Hockey Equipment Prices In Canada
You may have heard that ice hockey equipment is cheaper in Canada than in the USA. However, is this true? And if it is, what is the reason behind it?
Hockey equipment is not cheaper in Canada. It is generally more expensive. This is mainly due to tariffs and taxes, which are higher in Canada than in the USA. A lack of competition may also contribute to the high prices.
In this article, we will discuss the reasons for the price gap between the USA and Canada. We will also explain why the price gap exists and whether it is likely to change anytime soon.
Ever wondered how much the average Canadian parent spends on ice hockey?
According to the New York Times, one study found that almost half of Canadian parents spent between 500 and 1,000 Canadian dollars on hockey equipment every season. That is between $380 and $760 US dollars at the current conversion rate.
Another study found that the average Canadian family spends around 1,700 Canadian dollars per year on equipment and registration fees. That is approximately $1,300 USD. For more in-depth coverage of this topic, take a look at our article covering the average costs of youth hockey equipment.
That is a lot of money overall. It may be one of the main reasons why fewer and fewer children are playing hockey in Canada. Hockey registration among boys has been dropping for four years in a row, while registrations for sports like tennis and basketball have increased. Tennis Canada reported a 32 percent increase in children up to 12 years old playing tennis once a week or more.
According to The Globe and Mail, 40 percent of those asked said high costs were the main reason for the lower enrollment rate. According to the writer, hockey is increasingly becoming an “elitist” sport due to ice hockey goods’ rising costs in Canada.
Why is ice hockey equipment so expensive? According to Ottawa Insights, several factors contribute to high ice hockey equipment costs.
There are not that many companies producing ice hockey equipment. Only a few leading companies in the game will naturally cause prices to go up. The less competition there is, the more the few companies that are in the game can charge. After all, consumers will have nowhere else to go to buy their ice hockey equipment.
People do not buy hockey sticks around the year. Instead, they purchase new hockey sticks every season if needed. If a store only has a short window of time to sell hockey equipment and make a living, they will have to charge more to cover the periods that they will not be getting any sales.
Tariffs are perhaps one of the main factors causing ice hockey equipment and all kinds of sports equipment to become more expensive. In 2013, the Canadian government said that 72 countries previously classified as developing would now be “graduated” to fully developed status.
The Canadian government indeed removed import duties on sporting and ice hockey equipment such as hockey pants. The government made this move to reduce prices and help the Canadian market catch up to the lower costs enjoyed by US consumers.
However, with the announcement that new tariffs would now be put in place for those countries that were previously classified as developing, the hope of ice hockey equipment prices going down was pretty much shattered. The new announcement came with an expected tariff increase from developed countries by as much as three percent.
This new announcement was expected not just to balance out the benefit of removing sporting goods import duties but also to dwarf any low prices the industry may have experienced due to that removal.
According to CTV News, while removing tariffs for sporting goods applied to 37 imported items, the extra tariffs raised on developing countries affected more than 1,000 items. It was a loss for the ice hockey industry and the consumer instead of a win.
Taxes are probably the most significant difference between the US and Canada when it comes to ice hockey prices. The USA does not tax imports as much as Canada does. Also, although there is a sales tax, the amount can vary.
Canadians will have to eat the cost of higher prices of ice hockey equipment due to higher tariffs. These tariffs just get passed on to the consumer, as the businesses that import them are looking to make a profit.
Transportation costs may also play a role in the high prices of goods in Canada. Canada is not a very densely populated country. There is a lot of space, but there are not a lot of people for that space. Getting hockey goods from one place to another costs money.
Another factor contributing to the higher costs of ice hockey equipment is the difficulty of making some of the equipment. For example, the safety requirements of helmets add complexity. Skates are another piece of equipment that is much more difficult to manufacture than shoes. We cover this in our article titled “Why Are Hockey Skates So Expensive“.
There are several places you can go to buy ice hockey equipment in Canada. Hockey Supremacy is a leading online source for hockey equipment in Canada. It is based in Canada, so if you are looking for a Canadian-based site, check out Hockey Supremacy.
You can also always go on Amazon and see what is available for you there.
If you want to buy hockey equipment in person, you can go to a small local store or a larger chain such as Pro Hockey Life. However, you may find that prices at giant stores are relatively high compared to small, local stores. You may also get better service at a small, local store.
If you are looking for the best deal, it may be best to find and talk with a hockey equipment manager as they would likely know the best places and best discounts available. To learn more about what they do, make sure to read our article discussing the role of hockey equipment managers.
It is impossible to compare every hockey equipment piece in Canada to every hockey equipment piece in the USA. Prices can always vary based on what is being sold, the store it is being sold in, where it is being sold, etc. However, in general, hockey equipment is not cheaper in Canada compared to the USA.
Most people will find prices in Canada to be more expensive than in the USA. As mentioned, there are many reasons for this, with high tariffs and taxes being some of the main concerns. The fact that prices are generally high in Canada does not mean that you can not find good deals in Canada, but you may find even better deals if you simply cross the border.
Some people are trying to buy hockey equipment in the USA and bring it back to Canada without being noticed. According to CTV News, hockey equipment can be as much as 20 to 40 percent more expensive in Canada than in the USA, on average.
Most goods that are sold in Canada are more expensive than in the US. The main exception to this is electronics, which can be cheaper in Canada at certain times.
If you would like a general comparison of the prices in the US vs. Canada and why Canadians often pay more for the same things, watch this excellent Youtube video:
It is not that hockey equipment, in particular, is more expensive in Canada than in the USA. It is just that the cost of most goods is higher due to the different taxing systems and transportation costs.
If you live in the USA, consider yourself lucky. You won’t have to pay as much for hockey equipment as your northern neighbours. If you live in Canada, try to find good deals online or at local stores so that you don’t end up paying up to 40 percent more than your southern neighbours.
Remember that you are supporting a local business when you purchase at a local store, which is essential during these trying times.
- CTV News: Clothing, sports equipment all cost more in Canada
- Reddit: Best/Cheapest place to buy skates in Canada?
- Mod Squad Hockey: What’s with Canadian vs. US price gap
- CTV News: Hockey gear cheaper, but tariff changes likely to widen Canada-U.S. price gap
- Ottawa Insight: How much is your hockey equipment?
- The Globe And Mail: Increasingly high cost of hockey is making the game an elitist sport
- New York Times: In Canada, the Cost of Youth Hockey Benches the Next Generation