The Canadian Dollar has been lurking close to the US Dollar for quite a while now. However recently the Canadian Dollar matched the US Dollar giving Canadian companies which import the ability to buy from the USA at reduced prices. The Canadian Dollar has also been reaching new highs with the Euro. However for many Canadian small businesses buying from the USA is a great deal more cost effective than buying from Europe, on account of the freight cost and time element.
Prices for most goods are more expensive in Canada than in the USA, so buying from USA companies gave Canadian smaller businesses a significant advantage even before the two nations dollars became equivalent. However, now they are equivalent in worth this makes the benefit bigger and something worth looking into, especially for Canadian small businesses.
Since small businesses tend to purchase and import smaller quantities the things to watch for are different when compared to businesses that import truckloads. It is not positive as importing from the USA has its own pitfalls. One being cargo, another is obligations that the Canadian government fees. Hence the question arises how can you avoid those pitfalls? First step is to purchase from companies in the USA that don’t charge freight or have a minimum freight charge. Second is to get USA made goods since they don’t have any duties according to NAFTA. While USA made products continue to become less common because of the decrease in manufacturing these products still exist. Of course you will need to remain clear from USA businesses that rigorously import. Purchasing from a business which has free shipping to Canada and sells USA made products is almost as simple as purchasing from a Canadian firm only the savings will be much bigger which of course will benefit your business.
It will need some research of USA companies shipping policies. You also need to research brokerage fees. You should deal with USA companies acquainted with shipping to Canada as these companies often negotiate much smaller broker fees and pass these savings on to you.
So before buying from USA companies ask about the freight cost (if any), where the goods are created and the brokerage fees. Give yourself a significant advantage over the competition by buying from USA companies that are experienced in exporting to Canada and watch your small business grow.