So I was looking at my online edition of The Toronto Star this morning and saw an advertisement from J. Crew for “flat rate” shipping to Canadians at $9.95. I remember my wife telling me that J. Crew was coming to Canada and I thought wow these guys are serious – until I went to their website.
Now I have shipped a ton of stuff across the U.S. and from the U.S. to Canada – there is about a 10% difference in ground shipping via the USPS on consumer “flat rate” boxes. I have to assume that someone a big as J. Crew has negotiated a pretty good deal and that their rate is substantially better. So when I went to the site I was not overly surprised to see a $1.00 difference in their “flat rate” costs U.S. vs. Canada. Finally we get a good deal.
So here is where the Blog gets interesting… I looked up one of the items while browsing the U.S. site and with the Ship to: United States selected in upper right hand corner of their site. I arbitrarily picked an item and to calculate tax amount using my friends address in NJ (I ship items here and pick them up when we visit). Total cost of this transaction would be $406.95. I then went through the same exercise with shipping to Newmarket – WAIT A MINUTE! When I selected the Ship to: Canada option the price of the product changed from $398.00 to $470.00 – $72.00 more! Thinking that this was J. Crew adding the HST ($51.74) to the article I preceded to checkout. Not so, after I entered my Postal Code to calculate the estimated tax another $62.39 was added to my cart.
So now I understand the $9.95 flat rate shipping – They just got another 18% for the same item they sell in the U.S., no additional cost to package, process (other than a customs document) or ship. Total Savings buying in U.S. $135.39
Bend over again Canada!