Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why this Canadian is considering cross-border shopping

On globeandmail.com today...

Canadians flock to the U.S. in Record numbers

Canadians buying their cars, bubble bath and even vacation homes in the U.S. spell bad tidings for the domestic economy. About 55 per cent of the country's gross domestic product stems from consumer spending, which has been the main engine of growth in recent years.

I’m a big fan of supporting our economy and buying in Canada. I have convinced myself that taking a day or a whole weekend to drive across to the U.S. and buying in a frenzy is not worth the savings. I was even willing to give retailers the benefit of doubt on those excuses for why they haven’t adjusted their prices even though Canadian is on par with US. Until now…

I’m going to San Jose next week. My friend there asked me to check the prices for a famous Canadian ice wine here. He’s reasoning is that since it’s Canadian it should be cheaper in Canada, no? No. I e-mailed him this weekend. He just replied back. It’s cheaper in SJ.

Let’s see here. Canadians buying our own product, end up paying more than Americans buying our exports? That is just wrong!

I was not planning on doing any shopping while I'm in SJ. However, I think I will check prices for a few things that I need here first. If I see much cheaper prices in SJ after all things considered - exchange, taxes (SJ is about 2% higher), and 2.5% Visa exchange charge - I will probably buy them.

P.S. I know the price difference is partly because of the liquor taxes but this is only one of many examples where we are paying more. Canadian Capitalist posted two entries comparing the prices Bargain Shopping for Books and Bargain Hunting Across the Border.

4 comments:

SavingDiva said...

I didn't realize that Canadians have been coming to the US to purchase goods...hm...

Esme said...

Oh yes. Canadian Capitalist did a comparison of the price differences. U.S. prices are less by 2 - 27%. I've added the link to the entries.

MEG said...

Wow, I'm surprised to hear that...the only thing I've ever heard about price differences between the US and Canada is that medicine is so much cheaper in Canada. Interesting! By the way, thanks for visiting my blog!!

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

OMG that drives me CRAZY how the prices are so out of whack.

Especially on books.

But Best Buy, The Bay, Zellers, Wal-Mart and some indie stores are starting to price at USD...