The Clothes Off Their Backs

Right now, the U.S. dollar is very low in value, which means that visitors from other countries can buy more and spend less. Canadians know this and are coming across the border (line between two countries or areas) to shop in American stores. One catch or difficulty is that shoppers have to pay duty (a government fee for taking something into the country) of around 6% when they reenter Canada.


What to do? Some Canadians are leaving their old clothes behind in dressing rooms (a room in a store where you try on clothes) and garbage cans, and wearing their new clothes back home. This is, of course, illegal and if the shopper is caught, he or she will have to pay a fine that is much more than the duty.

Shopping malls are now finding a way to handle these left-behind items. One mall in New York has set up charity bins (containers) outside the stores to collect the old clothes. From this one shopping mall, the charities (organizations that help the poor and the needy) picks up about 20 bins of clothes each week!

I guess our Canadian neighbors are helping more than our economy. They’re helping our poor, too!

~ Lucy

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4 Responses to The Clothes Off Their Backs

  1. ESLPodcast Google Group says:

    When the dollar is low in values, few tourists visit the Brazil, It´s bad for us…
    The South Brazil is next to Paraguay a small country famous by yours shoppings and electronics stores from China.
    When the dollar is low too many people go there to buy products for sale. The problem is that each people there is a small limit to spend, so it´s common
    the fiscalization to catch their goods. The fun is that each day the people find a new way to circumvent the law.

  2. emiliano says:

    Now all is cheaper US than any euro zone country en Europe. And I don’t want to speak about Spain that is the most expensive of all.
    Everything is too expensive here, and if I look for the prices in US dollars by the web and change to euros, U.S. prices are half or less than here where I live.
    But the only thing that I can buy are books or similar, there are many resctrictions about sending other things, and you have to pay the cost of sending the books.
    Despite it, sometimes are even cheaper.
    There is a very good news that people are collecting used clothes to other poor people that may need them. That’s great, a very genial idea, good for that charities organizations and for Canadians that do leave the used clothes in the bins………..but I suppose that clothes are not rags, that should be very bad aptitude.
    Thank you Lucy it is a peculiar and curious information about people behaviour. We all take note to do the same if we go US on shopping.

  3. rob hoe says:

    Yes, that´s why my premium membership on was a real bargain. Dollar/Euro ratio is near 1:1,5 although that´s not so good for the european export industries

    Hey , why does the spell check red underline the adjective EUROPEAN ?????????????

  4. Julen says:

    I checked out the currency of canadian dollar and google “said” to me that it’s 1:1.010611 Does it worth to travel from Canada to US for this low saving? I mean, considering the expenses for gas, etc… Anyway, great idea!

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