Cross-border shopping made easy

The loonie has once again reached parity with the U.S. dollar, making the massive retail market south of the border a lot more appealing to Canadians. The strong currency always presents a great opportunity to snap up items that aren’t available in Canada, and even those that are – at a considerably lower price.

If you want to take advantage of this opportunity, but don’t have a chance to actually cross the border, check out Bing Shopping. Microsoft’s search engine has launched a cross-border shopping tool that lets Canadians find the best bargains both north and south of the border.

The helpful tool lets you browse through a range of products, from electronics and computers to health and beauty products. It shows you the exact price of each item on both sides of the border, including taxes, and the percentage difference.

A Panasonic 8GB Memory Card, for instance, is 63% cheaper in the United States, at $30.29 in Canadian dollars, compared to $98.88 north of the border. Even taking into account shipping costs, that’s a huge level of savings.

In addition to this cross-border tool, Bing also has a broader shopping site that lets you find the best deal among products in Canada. Similar to the Canada Post Comparison Shopper launched last year (which I blogged about here), Bing Shopping compares a variety of retailers to show you the best price you can get on any given product.

The tool also shows you the benefits of shopping at any particular retailer, such as that company’s return policy, warranty services and shipping rates. In addition, the tool helps you determine the best time to make your purchase by showing you the price history for the past six months.

One of the best aspects of online shopping is the ability to comparison-shop quickly and easily, and online shopping tools like this one make it that much easier.

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