Shopping Discussion

Why Indian/Chinese stores have cheaper prices for goods/services?

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  • May 13th, 2011 12:16 pm
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Apr 15, 2010
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champlinD wrote: Its very common in Asian restaurants. No tax + discount if you pay cash.
I've been to a lot of Asian restaurants
and they always charge tax
And they've never given me a discount for paying in cash

I ask a plumber or handy man if he can give a discount if I pay in cash
sometimes they say "yes"
usually they say "no"
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Apr 18, 2005
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When the Lucky Moose made headlines in 2009/2010, the owner/manager was reported to take home about $30 K in annual income (Toronto Star). He supported a wife and two almost university age children. I don't know how much the managers of the local Fortinos/Longos/Whole Foods are taking home, but I don't know of too many people who would be content to raise kids on that amount.

He's also buying food at wholesale prices, which I'm sure look a lot better than my food costs for the month. Also, many of the shop owners live above or very close to their business, eliminating transportation costs. Property tax must be significantly lower as well, since few have parking unless they're part of a strip mall or complex.
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Mar 19, 2007
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A friend of mine is running a family bakery business and the ways they take advantage of the tax system are beyond imaginable. It's off-topic but I know a chinese family that has been reporting almost zero income for the past 15 yrs yet they bought a house and 4 cars during the period.
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Jun 20, 2006
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think about geek squad in best buy, guys wear shirts and tie, drive a nice beetle vs your locally owned asian computer tech guy around the corner
a) no ads
b) no huge rent
c) no $1000000 insurance to cover them
d) no uniforms
e) no certifications
f) no warranty
etc
are you getting a better deal ? yeah probably, but many consumers are willing to pay a big premium to receive service from a big company
put it this way, if they charged the exact same (big box store vs little guy) which one would you give your money to ?
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Sweet Sparrow wrote: When the Lucky Moose made headlines in 2009/2010, the owner/manager was reported to take home about $30 K in annual income (Toronto Star). He supported a wife and two almost university age children. I don't know how much the managers of the local Fortinos/Longos/Whole Foods are taking home, but I don't know of too many people who would be content to raise kids on that amount.

He's also buying food at wholesale prices, which I'm sure look a lot better than my food costs for the month. Also, many of the shop owners live above or very close to their business, eliminating transportation costs. Property tax must be significantly lower as well, since few have parking unless they're part of a strip mall or complex.

Most business owner I know keep their own salary low to legally avoid tax (most small business account will set it up like that), so that may not be his "real" income.
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Dec 28, 2006
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Saskatoon
hightech wrote:

Instead of painting the picture that they are tax cheats or working illegally, have you considered the fact that many stores are run by the owners or family?

There is this stigma that every immigrant is a cheat and does illegal stuff.


:lol:

A friend of mine works for CRA as an auditor. She nearly had a heart attack the other day when she got assigned a file that wasn't an Asian restaraunt. She can't go out to eat at any Asian restaraunt in the city because they all know her by name. :cheesygri



If you read the news releases for convictions on CRA's website it's 90% restaraunts & contractors.
Conquistador wrote: One other thing you should know for future reference. If it is on the subject of taxes, listen to ghostryder. He knows his stuff.
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Jan 7, 2002
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ghostryder wrote: A friend of mine works for CRA as an auditor. She nearly had a heart attack the other day when she got assigned a file that wasn't an Asian restaraunt... If you read the news releases for convictions on CRA's website it's 90% restaraunts & contractors.
That simply means that CRA targets industries like restaurants and contracting that either do a lot of cash transactions or provide relatively easy ways to avoid large amounts of GST/HST by paying in cash. It's not surprising that CRA would send its auditors to fish in ponds that have lots of fish. It would be far more surprising if CRA sent your friend after people who worked in medium and large businesses and all of whose income was documented by T4, T3, T5, etc. slips.

In addition, as I suggested upthread, restaurant chains and franchises tend to have very good financial and product controls. It's much harder for their owners and employees to cheat the tax system. OTOH ethnic restaurants tend to be small, family run, do lots of cash business, etc. where opportunities to "fiddle the books" are much greater.

At one time CRA used to target waiters on the basis that they'd get tips in cash that they might not declare. That's harder for waiters to do today because more transactions are handled electronically and payment is by credit/debit card.

But yes, when you target a group that has a lot of Asians and other immigrants in it, it's hardly surprising that you'll catch mostly Asians and other immigrants.

I'll also venture that in ethnic neighbourhoods you'll find that more crime is committed by people of that ethnicity than of other ethnicities. That's hardly surprising, nor is it discriminatory, because — wait for it — more people of that ethnicity live and work — and therefore commit crimes — there.

D'oh!
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I don't think this applies to only Chinese or Indian run stores. I have been to stores run by Greek/Italian/Korean/Jewish people and they operate very similarly.

I think prices are cheap because these stores tend to be more efficient and have less overhead when it comes to making decisions. It's much easier to lower the price of item A if you handle the books directly, when compare to a nation-wide chain where pricing is determined by feeding data into some pricing model based on customer trends or whatnot.

Of course there's always the possibility that some of them practice unethical behavior, but just because a few people does it, they do not represent the entire group. I like to think that most people are honest despite the society becoming more and more cynical now-a-days.
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You don't think that's really chicken you bought from the smaller Chinese/Indian Store? LOL just kidding. As a Canadian born guy with Indian parents, the practice of not paying full price is in my blood. If I know an apple costs .20 cents per unit and big box stores get it for .10 cents per unit but sell it for .30, I will put mine out at .25. Granted I will not make 3x the money but as a small store selling the product out before it rots and making profit is better then a loss. On products that don't parish the same rule applies. Make something rather then nothing. You will be surprised at how many hours these people work for 50,60k in jobs like this.
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bylo wrote: That simply means that CRA targets industries like restaurants and contracting that either do a lot of cash transactions or provide relatively easy ways to avoid large amounts of GST/HST by paying in cash. It's not surprising that CRA would send its auditors to fish in ponds that have lots of fish.


She does seem to get a disproportionate number of Asian restaraunts though. Not Italian, not greek, not mexican, not diner/burger joints etc etc etc.


I'm well aware that restaraunts & construction are "high risk", but the Asian restaraunts seem to be more "high risk" than any others, just like drywallers/mudders/tapers & painters seem to be disproportionately troublesome in the construction sector.
Conquistador wrote: One other thing you should know for future reference. If it is on the subject of taxes, listen to ghostryder. He knows his stuff.
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ghostryder wrote: She does seem to get a disproportionate number of Asian restaraunts though. Not Italian, not greek, not mexican, not diner/burger joints etc etc etc.
You forgot to mention that she's Asian, speaks several Asian language(s) and therefore gets selected to audit Asian businesses? :lol:

Another possible anecdotal explanation that's at least as plausible as your friend's anecdotes: In many foreign countries tax evasion is almost considered a national sport. That's one reason why countries like Greece and Italy are in serious financial crisis. It takes a while for immigrants from such countries to become inured to our ways. Italians and Greeks, et al ex-Europeans tend to be more established in Canada since the immigrated here a longer time ago. If they were cheating in the past then they've likely been busted by now and have since changed their ways. Or maybe more of their children were born/raised in Canada, better appreciate our culture and customs, and have more influence on their parents to pay their taxes.
but the Asian restaraunts seem to be more "high risk" than any others, just like drywallers/mudders/tapers & painters seem to be disproportionately troublesome in the construction sector.
Again, we should all realize that anecdotes aren't data. See also, correlation does not imply causation. There are often other factors at play than the ones that seem obvious to the casual observer.
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Jun 23, 2009
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Lower profit margins, student hires (minimum wage, short term workers, young managers), higher store density (compressed showrooms), etc. Operating costs are also generally lower due to the lack of royalty-generating parent company, lack of corporate training programs(instead, using learn on the go techniques), and advertisements are strictly attached to weekly sales/flyers found online rather than multi-million dollar advertising campaigns. Marketing rips apart profit margins (or rather, keeps profit margins the same and they just charge you more for the goods and services). I'm pretty sure large companies have abusive locked-in distributors as well in same cases just because they can whereas small companies have more opportunity to move around.

Quality-wise? If they're goods, they sell brand-names right beside the crap load of generic stuff (that are acceptable by the cost-minded). Services? Cost-minded people don't mind not having a middle-aged broad-faced man with 5+ years of linguistic training to tell you how to do something, except perhaps for funeral services.

Tax evasion? Irrelevant to the discussion. Large parent companies do it all the time if you know what I mean. If they don't charge you tax and they don't pay taxes, then the only people losing out is the government (and inevitably you.. but that's irrelevant to the discussion as well). Large parent companies on the other hand, will never not stop charging you tax.

Illegal immigrants and illegal labour costs? Not in Canada (strict public social laws), maybe in the US? The only way for Canadians to get cheap labour is if you keep it in the family... but even then wealth/profit is still spread appropriately (i.e people not gonna abuse your own blood.. unless I'm missing something..)
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Jan 26, 2011
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gta
hightech wrote: Bylo,

Even in work conditions that are in professional places (i.e. IT for large companies) I see Chinese and Indian people focus more on getting the task done and are more willing to work the longer hours. They recognize that they may skip a break willingly just to get ahead. In contract, many native Canadians work like a clock and drag things out, take break and then complain that there is not enough time to do stuff.

This is thoroughly racist. Attributing positive qualities to a group is just as racist as attributing negative ones. Either way, you are saying that there is something different about a group of people. If you accept that the differences can be positive, then you also have to allow that the differences can be negative.
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robson1 wrote: This is thoroughly racist. Attributing positive qualities to a group is just as racist as attributing negative ones. Either way, you are saying that there is something different about a group of people. If you accept that the differences can be positive, then you also have to allow that the differences can be negative.

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