Peter : I don't want to burst anyone's bubble but a
lot of the perception of increased U.S. shopping activity
is due to very long wait times at the U.S. border because
Homeland Security has made border crossing irritatingly
slow. It would be hard to say the Canadian retailers
are hurting. I recently checked 2 fairly new lifestyle
commercial-residential power centres here in the Montreal
area, both were packed with cars for shopping even as
their office towers and condo towers were still under
construction. One spreads over 230 acres and I felt
I needed a navigation system to get around. The second
was even very busy with pedestrian traffic on what seemed
like fake city streets. If you do your research you'll
find many U.S. shopping centres near Montreal were going
under a few years ago while these Canadian centres were
being developed. It will take time for the U.S. to catch
up and may never in some states like Vermont where 230
acre developments are just not on any agenda.
Strategery : Another reason not to shop in Canada:
Sales Taxes. They have national and providence taxes.
Maybe Canada can make up sales by exporting more prescriptions.
Roma : We have always been doing this. I live in the
states and my family moved to Canada recently. So i
shop for them and take it with me whenever I am going
there.(which is every two months) Recently I shipped
a notebook computer which was still cheaper after I
paid for shipping and taxes(Including GST, PST).
Ben H. : The fact of the matter is, it's more expensive
overall to live in Canada. It has to do with several
factors - smaller market, more packaging (Canadians
produce more packaging garbage than the whole U.S. population
does), and transportation costs (a smaller network).
shirish kokatay : One would think we have learned by
now that that - The more regulated an economy of a country
is, the greater the burden the citizens, have to bear
in higher costs. Canada is a lot more socialist and
more regulated than USA and therefore the mearkets reflect
diffent pricing realities. The only effective way for
Canadians to not be bothered by the lure of relatively
freer markets is to either build a wall to keep the
evil free market influences out, or reduce their own
regulations, taxes and other burdens to bring down the
prices. This is not much of a mystery.
carlos voce : We must have a conciuss thinking about
what kind of products are killing our mother earth,
or wich products are killing the dignity of the workers
in other latinamerican countries.
Robert in Puget Sound : Not surprising there HERE!
Beer 6 pack (local!) C$13.00. Sm bag BBQ coals- C$11.00.
BUT...everyone GETS a living wage, reasonable healthcare,
and rarely do they send their families off to die in
some pols' Foreign Mis-adventures. They whine, but they
do have it pretty good. They also lack the superpower
egomania - LUCKY Canadians!!
Mark : Its funny how prices have only come down since
people have complained. The Canadian dollar has been
increasing value for years, but prices have basically
stayed the same until now. The Canadian retailers really
are a greedy bunch. Time for a little pay back this
lydia: As an Ebay seller, I see more Europeans buying
from me rather than David Yurman and John Hardy (who
is a Canadian born designer)from Canadians. I work with
them to help them with shipping and other importing
issues however we don't see that much of an increase
online surprisingly it has remained steady. One would
think with the dollar so low that it would increase.
On the hand, Australian and European imports are very
healthy although USA buyers remain the number 1 source,
it appears some are having trouble paying for their
items by comparison. Hoping the business climate stays
healthy for us designer and artisan jewelers on Ebay!
Hayes : Here in the US, we've driven taxes to a level
that is not sufficient to maintain our infrastructure
and urban physical plant. We also have private health
care with a large uninsured population, creating a public
health issue. Oh yes, there's a very expensive unfunded
war we're fighting too. As I understand it, Canada's
done a pretty good job of having excellent infrastructure
and maintaining it on more of a pay as you go basis.
Retailers are paying more for some of these taxes and
for their less Just-In-Time retailing model, making
things more expensive. What Canadians get for these
taxes is a much more friendly, social, and sustainable
quality of life. As evidence, visit Detroit and Toronto
in the same week. Walk the streets of both cities, poor
areas included, from 11pm to 9am on a hot August evening
and then talk to me about which city you'd rather raise
you children in.
Paakow Sackey : Funny that this article should be on
today, because I read in one of the local Ottawa newspapers
yesterday that Walmart Canada has decided to sell items
in their stores across here at US$ prices. Some stores
and bigger franchises are beginning to pay heed to the
tons of Canadians shopping south of the border. However,
I wonder if it is too little too late, perhaps?
Ann : It's a good deal really. When I lived in Canada,
I noticed that prices of goods were higher than in the
US, but there was so much there that was free or at
low cost, like medical care and college. Food, services,
and electricity were cheaper. To me, it more than balanced.
I wasn't into buying a lot of stuff. But if Canadians
can get their stuff cheaper, too, they're living very
well at the moment. Maybe I should have stayed there.
Dave M. : I am truly amazed that the Canadian government
is blaming retailers for high prices. The problem is
shipping goods from the U.S. into Canada. The duties
and brokerage fees charged by Canadian officials are
outrages. It can actually double the cost of an item
going into Canada. Do you really think a company like
Wal-Mart Canada is making excessive profits? That is
not Wal-Mart's business model. Canadian consumers should
be mad at their government and not retailers. I live
in the U.S. and have sold goods to Canadian companies
for years. There is no way for retailers to absorb the
huge fees their government charges when goods are shipped
across the border. It is outrageous.
Blake : So true. Especially the last part about buying
from the states. I buy everything I can from the US
due to the cost difference; even with having to pay
shipping, it's still cheaper than going to a store 5
mins away. And I can do it from the comfort of my own
Don Oakes : Such a rich topic and so shallow the article!
There is no mention of the components making up the
higher prices, one of the most significant of which
is the tax for universal health care. Look more closely
and you will see that most Canadians have a lot of cash
around - in their pockets, in their houses or whereever.
That's because there are two economies. The tax free
economy may be as large as one half the taxed economy
because the taxes are so onerous. Drive across the border
and you will be asked who you are, why the visit, for
how long and if you are carrying any "presents"
for friends or relatives. If you really want to see
fever pitch buying by Canadians, drop in to an odd-lot
discount store in a border town on the U.S. side. The
Canadian economy has many problems and the New Hampshire
economy has many answers.