Canada is small; well, at least, in population. It is suggested that the population of Canada is similar in size to the state of California. Of course, this leaves Canadians with very little buying power in comparison to our neighbours to the south. This also means some goods that you can buy in America are just not sold in Canada. An argument for this, for many years, was that the exchange rate didn’t make it appealing for US-based companies to offer goods into Canada. Another issue was that they didn’t want to deal with provincial rules, like in Quebec, regarding the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), and language.
Today, with online shopping, we Canadians can look at websites from retailers from anywhere in the world, but one of the most frustrating things in online shopping is getting to a checkout screen and finding out that the product won’t ship to Canada. Barriers need to be broken down, so we can be on par with our friends in the USA.
One of the most frustrating things in online shopping is getting to a checkout screen and finding out that the product won’t ship to Canada
Good news, this past winter, Amazon and Google finally allowed home solutions like Google Home and Amazon Alexa to work fully in Canada. Up till then, you had to find a crazy workaround to get the service to partially function.
I was recently introduced to a Toronto-based startup, which is bringing US goods to Canada. They are looking to solve the ‘won’t ship to Canada’ problem, and thus, saving us a ride to New York state. Meet Wantboard (wantboard.com), a curated online marketplace that offers Canadians products (not just tech goodies) that are normally not for sale in Canada. They have a very simple model – they broker the sale to you, without gouging you on pricing, and they offer free shipping, free returns and fast, friendly service.
In a conversation I had with CEO and Founder Clement Lo, I learned about the company’s vision. Mr. Lo’s passion to help Canadian consumers is obvious.
Another great feature is that wantboard.com also allows customers to send requests for products that they would like to get. In one example, they successfully brought a certain sourced hot sauce to Canada, at a client’s request.
Wantboard.com also allows customers to send requests for products that they would like to get
Mr. Lo emphasised that if a product is not already on the company website, all you have to do is request it, and they will source it for you.
It would be great if all products offered in the USA would ship to Canada, but until that happens, it is good to know that we all have some alternative ways to get our goods.