It’s no secret that there is a vast gulf between what Canadians pay for goods compared to their neighbors in the Lower 48. This fact is especially apparent when you compare the buying power of Canadians who travel across the border to purchase U.S. goods versus what U.S. residents pay for goods when they visit Canada.
According to a recent blog post by our friend and cross-border shopping guru Keith Pitts, author of the informative book “The Canadian Cross-Border Shopping Guide,” the low Loonie is fueling a resurgence of American travel to Canada to take advantage of the favorable exchange rates.
However, even with the low Loonie, Americans will still pay more for certain goods and services, says Pitts. He notes that as of this writing gas is still $0.30 more per liter, a 24-can case of beer is $18 more, and a three-star hotel room is a minimum of $40 more. So even with the low Loonie, the question is just how much Americans will be spending while they’re visiting Canada. The jury is still out on that one.
Canadian Cross-Border Costs Revealed
But that’s not the whole story, according to Pitts. Some of the interesting information he uncovered is that U.S. citizens are returning any time less than 48 hours can get up to $200 worth of goods duty-free. They are charged a flat rate of 3% for the next $1,000 worth of goods. Also, Pitts reports that any products made in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico are not taxed at all. If these limits are exceeded, Pitts explains, additional U.S. duty and taxes may apply.
Canadians Are Taxed More
So let’s see what the flip side is for Canadians. According to Pitts, Canadians returning from the U.S. for 24 hours or less are entitled to zero duty-free exemptions. A big goose egg. Nada. Zilch. However, stay in the States for longer than 24 hours and Canadians get up to $200 duty-free. Stay more than 48 hours, says Pitts, and this number jumps to $800. Okay, now we’re getting somewhere.
Canadians can purchase 1.14 liters of liquor, 1 case of beer, 1.5 liters of wine, a carton of cigarettes, and 50 cigars. So far so good, right?
Well, hold on. Just when you think everything is rosy, here’s what happens if you go over these limits. You may be charged the following Canadian duty and taxes (all costs in Canadian funds), notes Pitts:
Approx. $1.00 per OUNCE ($31.00 per bottle more, yikes!)
Approx. $9.00 per case of beer ($7.70 per case more)
Approx. $25.00 per carton of cigarettes ($21.10 per carton more!)
This is a real incentive to quit smoking and drinking if you ask us!
The Secret To Big Cross-Border Savings
Hard to believe, but there’s a silver lining in all this. You see, you don’t have to spend more money for U.S. goods at all. “Tell me more,” you may be saying. Okay, we will.
Why not buy U.S. goods online from the comfort of your own home? In the past, this would be difficult since many online retailers don’t ship internationally. Or, you will incur various shipping fees and other costs that drive the amount spent for these purchases even more.
A Free U.S. Address Is The Answer
But, when you get a free U.S. shipping address from Need A U.S. Address, it opens up a world of shopping opportunities. We work with various shipping partners right across the U.S./Canadian border, allowing you to purchase items from some of your favorite online retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, eBay, Zappos, Amazon, and many others and have them shipped directly to one of these secure cross-border locations. This is a real, physical address, not a P.O. Box.
When your package arrives, you simply drive across the border and pick it up. That’s it. You pay less for the same U.S. goods than you would in Canada and avoid many of the costs such as shipping and brokerage fees associated with shipping goods to Canada. Can’t pick it up yourself? No problem. You can designate someone to pick up your items for you.
Secure & Convenient Cross-Border Locations
Our partner shipping locations across the border offer a secure and convenient way to purchase and ship a variety of articles. Traveling to the States for business or pleasure? You can even save money by shipping your luggage or other items to one of our locations and picking it up on the way home.
We also offer parcel forwarding services for a nominal fee (fees vary by location). And if you’ve ever been wary of having your parcels delivered to your doorstep when you may not be home, Need A U.S. Address solves the problem by ensuring that your packages are waiting for you safe and secure.
Free To Sign Up. Free To Use.
Now here’s the best part, signing up for your own U.S. address is simple and absolutely free. Just fill out an easy online form. All we ask for is your email address. That’s it. We never ask for any personal information, such as credit card numbers. Once you sign up, we’ll email you a confirmation with your own unique and secure customer ID number that gives you access to our U.S. mailing addresses.
So what are you waiting for? The secret’s out. Start saving now by signing up for a free U.S. address from Need A U.S. Address today!
Want to learn more? Check out our informative FAQ page.