Monday, October 3, 2011

The great equalizer: Amazon

Until this morning I had not been aware that Amazon.ca now sells more than just books (its mainstay until a few months ago).  What happened is that Amazon finally opened a warehouse in Canada (several actually) that cater to Canadians.

One of the oft lamented problems between Canada and the U.S. is that goods tend to be more expensive in Canada than in the U.S., and for no good reason.  There are essentially no barriers to trade between the two countries (Except for shoes... go figure) and so Canadians have long been insulted that cars would sell for 25% or even 30% more in Canada than in the U.S. -- that has now changed (thanks to the gray market) because Canadian dealers were losing too much trade -- the posted price (on the internet) is still higher in Canada but when you head to the showroom prices are nearly identical.

Now the great equalizer has arrived -- Amazon:  which sells everything from cookware to stepladders on its website-- guaranteed delivery within 48 hours, and you don't have to schlep all the way to the store either.  I've tested the site today (replacing two frying pans, total costs $49.00) at the store downtown it was $72 for the same pans.

A few months ago I mentioned buying replacement parts for my shower -- cost $199 instead of $550.  Imagine what Amazon is going to do to the middleman business in Canada.


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