Avid cross-border shoppers salute better prices and selection

Avid cross-border shoppers salute better prices and selection

(NC) Cross-border shopping is popular for these two alluring reasons: the limitless product selection and eye-popping lower prices. We do, indeed, love a bargain when we shop, especially on the quality brands that are hard or impossible to find here in Canada. Most of us live close enough to the U.S. border so it’s easy to flock to the designer outlets there. All have large stores with far more choice in styles, size, fabrics and colours. Another allure is the fun of getting away. Parents who want the best brand choices at the best prices, plan cross-border jaunts to the shoe outlets there, or to children’s clothing outlets – and also for the fine fashion deals they can sniff out at the likes of their own brands. This purchasing appeal is why cross-border shopping nearly doubled from 2006 to 2012, from $4.7 billion to $8 billion, according to Statistics Canada. The attraction is all about selection and lower prices, but the real bargains are in the planning. Stay longer and save more money, for example. If you go there and back on the same day, the savings on your purchases will be far smaller. To pay less tax, take a look at the official ‘personal duty exemption limits’, as follows:

• Less than 24 Hours - $0 CAD

• 24 Hour Exemption – $200 CAD

• 48 Hour Exemption – $800 CAD

So, if you return the same day, you get no duty exemption. But if you return the day after you left, you get the 24-hour exemption of being able to spend $200 without paying tax. If, however, the total value of your purchases is over $200, you must pay duty on the value of all your goods, not just what exceeds the $200 limit. So why not make it a “Fun 48” to shop for a few days south of the border with your family or friends? A getaway of this type makes a lot of sense, according to the management at Simon Shopping Destinations, known to be one of the world’s largest builders of outlets and malls. Stay for a week, and you get the $800 exemption, and better still, you don’t have to have all your purchases with you when crossing back into Canada.