It all started while I was looking for a black sweater in a decent price range.
Specifically, a pullover, perhaps with 3/4 length sleeves, in a nice fabric.
I saw this lovely sweater online at J. Crew (love the blue too!), but the minute I looked at the prices, I knew I wouldn’t be buying it, let alone buying any more clothes in Canada.
Let’s just take a look, shall we?
$65 USD for the sweater, $8.95 flat rate shipping (I could also go in-person in Toronto), but free shipping if you order over $175.
For Canada, the price jumps up a whopping $21 USD, never mind the fact that they have a bloody store here IN TORONTO (Yorkdale mall), and they don’t even offer free shipping, but it is $1 extra:
Conclusion? I am not buying clothes in Canada any more. I can hold off, and this is a huge motivation to NOT shop.
I will only buy Canada-only products or second hand items
Aside from shopping on Etsy (love!), I will only go into those stores that don’t exist in the U.S., and/or are not U.S. owned at least.
For instance, Lululemon prices are about the same in the U.S. as they are in Canada, save for a couple of bucks, but nothing like a 30% price jump.
I also like independent designers, which is why I frequent stores on Queen Street and I like knowing the designer is in Canada, for instance.
I am not squeamish about secondhand items, although I know some people are (I totally respect that). If I can save money off the retail price of something, why the heck not!?
Even better if I can buy from fellow friends
I am patient, and frankly this stuff is unnecessary
Besides, I don’t really need any of this stuff.
I “need” a black or navy sweater, but to save 30%? Heck yes, I’ll be patient and wait all year if it takes all year.
This applies to everything I want to buy, even travel stuff. I’d rather wait and go across the border and save a good 30% or more, than buy it now and not really have an immediate use for it.
USA versus Canada: Taxes and Currency Exchange
We’ve been flirting around par (above and under) recently, and while I understand that they cannot put a fixed retail price based on a hope that the CAD and USD will be about the same (seeing as the numbers have been fluctuating since 2000), 30% is really quite a price gouge, especially since I can just wait and cross the border to buy it.
Not to mention the fact that Ontario charges a very unfriendly 13% sales tax, compared to the 8.25% in Texas, or 4% in New York, including this little gem:
On September 1, 2007, New York State eliminated sales tax on all clothing and shoes if the single item is priced under $110.
I know where I’ll be shopping from now on.
All this means for me, is that I will not be shopping as much, reminding myself that there is a 30% premium on U.S.-owned stores, and if I don’t need it right this instant, I can wait.
Thank you J. Crew, for your 30% price hike for Canadians. You’ve saved my wallet!