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Why You Should Take a Second Look at Canadian Sellers

Online shoppers in the US may find it worth their while to take a look at sellers located north of the border – buying from Canadian sellers could save you money.

Bloomberg notes that the Canadian dollar has fallen about 18% against the US dollar over the past two years, and at the same time, “spending by US shoppers using PayPal on Canadian websites jumped 20% in 2015 from the year before,” it noted (via Internet Retailer).

PayPal, Bigcommerce, Shopify, and Shoptiques told the news agency they’ve seen a recent increase in US consumers buying from Canadian merchants.

While Bloomberg notes that US buyers may have to pay extra duties and fees depending on the kind of item and its value – and possibly extra paperwork and bank processing fees – some US shoppers find the lower prices worth their while.

It spoke with a shopper from New York who stumbled into a deal when she purchased earrings from a Vancouver seller and has begun filtering her online searches for Canadian stores. She and has since found a top, a pair of jeans and a winter hat she wants to buy from Canada.

“Of all the things Americans buy from Canada, the biggest category of goods is auto parts, according to PayPal, followed by fashion, then web services and software,” according to the article.

Citing PayPal/Ipsos SA research, it said Americans spent $3.2 billion on Canadian websites in 2015, part of a total cross-border spending spree of $27 billion that is expected to grow 10% in 2016.

While sellers in the US may not be so pleased, they may find themselves looking to the north to make purchases of their own – as long as they keep an eye on currency rates and possible duties.

You can find the daily currency conversion rates on Bloomberg – the 5-year view is particularly interesting, showing the rise of the US dollar against the Canadian dollar.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.