$&@&$ Canadian prices vs US on high end ranges

tomcarter101January 2, 2012

Wow. Just went to a local dealer in Vancouver. Their prices for 36" ranges were in the 10-12000 range for wolf and Viking. And the sales guy only wanted to push Viking. he did not deny that their pricing was much higher. Just said that a us model brought into canada would void the warranty. Anyone know of a dealer that is not gouging north of the border?


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Can you get a third party warranty? If there are thousands between the two prices, and hundreds for the warranty, it would seem to make sense. But is there an import tax or something? Buying over the border to avoid taxes is considered criminal in the U.S. If it's just what the market will bear and they're charging more because they can, I'd go for it.

I've bought things from Canada that I couldn't get in the U.S...

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 9:00PM
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The third party warranty is a good idea - I will look into it. There are a number of items continually in the news that are more expensive in Canada for no reason other than we are 'willing' to pay.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 11:39PM
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I went through this several months ago, and here's what I learned:

(1) Canadian prices are 20% to 30% higher than in the US because the manufacturers/dealers supposedly have higher operating costs in Canada. Operating costs includes employee fringe/benefits, rent, taxes, etc. Most of the appliances are stored in the US and shipped to Canada so the price may include the freight and customs clearance, and possibly another storage/warehouse charge.

(2) Unlike the US where Wolf, Viking and other high-end brands are plentiful, the situation in Canada is that we have low buying power and the dealers are concentrated so they control the market.

(3) Sales for high-end brands tend to be driven by the distributor or manufacturer. Last year they ran a promo on the wolf gas ranges for almost the whole year and the savings were substantial.

A few tips:

(1) If you do not want to pay the "premium" in Canada, try mid-range lines that do not have strong brand recognition like wolf and viking but still performs very well. Two lines come to mind - BlueStar and Capital. Both lines are sold at Colony Warehouse in North Vancouver. It doesn't meant that there is no difference between Canadian and US prices, but it might be smaller.

(2) Check out the outlet stores and specific store deals for Trail and Coast. They have discontinued and scratch and dent at the outlets. On-line you can also check out what they have in stock as discontinued.

(3) If you want to try your luck at the store, I found Coast to be more free with the discounts than Trail for example. At one point, I considered a drop-in cooktop from Wolf - the Coast sales person in Coquitlam gave me 20% off right away; the Trail sales person in Vancouver offered me full price with no discounts. Edmonds and Y Franks only have 2 stores and they have sales persons that want to talk to you. Midland appliances in Richmond have quite a number of discontinued in their back warehouse.

(4) If you want to import a range from the US, in addition to warranty issues, check out how heavy the range is. Even at 30", the weight can be substantial - how are you going to transport it and lift and place it in your home? What if you scratch your floors/walls/etc? You will also have to pay 12% tax when you cross the border to BC. What about industry certifications like CSA - does the appliance have to bear this mark?

(5) What are you going to do if the range does not operate as expected or have dents/defects when you take it home? Once you cross with the appliance into Canada - the situation changes. I have heard of a Kobe range hood being picked up from Washington State and driven back to Vancouver. When the box was opened in Vancouver for installation, there was a dent on the hood and the dealer refused to take it back because it had been taken into Canada.

I hope this helps you in your decision making. It's not really just the cost difference you have to deal with, there are also the risks of importing the range yourself.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 8:42AM
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Tom, Do yourself a favor.
There are a number of "Brand New Cars" for sale in the US at well under $12,000.

Get one of those cars, also get one of those Wolfs.

Now disassemble them and put the parts on your kitchen table OH OH!!!!, the car parts won't fit!!

Because of little competition between the "Premium Brands"
(I have a better name for them other than "Premium Brands")
but I will be nice, there is virtually little competiton among them, and in the US, Competition used to set prices, instead of Strong Arm Marketing!

Another thing, try to find parts for these
"Expensive #`&@'s" on the net, for example a burner for a wolf range, now try the same thing for any Whirlpool, Elux, GE , etc etc range.

Auto's still are subject to the "competitive market" unfortunately, Premium appliances are not, Unless we ALL smarten up a bit!!!! Well Actually Smarten up a LOT !!!!


    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Nellym has a lot of good points. I'd also throw in Harvey's into the mix as local small indepdent (where I ended up buying my stuff). No, definitely not cheap.

When researching, two things I learned that might help you:

1) I contacted Wolf/SZ directly and they said that they would honour the warranty if brought cross-border, but did suggest I buy local. As they're constructed in the US, there also shouldn't be any duty (but don't quote me).

2) There's a high-end store in Bellingham (forget its name) whose website does say that they do a lot of sales to Vancouverites. I assume they'll be intimately familiar with the cross-border process, so it'd be worth the drive to go look at prices and talk with them.

Never really pursued this second option (don't recall why now). Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Thanks for all the good points. I have not been to Coast yet but have purchased there before - will visit tomorrow. Trail has to pay for that huge fancy display store so they were not so willing on the discounts. Just visited Colony - great place and had all the brands, not just Wolf, Viking and Thermador - really nice to see working Capital and Bluestar ranges and a very knowledgeable sales guy - good information without too much pushing one brand - although he was very high on Capital.
I'll also check out Edmonds.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 10:20PM
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Hi Tomcarter101

Did you purchase your appliances in the US? Which brands? I've been looking at Miele but Trail has indicated that Miele will not honor warranties or service items purchased in the US and brought into Canada.

If Wolfe/SZ will honour warranties, then I'll consider those instead.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 4:26PM
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I have also considered buying in the US and have been told by dealers that not only will the warranty be void, but also that installers will not install anything that does not have CSA approval! The person that told me the latter was talking about Blanco silgranit sinks! I take it all with a grain of salt and will purchase smaller items - sinks, microwave, undercounter fridge in the US. We had considered the bigger items but decided it was too complicated. We live on the Island, so we had ferry transport to consider as well. We did learn that anything made in the US has no duty, items made outside of the US will have 8% added on. All items are subject to GST. If you drive the goods across the border yourself, you will avoid all the customs brokerage fees. Also, a company in Bellingham, possibly the one you mentioned, is not allowed to sell Wolf/Sub Zero to Canadians.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 10:29PM
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I am not sure what the markets are like in vancouver... but here in toronto i bought all new appliances and i paid pricing in canada for what was in line for US discount prices.

You just need to go to more shops and or find shops are that smaller than the fat cats and are willing to make deals.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 10:47AM
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Appliances purchased in Washington state have a state tax (close to 10%) and HST (12%). Duty is also charged for Miele, (8%). So Miele purchased in Washington and brought into BC is about the same cost as purchasing locally if you get the 10% promotional discount on package purchase.
For Wolf there is no duty so it is less expensive than local purchase.
The Bellingham store will not sell these items unless there is a US address although the item can be picked up at their warehouse. They charge for pick-up too.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 2:50AM
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Hmmm, sorry to take this a little bit off track here, but Alberta residents aren't charged state tax in Washington so I think it may be worthwhile to check out Spokane appliance stores. The upcharge on appliances here is ridiculous and I'm willing to take the warranty risk if the savings is substantial.

Have any Albertans ever done this?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 11:19AM
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I bought a Wolf steam oven from Washington and am hoping there will not be any issues. I used Wolf certified installers and said I will have an extra year warranty with their work. I did not mention the oven was purchased in the US.

With free trade agreements the duty on Miele should go away, (theoretical price drop of 8%).

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 12:56PM
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The cost for a Classic Miele Speed Oven in the US is $2199....but $2799. in Canada.
Miele controls all their distributors, so pricing is firmly set.
The only way you will find a sale price here is if a store plans to discontinue selling Miele, then the policy/threat to no longer supply that store with Miele products goes away. Feels very much like price fixing!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Completed online registration for a Wolf oven purchased in the US and received acknowledgement for 2 year warranty. So local dealer comments about warranty coverage do not appear to be correct.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 4:28AM
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Wow, I was quoted $4,900 for the Wolf Steam Convection oven in Vancouver, BC from a few dealers.

chem79, thanks for sharing, it is very tempting to go border shopping when the price difference is so significant.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:06AM
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These manufacturers are all price gouging north of the border period. I was involved in cross-border (Can-US) manufacturing for years, both when the loonie was on par and in the tank and their arguments for higher prices up here are absolute bunk.

I'm going to buy all my large appliances here but the smaller stuff will be picked up in WA when we go down to vacation this summer. I feel bad for the dealers here but I think Trail/Coast could be doing something more to protect the consumers. They move a lot of product and must have some sway with the manufacturers.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:17AM
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