Shopping Discussion

Cross Border Shopping Worth It?

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  • Oct 3rd, 2015 7:33 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Jul 21, 2010
60 posts
2 upvotes
Newmarket

Cross Border Shopping Worth It?

Considering drive to Rochester mid Aug to spend two nights for clothing shopping. Found out US school days are later than normal which makes us too early for final season sale. CAN$ is so weak now. Anybody just been there? Thanks.
47 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
29317 posts
14824 upvotes
As I always say when buying in the US: Know your pricing.
There's still things that are 1/3 the list price in Canada. With a 30% FX you're still coming out ahead by 30%.
Some things are cheaper here.
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
20553 posts
9060 upvotes
Toronto
Ya really depends on what you want to get.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 26, 2004
26998 posts
4331 upvotes
Not worth it anymore. Waste of time and money just to get there.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Apr 13, 2010
560 posts
299 upvotes
Napanee, ON
Life is rarely black and white.

Places like Burlington Coat Factory often have killer clearance sales. They're usually clearing something.

Alcohol is always a good buy, as long as you're over long enough to be exempt from taxes.
Gabe of Gabe's Hacks
Jr. Member
Sep 17, 2007
172 posts
13 upvotes
Mississauga
depends on some items, like what carmaster said, it depends. what I do is compare items here and in the US...if the cost of driving there and exchange plus toll fee to come back to canada is dead even, I buy in canada.

However, there are items that even with shipping here, or driving there, its still worth ordering from the states... I just bought one of those wedge pillows... canadian price was 100-150... american it was only 40 bucks...theres also more selection in the US too.

if i can make a day of it with a few friends who want to do the touristy stuff like cheesecake factory, i can justify the drive too.
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
20709 posts
14168 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
The best thing about shopping in the US regardless of the exchange rate is the selection - ie there are a lot more brands, types, and levels of quality of whatever you might be looking for.
Banned
Sep 22, 2009
691 posts
312 upvotes
Toronto
Always smarter to support truly competitive market like US. you are saving 8% on lower sales tax in NY State and then the usual massive savings on the regular price of almost everything in the U.S.

Canada is a joke for retail.
Banned
May 12, 2004
9756 posts
4135 upvotes
Ottawa
death_hawk wrote: As I always say when buying in the US: Know your pricing.
There's still things that are 1/3 the list price in Canada. With a 30% FX you're still coming out ahead by 30%.
Some things are cheaper here.
FX when shopping in NY state for 48 hours is 21%. Tons of things still 20% cheaper there.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
29317 posts
14824 upvotes
Cas77 wrote: FX when shopping in NY state for 48 hours is 21%. Tons of things still 20% cheaper there.
What? Where are you getting 21% FX? I want 21% FX.
Banned
May 12, 2004
9756 posts
4135 upvotes
Ottawa
death_hawk wrote: What? Where are you getting 21% FX? I want 21% FX.
Not sure where you're located but here i pay 13% hst on everything i buy. In NY state i pay 4%. So as bad as the FX is...we get double *****ed by our govt which doesnt make it as bad as it appears.

Still tons of deals to be had...until we're at 35+ cents.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
29317 posts
14824 upvotes
Cas77 wrote: Not sure where you're located but here i pay 13% hst on everything i buy. In NY state i pay 4%. So as bad as the FX is...we get double *****ed by our govt which doesnt make it as bad as it appears.
Technically you'd still be paying 13% HST when you cross over anyway but I'd still rather pay HST on $50 vs $100.
Banned
May 12, 2004
9756 posts
4135 upvotes
Ottawa
death_hawk wrote: Technically you'd still be paying 13% HST when you cross over anyway but I'd still rather pay HST on $50 vs $100.
Why would you pay hst? Op said he's sleeping there 2 nights and i doubt he's going alone Unless he's buying a boat and a 70" tv he'll probably have a hard time going over $1600 on clothes.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
29317 posts
14824 upvotes
Cas77 wrote: Why would you pay hst? Op said he's sleeping there 2 nights and i doubt he's going alone Unless he's buying a boat and a 70" tv he'll probably have a hard time going over $1600 on clothes.
I was speaking in general. In OP's case then yeah it's HST free up to what? $750?
Deal Expert
User avatar
Mar 6, 2003
18020 posts
10814 upvotes
Ottawa
Almost everything I would normally shop for in the US is now more expensive.

The reason to shop there is just because you can't find the same item here or is a niche item which is a special order in Canada.

For example, replacement car parts may be discounted at online retailers in the US but in Canada it's a special order item where you need to pay full price.

Sometimes the difference is just due to the tax you are exempt from if you stay 48 hours.

I wouldn't go shopping for the savings alone, there has to be an alternate reason to go (e.g variety of shopping, sightseeing, eating good food etc)
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
6859 posts
2654 upvotes
BC
Keep in mind that the $800 exemption is in Cdn. $, so effectively once you have bagged $600 USD worth of great stuff you are over.

Especially as the State tax and local tax (where applicable) is part of your USD purchases before conversion to Cdn. $

This sums up the sensible motivation for x-border shopping at any time, but especially now:
warpdrive wrote: I wouldn't go shopping for the savings alone, there has to be an alternate reason to go (e.g variety of shopping, sightseeing, eating good food etc)
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2008
1821 posts
1281 upvotes
Unless you live really close to a border town with good shopping, it's hardly worth the trouble these days. As Cas77 indicated, you are effectively paying 21% exchange for a 48-hour Ontario-NY cross border trip, and there are still plenty of things that are cheap enough to make a purchase worthwhile. However, if you are actually planning to drive 100km each direction and spend two nights in a motel, you probably will come out behind.

On the other hand, if you live right beside the US and it's only a 10-km drive, there are still products that are cheap enough to make it worthwhile to routinely purchase them in the US and just pay whatever duties are demanded at the border. (eg, gas, dairy, some electronics).
Banned
Apr 23, 2015
994 posts
162 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I choose the support my local economy and prefer to do my part in creating jobs.

No interest in lining the pickets of the US economy to save a few dollars.
Banned
Sep 22, 2009
691 posts
312 upvotes
Toronto
[quote="HumansOfToronto" post_id="23133073" time="1437831734" user_id="1186223"]I choose the support my local economy and prefer to do my part in creating jobs.

No interest in lining the pickets of the US economy to save a few dollars.[/QUOTE


I prefer to support retailers who respect customers and provide competitive pricing. Instead of creating min wage jobs, how about our provincial government focuses on creating good PRIVATE SECTOR jobs by NOT raising hydro rates 20%/yr and wasting billions on scandals?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 9, 2003
2358 posts
100 upvotes
Toronto
HumansOfToronto wrote: I choose the support my local economy and prefer to do my part in creating jobs.

No interest in lining the pickets of the US economy to save a few dollars.
But often, that's not it at all.

There are some niche-market items that are so much cheaper, it's downright crazy to buy them here. Case in point:

I recently had the need for some medical support socks. Here, they were $135/pair (seriously!) and I could only get them through a licensed practitioner. Insurance paid (80%) for them, but it took 4 weeks to get 2 pair from the U.S. and they came in retail packaging.

On my last trip to the U.S. I walked into a Rite-Aid pharmacy and bought the same socks off the shelf for $15/pair. That's less than my deductible for crying out loud! Oh yeah, it just so happened that if I signed up for a free Rite-Aid discount card I could the second pair for half price!

I'll agree that sometimes, it doesn't make sense to go across but if you know your prices and really know what you're looking for, there are lots of amazing things you can get. And with so many retailers having an on-line presence with inventory information available, you can plan your shopping so you can cross over, get what you need, then spend the rest of the day treating yourself to a nice dinner and still be ahead.
Remember: We elect the government we deserve.

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