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Do you cross-border shop for reasons other than money?

Categories: Business, Canada, Community

Today is the first day of new duty-free limits on Canadians shopping in the U.S. and Canadian retailers will face more pressure to compete with U.S. stores.

 The rules for shopper duty-free in the U.S. changed June 1. (CP)Under changes introduced in the 2012 federal budget, the duty-free limit on visits of more than 24 hours quadruples, rising from $50 to $200, effective June 1.

As well, any visit longer than 48 hours allows Canadians to return with duty-free goods worth up to $800. That's an increase from the previous rules of $400 for up to a week, and $750 for longer than a week.

The new limits, combined with a Canadian dollar hovering around par with the U.S. dollar and lower prices in the U.S., will likely mean more cross boarder shopping.

The comments on our story suggest that many CBC News Community members will be heading south to spend some cash.

  • "For a 10-minute drive to the States I can fill my tank for 94 cents per litre, buy poultry and dairy products for less than half. Sales tax at 6%. It's a no brainer where I do my shopping!" said sarnia1.

  • "Compared to N.B., N.S. or P.E.I. prices, a hotel room in Bangor, Maine, is half price. A tank of gas in Bangor is 30% off, a good meal is half price, a case of beer or a bottle of wine is less than half price. Where would you go for a little holiday?" said AComment.

But is money the only reason Canadians shop south of the border?

There are stores and brands in the U.S. that just don't exist in Canada, which could be part of the allure of cross border shopping.

Customer service could also be a factor.

  • "Canadian retailers better shape up because they are on a losing path if they don't. Selection, value, service is not great in many stores, here. Especially, department stores," said yarrum215.

  • "I think that service is probably the main reason people cross border and internet shop. It is virtually impossible to get any service in Canadian retail establishments," said barry1942.

Other than money, what's the more important reason you shop in the U.S., if you do? Let us know in the comments below.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Related: How often do you go cross-border shopping?

Tags: Business, Canada, money, taxes, U.S.

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