Living in Vancouver, it's fairly easy to get across the American border. Considering that there are always 2 hour line ups at the border, I can only guess that it's a pretty popular thing to do. God bless Nexus! (paid fast lane)
What is it that makes cross border shopping so popular in Vancouver? There is 1 reason and it's a darn good one. PRICES.
We go to Bellingham, WA just about every weekend to stock up on grocery and everything else imaginable. I am so used to buying everything there, that I barely buy anything locally. To me, Vancouver's prices are a complete spit in the face!
I've switched to Organic foods a while back and buying Organic in Vancouver will empty out your whole wallet in about one shopping trip. As great as Whole Foods Market is, spending $100 on a small bag of grocery isn't anywhere near a good deal. At Superstore (cheapest Canadian supermarket ) a full cart of no name (an even cheaper variety of their store brand) products costs about $200. For the same price I can get a full cart of organic and brand name products in the States including milk, eggs, beef, chicken, you name it.
Here are some random price comparisons:
Gallon of organic milk - $4.99 US / $7.99 CAN
Large organic eggs - $3.69 US / $5.99 CAN
Cheese 1lb - $3.99 US / $5.99 CAN
Ferrero Rocher chocolates - $4 US / $9.99 CAN
Gift wrapping paper 90 sq.ft. - $2.50 US / $9.99 CAN
Safety 1st baby potty - $15 US / $40 CAN
Baby corduroy pants - $3.50 US / $12 CAN
Full gas tank $40 US / $60 CAN
WA tax = 8.5% / BC tax = 12%
Wouldn't you wanna go too? It absolutely hurts me that I can't shop here in Canada, because I do love supporting local businesses. But until local stores smarten up and start lowering their prices, I'm afraid they won't have me as a regular customer.
For fellow Vancouver readers, here is a great article about what to do in Bellingham.
I love you Bellingham, Washington.