Is cross-border shopping still beneficial?
(NC) Many Canadians regard cross-border shopping as a great way to save money. In June 2012, the federal government increased cross-border duty exemptions when you stay at least 24 hours, making the prospects even more appealing. Still, other factors, including gas prices and U.S. retailers like Target entering Canada, have left many of us questioning whether trips south of the border are worth it.
Shopping information website RedFlagDeals.com recommends doing research first. In addition to the expected costs like gas, travel time, accommodations and currency conversion, shoppers should research things like store return policies and the validity of manufacturer warranties in Canada.
Ran Ravitz, the general manager of RedFlagDeals.com explains that there are certain shopping categories, like clothing, where U.S. retailers continue to have an edge in price and product selection. Ravitz has seen signs of the price gap closing, however. "Some big players are starting to get the message. Apple has priced its major product lines the same in both the U.S. and Canada. Google has also equalized prices for its latest Nexus 7 Tablet."
What about this holiday season? Ravitz thinks that if you're already an avid cross-border shopper, then you may still be inclined to go. However, Canadian retailers are starting to catch up, he said, and with all the tools of online bargain hunting at your disposal you certainly don't have to go south of the border for good deals.
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