I’m constantly scanning the news for articles, opinions and reports on Cross-Border Shopping. With the heat and humidity come those that really don’t do any research, or it certainly appears that they don’t, decide to place pen to paper or other medium. I just read one such article with such a person. In this blog I’ll give you the questions, his answers and my observations.
Q – How bad is cross-border shopping for the Canadian economy? A – For most Canadians cross-border shopping is a pretty rare event without major economic consequences.
Q – Do you think our weaker dollar will decrease the number of Canadians crossing the border to travel and shop this summer? A – I expect we’ll see a lot of travel though about 10 per cent less than the years when the loonie was over par.
2sidesof49 – Canadian residents took 4.5 million trips to the United States in April 2014, up 0.8% from March. On average 140,000 cars and other vehicles that cross the border daily.
Q – With the Canadian dollar coming in at 93 cents US, is it still a deal to shop south of the border? A – At 93 cents there is still a large range of bargains in the U.S. but your savings are smaller and they certainly need to be balanced against the drive and border wait times.
2sidesof49 – According to a recent CD Howe Report food prices are 57% more expensive in Canada. A recent CBC Marketplace program found price differences of between 30% – 65% on the same items, in the same stores on either side of the border. My wait time at the Lewiston Bridge on July 1st was 10 minutes entering the US and at the Rainbow Bridge 15 minutes leaving. Gas was $3.83 per gallon compared with $5.24 per gallon ($1.399 ltr) in Canada. Filling up cost $70.85 vs $97.00 a savings of $26.15. At 29 mpg It cost me $34.86 in gas for the round trip or $9.71 more that if I had filled up in Canada and driven the same distance shopping. I saved more that $10.00 in the cost of the shampoo I bought at Walmart in Buffalo!
Q – What can Canadian retailers do to reduce the impact of cross-border shopping? A – It really depends on how far they are from the border. If they are more than, say, 50 km from the border, they do not need to be overly focused on U.S. competition and should just concentrate on beating local competitors.
2sidesof49 – Canadian Retailers everywhere need to get manufacturers to eliminate “country pricing” and stop charging Canadian consumers substantially more that the US consumer. Tell me why a book, written by a Canadian Author, published by a Canadian company and printed in Canada cost Cost $20.65 on Amazon.ca and Chapters and $16.87 on Amazon.com. Why are HALLS cough drops, made in Montreal, $2.89 in WalMart Canada and $1.29 in WalMart US.
Q – What could the Canadian government do to discourage cross-border shopping? A – Running the Canada Border Services Agency is not cheap. I would consider tolling crossers. It would bring in revenue and discourage excessive crossing.
Yup – what we need is another Tax. If a tax would discourage excessive use I would have shut off my electricity and gas, stopped drinking, stopped driving a car, stopped travelling, got rid on my cell phone – oh am I starting to sound like a broken record?
So in summary – don’t believe what you read. If you want to save substantially on everyday items, clothes, shoes, cars etc. start planning your cross-border shopping trip right after you order The Canadian Cross-Border Shopping Guide http://www.2sidesof49.com/The_Cross_Border_Guide.html