Understanding Pricing Differences in the US and Canada

One of the most common questions we’ve receive is why are U.S. and Canadian prices different. This question seems to come up even more often when the Canadian dollar is strong compared to the U.S. dollar.  It’s important to note that for all transactions, U.S. customers are charged in U.S. Dollars, and Canadian customers are charged in Canadian Dollars.  It’s also important for us to keep our pricing in Canada as low as we can.  Even if the Canadian price is slightly higher, please look around and compare this price to other Canadian online dealers and retail shops.  You’ll see that our pricing is always competitive. If it’s not we will try our best to match if not beat that price.

How Do U.S. and Canadian Prices Differ?

Typically, goods offered on a US website will be listed at a lower dollar value for U.S. shoppers as compared to the Canadian Price from a Canadian website for Canadian shoppers.  This is not always the case however.  There are several product lines that we offer where the price in the U.S. is higher than the price in Canada.  We’ll explain the reasons for this price difference below.

Understanding Exchange Rates

Often customers will ask “why is the Canadian price 10% higher when the Canadian dollar is at par, or higher then the U.S. dollar?”  Understanding this difference is understanding that the “posted exchange” rate is not the same as the “actual exchange” rate at the bank of financial institution.

If the Canadian dollar is posted at par with the U.S. dollar, and you exchange $100 Canadian dollars at the bank or financial institution, they will not give you $100 U.S. dollars.  You will more likely receive 5% to 10% less. Posted rates are for inter-bank transfers that usually exceed $4 Million dollars.  In other words, the only way to receive the “posted” rate is to do a bank transfers for $4 Million. To see this first hand buy something with your credit card from the US, the “exchange rate” is always lower then the “posted rate” and will be evident on your next statement.

Shipping Across the Border

Canadian customers receive their order from our Canadian warehouses.  These warehouses goods are imported – usually from the U.S. and as such there are costs associated with transporting these goods, and costs associated with bringing these goods across the border.  These costs are factored into Canadian pricing.

Manufacturer Pricing

The single biggest reason that U.S. & Canadian pricing differ is simply that most manufacturers charge a different price to U.S. distributors than they do to Canadian distributors.  For instance, the Manufacturer the Yakahama Company may charge $100 U.S for their widget in the U.S.  Despite a strong Canadian dollar they charge Canadian distributors $114 for the exact same widget.  Why you may ask?  We don’t know, but enough of our vendors do this for us to realize that it’s a reality and something that won’t go away.  Not only do some manufacturers charge different amounts, but some manufacturers enforce adverting policies, in order to carry their product. Distributors are forced to pay a percentage to cover advertising. Some Manufacturers even enforce an advertised minimum price which are different in the U.S. than in Canada. (i.e. every notice that an Ipod is the same price at every store, no matter where in Canada you shop!?!?) Distributors who break this policy can face fines from the manufacturer or even have their distributorship revoked, losing the ability to carry that product.

Warranty Concerns

When you order an item from the U.S. and import it to Canada this is called “grey market”.  Doing this may void any warranty you may think you have with that product. In other words if you import it you take on the responsibility of repair as the manufacturer may build in a repair percentage to cover repairs in Canada, if you didn’t buy it from a Canadian distributor then you didn’t pay the percentage and the Manufacturer has no responsibility to honor the warranty.

Brokerage and shipping fees

Some items imported from the U.S. will have duty’s and/or brokerage fee imposed on them. These are fees beyond our control and also add to the final price of an item.

I hope this explains the cost difference.

 

Mark B
Mark B
Many thanks to Alex Jr. and Todd who installed a new UV system during the March Break. Alex delivered exactly what was promised
Susan
Susan
Words cannot express my thanks to you both for being so nice to me in the years you have worked for us. You are (Alex Jr.) a great person!
Judy and Barry S
Judy and Barry S
Judy and I would like to thank most sincerely you and Alex Jr. for the exceptional service we received just prior to Christmas that resulted in our well operating properly in time for the arrival of our family.The extra and timely effort your company put forth, and the continual follow-up ...
Larry C.
Larry C.
Re: Reimbursement Cheque. Never in the twilight of our lives have we seen such honesty! We never even noticed the mistake in calculations on the bill but to get a cheque for the correction without our having to ask is absolutely amazing! We wish you all a Happy Holidays From ...
Garrett H. P  Palgrave
Garrett H. P Palgrave
I just wanted to say how pleased I am with my new “dial” type shower valve that Kevin installed on April 10, 2012. There was some difficulty with it initially because of a piece of stray solder, but Kevin resolved the problem a few day after installation and it has ...
Carol W
Carol W
Dear AlexI am so pleased with your that I wanted to write a note of appreciation. Our water system is now working perfectly!! Something I had thought would NEVER Happen!! I’m sure that at some point in the future I will need to call for some plumbing assistance but in ...
Peggy C
Peggy C
Words cannot express my thanks to you both for being so nice to me in the years you have worked for us. You are (Alex Jr.) a great person! I will miss tormenting you with all the problems in the building! and no more code secrets (ha ha)