Canadian brides, here’s the deal. You’re the ideal demographic for wedding marketers – female, young, and have online savvy. In fact, you’re likely an online shopping expert! We hear time and again from Canadian wedding planners, though, that the great “US deal” they thought you were getting didn’t end up to be that way. The truth is the best deals might be right here in Canada! Smart Canadian brides (and shoppers in general) do their research and math first!
E-Wedding Shopping – The True Costs and Considerations when Canadians Shop on US Websites
Many Canadian brides simply look at product prices when looking to buy wedding items in preparation for their wedding. Whether it be wedding decorations, supplies, reception favors or even home décor! Well, price is one thing, but your total cost is another. The truth is this, you should not care about price yet you must care about your TOTAL COST. In other words, you should singularly consider how much you will be out of pocket for your purchase. An educated bride or wedding planner saves money, period, of your wedding budget.
Key Considerations (and Myths) When Comparing Online Shopping Costs
The Canadian and US dollars are at par, so we have equal purchasing power?
Myth. Although the latest newsflash says our dollar is at par, make no mistake, you the consumer will not get equal conversion! Why? Because only institutions can come close to those exchange rates and there are always FEES – always. So, if the dollar is exactly at par today and you purchase from a US site (US funds) using your credit card, you can assume – right off the bat – that you will lose 3-4% in the conversion.
The total price on the checkout page confirms my total costs – and if I order from the US site I will save!
Myth…depending on how much. The truth is, you still have to add the 4% currency conversion cost you will be charged (that is only reflected on your credit card statement later), PLUS…
Brokerage/Duties and Taxes – Yep, you will be hit with them upon delivery! When the courier like UPS gets to your door, they will not release imported goods you’ve ordered from the US without payment on delivery. Surprise! Add this to your costs too…and they’re not insignificant, either. Check out this table from UPS to provide you an idea of costs. Duties often depend on the products themselves (related to materials) and the dollar value of the order. Check it out for yourself!
Oh, and these days it is a myth that Canadian online stores are few and they don’t have plenty of selection. Myth! Canada’s online wedding shops are now packing thousands of items at competitive prices.
Consider shopping Canadian brands so you spend more on product, less on hidden transport costs that inflate prices!
Are you paying for wedding products, or hidden transport/shipping costs? Often, you’ll see that Canadian prices for similar items are more expensive beyond currency exchange rates. Why? Often it is because Canadian stores stock products distributed from the US. US shops will be selling them cheaper but in US dollars and charge you more for shipping, while Canadian shops will likely offer them at a higher price but offer cheaper shipping without any added duty/brokerage fees. At the end of the day, the higher price may actually not be more at all!
The best way to save is to look for Canadian brands that really are produced and/or distributed right here in Canada. For example, wedding dresses from a Canadian designer or wedding favors from a Canadian Favor Designer-Wholesaler sold by Canadian stores!
In this scenario, you’ll pay no conversion fees; no brokerage/duties; and no inflated prices to cover importing of product. You get more for your wedding budget bucks! Or, should we say given we’re Canada’s ultimate wedding resource and guide, wedding Loonies!
Until next time, happy wedding planning Canada and here’s to saving some loonies!
PS – If you have an example where you’ve cost compared similar wedding products sold in Canada and the US, please feel free to let us know…we’ll be glad to post what our smart Canadian brides and wedding party and event planners find!