Border Towns — Shopping online in Canada may be a better deal
It may not be cheaper to shop online through American companies, say two Langley store owners.
In fact, the better deal is right here at home, points out Langley's Forever Yours Lingerie owner Sonya Perkins.
Before deciding to launch an online store, Perkins decided to do some online shopping comparisons.
What she found might surprise some.
"I spent a day online shopping. I bought things from Canada and the U.S.," said Perkins.
"What we were finding is customers would come in and try on bras, go with one of our fitters and take down all the proper measurements and then tell us they would buy the bra online from the States," she said. "There is this perceived idea out there that they can get it at a lower price."
And here's why, she explains.
"A bra we sell at $69 may be $5 cheaper in the U.S.," Perkins said.
"By the time it gets to your door and you have paid the duty (of 18 per cent of anything not made in Canada or the U.S.), and delivery, which is usually 25 per cent higher than what we can ship, it costs a lot more from the States."
She points to a recent example of a woman who liked a particular swimsuit her store carries for $109. Online in the States, it went for $99. "It would cost her around $35 in shipping."
She explains that it is the brokerage that is the expensive part, with many U.S. companies using the more expensive delivery companies.
Forever Yours will launch its online store in April. Perkins said it is being launched because of demand. Offering a unique fitting experience in a one-of-a-kind shop, customers come from all over, she said.
Online party supplier Party Monkey shares Perkins' frustrations about "perceived savings" by shopping in the U.S.
Party Monkey owner Carla Wood said they are up against a big American competitor and it's a struggle to make customers aware that the prices they offer are the same, and less when you factor in shipping.
"We carry all our own inventory here in Langley and ship the same day and we are struggling with customers shopping with American companies," said Wood.
Sometimes, their customers call and say half their order didn't come in time for their party and they are scrambling, Wood explains.
"We could save them the stress, time and duty," she said.