Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tired of paying high prices in Canada


My trip to the US has enlightened me to the fact that Americans pay less for the same goods. OK, I already knew this, however I never knew to what extent. Stuff in the US cost on average 15% less than in Canada.  Of course this has traditionally been the case because of the strength of the American Dollar.  However, lately the American dollar isn't doing so hot.  In fact for the last few weeks the Canadian dollar has been more powerful than its American counterpart.

So why are we paying more today for the same goods?  Retailers are saying that its because the goods were purchased months ago when the dollar was low.  That too sounds logical.  I learned in business school that orders are placed months before products are placed on the shelves.  However, I also learned that purchase orders are paid months after the products are received and assuming that the PO is in US dollars, its paid in Canadian dollars at the current market price.  So that explanation doesn't hold water.

Canadians too do not accept this explanation, so they have taken matters into their own hands.  Cross-border shopping has risen in the past few weeks, and doesn't look to be slowing down.  Internet purchases have risen as well, since the only tax that has to be paid is the GST.

Its has become quite the topic, even in  Parliament. Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty plans to meet with private retailers next week to urge them to reduce prices as the dollar soars in value.

It will be interesting to see what develops.  Is this just retailers trying to get away with a little extra profit while the Canadian dollar is high or do retailers simply don't know how to convert money?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My N95 was a star at the Apple store

So I am down in San Jose for a couple of weeks, and of course I had to check out the one product all Canadian Apple users want but can't get at home. I made my way down to the Oakridge mall Apple store with my N95 in hand and was immediately "attacked" by an Apple store employee, immediately seeing my N95 and asking begging me to see the N95 phone.

I immediately obliged and handed my phone over to him while I turned my attention over to the iPhone. We were both gawking at the respective phones in ours hands, and a crowd of Apple Store employees huddled around the guy with my phone. I then found out that he was an ex-Nokia employee and knew all about the N95 and was always raving about it to his coworkers.

After comparing both products and even showing it to some customers, my friend,who isn't a tech lover, walked over and said..."OK dude time to go". There was an immediate sigh from everyone huddled and we all looked at each other like kids who had to stop playing because the kid-who-had-the-ball's mom was calling him for supper.

Before I left however, we all agreed that although the iPhone is the slickest looking phone out there, the N95 is a better device, feature wise. Too bad a phone with the N95's features and the iPhone's looks doesn't exist. That would be the ultimate device!

I was looking forward to this trip to buy an iPhone, unlock it and be the first in Montreal, that I know of, to have one. Now I think I will stick with my N95.

Who would of thunk it!