With the loonie hovering at or near par with the U.S. dollar for the past several months, it's not fair that Canadian retailers continue charging higher prices for the same goods sold in the United States, say Globe readers.
The Globe and Mail asked readers to share their experiences with price disparities and asked how they felt about them. Not surprisingly, readers said they resent being charged more by Canadian retailers. Asked whether they agreed that Canadian retailers should charge higher prices based on supplier price disparities, import tariffs and a more costly distribution system in Canada, 75 per cent of respondents said no.
We also asked readers to supply us with examples of price gaps they'd found between Canadian and American retailers. Here's what some of them had to say:
"I was considering going to the States to make my car purchase. The price difference for my 328xi BMW was almost $9,000! The only thing that stopped me from buying across the border was the mounds of paperwork. I understand applying some additional cost to reflect our smaller buyer pool and additional tariffs but I find it hard to believe that any of those things combined would equal the amount I have listed!" - Carol Borg, Toronto
"I purchased Black Rubber mats for my home gym. I would have had to pay over $60 each for them here. I took a 20-minute drive across the border and purchased them for $40 each. They are stamped 'Made in Canada.' " - Keith, B.C.
"I bought a Blanco granite sink that is made in Canada for $650 and the identical sink in the U.S. sells for $350. I phoned the company and they said it was because it is a larger market." - Tom, Tillsonburg, Ont.
"The biggest discrepancy I have found is 24-hour allergy medication. A 24-dose package is $15 to $20 in Canada. I bought the same medication, 300 doses (a year's supply) for $14.99 in the U.S." - Ryan Harrison, Fort Erie, Ont.
"I'm a Canadian who lives in Chicago. I've lived in both B.C. and Nova Scotia, and the average price of milk there is $5 for 4 litres. In Chicago, I can buy 4 litres of milk for $1.89. ... It's not right how much Canadians have to pay for things. It's detrimental to quality of life, and it's harmful to Canadians in so many different ways." - Rebecca, Chicago, IL
"I am a graduate student and often order online through Amazon. Books are cheaper by a factor of two sometimes on Amazon.com vs. Amazon.ca. I feel cheated every time I have to use the Canadian online version of this retailer." - Prashant Dhiman, Toronto
"I bought cement board for a bathroom project in Canada for about $18 a sheet and later saw the same sheets by the same company for sale at Home Depot in Niagara Falls, N.Y., for about $5." - Robert Bouskill, Hamilton, Ont.
"An oxygen sensor for Toyota Sequoia emission control was quoted at $284 from a Toyota dealer here in Victoria. The same part was $156 at a Toyota dealership in Seattle." - Bob, Victoria
"At Home Depot, the Sharkbite Safe Seal Tool costs $15.99 in Canada and $10.60 in the U.S., and the U.S. version covers all pipe sizes. The Canadian one only covers half." - Charles Tanton, Sharon, Ont.
"I bought winter tires last year. The price difference was outrageous. Made in USA. Bridgestone Blizzaks LM-25 P225/45 R17. The Costco Canada price is $335 each; the
Costco USA price is $215 each." - Richard, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.
"Silver Blue Jeans: They cost up to $110 in Canada, and I can get them for around $70 in the U.S. They're even designed in Canada!" - Megan Biesterfeldt, Medicine Hat, Alta.
"I bought an almost new Toyota Tacoma in the U.S. and I figure I saved about $8,000 over what I would have paid here in Calgary. I recently decided to purchase some parts to modify my new truck and was absolutely shocked at the prices here in Calgary for the same Toyota OEM parts. I requested pricing by e-mail from a Toyota dealer here in Calgary and another one in the U.S. The disparity is shocking! For example, a switch from the U.S. dealer was quoted at $59.98; the same switch from the Calgary dealer was $160.88." - Peter Wanhill, Calgary
"I was in the market for a well-known bike rack for my car. I could only access the Canadian version of the website, but checked out some bike shops in Buffalo and found out the same rack cost $170 less." - Paul Paulson, Toronto
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