Use our strong dollar to save on online purchases…

Our dollar has been hovering around $0.95 USD.  So to figure out how much you pay for something that is listed in US funds, just divide the US price by 0.95. Now you have how much you will pay in Canadian funds.

To take advantage of this you need to know that the price spread of an item (the difference between how much it costs in US funds and how much it costs in Canadian funds) is greater than the price spread between the loonie and the US dollar.  (The price spread between the loonie and the US dollar is 5 cents divided by 100 cents). <– THAT’s the philosophy, but what you really need to know is that when you divide the US priced item by the exchange rate, is the result less than what the items sells for in Canadian funds? Let’s take an example:

I posted that I recommend “The Richest Man in Babylon” as a great book to buy.  If you look on Amazon.COM, it is $6.99 USD.  If you look on Amazon.CA is it $9.99 CAD.

$6.99USD / 0.95(Exchange rate) = $7.36 CAD

So it is actually cheaper to buy it on since our loonie has made such a dramatic increase in value over such a short period of time. HOWEVER, you have to note that to qualify for free shipping on the US site, you need to spend $25 USD. To qualify for free shipping on the Canadian site you need to spend $39 CAD. In addition, the US site will not ship for free to Canada, so to really save money you need to find a friend with a US address and have it sent there and then arrange to get it across the border.  That’s a fair bit of trouble for a small savings, but for electronics…. :)

Preet Banerjee
Preet Banerjee an independent consultant to the financial services industry and a personal finance commentator. You can learn more about Preet at his personal website and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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