No, you haven’t stumbled into a financial website on your way to the latest comic tips and reviews. Unfortunately it’s still about money, and like most discussions involving it, it’s bad news.
For the better part of the last decade the Canadian dollar has been close to the U.S. dollar, so we paid the same for U.S. produced goods as our neighbours did domestically. And we got used to that.
Last week the Canadian dollar is worth about $0.72 USD. For those of us who enjoy U.S. produced items, like everyone reading Comic Book Daily, we’re suffering. Or at least buyers are suffering.
For a while local comic shops were eating the exchange rate difference, but it wasn’t getting any better. Most shops I’ve been to in Southern Ontario the last month are charging U.S. cover plus 35%.
I’m a collected editions reader, and it seems the average new hardcover collection is about $50 USD. Now I’m paying $67.50 CDN for that book. I’m not making any more money, but my hobby just went up more than a third.
Since this is a hobby and not my livelihood belt tightening was required. I took a good long look at my pre-order list and made some cuts. If I wanted to keep the spending to the same levels I needed to cut 1/3, which of course I didn’t do.
It will make a change to future purchases. Do I need that, or can it wait six months when it goes on deep discount at Amazon? Can I wait for Boxing Day and Black Friday sales? To be sure I will be touring Southern Ontario on December 26 with want list in hand, looking to get as much as I can for 40-50% off.
Of course there’s a positive flip side here, and that’s selling to the U.S. market. Now is the time to put those extras up on eBay or ComicLink and get a whole lot more for your money. Scower local retailers for undervalued comics and sell them in the U.S. market for a very large exchange rate bonus.
Not only that… but if you need to buy USD, banks are taking PayPal rates these days, which is ridiculous. So now, 1.39 becomes 1.43. If you need buy $2000 or more, I recommend pulling out the cash instead and using an outside exchange which offer better rates. Even a 2¢ difference could be $40 to $80 savings, worth a couple steaks at the Keg! Better yet, buy local and avoid the exchange altogether. Even if you have to pay US value, you still save a small wad of cash by avoiding the banks. Time to go raid Big B this boxing day!
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