Canadian consumers are constantly on the hunt for a good deal. So offering your customers the best products at the best prices usually has all the makings of a successful business plan. After all, Canadians are notorious bargain hunters. Or are they? According to Craig Wong, Canadians have nothing on their American counterparts when it comes to searching out discounts.
In an article posted on The Toronto Star’s Moneyville.ca earlier today, Wong explains that compared to U.S. shoppers, Canucks are less willing to spend time hunting for deals. Ironically, Canadians have expressed anger over having to pay more for products than Americans do. This has been exacerbated by the fact that the Canadian dollar is actually topping the American greenback in value, at present.
As Wong points out, the loonie currently sits at about $1.04 U.S. This is 30 per cent higher than it was two years ago. It can be argued that, as a result, prices for goods in Canada should be on par with American prices. Last week, one of our Synergy reps – an avid reader – pointed out that books are still marked with higher Canadian prices than American prices at retail.
A Bank of Montreal report published last week suggests that the increased value of the loonie has created a “price gap” for goods of about 20 per cent. Canadians, of course, are getting the short end of the stick by paying the higher charges. Americans, however, are also better at seeking out lower prices, says Wong.
According to David Soberman, a marketing professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management: “Shopping seems to be a very big part of what goes on in the U.S. People go down to Florida, to Georgia to the southern U.S. and one of the activities that you do there are tours going to outlet malls.”
Soberman’s advice to Canadians is to do a better job of checking out all of the retail stores that may offer the products and services that they are looking for. Do your due diligence and search for the lowest price, he encourages. He also acknowledges that not everyone is interested in spending that much time on shopping. But, if so, they shouldn’t be so quick to complain about higher prices.
Wong notes that there are some exceptions to the rule, however. He writes that not all products are cheaper in the United States. Gamers will be happy to know that “a Playstation 3 at BestBuy lists for $299.99 on both its Canadian and U.S. websites, while Electronic Art’s NHL 11 game for the game console can be had for US$59.99 in the U.S., it is on sale in Canada for C$49.99.”