The biggest money saving secret your friend’s are keeping from you.admin
Canada and the United States have fairly similar economies. And yet, it can be much more affordable to buy goods from your neighbor to the North. Here’s why…
The United States is Canada’s largest trading partner. With ¾ of our trade going to the US, our relationship is a mutually beneficial one. The American economy thrives due to its close access to Canadian natural resources. While a significant portion of Canadian trade comes from the export of raw goods and specific manufacturing sectors, our two countries also share valuable cross-border retail trade.And yet, with an incredibly rich US retail market, some might be surprised to find that Americans come across the border in droves to buy goods in Canada. Go to any border crossing, especially during a holiday: the lines of American cars prove the point. Why do so many Americans enjoy shopping north of the 49th? Simply put, if paying in American dollars, things in Canada cost significantly less.
Looking at the past five years, our dollar has sat roughly in the USD$0.76 range, giving Americans $1.32 in buying power for every Canadian dollar. Buying in US dollars, your money goes much further in Canada than it does at home. This is a crucial advantage for American buyers AND businesses. So, how does this play out in reality? Basically, if you want to buy something that costs $1 in Canada, you only have to pay USD $0.76 for it. Pull back and something that costs $100 in Canada actually costs an American around $76. Something that costs $1000 in Canada only costs around $760US. Currency economics. You get the idea.
How does currency affect pricing?
Unlike the value of tradable commodities, one thing to know about retail pricing is that generally, those numbers remain stable. Manufacturers set an MSRP, a manufacturer’s suggested retail price, setting the top end pricing for an item. MSRP is different from sale pricing, where a discount is taken off that top retail price. While the MSRP of an item doesn’t change, currencies constantly fluctuate. Depending on the item, the MSRP can often be much higher than the actual sale price in stores. At the same time, the price difference between American and Canadian goods isn’t too different. Some products like magazines, books and greeting cards post different prices but even those set differences do not accommodate price
fluctuations. So, if you are paying with US dollars and the Canadian dollar is sitting low (as is often the case), the American buyer can win big on the currency conversion.
If you’re looking at international pricing, Canada can frequently beat American pricing when it comes to the exchange rate. The annual exchange rate between Canada and the US is incredibly stable, averaging at 1.2986 for 2017 and 1.2957 for 2018 (source: Bank of Canada). Even Americans shop in Canada where possible because they pay an average of 76¢ for every Canadian dollar for their goods.
How do these savings play out?
Generally speaking, international companies have different pricing for the different markets they work in, although that ratio can be fairly stable over time. While buyers from a country can physically enter another and purchase goods for a different price, that reality can be different on the internet. Some websites are geo-blocked to configure their pricing to the buyer’s location. It is for this reason that the ShipByMail’s BuyForMe service is so incredibly helpful to our clients: by purchasing from within Canada, we can give international clients the ability to purchase domestically, no matter where they are in the world, regardless of their method of payment. The BuyForMe service has a charge of 15% by
an exemption from paying sales taxes, which ShipByMail pays and redeems on your behalf. American clients will frequently pay shipping for their goods, no matter where they are purchased. By paying for shipping in Canadian dollars at discounted rates from ShipByMail, we keep your Canadian advantage affordable. And, if you are buying in volume, those savings compound.
But again, what about those goods where it is tough to obtain the Canadian price? What is the workaround to pay the most affordable option? Google is one of many sites that geoblock to ensure their online stores are set to the buyer’s specific country. This way, they can completely control where a buyer makes their purchases, with what payment method and more importantly, at what price. The workaround for geoblocked sites like these is to use the BuyForMe service, meaning that we can purchase items in Canada at domestic rates for international clients, regardless of their location or method of payment.
Let’s take this pricing for the Google Pixel 3 mobile phone, for example:
Basically, if you buy a Google Pixel 3 in the US, it will cost you USD$799 but if you buy the exact same item in Canada, it will cost you approx. USD$569.24. That’s a USD$230 savings! Even with the BuyForMe service fee and shipping (paid at Canadian, not American prices), you still incur a substantial savings! What’s even better is that our BuyForMe service means you avoid paying Canadian sales taxes, which you would have to pay for standard online purchases. AND, so long as your bill is below USD$800, you’re not required to pay duty in the USA either!
Geoblocked or not, savings are everywhere
Another popular area of comparison for Canadian vs American pricing is with Amazon. Being a much different business model than standard retail, pricing can vary widely depending the site and seller, either via Amazon.com or Amazon.ca. Take this Nerf Lazer tag set, which costs upwards of $40 more in the USA than in Canada:
The price difference between the Canadian and American stores here is massive. Instead of paying USD$63.99, this Nerf Lazer Tag Phoenix is approx. USD$18.45. That’s a massive $45.54 savings; a 71% off discount!! The question continually varies on the same theme: why would you pay a high price in the US when you can get the item more affordably from Canada? And if you are a business, shopping from Canada isn’t simply smart savings, it is crucial to maintain your bottom line.
Let’s go back to Amazon for a moment. A similar savings example also occurs with some Amazon branded products. Even with the Kindle Paperwhite, there is still a $20 price difference between the American and Canadian store. And again, if purchased with BuyForMe, you avoid Canadian sales taxes and wouldn’t have to pay duty as the price is below the de minimus value for American tariffs (that means, the threshold for when you need to pay duty). So in reality, that savings will be even greater!
Even with identical goods from the different Amazon stores, you can still easily find a pricing difference between Canadian and American markets that is in fact much less in Canada. Far from being an isolated phenomenon, these differences are largely the norm across Canada’s retail landscape. The bonus? The great thing about shipping items like compact readers is that they are compact and light, meaning the price for shipping is relatively low compared to bulky and heavy items. Your savings advantage for buying from Canada is best when you can buy in volume, consolidate your goods and ship efficiently packed items to make the most of your shipping dollar.
Amazon.ca isn’t the only winner for Canadian Savings
There is a massive array of Canadian retailers that offer exceptional pricing across the continent. From Canadian Tire to Home Depot and Lowes, to Best Buy and Indigo, or to Costco.ca, Well.ca and SO many more: you are guaranteed to find incredible deals from Canadian merchants.
So, let’s take a look at the difference between the American Amazon.com site pricing compared with other Canadian retailers. The Canadian site for Home Depot definitely wins this price comparison on the Wink 2 Smart Home Hub:
Many factors, including supply management, logistics and origin of the product can have a major role in how available and how expensive an item is. With roughly a $70 difference between the American and Canadian prices for this Smart Home Management System, it doesn’t take a PhD to understand why buying from Canada can make a lot of sense once you crunch your numbers.
Not only is the Amazon.com item a used product in this scenario, but the product has very limited availability despite a h4 rating. This single example isn’t isolated. While pricing can be variable across regions, depending on the ability of the retailer to secure favourable wholesale or volume rates from manufacturers, you are still likely to find that pricing is overwhelmingly lower for the bulk of Canadian retail items.
What about Popular Branded Stores?
Now, let’s make pricing comparisons for two identical items from the exact same retailer on both sides of the border. First up? Ikea. Exact same product, exact same dollar figure price in both stores, but $15 cheaper in Canada.
The interesting thing with Ikea is that not all items are identical dollar figure prices between the Canadian and American Ikea stores. Some items do come up as being similarly priced after currency conversion. It really depends on the item. But, it is nonetheless worth it to check, especially if you are buying in volume. The opportunities aretruly huge if you do some quick calculations to check the difference. Basically, just take the Canadian price and take 24% off (or more, depending on the current exchange rate). Depending on the savings of your total bill, even affordable shipping fees in Canadian dollars still make it smart to buy in Canada.
What about Cosmetics?
In terms of pricing differences between brands and retailers, a similar example plays out with cosmetics. The other great thing about buying cosmetics internationally is that they are small and light, which drastically lowers the shipping costs. The same can be said for a large variety of electronics, apparel and more! And with ShipByMail’s handy Package Consolidation services, you can lump all your orders into a single shipment, making your shipping costs as low as possible to maximize savings for you AND your wallet.
In this case, let’s check out the price difference for this facial formulation by The Ordinary from DECIEM.
With this DECIEM product, you can see that the price difference is 25% lower in Canada. But at $1.71 cheaper, it might not be worth it to get in the car and drive across the border. And yet, with affordable shipping, you don’t even have to leave your couch. While this savings ratio is great, it can be even higher depending on the actual Canadian price. And, what if you are a business or an avid fan who buys in bulk? Again, the currency exchange pays off in volume but you save with single instances of shipping instead of multiples.
The High End Advantage
In this last example, this is where things REALLY start to get interesting. When looking at items in the tens or low hundreds, the price difference is relatively minor. But, when you look at the price difference in the high hundreds and thousands, the Canadian advantage really shines through. Case in point, this pricing from the Canadian and American versions of Canada Goose.
Buying this coat in Canada will incur Americas a USD$266 price drop. Remember: even though the actual dollar number of the same coat in Canada is slightly higher, the actual price after currency exchange is significantly lower. Even when the retailer is setting different regional prices for their products, they cannot shift those prices to match constantly shifting currency valuations. THIS is exactly where American buyers are winners. Even when you factor shipping priced in Canadian dollars, it’s price differences like these that truly demonstrate what a no-brainer it is to shop from Canada using ShipByMail.
Living in the USA, now is the perfect time to stock up on your favourite tech, books, clothing, sporting goods, footwear, household accessories, toys, cosmetics and more! ShipByMail is the easiest way to send goods your way at the best possible prices. Canadian retailers offer excellent pricing, giving you great deals from both Canadian and international brands like Roots, Amazon.ca, Canada Goose, Toys R Us, the Gap, Ebay, Best Buy, Walmart.ca, the Hudson’s Bay Company and many, many more stores.
Your Savings Advantage
What is the secret to getting the best possible deals on international goods shipped to your door in the USA? Many popular brands don’t provide international mailing services. Even if they do, the charges for shipping and customs clearance alone can cost more that the order itself! How is it possible to work around the incredibly high prices of international shipping? We are the answer to that question.
Regardless of their origin, ShipByMail gets your purchases to you swiftly and safely from your virtual mailing address Canada to wherever you may be on the planet. We’ve been a package forwarder for many retailers, giving our Members substantial savings on items that would have otherwise cost much more if purchased locally. Thinking of ordering something? Estimate the price of package forward delivery from your Canadian address to wherever you are using our handy Shipment Calculator.
There’s a Bonus?
ShipByMail can get you even better savings from your deals through Canadian mail, sending the forward package to you. If you were purchasing directly from retailers, shipping rates would be much higher but you would need to pay shipping for every single package from every single retailer. That would add up to a lot if lost savings. The best part of shopping with ShipByMail? Our consolidation service means we can combine all your purchases into a single package for shipment, passing on huge savings to you. At ShipByMail, we know you want the best possible items at the best possible prices. That’s why we’re here to help!
From tiny to huge, ShipByMail is able to accommodate any of your forward packages needs. From the smallest items such as socks or household décor to larger items such as bikes, electronics, equipment and more, we can get it to you. At ShipByMail, there are no surprises or hidden fees.
From your friends at ShipByMail
currency, exchange, economy, trade, American, USA, USD, geoblocking, BuyForMe, cosmetics,
Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Home Depot Canada, Canadian Tire, Best Buy, Canada Goose, IKEA, Google, DECIEM, MSRP