Canada is a trading nation – (also known as a trade dependent economy) where international trade makes up a large percentage of the total economy. The trading relationship between Canada and the U.S. is so strong that we exchanged approximately $1.4 million in goods and services every minute in 2013.
At times people overlook the fact that the majority of products we see, feel and touch on a daily basis have been imported by companies from elsewhere. The goods we pay for have fees embedded into them, such as freight/transportation, warehousing/handling, duties, taxes and mark-ups for profit (why else do companies exist?) which goes toward explaining the “price gap” that exists between our two countries; prices that can be between 10 to 50 per cent higher than prices in the United States.
Government fees are often the culprit why Canadians pay premiums on everything from automobiles to groceries. A visible indicator of this can be seen in Target’s failure to crack the Canadian marketplace and their recent flameout and exit from Canada. Canadian cross-border shoppers familiar with Target and their U.S. prices simply could not match the same margins in Canada. Shoppers as a result stayed away in droves.
On a cost comparison between sourcing similar goods in Canada versus buying in the USA and importing via on-line sites, comparison shopping makes for compelling headlines indicating in some cases that buying via e-commerce is not such a deal after all. However for all the negative comparisons out there you can produce equally positive experiences where you are ahead. So what then is the secret formula?