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I see the Great Canadian Rip-Off is coming back...
This thread has 24 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Thursday May 1, 2014 at 03:56
Daniel Tonks
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Living so close to the US, it's easy to compare prices. Back when the Canadian dollar was worth maybe 25% less, it was routine for items to cost 40-50% more - and so a lot of people bought from the US, since even paying to ship a single item could still save you significant cash.

However, when the Canadian dollar finally reached par, Canadians noticed the pricing discrepancy en masse... and companies were eventually forced to adjust so that everything was even - an item that cost $1000 MSRP in the US, also cost $1000 MSRP in Canada.

Well, now that that US dollar is stronger and the Canadian dollar has slumped below par again, it seems that manufacturers and retailers are looking to make up for lost time.

I was checking out the Sony KLV48W600B as an Air Miles reward item, and noticed that the list price of the set on Sony USA's site was $649. But on Sony Canada's site? No longer are they pricing at par like they have been for the past few years - nope, it's $899.

That's a whopping 38.5% more than the US price, however the Canadian dollar is only worth 9% less - meaning that TV should only cost $712!

And so, I can see that the flood to buy from the US will be coming back... and of course stores up here will complain about it, forgetting that their old argument of how much more it costs to ship and sell product in Canada has been nullified by years of equal pricing, without the end of the world occurring.
Post 2 made on Thursday May 1, 2014 at 04:26
djy
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That's capitalism in action for you. US$1,181 is what you'd pay over here - (listed at £699 with a present exchange rate of US$1.69 to the £1.00) or CA$1,293 - (with a present exchange rate of CA$1.85 to the £1.00).

Last edited by djy on May 1, 2014 04:45.
The Met Office: more useless than a dead octopus - as now confirmed by the BBC.
OP | Post 3 made on Friday May 2, 2014 at 00:42
Daniel Tonks
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Yeah, I know things are VERY expensive in the UK - and your taxes are horrendous. They kind of have you over a barrel in regards to buying from cheaper sources though, due to the power & video system differences.

It feels more obvious here, since we're so close and the products are basically identical (okay, so they throw a French manual in instead of Spanish), and if you're close enough to the border you can simply drive across and pick one up at Best Buy.

Plus, four months ago everything was at or very close to par - suddenly they've jumped to 40% more. That's a bit of a shock to the system.
Post 4 made on Saturday May 3, 2014 at 09:53
Anthony
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Even when the dollar was at par things were still often more expensive here. But yeah, it is annoying.

Actually it always bugged me when we would get the BS reason of the Canadian economy is doing better (so we need to subsidise them?)


DJY: I think the US/Canada comparison works better but it is tougher for the UK. 1) The MRSP in Canada/US does not include taxes while MRSP in the UK does. So that is one big difference right there

2) The Canada/US model will be exactly the same, the closest UK model (in electronics) will necessarily need different components (120 vs 220 different plug) and the UK might have added features (many TVs/disk players here don't support 25/50/PAL while everything there will also support 24/30/60/NTSC) or laws that might actually increase the cost to the manufacturer (such as environmental regulations or warranty period)
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Post 5 made on Saturday May 3, 2014 at 14:59
djy
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On May 3, 2014 at 09:53, Anthony said...
DJY: I think the US/Canada comparison works better but it is tougher for the UK. 1) The MRSP in Canada/US does not include taxes while MRSP in the UK does. So that is one big difference right there

Taking off the VAT (presently 20%) would make it US$984 and CA$1078.


On May 3, 2014 at 09:53, Anthony said...
2) The Canada/US model will be exactly the same, the closest UK model (in electronics) will necessarily need different components (120 vs 220 different plug) and the UK might have added features (many TVs/disk players here don't support 25/50/PAL while everything there will also support 24/30/60/NTSC) or laws that might actually increase the cost to the manufacturer (such as environmental regulations or warranty period)

I can appreciate the slight differences in componentry and the (arguably) tougher trading standards, but I doubt they add up to a circa $300 difference. On the other hand a $250 difference, for what is essentially the same set, does appear to be a little like profiteering.

Last edited by djy on May 3, 2014 15:13.
The Met Office: more useless than a dead octopus - as now confirmed by the BBC.
OP | Post 6 made on Saturday May 3, 2014 at 19:54
Daniel Tonks
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Yeah, with tax where I am that $899 set becomes $1016.

As someone who relies on the US economy doing well, I've always hated how the media celebrates a strong Canadian dollar and moans a weak one, when the entire manufacturing and export community - those businesses bringing money into the country - suffer when the Canadian dollar is high, as everything is more expensive to their trading partners. While an actual strong dollar never seems to do us any good IN the country, because prices of goods rarely improve to a similar degree, and having individuals send their "strong buying power" dollars out the country to import cheap goods that avoid our local stores entirely can't be good for the economy!
Post 7 made on Sunday May 4, 2014 at 10:14
Anthony
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On May 3, 2014 at 14:59, djy said...
Taking off the VAT (presently 20%) would make it US$984 and CA$1078.

I can appreciate the slight differences in componentry and the (arguably) tougher trading standards, but I doubt they add up to a circa $300 difference. On the other hand a $250 difference, for what is essentially the same set, does appear to be a little like profiteering.

I was not making excuses, sorry if it came out that way, I was just pointing out that it is harder to compare. The 20% VAT is an easy one, the rest , how much goes to the manufacturers profits and how much goes elsewhere is harder. With US/Canada it is easier since usually it is the exact same product and pretty much the same rules so there should not be a difference in price (once conversion is applied).
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Post 8 made on Sunday May 4, 2014 at 11:50
djy
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On May 4, 2014 at 10:14, Anthony said...
I was not making excuses, sorry if it came out that way, I was just pointing out that it is harder to compare.

No problem, coming from the land of what you see is (generally) what you pay, I'd forgotten about the taxes issue - as did the daughter when visiting New York. Was quoted $60 for the cab fare from the airport, but was closer to $100 (taxes added) when she got to the hotel.
The Met Office: more useless than a dead octopus - as now confirmed by the BBC.
Post 9 made on Sunday May 4, 2014 at 12:54
Anthony
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On May 4, 2014 at 11:50, djy said...
No problem, coming from the land of what you see is (generally) what you pay, I'd forgotten about the taxes issue - as did the daughter when visiting New York. Was quoted $60 for the cab fare from the airport, but was closer to $100 (taxes added) when she got to the hotel.

yeah it is annoying some times. Especially since it is also not uniform so if you need to calculate you need to know the local tax (for example here it is 14.975 while in Ontario it is 13% and Alberta is 5%) and local laws (here the 5% federal tax is applied to books but not the 9.975% provincial tax) can be different . Which is funny since you guys across the pond have the same level around (most?) of the EU and it is much simpler yet immaterial since the price is the price 100% of the time.

Last edited by Anthony on May 4, 2014 13:02.
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OP | Post 10 made on Sunday May 4, 2014 at 19:25
Daniel Tonks
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On May 4, 2014 at 12:54, Anthony said...
(for example here it is 14.975...

Someone was clearly too afraid to admit they wanted 15%!
Post 11 made on Monday May 5, 2014 at 14:07
djy
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On May 4, 2014 at 12:54, Anthony said...
Which is funny since you guys across the pond have the same level around (most?) of the EU and it is much simpler yet immaterial since the price is the price 100% of the time.

Oddly (?) one of the things not harmonised across the EU are tax rates. However, you're right in that regardless of the level of VAT it's usually pre-added, so you don't have to calculate anything - what you see is what you pay.

PS
Who in their right mind sets a tax level of 14.975%?
The Met Office: more useless than a dead octopus - as now confirmed by the BBC.
Post 12 made on Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 20:48
Anthony
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On May 4, 2014 at 19:25, Daniel Tonks said...
Someone was clearly too afraid to admit they wanted 15%!

not really, it used to be that QST was charged on top of GST (i.e. if you bought 100$ and GST was X% QST was charged on 10X$ and not 100$.) last year the government moved away from that (taxing the tax) but wanted the % to be the same that year so the 9.5% (with taxing the GST) became 9.975 (without taxing the GST)

Last edited by Anthony on May 7, 2014 20:57.
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Post 13 made on Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 20:54
Anthony
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On May 5, 2014 at 14:07, djy said...
Oddly (?) one of the things not harmonised across the EU are tax rates. However, you're right in that regardless of the level of VAT it's usually pre-added, so you don't have to calculate anything - what you see is what you pay.

cool, you learn something every day, I thought it was 20% everywhere since most of the bigger ones are 20%
PS
Who in their right mind sets a tax level of 14.975%?

Here we have two levels of government (federal and provincial) GST (federal) is 5% now QST (Quebec) is 9.975% as to why such an odd number I explained it in my privious post to Daniel
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OP | Post 14 made on Thursday May 8, 2014 at 02:37
Daniel Tonks
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On May 7, 2014 at 20:48, Anthony said...
not really, it used to be that QST was charged on top of GST

Well, that part alone was an odd choice! Taxing a tax?
Post 15 made on Thursday May 8, 2014 at 07:13
djy
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On May 8, 2014 at 02:37, Daniel Tonks said...
Well, that part alone was an odd choice! Taxing a tax?

Seems a little off, but it's, effectively, what happens if I try to import something; i.e (((item cost + shipping) + import duty) + VAT). Doesn't happen much these days, due to the VAT rise (it was 17.5%) and exchange rates not being good enough - e.g.

Danner boots from Silvermans in the UK - £270.00 - but a bit pricey.

A tinterweb search brings up two seemingly reasonably priced fleabay retailers at US$309.99 (£182.43) and US$324.95 (£191.23) - the exchange rate presently being US$1.70/£1.00. However, add in the shipping, import duty (8%) and VAT (20%) and you'll find yourself paying £274.84/£286.26 respectively - assuming the exchange rate remains the same when the transaction goes though (Paypal sometimes seem to have their own idea at what the exchange rate ought to be).

Now I'm not against taxation in principle, but I am becoming annoyed at the increasing air of entitlement that government has in their demands (to fund their &%$£@* vanity projects). To my mind it's no wonder more and more companies are trying to mitigate their tax liabilities.

The Met Office: more useless than a dead octopus - as now confirmed by the BBC.
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