Vehicles line up beside the Peace Arch to cross the border into the U.S.

Vehicles line up beside the Peace Arch to cross the border into the U.S.

Poll shows prices main focus of cross-border shoppers

Majority of Lower Mainland residents drive to U.S. regularly



A large majority of Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley residents regularly cross the border to shop in the U.S., according to a new poll.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents to the Insights West poll said they drove across the border to shop in the last year and many are making frequent forays for cross-border shopping.

On average, those polled drove to the U.S. more than five times in the past year, about half had crossed three or more times and a sizable minority of 15 per cent said they’d crossed 13 times or more.

Cross-border trips are becoming more common, the poll shows, finding 21 per cent say they are crossing more often, while 12 per cent are going less often and the remaining two-thirds are unchanged.

Lower prices for the same products in the U.S. were the top reason for trips over the line, cited by 85 per cent of those polled.

“Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley shoppers are very conscious that retail prices in the U.S. are often better than in Canada,” Insights West senior vice-president Catherine Dawson said.

The strong Canadian dollar was also a factor listed by 84 per cent, 74 per cent said cheaper flights out of Seattle or Bellingham was a reason and 69 per cent listed the more generous rules on duty-free exemptions on overnight trips announced by the federal government last June.

Dawson said it doesn’t appear likely that online shopping through U.S. websites will replace all the cross-border shopping of Lower Mainland residents.

Many of those polled said they believe it’s cheaper to drive to the U.S. than to pay shipping for products bought online from American firms.

More than three-quarters of those polled also said it’s just fun to take the trip to the U.S. and 69 per cent said they can find products not available in Canada when they shop in the U.S.

More than a third of those polled said they have a U.S. mail box or address where they can pick up goods they’ve ordered but which either can’t be shipped to Canada or would cost too much once shipping is included.

Buying gas was the most popular purchase – 89 per cent said they’d fuel up either regularly or occasionally on trips to the U.S. – but clothing, shoes and accessories (81 per cent) and groceries (78 per cent) were also among the spending leaders.

About 70 per cent of those polled agree Canadians shopping in the U.S. hurts the local B.C. economy, and about half agreed it may mean job losses here.

Those polled were roughly split when asked if cross-border shopping is a false economy, where they spend more on travel than is saved.

An overwhelming 91 per cent of those polled said Canadian retailers must improve their pricing if they want to prevent shoppers heading instead to the U.S.

“These opinions suggest that local residents are more concerned with their own finances and getting a good deal when they shop than they are with how their behaviour might be impacting the broader Canadian economy and population,” Dawson said.

The online survey of 1,077 Lower Mainland adults was conducted Jan. 30 to Feb. 3.

For more details on this and other polls see www.insightswest.ca.

 

TOP U.S. PURCHASES

(Poll respondents were asked how frequently they spend on the following items when they cross the U.S. border.)

Gas – 69 per cent regularly; 20 per cent occasionally Groceries – 49 per cent regularly; 29 per cent occasionallyClothing/shoes/accessories – 35 per cent regularly; 46 per cent occasionallyElectronics/computers – Three per cent regularly; 19 per cent occasionallyFurniture – Four per cent occasionally; zero regularly.Dining out – 42 per cent regularly; 36 per cent occasionallyOvernight accommodation – 19 per cent regularly; 35 per cent occasionallyEntertainment – 11 per cent regularly; 32 per cent occasionallyCasino gambling – seven per cent regularly; 16 per cent occasionally

 

 

 

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

web
Mission students hold rally, say everyone welcome at school

Ecole Christine Morrison Elementary School hosted an Anti-Racism Day on June 15

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
Drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250-hectare wildfire in B.C.

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read