Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Parity games

Here's a fun thing to do to drive yourself nuts at work today. Go to Amazon.com. First, weep at how vastly superior the US site is to the Canadian one in terms of items for sale. Then, punch in book or DVD that you might be interested in buying. Note the price. Then visit Amazon.ca and search for the exact same item. Then fume in outrage over the price disparity now that you know the US and Canadian dollar are essentially worth the same.

I did this a couple of days ago quite by accident. Cathy and I picked up season 1 of Bones while home last month for something under $30. That's a ridiculously low price and the show was well worth the money. So we thought we might pick up season 2, which just came out. However, season 2 is going for about double what we paid for the first season. We decided too hold off, as it was a bit too pricey.

Then I did what I described above. Behold the difference:

Bones: Season 2 - $38.99

Bones: Season 2 - $57.96

Same company, same product, basically the same exchange rate and about a 35-40% difference in price. Maddening, eh? Welcome to the wonderful, wacky word of parity. Feel free to experiment and go mad on your own.

4 comments:

Jen said...

That's totally irritating! However you can always just buy it on the America site. Canadians are allowed to buy books and CDs on the American site, it's the other cool stuff that Amazon.com offers that we can't buy.

Mireille Sampson said...

CBC consumer section of their website had a bit on how canadian consumers should demand lower prices - and not just on books. There's a large disparity in plenty of consumer items, right down to a box of riceroni. I suspect prices will go up in the US (a lot faster than CAN prices will come down) as the cost of imports for them has to have skyrocketed.

nadinebc said...

Drives me bonkers! Books, greeting cards and all that stuff should come down now, but they have not. But if I can get more for my money on the American websites then that is where I will shop- perhaps if enough of us do that the prices will come down.

BookwormBlogger said...

I hate Amazon Canada. Compared to the American site, it's ridiculous!

It's like they use a completely different database or something, because more than half the time, there won't be information on an item. You can often look up the same items on both sites, have a full bunch of info about the item on the American site, but none on the Canadian site.

What's really fun is what I call Double Importing, and I've run into this more than a couple of times. This is when a Canadian product doesn't have enough info in the database, which happens oh so often as I described above. So, the info on the American site has the most info, but, it's an import, so then they use that as the definitive entry as there usually will be quite a few blank entries for the same product, so the result is a Canadian product that's imported into the US and back into Canada, and bling bling, you have an inflated price about 3 times what the original amount should be. Ripoff.

The first time I noticed this, I was looking at the second Cottars album. There was no Amazon Canada info, only an import from the US site which brought the price up.

Canada>US>Canada = Ripoff