For most of us, there has always been that slight hesitation to hit the “proceed to checkout” button on a US site knowing that that final cost is actually going to be much higher once we factor in the exchange rate, shipping, and the dreaded duties. Somehow, though, we’ve managed to convince ourselves to bite the bullet, that it is worth a few extra bucks as there is “no comparable option” this side of the border. However, with the Canadian/US exchange rate at the highest it’s been in 20 years (yes, you heard me… 20 years) it literally makes no sense for Canadians to shop US in our economy’s present state. The Canadian dollar is currently at 73 cents US, so you will actually end up paying over 25% more if you buy from the states right now!
To break it down a bit, buying US means paying more for the product itself due to the dollar exchange, paying higher shipping costs due to the distance the product is travelling, and then there’s the fact that the order will take double the time to reach you (or more!) as its travelling further and has to clear customs, which can take time and also means you also get dinged for duties. We all have a few favourite online US retailers, but after spelling this all out we’re thinking, why bother?
Luckily, Canadian online retailers have really been stepping up their game over the past few years. The selection is growing, and with e-commerce becoming the primary mode of shopping, location isn’t having as much of an effect on a business’s success. Buying local means shipping costs are lower. No duties are charged as there are no borders crossed, and most importantly, the price tag you see is the price you will pay. So let’s support our local businesses! Whether it’s that shop down the street or a new Canadian online stationery company (hint, hint)… your wallet will thank you. You might also just find that everything you’re looking for actually lies this side of the border, you just hadn’t taken a proper look!