parity

Budget Day Goodies ?

Today is Budget Day in Ottawa. And the current government has been promising to address some issues related to the higher prices Canadians pay for certain products.

Canadians pay significantly more for certain products than the Americans and although some of the price differences can be attributed to tariffs, labour and transportation costs, much of the purchase price is pre-determined by the manufacturer.

“Country Pricing” has become the standard and unfortunately Canada’s prices have not been adjusted to match our dollar’s strength.

Some online retailers have done their best to match prices but Canadians were still forced to either import products from the states or pay higher prices at their local retailers.

I suspect that tariffs will be reduced or eliminated on certain products in this budget, perhaps on books, clothing, electronics and home appliances.

Those are the most imported products, especially on Black Friday. But I’m also hoping they will follow the recommendations in the February 2013 Senate Committee report of the US/Canada Price Gap  and raise the de minimis threshold for postal shipments from $20.

When you import most products by mail you are exempt from duties, fees and taxes if the product or products shipped are valued at less than $20 Canadian.

I’ve managed to save some money using they exemption. But many countries like the United States, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore had raised this minimum to US$100 in November 2011, enabling their citizens to avoid paying the hefty brokerage fees some couriers charge on parcels.

Brokerage fees have recently gone up in Canada so I’m hoping they will at least consider a CAN$50 threshold.

The other probabilities in the budget are reductions in credit card/banking fees, funding for an expansion of high speed internet into rural areas, and the unbundling of cable channels so I guess lots of Canadians will be watching this afternoon.

The budget broadcast will air on television and online on CPAC at 4PM Eastern. Details on the budget will also be made available on the Government’s Official Site after 4 PM Eastern.

Dollar Dips Below Parity

The Canadian dollar has dropped bellow parity with the American greenback, the first time since January 31st. But of course deals can still be found down south, with a bit of comparison shopping.

I’ve managed to find great deals on compact discs and DVDs from the online retailers in the states, even with shipping and handling. And don’t forget, compact disc, DVD and blu-ray orders valued at less than $20 Canadian are not subject to taxes or duties.

U.S / Canadian Dollar Parity

Economists predict that the Canadian dollar will be at parity with the U.S dollar shortly so I thought I’d repost my guide on importing CDs & DVDs, with a few select links :

Importing CDs & DVDs to Save Money

As you can see I haven’t managed to find the time to move the international listings to this blog yet. I’m hoping to get something up by the end of this week. I will post a link here when it is added.