USA Vs. Canadian Pricing - Why so high?
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:54 PM   #1
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USA Vs. Canadian Pricing - Why so high?


This is a topic that is often brought to our attention; in order to try and have to answer it as few times as possible, I am posting the answer here for all to see!

There is more to it than just the exchange rate. Whenever our suppliers in the states send product up to us in Canada for resale in our stores, we pay Duties and Taxes on the products when they come across the border, as well as extra shipping fees. These are factored into the pricing. However, the primary reason for the price discrepancy is because we have franchise agreements with our many Canadian stores that prohibit us from undercutting our stores by a certain percentage; this too limits our ability to price as competitively as we'd like to. Retail storefronts have a much higher overhead due to running costs, therefore their pricing is inflated in comparison to online houses that have relatively low running costs.

We have our price match policy for just this reason. We are aware that there are other Canadian retailers online with pricing that trumps our own on some products. We are willing to match them, and beat them by an additional 5% just to be as competitive as possible. This is our only way to get around the franchise agreement.

If you want to price match, all you need to do is place your order over the phone and let the rep know that you've found a price on another website that is lower than ours; they will be happy to beat the competitor’s price.


Thank you for your understanding!
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:36 AM   #2
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Sounds like a lot of work for me the customer to get a decent price from you.

Your forgetting the cardinal rule of retail.
Make it easy for me to buy.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by williamsonaaron View Post
Sounds like a lot of work for me the customer to get a decent price from you.

Your forgetting the cardinal rule of retail.
Make it easy for me to buy.
Again, it's not that we don't want to have the most competitive online Canadian pricing out there - we simply can't because of contract with the franchised locations.

Although price matching can sometimes be tedious, we do reward you for price matching by offering you an extra 5% off all priced matched items!
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:31 AM   #4
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On the contrary, it's really not that much work at all to price match with BAO. I just recently placed an order through them and saved about 10% compared to the competing store, and about 20% from BAO's original prices.

Took all of 10 minutes on the phone, and the customer rep was very nice and helpful - almost like they do price matching all the time.

The best part is that I ordered it Sunday and should receive it tomorrow!
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Savage View Post
On the contrary, it's really not that much work at all to price match with BAO. I just recently placed an order through them and saved about 10% compared to the competing store, and about 20% from BAO's original prices.

Took all of 10 minutes on the phone, and the customer rep was very nice and helpful - almost like they do price matching all the time.

The best part is that I ordered it Sunday and should receive it tomorrow!
We love to help our customers save as much as possible! We have no problem price matching, and we do it often for our Canadian customers.

We are very glad to hear that you enjoyed your shopping experience!
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:17 AM   #6
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Welcome to TPT! I was a loyal storefront customer up in the GTA before being transferred down to Massachusetts, and am happy to be reaping the benefits of the lower prices down here.

I'm thrilled to hear you'll be expanding your selection of plant-based products, and have been impressed with the responsiveness you've shown both for comments and concerns here. With that in mind here's a thought that's been percolating in my mind:

PAR values for bulb/lamp combos. You've got the lighting kits by the dozens; would you be willing to spend some time and gather a bit of data on the light produced by some of your most popular makes and models? We've had a running discussion in the lighting section of lighting type and bulb brand/K value vs PAR at various distances, but have been limited by the limited equipment each hobbiest has/differing bulb age/differing measuring technique etc... I would be eternally grateful if you compiled this data, and from a marketing standpoint you could release the data as jpegs with your brand all over it. Any additional accurate (and useful) technical specs I feel would both assist the novice and appeal to us fanatics.

Thanks for listening and for your sponsorship.
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Big Al's Online View Post
Retail storefronts have a much higher overhead due to running costs, therefore their pricing is inflated in comparison to online houses that have relatively low running costs.
All I'm reading from this is that you're punishing your online customers because you have to contend to your retail operations.

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Originally Posted by Savage View Post
On the contrary, it's really not that much work at all to price match with BAO.
On the contrary, what they're doing is making you, the customer, do the legwork by researching other retailers for a lower price to pricematch with instead of offering you the best price to begin with.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TLE041 View Post
On the contrary, what they're doing is making you, the customer, do the legwork by researching other retailers for a lower price to pricematch with instead of offering you the best price to begin with.
This is a pretty common practice among bigger retailers. It seems to me they are already doing all that is cost effective to help you out. It sounds to me like you are complaining about getting the best price you can possibly get.

On another note, its nice to see Big Als on here. Its nice to have a one stop, one shipping price store. Hopefully they browse some of the threads here and realize that a TON of our equipment is lacking in these bigger retailers. They have never catered to planted tank folks well in the shortness of variety, whereas the salt folks have alot of options.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:34 AM   #9
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Imagine a one-stop shop with good selections of regulators, prewired solenoids, needle valves, *and fittings*, with low flat-rate shipping? I'm drooling. Please give it some thought!
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortsboy View Post
PAR values for bulb/lamp combos. You've got the lighting kits by the dozens; would you be willing to spend some time and gather a bit of data on the light produced by some of your most popular makes and models? We've had a running discussion in the lighting section of lighting type and bulb brand/K value vs PAR at various distances, but have been limited by the limited equipment each hobbiest has/differing bulb age/differing measuring technique etc... I would be eternally grateful if you compiled this data, and from a marketing standpoint you could release the data as jpegs with your brand all over it. Any additional accurate (and useful) technical specs I feel would both assist the novice and appeal to us fanatics.

Thanks for listening and for your sponsorship.
We have actually considered doing this in the past, however it is not feasible. We do not have the equipment to do these sort of tests accurately enough. We have also been discouraged by manufacturers from doing so.

I am personally a lighting nut, having dealt with reef aquariums for years, and I really wanted to get that sort of data on the website.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLE041 View Post
All I'm reading from this is that you're punishing your online customers because you have to contend to your retail operations.


On the contrary, what they're doing is making you, the customer, do the legwork by researching other retailers for a lower price to pricematch with instead of offering you the best price to begin with.
We have legal documents that prohibit us from having lower prices than our retail stores. We would love to be able to offer the same sort of pricing that other Canadian online houses have, but because of the franchise contracts we are simple not legally able to do so.

Yes, there is some minor effort involved in price matching, but it guarantees you the best price available. Keep in mind we don't just match the price, but beat it by 5%!

I am personally a huge fan of price matching as I do a lot of ordering online myself (music equipment, motorcycle gear, plumbing parts etc.) and I ALWAYS look to price match and save as much cash as possible.
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Old 04-23-2011, 03:10 PM   #12
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I've never minded doing price matches with Big Al's... you can get an insane discount using it. I get all my marine suppliments from them for basically 1/2 store price, though I make my own plant fertz.... its got to be damn near wholesale on some items with a price match! It can take a few extra minutes, but whatever, I'm willing to wait for 20-50% reduction in price.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savage View Post
On the contrary, it's really not that much work at all to price match with BAO. I just recently placed an order through them and saved about 10% compared to the competing store, and about 20% from BAO's original prices.

Took all of 10 minutes on the phone, and the customer rep was very nice and helpful - almost like they do price matching all the time.

The best part is that I ordered it Sunday and should receive it tomorrow!
You work at Big Al's right? Just Kidding!
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by williamsonaaron View Post
You work at Big Al's right?
Why would you think that?

I'm pretty sure if I worked at Big Al's I wouldn't be allowed to take advantage of their price match policy.

Now, unfortunately the same package I ordered last week Sunday only came in on Thursday, and because of my work schedule and the easter weekend, I won't be able to pick it up until tomorrow.

So it's not all good!
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by williamsonaaron View Post
You work at Big Al's right?
Hopefully you aren't insinuating that we are planting employees in forums; please keep things peaceful and clean here. We are all for discussing your concerns, but do not want things to become negative in nature.

I am sure I don't need to mention this, but no - that poster you are referring to is not an employee at our company.
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