It’s coming up to the end of the year, which means it’s the time I usually refresh my film stock for my year-end and next year projects. One irksome trend I’ve noticed in the past few years is the lack of availability and crazy high prices for photo film in Canada.
Popular film stock like Kodak Ektar 100 or Tri-X 400, which retail for about $5-$7 a roll south of the border typically sell for $18-$19 a roll up here. This is outright crazy. These products are made in the USA and therefor duty free under NAFTA. The only difference, in theory, should be the exchange rate, which fluctuates but is around 20-30% normally. Yet these films are marked up about 3x in Canada for reasons I can’t understand. Instant film isn’t much better. Polaroid Originals film which sells for $19 in the US ( discounted another 20% for Black Friday BTW) sells for $38 at Amazon.ca and is chronically out of stock.
I guess retailers would make the case that they don’t sell much and it’s a niche product. At those prices of course it is.
Which forces me yet again to buy down south. Even factoring in the exchange it’s cheaper to buy in New York then in Toronto or Montreal. Many places even have free shipping to Canada if the order exceeds a a certain value. Even if you don’t place a big order shipping only amounts to $5 or $6 on small items like film.
Film isn’t dead, not by a long shot, but Canadian retailers are acting like it is.