If you think its bunk that Canada has extra costs over the USA I don't know what to tell you, some food for thought.Some further advice for cross border shopping. Never change canadian dollars to US dollars in your bank. Contary to what most people think, you get hosed. The best rates I have found are the Bullion exchange downtown Vancouver: Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange, VBCE.ca There may be other places in the Fraser Valley as well.
When you get a BMO Visa, to pay it off, the best way is to bring CDN dollars to the bullion exchange, get US dollars there and walk it over to a BMO branch. Very old school but that is the cheapest way I have found.
Many prolific Canadian ebay sellers who live near the border with the states will actually drive to the states and mail their packages to Canada (if they are under $20 value). Canada Post is such a rip off that it is more expensive to mail a package within Canada than from the USA to Canada!
Many American ebay sellers will not change the value of the packages they ship. However, the Chinese get it. They post sales on ebay with a price of $1 and charge $15 for shipping. It is for us Canadians to avoid the duty from having an item valued over $20 Canadian. They will also change the value on a package to $1 if you ask. Many aquarium supplies can be had on ebay for alot cheaper than you can get here. You just have to wait a couple of weeks for them.
We get the shaft for being Canadians. All this about extra costs and so on is just bunk. I bet someone in a remote and almost empty North Dakota Wal Mart is paying the same as someone in a Wal Mart in Los Angeles. I could go on and on. We are just being ripped off up here because we put up with it. That is the one and only reason and it is the same reason why we were shafted with the Carbon Tax and the GST (years ago) and now the HST.
Do your shopping south of the border or buy from Hong Kong on ebay.
So your saying even though Canada has a much higher cost of business which you agree on, this has no effect on retail pricing? It has to go somewhere, most business don't have a huge profit margin that they can eat that. We hear about the huge profits in the media from oil companies, cable networks, and other large corporations but the majority of business in Canada is no where near as well off. Its not a rip off, its a fact when you look at the entire picture, and the average business inside Canada, not just the ones that end up being greedy.Gas prices, taxes, overregulation and other inputs in Canada are not reasons why we pay more. These are the old arguments that retailers give out for a reason to rip you off.
Costs in Canada are not the reason why retailers charge more. Retailers in Canada could match prices in the States...IF THEY WANTED TO! I am not saying Canada has the same cost inputs as the USA, but Canadian retailers would have to accept a lower profit margin to match the American price. This they are not willing to do, and they don't need to because Canadians just accept they have to pay more and they do so. Collectively we have to lower the demand curve in Canada. Doing as much shopping as possible in the States is a way to do this.
One person mentioned JL Aquatics. They are the only aquarium store I have found locally that actually seems to have prices similar to American. They can do that probably because they have a lower profit margin, but makes up for this by selling in volume and keeping overheads low. Similar to how a supermarket makes money with low markups. I go to JL often, but only after I compare their prices to some american sites. They always seem to be so close that I just go there. If they can match American pirces why can't other Canadian retailers? Why...Because most retailers choose not to because they can get away with charging what the market will bear!