Buying equipment - CDN vs US prices

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Deimodius, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Deimodius

    Deimodius TPF Noob!

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    The Canadian users here will know best that with the Canadian dollar now worth more than the US dollar, there are deals to be had across the border, but more frustratingly, the prices in Canada are still way out of whack.

    I want to get the FL-36 flash for my Olympus E-500, and see it is $269.99 CDN at Henry's. The same flash is available from B&H in the US for $179.00 US. That's a big difference! Of course, if I buy it at Henry's I will also have to pay taxes, from B&H I won't. The shipping cost from B&H is only $27.00.

    I've emailed Henry's to ask if they will match the price, but i am not hopeful. Has anyone else had any luck getting Canadian camera stores to match US prices, or are you just buying from US retailers instead?

    If the price difference wasn't so great, I'd just buy it from a CDN retailer to keep the money here, but this is a big difference (and a lot of money).
     
  2. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    They may be willing to bring it down a bit but likely not much, seeing as when they bought that flash the market was probably more stable (meaning our dollar was $0.70 :lol:) and they won't be wanting to cut a loss
     
  3. Deimodius

    Deimodius TPF Noob!

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    I've heard that argument from retailers on the news, and I know there are other differences (like import costs and canadian taxes) but I think the Canadian retailers are missing an opportunity. If Canadians are already willing to spend $100 on 1 item, then they would, in theory, be equally willing to buy more if the costs came down.

    I doubt Henry's will match the price exactly, but I'm hoping for at least $50, otherwise I think I'll buy it from B&H.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have spent more money on photo gear this year, than any other so far...and most of that was last spring, before out dollar was up so high on the Greenback. Most of what I have bought, came from B&H.

    It won't hurt to ask Henry's if they will lower their price...but I wouldn't hold your breath over it. You might have better luck with a smaller camera store...Henry's has never really had good prices anyway (IMO) but their E-bay store is OK. My local camera chain has a price matching policy within Canada...but that doesn't help if every store in Canada is still out of whack with the American prices. For my next purchases...I will give my local stores an opportunity to match the US price (with shipping costs etc) but I don't see them doing it because the difference is pretty significant.

    I do like the idea of buying locally. It supports the local shops and it's better for service, should anything go wrong...but you just can't justify spending 20-30% more.

    To correct you, when ordering from the US...you do have to pay TAX. GST for sure, Alberta doesn't have PST so I don't know if you have to pay that as well, when importing.

    There is the shipping costs, obviously. There is no Duty on photo gear, but you may have to pay a brokerage fee...which is the fee for the Currier having to bring it through customs. It's hard to estimate sometimes. I like to use the US postal service, rather than UPS or FedEX...because the brokerage will be less...but unfortunately, some places don't offer that option. I seem to remember that I used UPS Expedited, when getting something from B&H.

    I remember hearing somthing about the government chastising Canadian retailers about not lowering their prices to coincide with the rising dollar...but there isn't really anything do be done...but wait for them to fall into line. Actually, I've also heard that Wal-mart is taking action...if a product has the price listed in both US and CDN...they will give you the listed US price, if you ask them.
     
  5. Deimodius

    Deimodius TPF Noob!

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    Well, I have a cousin who is living in Boston at the moment. I was thinking I'd have the flash shipped to her, and have her bring it over. I know when we go across the border to shop we are allowed to bring back items without paying Duty as long as they are under a certain amount. I don't know about US residents bringing stuff across though.

    If I have it delivered to her in Boston, they will charge no tax (B&H will only charge the tax if it is within NY state) but there would be a shipping fee. I'm assuming the shipping fee will be less than having it shipped to Canada.

    I was hoping Henry's would match (or lower their price) because I got some Henry's gift cards for my bday.

    Interestingly, when you went to visit the Henry's web site in the recent past, they used to have links on the front page to shop in US or CDN currencies. They don't have that any more, you can only shop in CDN dollars.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Your plan with your cousin...is probably slightly illegal...but I won't tell. If you don't mind not having the boxes, just have her buy the stuff and take it out of the box (maybe buy a camera bag as well). Then she is just a tourist with a camera.

    And yes, shipping from B&H to the US is probably (certainly) cheaper than shipping directly to Canada.
     
  7. Deimodius

    Deimodius TPF Noob!

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    Well, it's not illegal for them to buy me a late birthday gift and bring it up with them. ;-) I can pay them back. :)

    I understand the pressures CDN retailers are under right now, and the reason for _some_ price difference, but they are going to start hurting if they don't change, unless the CDN dollar comes down.
     
  8. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    It's likely you'd pay taxes if you got it shipped to canada anyways. (I had to)..but it is cheaper.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, they should have to do something about their prices...especially considering that 90% of Canadians live in the in the 5% of the country closest to the southern border. (or something like that, don't quote my numbers ;) )
    Shopping over the border is fairly easy. And Canadians are among the highest population in the world for internet shopping as well.

    This combined with the rising dollar (largely in part because of the falling US dollar)...Canadians will be spending a lot of money at US stores. This will have to lead to Canadian stores lowering their prices or doing something to get us back into their doors.
     
  10. henryp

    henryp TPF Noob!

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    Thank you.
     
  11. Deimodius

    Deimodius TPF Noob!

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    Well, Henry's replied to my email with the usual line about how they bought it when the CDN dollar was lower, etc. Seems to me that if you want to keep people coming in to your store to buy _anything_ you should be a bit more accommodating. I asked if they'd at least give me a discount, maybe $50, and they still haven't answered, I don't think they will.

    Suffice to say I will most likely be buying the flash from B&H and have my cousin bring it up.
     
  12. Leon Fournier

    Leon Fournier TPF Noob!

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    I to have tried to get the local Henry's and other smaller photo shops in the area to lower their price to a more competitive level against the US retailers with no success. I really wanted to keep my order in Canada to help maintain a strong economy.

    I have now broken down and ordered hardware from B&H as I was able to save over $600.00 on one lens. With the savings, I am able to purchase other goodies that I've had my eye on. And the best part is that Canon Canada have confirmed to me that they will honor the warranty on the hardware no matter where it was purchased, As long as it is purchased from an authorised Canon Dealer.

    Good Luck with your purchase, and getting Henry's to come down by any amount that would come close to the US pricing.

    Visit this site, It Explains all about the extra charges that are encountered when purchasing photo equipment from the US.
    http://www.photoprice.ca/article/tax-duty-brokerage-demystified
     

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