On the high cost of electronics in Canada

Last week I ran across a news item about the Viewsonic 10’ gTablet being available at Amazon for around $300.00. As I’d been lately thinking about getting a tablet for my better half so that she wouldn’t have to compete with our 11yo for access to the main computer, I thought I would go check it out.

I found it here on Amazon.com for $318.00 which is a great price for a 10” tablet, even if it’s only running Android 2.2. Unfortunately, Amazon.com will not ship electronics to Canada, making us instead order items like this from Amazon.ca. That being the case, I headed on over to Amazon.ca and found the same tablet here. Boy was I ever surprised, on Amazon.ca the price is $639.00, double the price!!!  This is with the Canadian dollar currently being valued higher than the US dollar.

I was floored by this discrepancy and sent an email off to Amazon asking why the difference. This is the response that I received.

I’m sorry to hear that you are disappointed with our policy concerning and I would like to offer an explanation of some of the considerations which have led us to adopt this policy.

Prices on Amazon.ca do not reflect prices on Amazon.com, regardless of the current exchange rate. While many of the items we offer on the Amazon.ca website are also offered on Amazon.com, the prices of items offered on both sites may not match each other.

Also, I have forwarded your message to the appropriate department in our company for their consideration.

As retailers Amazon.ca, do not fix the price for the items on our website as our list price is the MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price). Unfortunately, we can only make changes to the list price on our website if the manufacturer has made these changes known to us. I apologize for any inconvenience the above information might have caused and hope you can understand our limitations.

We realize that from time to time, our customers will be able to purchase a title from another store at a lower price than ours. While price is obviously a very important factor in any purchasing decision, the best reason to buy from Amazon.ca is the quality of customer service we provide.

The employees here at Amazon.ca truly care about your experience with us and take great pride in the level of service we provide.  From the time you put an item in your shopping cart to the day you receive the order at your door, your order is given the individual attention it deserves.

Many factors in the Canadian marketplace, including what we pay to our own suppliers, affect the prices that we charge at any given time our customers on Amazon.ca. This may result in different prices on Amazon.ca and on Amazon.com for a particular item.

“This may result in different prices on Amazon.ca and on Amazon.com for a particular item” Ok, I can understand maybe a 10% difference but, double the price, common!! That’s just wrong! I decided to check out a couple of other items to see what kind of price disparity there was and this is what I found.


6” WiFi Kindle $139.00USD vs $299.00CAD


46” Bravia EX620 $1169.99USD vs $1499.99CAD  (US version on sale regular $1299.99)

Reader Touch edition $206.99USD vs $249.99CAD

Tiger Direct

CybertronPC $589.99USD vs $737.99CAD

Intel Core i7-990X $999.99USD vs $1249.99CAD

Edit: Thanks to Z for pointing out that I was comparing apples to oranges on the Viewsonic tablet (Funny Amazon didn’t point that out as I sent them the same links 😉 I’ll edit the links later this evening.

So what do you think? Are Canadians being gouged?


2 Responses to “On the high cost of electronics in Canada”

  1. z Says:

    I think you made a mistake.

    Viewsonic has 3 tablets g tablet (10inch), viewsonic 7inch and viewsonic 10inch (android + win 7).

    The price you compared was viewsonic g tablet vs viewsonic 10inch dual boot tablet.

    The 10inch dual boot is actually cheaper on amazon.ca website: http://www.amazon.ca/ViewSonic-ViewPad-10-1-Inch-Tablet-Black/dp/B004LJ5RPY/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1303915587&sr=8-13

    The g tablet you compared is actually not sold on amazon.ca

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