier already noticed the price difference yet chose to ignore it. I pointed it to her and she appeared surprised and told me she’ll check into it. To cut the long story short, the price was changed back to 39 pesos, but not after having to point it out to the cahier. Grrr….

  • 3. Lazarus  |  September 4, 2006 at 6:05 am

    plenty of taxes in canada. at least the money goes back to benefit the greater public.

  • 4. Eric  |  September 4, 2006 at 6:32 pm

    NYC has no sales tax on clothes and shoes. The city had to do it because shoppers will just cross the bridge or tunnel to New Jersey where there’s no sales tax on clothes and shoes.

    Ladybug: how about those magic ink used in cash registers? Within a couple of days, you can hardly read the items and prices on the receipts. THis is something to complain at DTI.

  • 5. niceheart  |  September 4, 2006 at 9:54 pm

    Ipanema, GST is the equivalent of VAT (value-added tax) in other countries, which I think we also have in the Philippines. Well taxes are a source of income for the government so I guess they also go back to the people through different government projects.

    Ladybug, I also watch when the cashier enters prices especially on discounted items when they have to manually enter the code. How many times have I returned an item before because of wrong pricing.

  • 6. niceheart  |  September 4, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    Lazarus, you’re right. In the end the money goes back to the public. Families in the lower income bracket here can actually apply for a GST refund.

    Eric, I would like that to happen here too – no sales taxes on clothes and shoes. I hope the government would consider at least no sales tax on winter coats and boots. Hay, I’m already dreading winter. It’s coming our way.

  • 7. domestic rat  |  September 4, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    This PST is interesting…. waived on children’s items. I suppose only the locals would know that.

  • 8. niceheart  |  September 4, 2006 at 10:58 pm

    DR, I’m just glad that children’s clothing are exempt from PST. Because they do go through a lot of clothes. Especially with the different seasons here. And they do grow up too fast.

  • 9. bw  |  September 5, 2006 at 12:18 am

    didn’t realize that kids clothes are exempt from PST in manitoba! We don’t have that here in Ontario.

  • 10. Rey  |  September 5, 2006 at 1:57 am

    women are generally concious to the prices of the things they buy. Jean is like that all the time. And she always look at the keyed in price if it is the right one in the label or not. Becasue sometimes items will go on sale for about 30% but the scanning label embeds the original retail price.

    Me, I don’t even count my change. I could be robbed in living daylights and not be aware of it.

  • 11. haze  |  September 5, 2006 at 5:29 pm

    We have big and lots of taxes too in France. Either you are renting or proprietor of an apartment or a house you need to pay 2 taxes 😦 If both of you are working more taxes too ! On the other way, we can see where the taxes goes unlike in Pinas straight away in politicians pocket di ba !

  • 12. niceheart  |  September 5, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    BW, Ontario also has PST. I see it everyday in the receipts that I handle at work. You probably just don’t notice it.

    Rey, I think you’re right. Women are more attentive when it comes to prices of things. I think it’s just our nature.

    Haze, so I guess it’s like that in every country. Taxes here and there. But it’s really good to see that the taxes are being put in good use.

  • 13. bw  |  September 5, 2006 at 11:12 pm

    YEah we do have PST but kids clothing is not exempt from PST!

  • 14. niceheart  |  September 6, 2006 at 7:56 pm

    Oops, sorry, BW. I didn’t get it at first.

  • 15. Sally  |  May 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    hello fellow manitoban…I live in Morden.

    My daughter is now 34 yrs old …but i remember those days. Tax, Tax, Tax is such a pain. Never know quite what it is going to cost when I get to a cashier….maybe i need to carry a calculator with me


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