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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, does anyone have any experience purchasing materials from the states and going through the border back to Canada?

I live in Calgary Alberta and I have been in business over 4 years, I would love to get some input as to which whole saler I could use in the Washington, Montana area as I dont object to driving longer distances for better prices. My list of items I would like to pick up would include panels, breakers, elite or halo pot lights, finishing devices and conduit, fittings, bay lights, xlink wire, loomex..ect.

If you had a bad experience or a good one I would love to hear from you, I spokr with a local guy running his own show in Spokane breifly and it sounds like its almost worth the hassle.

Thanks for reading.
 

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Hi there, does anyone have any experience purchasing materials from the states and going through the border back to Canada?

I live in Calgary Alberta and I have been in business over 4 years, I would love to get some input as to which whole saler I could use in the Washington, Montana area as I dont object to driving longer distances for better prices. My list of items I would like to pick up would include panels, breakers, elite or halo pot lights, finishing devices and conduit, fittings, bay lights, xlink wire, loomex..ect.

If you had a bad experience or a good one I would love to hear from you, I spokr with a local guy running his own show in Spokane breifly and it sounds like its almost worth the hassle.

Thanks for reading.
That sounds like a lot of work from Calgary, the only larger communities big enough to have wholesalers in Montana would be fairly south into the state. I'm sure you'd see savings on equipment, but I can't imagine the dividends on material being worth all that trouble. Not to mention customs having to go through your extensive picking list and truck on the way back! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was worried about that aswell, but Spokane is only 7.5 hrs away, I could take a couple days off after new years and go for a drive to stock up. Bonding time with my dog :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would still only be interested in purchasing brand names that are the same across the board.. such as Square D and siemens, lutron, leviton... I am looking into the tax free states now, for a 13 hour drive I can shop tax free at portland lol so I would only be paying gst at the boarder. .
 

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I live literally 2 minutes from the border and haven't heard of EC's buying material across the line.

Probably because of the CSA Mafioso?
I live 2 mins from the border and do it all the time. We cant do electrical work across cuz our licenses dont transfer though. Platt in Blaine is positioned just for that reason as there is one in Bellingham as well.
 

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I would think mail order and shipping might be cheaper than a 15 hour drive.
 

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Well we have to declare it and run through the commercial crossing. The wait can be brutal. 5 hours in line before.
 

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A material run ate that day right up so sometimes it probably isnt worth it. But when materials have to be stamped for code you do what you gotta do.
 

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Any idea what kind of savings your boss is making on the materials? (excluding any labour paying you guys to go get it and bring it back)

And does he pay Washington sales tax? And what about items that aren't stamped ULC or CSA?

We do a lot of personal shopping across the line, just never considered doing business that way. Seemed like a can of worms I never wanted to open.
 

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Not sure I wouldnt bother personally. Pain in the arse. You'd have to wrap all the expenses up unless you try to do it on your own time while already across for personal stuff. Dollar for dollar material is cheaper at the register. You already can safely assume that.
 

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check your panel if you buy them from US, most of them are only UL listed and cant be installed in canada. the same panel in canada is often more $$$ because it has an extra CSA certification or cULus
 

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Hardly worth it for everyday supplies. I could only see it if you had a project that required a truckload of Fixture Type Blah, Blah, Blah.

Besides that, we are going to see the Canadian dollar drop, some guys saying back to below 80 cents. When that happens you're buying power goes in reverse and you have pi$$ed of your local suppliers in the meantime.
 

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Another example of the disparity in pricing... I need some CR123A batteries for some wireless devices.

My local The Source has Energizers for $14.99 EACH, or I can buy a 6pack of Energizers from
for $13.99 with free shipping to a post office that is closer than the nearest The Source.

w t f! 6 at the local store would be $90, or I can get 6 online for $14.
 

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The irony is often the local store shops at the same on line source Frunk ~CS~
 

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Going the other way I used to buy swiss made carving tools from a outfit in Vancouver and saved about 30%. Has anybody contacted Amazon?
 
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