Posted 12.3.12 @ 8:55
It’s the busy holiday season and a lot of people are going over the border to shop… but this might be the last year to do it! The Canadian dollar is rising, more American chains are moving north and we can get better deals locally (especially in the GTA). But it’s not just about getting deals on US brands – more American retailers moving north means that traditional Canadian brands are going to have to start being more price competitive. It might be a bit rough in the beginning, but it’s just one more reason it’s great to live in Ontario!
Why Was Cross Border Shopping so Popular in the First Place?
Over the last ten years the duty exemption at the border went from $50 to $800 depending on how long you were over the border (up to 48 hours). This meant that you could get better value and quality over the border without having to pay HST and the premium prices that some of our retailers have seen fit to place on goods and services. Hot holiday items like iPhones, iPads, cameras, electronics and more were just cheaper that way, and if you wanted to get a good deal you had to take a weekend trip but watch your spending limit.
With more stores moving north and due to be open in time for next year’s Holiday Season, this’ll be a thing of the past.
The Rise of the Canadian Outlet Mall
When it comes down to it, more and more of us are looking at outlet malls – but it’s important to be careful. While getting luxury goods and not so luxurious prices can be a big pull, you have to know that you’re getting what you want. Here’s a few reasons why you want to be careful:
Some outlets carry outlet quality stuff – not exactly the luxury goods you’re expecting to find! The big markdowns could be just for show; do you really think that rug was ever worth $3,000?
There’s a reason that the outlet mall is so far out there – cheap rent! You’re going to want to be careful though – it’s part of the whole allure of going somewhere so far away that you have to come away with something. Know what you want to buy before you head out, it’ll be cheaper that way.
Not Always Outlet Prices – you may not be able to get the cheapest price on your outlet mall purchases; it’s not rare to find that a lot of items are about the same price as you would find at a regular store and without all the legwork to get out to Sherwood Gardens!
But by this time next year you’re going to see 12 more outlet malls in Canada, 7 of these will be in Ontario (5 in the GTA). You shouldn’t have to go too far to find a good deal next year...