The low Canadian dollar and the addition of a more bargain prices in Metro Vancouver may have you thinking about staying home to do your shopping. 

While many people in B.C. head south of the border to seek out retail bargains at outlet malls, it’s not always a guarantee you’ll get a lower price – especially with the sagging Canadian dollar.

“I prefer to shop here than going to the States,” said shopper Rosita Anderson, who was waiting to get into Coach at the new McArthurGlen Designer Outlet near Vancouver’s International Airport. 

And based on what our McLaughlin On Your Side team discovered, she could be right. We put the bargains to the test and made some surprising discoveries. 

McLaughlin conducted an investigation to compare prices at Richmond’s McArthurGlen Designer Outlet and Seattle’s Premium Outlet Mall in Tulalip, Washington. 

A Coach Isabelle purple bag was nearly $12 less at the McCarthurGlen Coach store, and a Tumi silver hard case suitcase and small case model priced at about $781 Canadian in Seattle was a whopping $132 less here at home in Richmond.

Our test looked at major brands, specific items and calculated the cost including discounts, tax and the U.S. exchange rate. After comparing 10 identical items from 8 different stores there was a net savings shopping at McArthurGlen of $141.35.

That doesn’t mean that we didn’t find bargains down south. For instance, a Coach signature bag was $18 less at the Seattle Premium Outlets and there were other savings like $2.49 on short sleeve Ts at Gap. 

However, overall not enough to make a day trip worth the extra effort if you were looking for great savings. 

“I want to stay in Canada to do that!” Lynda Welch told us, even though she knew she could get a better deal in Washington State on that Coach bag priced checked. It wasn’t worth her while. 

Stay tuned. This could all change once the Canadian dollar gains strength or if the U.S. outlets get more aggressive in pricing to entice more of you their way. 

Check out our full list of items to see how they compare: 




McArthurGlen Cdn

Seattle Premium Outlet Cdn @ 1.31

Savings Seattle Premium Outlet Mall Cdn

Savings McArthurGlen Cdn


Big Morgan Batch Classic Signature 






Isabelle Bag Purple





Polo Ralph Lauren

Long Sleeve Tees






Silver Hard Case and small case





J. Crew

Wash Shirt 






Slim straight jeans






Short Sleeve T's  






Women's Running Shoes 






Authentic Lo-Pro Shoes





Tommy Hilfiger








Savings total 














Net Saving