Ever wonder why companies (like us) charge more than the straight conversion rate when bringing products up from the States?
Time to do some math.
The exchange rate between USD and CAD is ever fluctuating, controlled by the tides and whether or not Mercury is in retrograde. But that conversion is not the only factor.
Every time goods cross the border, the government wants a cut. Duties and taxes are applicable to basically everything that crosses country borders, when they’re above a certain amount.
Let’s take Roofnest for example.
A Falcon Pro goes for $3,995USD. At the current (October 7th, 2022) exchange rate of 1.37, that brings it to $5,473.15. If you’re paying by credit card, there’s also a fee for purchasing in foreign currency, let’s say it’s .04%. We’re now looking at $5,692.08.
Tents have an 18% duty when you bring them across the border. $5,692.08 x 1.18 is $6,716.66. None of this is accounting for shipping to your place of residence.
We’re selling the Falcon Pro for $5,799CAD, with free shipping to almost all of Canada.
What about taxes? Well, you’d pay 12% in BC for example, but you’d pay that whether you brought the good up from the States or from us so I’ve left that off for the sake of simplicity.
Other types of products have different duty rates, such as 8.5% for roof racks, and we take that into account when pricing things on our end.
The customs rate also varies depending on where the product was made. Most things sold at most retail stores are made in China or other Asian countries, but if a product is made in Canada, the US, or Mexico, it falls under what’s called a CUSMA. This is an agreement between Canada, the US, and Mexico that puts zero duties on qualifying products manufactured in and transported between those countries.
We try our best to bring in those products, both to support North American manufacturers, and to keep costs down for the end consumer, but the fact of the matter is that more things are still being manufactured overseas.
At the end of the day, importing things in bulk means we can spread the cost of duties and shipping out more, and means we can do our best to keep prices reasonable.
In the immortal words of Montgomery Scott, we’re givin’ ‘er all she’s got cap’in, it’s capitalism’s world, and we’re just living in it!