It's always important to check prices
Editor: When I first crossed the border south to Minneapolis in the early 1950s, it was because the clothing styles were not available in Winnipeg. Cross-border shopping has continued in my moves across Canada.
I’ve bought motorcycle clothing and parts for my son’s racing efforts in the 1970s and 1980s and automotive racing parts.
A move to Aldergrove opened up many new opportunities for quick trips to the U.S. for a full range of food stuffs, clothing and appliances. For the most part in the early years, shopping usually was on vacations or long weekends. Prices impacted purchases.
Recently I note that there are quite a few prices that do not justify even a day trip for shopping, yet bargains are to be found. One has to be price aware.
I have found most U.S. retailers are prone to have real clear out sales, something that Canadian retailers seem unwilling to do. A 10 per cent discount on winter clothing at this time of the year is no inducement to purchase. Sales in the U.S. are often 40 to 70 per cent off. This discount can justify a purchase.
I can cite two recent purchases that point out knowing the price and value of the product.
Exhaust components for my truck were $135 in the U.S. and in exceess of $400 in Canada — and they turned out to be Canadian-made.
A 55-inch Smart 3D TV, was purchased in July 2011 in Calgary for $2,400. Less than six months later, it was $1,300 (in Canada).
The U.S. price for this model is still around $1,700, so it appears purchase in the U.S. is not practical nor cost-saving.
I recently had my truck painted in Lynden. I was quoted $5,500 in Calgary, $3,500 in Abbotsford, and had it done for $2,400.
I feel the prices for goods in Canada are due to the high costs of doing business, taxes, wages, utilities, and all the regulations — federal, provincial and municipal.
All of these impact the price required for a business to be successful.
In other words, too much government hurts the ability of businesses to be competitive.