When I found out Target was going to open over 100 stores across Canada this year, I was excited but realistic. Could my days of cross-border shopping at one of my favourite stores be over? Or would Target Canada fall short of the prices found in the USA? That’s what I intended to find out this past weekend during whirlwind shopping trips to my two closest Target stores.
May 18th, 2013: My first stop was Target Canada, in the suburb of Coquitlam – approximately 32 km from downtown Vancouver.
May 19th, 2013: My second stop was Target USA at the Bellis Fair Mall in Bellingham, WA – approximately 83km from downtown Vancouver.
For my trips, I decided to compare the prices of a few common household items. These figures below don’t take into account provincial or state tax, duties charged at the border, the extra cost in gas, or puts a dollar value on the time spent crossing the border (although with the Nexus pass, it didn’t take me that much longer to get to Bellingham than to Coquitlam). Instead, I’ve chosen to focus just on the price of the products – taking into an account an exchange rate of $0.97 on the Canadian dollar.
Ready? Let’s shop at Target!
We’ll head to the personal care and beauty section first, because that’s where I generally start my Target shopping trips. My go-to mascara is Maybelline’s Volum’Express (The Rocket).
Now to pick up some Aveeno body lotion, which is only slightly cheaper in the USA.
I can’t live without Burt’s Bees lip balm, and at any given time, I have 3 to 5 floating in between my purse, home, car, and desk at work.
When comparing a 24-pack of Durex condoms, I found out it was 32% cheaper to practice safe sex in America.
A major expense most men complain about is the cost of razor blades. I thought they would be significantly cheaper in Bellingham. Turns out the savings is barely worth mentioning.
If you’re sick of paying so much for disposable blades, perhaps an electric shaver system will be your next big purchase. Note the U.S. package also has a bonus of a few accessories (worth over $30) that the Canadian version doesn’t have.
This was a bit of a surprise to me. The regular price of a 20-pack of Energizer Max Alkaline batteries in the USA is $13.79, which is 23% more than the regular price in Canada.
I don’t know much about video games, but I do know that if I’m ever going to buy myself Call of Duty for Xbox, it’s going to be across the border.
If you’re in the mood to hate your life, I’d recommend picking up Windows 8 Pro in Bellingham.
I now know the best thing about living in Vancouver isn’t the ocean or the mountains or the abundance of delicious vegetarian restaurants – it’s the fact that Nutella is 17% cheaper in Canada.
The Magic Bullet in Canada isn’t pictured with all the accessories, but it’s the same 17-piece system that’s selling in the U.S.
I just read an article in MoneySense magazine about how generic baby diapers are just as good as the brand names. I wouldn’t know, because I’ve never changed a diaper in my life. But, if you must have brand name Pampers, they’re cheaper in America.
Note to self: Don’t buy Calphalon pots and pans in Canada.
Even the bonus Tide Pods attached to the detergent bottle can’t help out this price match.
I don’t have any pets, but it’d be cheaper to feed their faces with food from Target USA.
Well, there you have it! A short 15-product comparison of Target Canada vs. Target USA. What did we all learn from this? Buy your Nutella and batteries in Canada. The rest could be worth taking a trip across the border.
I personally never go across the border with the specific intention of shopping. It’s always an added stop to a pre-planned trip – to catch a flight from Bellingham, a baseball game or concert in Seattle, etc. That way, I’m already spending the time and gas to get across the border, and it makes my trip worth it. And as always, if you are going shopping across the border, it’s in your best interest to declare all purchases when you head back in to Canada.
Just as a side note, I came out of Target Canada (Coquitlam) empty-handed. But I left the Target in Bellingham $66.79 poorer.