When a relevant news story comes around we like to make sure our customers get wind of it sooner than later, and this story could certainly benefit our American based e-commerce clients. The Canadian government allows retail goods that cost less than $20 to cross the border tax and duty-free, recently a push has been made to increase that limit to $800, as the limit has been in place for decades and its value has been decreased by inflation and other factors. Many big e-commerce companies are pushing for the change to go through, but there are many in Canada that worry about the affect it will have on their retail businesses. 50,000 Canadian eBay users have written letters to the Canadian Finance Minister urging him to approve the increase. Currently, Canadian customers can be charged as much as 35% in fees for imported consumer goods.
With this news come several things to consider as an e-commerce business owner. First, do you have any friends family or connections who are Canadian citizens and might have a say in helping to push this forward? This is a great opportunity to boost US to Candian e-commerce so whatever we can do to help make it happen should be done. Secondly, are you prepared to increase your international sales? Setting your website up to be more SEO friendly to Canadian customers and maybe including some content that would be more likely to entice them to buy are two things that would certainly go a long way to get you up front and center when more Canadians buy from American e-commerce outlets.
Local communities are already beginning to prepare for these changes and the conference in which these changes will be discussed and decided next month. This story details how these changes are being perceived by the Niagara area, which has a significant amount of over the border commerce from the Buffalo NY region. You can also find more information on this particular issue here.