December is right around the corner and you know what that means — it’s time for holiday shopping. Doing your shopping early lets you enjoy festivities without worrying about last-minute gift-buying. Who needs all that stress when you’re supposed to be spending time with loved ones?
Additionally, getting a jump on your holiday list means fewer crowds and better deals. You can take your time finding the perfect present and even save money in the process.
Of course, there’s a secret to saving if you live close to the U.S.-Canada border. Many Canadians prefer cross-border shopping — not just for the deals, but also as an opportunity for a staycation.
Why Canadians Love To Shop in Buffalo
Taking the time to drive across the border instead of just shopping local may seem strange, but the advantages are well-worth the journey. For one, gas and food is cheaper in the U.S., which means you don’t have to worry about a trip cutting into your budget. Depending on how close you are to the border, it may even be cheaper than a day trip to your favorite Canadian tourist spot. Of course, food and gas aren’t the only items you can get a deal on.
Discounts and Deals
U.S. companies are always competing for customers, which means frequent deals and discounts. If you watch the sales, you can get massive discounts on new items. Clipping coupons can save you even more money.
The U.S. is a believer in the “bigger is better” philosophy, which means larger stores with a wider range of inventory. This doesn’t just extend to regular shops, either. There are many outlets and thrift stores that offer an incredible variety of items, some of which you won’t find anywhere else.
Lower Regular Pricing
Baseline pricing in the U.S. is lower, which means you can make your money stretch further in Buffalo than at home. Books are an excellent example of this, as books sold in Canada can have a markup as high as 30%.
Lower Sales Tax
Additionally, U.S. sales tax is lower than Canada’s. Just remember that the price listed on shelves is before tax, so you’ll see a slight increase at the register as sales tax is calculated and added to your total.
There are plenty of stores that are only available in the U.S. and though you can order online, you’ll miss out on deals and items you can only get in-store. Make sure you stock up on your favorites that you just can’t find in Canada.
Why You Should Stay a Few Days in Buffalo
Staying in Buffalo for a few days may actually be a better idea than taking a day trip. Why? Because the longer you stay, the more duty-free merchandise you can bring across the border:
- $750 worth of goods for a 7-day stay
- Under $400 worth of goods for a 2-day stay
- Under $50 worth of goods for a 1-day stay
If you plan to check off every item on your Christmas list, spending the weekend in Buffalo is a good investment.
While you’re in Buffalo, why not treat yourself to a nice hotel? There are many gorgeous places to stay that come with many amenities:
- Complimentary breakfast
- Room service
You can take the opportunity to relax and truly enjoy yourself. Some hotels even have their own restaurants, allowing you to have a delicious meal without leaving the premises. Of course, you also get the benefit of not having to do the dishes or worry about other household chores for a few days.
Shopping isn’t the only activity Buffalo has to offer. During your stay, you can enjoy the Waterfront with a fun day at the beach, kayaking on Buffalo River or taking a tour of Outer Harbor.
If you prefer to hit the trails, you can explore Whirlpool State Park or Devil’s Hole State Park. Despite the names, both locations offer gorgeous scenery.
For individuals interested in art, there are a number of galleries open to the public. The architecture in Buffalo can also be considered art in and of itself; there are many old buildings and landmarks that are breathtaking to behold.
If you love to try new foods, you’ll adore the many dining options Buffalo offers. You can get the quintessential buffalo wings at many local restaurants as well as a few “Buffalo-style” favorites:
- Sponge candy
- Hot dogs
- Fish fry
- Beef on weck sandwich
Buffalo is also home to many pubs, taverns and distilleries, some of which are historical. To truly appreciate Buffalo, you must have a pint at the oldest establishment, Ulrich’s 1868 Tavern.
Are you looking to stay in Buffalo for some holiday shopping? Then you should make a reservation at an Ellicott Development hotel. We’re excited to offer guests the highest quality customer service and hospitality. For more information, give us a call at 716-854-0060 or contact us online.
Featured Image: Sopotnicki / Shutterstock