The Pros & Cons of Crossing the Line
Online shopping has become the way of the world. Gone are the days when people have the time, or the energy, or the patience, to go out and browse for the things they need. And honestly, furniture shopping sits entirely in its own category of sensory over-stimulation. It takes a lot of effort to browse through the selections of items - at the same time crunching numbers, thinking about whether or not fabrics will match, or an item will fit into its desired spot - all whilst listening to the over enthusiastic salesperson tell you about their best deal available. Moreover, you have to do all of this within the stores hours of operation. Gosh, I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
So, much like any sane person, I’d rather plop myself on the sofa with my favourite snack and furry friend, & open up my browser to find the latest deals & steals.
Now… here’s a little tip for all of you super savers - shop Canadian! There are so many benefits to shopping on Canadian websites with stocked items, especially for larger items like FURNITURE!
Buying furniture online may seem like an odd thing to do - especially if you like to do the “Sit Test,” or are a very tactile shopper. But you can find amazing deals online from Canadian companies that stock Canadian products.
When you shop cross-border, you run the risk of accumulating a variety of fees and duties that will ultimately drive up the overall price of your purchase.
Those little red prices online look pretty delicious, but don’t be fooled! You could end up paying up to 20% more for items because of hidden shipping costs. According to Vancouver Based Style Blogger & Financial Analyst, Andrea Yeung, the shipping fees that are quoted on an online order can make up half of the total price of a purchase from the USA.
Unfortunately, many companies try to work these fees into their online totals, then proceed to offer free shipping so that it seems like you are getting a better deal. My advice? Compare, compare, compare! Do not buy that gorgeous accent chair that you found on Wayfair, check out the brand - see if they have their own website, OR find a Canadian website that stocks the same product! Take our Bunk-Beds for example; here's a comparative between the exact same bunk-bed listed on Wayfair & on Wholesale Furniture Brokers:
I think it’s pretty clear who’s going to give you the better deal.
Shipping companies charge a premium to get furniture across the border. Their time equals money, and they lose money when they have to wait for their products to clear customs at the border - so, they account for this and factor the risk of border issues into their pricing. The bigger the item, the more expensive the shipping will be.
Garland Chow, an associate professor at UBC's Sauder School of Business, said companies face three cost factors when delivering internationally: distance, security issues at the border and higher fuel and labour costs in Canada.
This means that U.S. delivery companies have higher overhead costs when transporting goods to Canada. In response to this problem, furniture retailers like West Elm, Crate and Barrel, and Urban Outfitters offer a smaller online selection to Canadian markets. Be that as it may, you’ll still have to be cautious when totalling your purchase; Paying in Canadian Dollars means that there will be a 2% charge for processing, regardless of the exchange rate.
BUT YOU CAN AVOID ALL OF THIS BY SHOPPING ONLINE & ON YOUR OWN SIDE OF THE BORDER! It’s so simple, and there are so many pros:
- Hassle-Free Shopping
- It’s Cost Effective
- Way Less Stressful
- There’s A Wider Variety Online than in Brick & Mortar Stores
- Proper Space Planning - Specs & Measurements Are Listed
- No Pressure To Buy
- FREE SHIPPING (varies with the store)
- No Need For Clothing
Shop Online, & Shop Canadian - never worry about the exchange rates, shipping fees, & border duties ever again. Do it on your own time from the comforts of your own space.