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I am just curious as to why everything on bigalsonline.ca is double the price of the bigalsonline.com site...same company, same products, and with our exchange rate huge price difference. Why is this so?
 

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Living in Canada really sucks sometimes.

Advice: You live in surrey. Not too far from the border. Order from Bigalsonline.com, ship it to this place in Blaine: Hagen's of Blaine -- (360) 332-5246 -- Shipping & Receiving, Private Mail Boxes, Fax Service, Photo Copies, Online Consignment. It is a place for Canadians to avoid the big rip off. They even let you throw away the boxes and receipts in the shop. Put it in your car along with decoy junk you brought down, spend a couple of hours bumming around on the beach and go home. Lie to the border guard, they have no proof where you bought it and will leave you alone. The most important thing is not to panic or look stressed! I have done this dozens of times....I usually say I was on a Trader Joes expedition and declare $20 of groceries and they just wave me through. Or if you are the panic type, declare it, go in and pay HST of 12% and duty of 9.5% (if it is not made in NAFTA you need to pay duty). You will still save heaps. Get a BMO US dollar visa card to save on the crap visa rates. It is your responsibility as a Canadian consumer for the good of all Canadian consumers to do as much shopping as you can in the US. Only if we all do this will the margins between Canada and US prices start to drop.

Answer to your question of Why do we pay more in canada?

Because the market will bear it. All the other "reasons" are just excuses from retailers.
 

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LOL. Funny but there's quite a bit of truth there. It's basic economics, charge as much as the market will bear. Consumers' choices will dictate where prices will go.
 

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some of it could be shipping..brokers..custom fees, import licenses..etc..food permits..etc etc..theres alot of hidden costs that i know of doing importing..
for instance..did you know that hikari just spent 2 million dollars to get hikari back into canada since the new permit fees?
 

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But as
these extra ( mostly gov charges ) build
up so do the prices.

Hence if we do all buy from the states yes some buisnesses will suffer. But it will be better overall in the end
 

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Yup, I totally agree that companies here have higher costs. I think everyone's biggest beef is that the business still feel that they can charge whatever they want with impunity. Obviously not try to paint all local companies with the same brush. I think as online buying becomes more borderless, it will really crank up the pressure on canadian companies to be more competitive with their US counterparts, no matter what the cost differences are. If they have to make less profit to compete, well, they know what they need to do.
 

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interesting topic, I think I can shed some light on why Canadian prices are more expensive than US, or at least some of the many reasons anyways, I do alot of importing from all over the world in my work, mainly China, USA, Indonesia, so I see these things first hand, and always found it interesting.

First off as already mentioned Canada has to deal with the dollar, it takes $1.06 CDN right now to buy $1 USD, so thats a 6% increase to cost, then you have the duty rate to come across the border which is usually around 5% for goods I deal with, as well as brokerage charges as normally you do not clear packages yourself. On top of this US shipping rates are way cheaper than up here, simply for the fact we have more wide open space, the delivery chain is weaker and more expensive to run up here, longer trips, less deliveries. All of this adds to the cost of Canadian goods over US goods by about 15%-20% already give or take.

What most people don't know is the cost of business in Canada, it costs alot more to run a company in Canada than it does in the US, way more, simply for the fact that we need more tax revenue in Canada for our health care, social programs, welfare etc. and a big chunk of this funding comes from Business in Canada, property taxes run around $10K for a strata unit about the same size house that would pay around $2500 in property tax, not to mention the parking stall taxes, corporate income taxes, EI, CPP, WCB, the list really does go on, on top of that we pay higher wages in Canada and have a higher standard of living, all of which we should be proud of. Simple fact is its much more expensive to do business in Canada that the USA and that cost gets passed on to the consumer as well, I would make an educated guess at least another 20%

Thats about 35% increase and I am sure there is more I have left out, thats with a dollar that is close to par. One last thing to think about, not to long ago in the past it took $1.55 CDN to buy $1 USD, 55% plus the 20% increase of cost of business is 75%, goods did not cost 75% more in Canada than in the US during that period a few years back, I am sure you can find a few examples it may have, but for the majority it was not the case. Few examples are magazines, cars, electronics, clothes, jewelry and food, they were not 75% more expensive in Canada, not even close, and manufacturers had to eat this cost.

In the end personally I think we have alot to be proud of here in Canada, and if that means I have to pay a bit more for my goods so be it, I will support Canadian business, if you don't they will simply uproot and move somewhere to cut cost of business to compete as thats all that can be really done while still making a profit, which is why we are all in business to be quite honest. This is not a good scenario for Canada, you just have to look below us to see how the US has lost its manufacturing sectors and now have mass amounts of people without work because it all moved out far east for cheaper labour, cheaper prices, which US consumers demanded. I can uproot my company, lay off my staff, vacate the property and move to China and sell things for half the cost of what I do now if thats what people demanded, but I leave 15 people out of work, and no more tax dollars coming from my business to help fund our country.
 

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I remember when there was a large price difference in magazines and books and they had a US price and a Canadian price. Huge price difference even when the Canadian dollar was close to par with the US$.
 

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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.
 

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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.
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.

-Canadian gas prices are double USA, this factors into everything driving costs up

-Canadian taxes are higher than USA, driving costs up.

-Canadian labour is higher than the USA, minimum wage in the US averages out about $7.00, this drives costs up

-Simple population math, if you have more people buying something you get a better price, same goes for countries, larger countries buy more of an item, getting a higher discount.

Just a few examples, I would love to hear some ideas on how Canada DOES NOT have extra costs over the USA? Feel free to look at any of my post and point out the errors or wrong information as to why Canada pays more.
 

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Canada most definitely have higher costs than the US. My personal contention with high local prices is when you compare with other local retailers. Without even going online to shop, I can point out many instances where local retailers charge prices that are on an order of magnitude greater than the other local retailer. I'm also of the belief that retailers can choose to charge whatever they feel they want to charge. In the end, everyone can choose to buy and sell as they please.
 

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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!
 

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TOTALLY TRU

Hate to admit it but as a shipper receiver I know this is tru.. tho we have price matched US prices we make very small margins

also there are certain product that we cannot compete with hence we tell them to get it themselves to get it cheaper.. every one want to make profit.. also tho the gov has to make it easier for retail stores to get product tho and maybe wave duty fees(at least just for the business) so we can charge the same rates and increase margins and sales.

Hence it is partly the retailers issues of trying to make a certain margine that one will se fair but also the gov makes it quite difficult to do so

With that said I agree with shopping in the states in hopes to teach our "oh so smart" govermant how it should work and that there will suffer in the long run in some shape of form..

I very much perfer to buy items from locals personally rather then buy new and get raped by taxes too and avoid duty
 

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You hit the spot. Lower profit margin but sell in volume which means selling in economies of scale. More population in the states. Anyways,there is more to prices than the normal Mr.Joe Consumer would know.

I always ask the same question when I'm overseas in asia and find the same item to be dirt cheap there and extremely priced high here in canada.

This is a bigger and deeper issue that only big companies can answer...!ut of course, we won't be able to see their financials. Hehe.

123mars, I'm exactly like you. Be a well informed and knowledgeable consumer. Saves you lots of money in the short and long run.
 

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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!
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.

Also buying and selling in bulk is a simple theory, the honest truth is the fact small business is a huge part of the Canadian economy, not all small business can afford to buy in huge quantites, its easier said than done, if this was to be expected not as many small business would start up as they could not afford it, hurting our economy in the end, creating less jobs. Its a butterfly effect, don`t just look at the short term here, you have to start from somewhere.

Its assumed one store may be less than another simply because of profit margin, where there is many other factors to consider. I am not saying there are not shops out there that are dishonest and charge more to make more, but I disagree with the fact they ALL do it, or even 25% for that matter, and except for a very few who must have an excellent business model, its generally expected that Canadian prices will be higher than US prices because of a higher cost of business in Canada, not a conspiracy theory where all retailers get together to screw the Canadian public.
 
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