By now we’ve all heard enough about the amazing deals being had shopping south of the border. Book and magazines have been an easy target because Canadian and U.S. prices are printed on their covers and the gauging is terribly obvious. What hurts even more is when the book has been printed in Canada!
I was at Banana Republic and a sales associate told me she won’t even buy anything there anymore. Wonder why? She knows something I was able to figure out pretty quickly. I was browsing and what I saw wasn’t pretty.
One sweater was marked with a $75 regular price, a $59.99 sale price in an initial markdown and a $49.99 sale price from another markdown. The same sweater in another size was marked $58 dollars regular price and a sale price of $59.99 - WTF? The second sweater had a tag printed for the U.S. market and it hadn’t been switched before it made it on to a Canadian store shelf. Someone made a boo boo.
Okay, so we haven’t had parity for very long but the loonie hasn't been 30% lower than the U.S. greenback for a long, long time. Even the with the first markdown, us Canadians were still being hosed with a 3.5% increase over the price initially charged to our U.S. neighbours.
To a certain extent, I understand that retailers are the middle-men getting their butts kicked. But why did they agree to pay such a huge premium for merchandise in the first place? Unfortunately, when it comes to the American chains and Canadian customers, they may still get our biz, just not on Canadian soil and that's the pits for our economy.
Some retailers have figured out they need to slash prices big time. Others have embraced consumer education campaigns.
But I’m going to try something else and maybe if you do too, we’ll be able to shop here again without feeling duped. Next time you want to buy something that has both Canadian or U.S. prices marked, and/or you have proof the exact same item is being sold for a lower price in the U.S., ask the store if you can pay the U.S. price.
What do you think? Will you try this the next time you go shopping?
Tags: Banana Republic, book sellers, cross-border shopping, loonie, parity